Taught course

Language and Communication Impairment in Children (LACIC)

University of Sheffield · Department of Human Communication Sciences

Entry requirements

For the PGCert/PGDip: a degree-level professional qualification, or a first degree, plus at least two years’ experience of working with children.

For the MSc: minimum 2:1 honours degree and two years’ relevant work experience with children.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

This course is for teachers, speech and language therapists, and other professionals working with children with special educational needs. You’ll develop your understanding of speech, language and communication and build on your existing skills. The course is delivered online, by distance learning, so you can gain a specialist qualification without having to leave your current job.

Your career

Your masters will give you the skills and knowledge to make a difference. Our MMedSci course provides the necessary training to meet the requirements of the UK Health and Care Professions Council which is the accreditation body for UK speech and language therapy. Our other courses provide professional development training. They can also lead to careers in university teaching and research.

How we teach

We have a reputation for high quality research in the field of human communication and its disorders. That research informs our teaching. We offer professional training for students who are considering speech and language therapy as a career. If you’re interested in a research career, we can prepare you for a PhD.

We also run professional development courses for students already working in the field, so you can study alongside your current job. We have links with the NHS, special schools and specialist charities to ensure that what we teach you is in line with current developments in the field.

We work with other departments across the University including the School of Education, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Computer Science and the School of English Language and Linguistics.

Different ways to study

Our MMedSci Clinical Communication Studies is an intensive, full-time course lasting two calendar years. It includes lectures, seminars and clinical placements.

Our other postgraduate courses are available part-time or full-time. They’re a mix of online learning and blocks of intensive study in Sheffield. We work with you to develop your own interests through optional modules and a choice of dissertation topics.

Criminal records disclosure

The MMedSci Clinical Communications requires a UK criminal records disclosure from the UK Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). This is not a requirement for any other course unless you want to take part in clinical observations. If you are unsure whether you need one, please contact us for advice.

Core modules

PGCert, PGDip and MSc

  • Children’s Learning
  • Language and Communication
  • Spoken and Written Language
  • Developing an Evidence Base for Practice

PGDip and MSc

  • Research Methods A
  • Research Methods B (optional for PGDip)

Examples of optional modules for PGDip and MSc levels only:

  • Communication Diversity and Difficulties
  • Literacy 1: assessments and constructs
  • Literacy 2: difficulties and intervention
  • Case Study
  • Research Methods B
  • Speech Difficulties

For Communication Diversity and Difficulties, you can choose up to two specialist topics for assessment, such as:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Specific Language Impairment
  • Language and Behaviour
  • Language and Environment
  • Literacy Difficulties
  • Early Years
  • Adolescence

MSc students also complete a dissertation.


We provide material online for weekly study across the full calendar year. There are two or three (optional) study weekends per year in Sheffield. Essential reading material is available electronically. Online activities support your study and build links with tutors and other students.


Modules are normally assessed by written assignments. MSc students are also assessed on their research dissertation.

Information for international students

Overall IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24-36 PT months


distance learning
24 PT months


distance learning
12 PT months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Tutor
+44 (0)114 222 2405