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Department of Linguistics

Master of Speech and Language Pathology

Master of Speech and Language Pathology Program

The Master of Speech and Language Pathology at Macquarie University began in 2001 and is the first program in NSW to enable individuals from a variety of backgrounds, already having a degree, to become speech pathologists via a Masters Program. The course follows the Speech Pathology Association of Australia Competency Based Standards for Speech Pathologists and is accredited by the Speech Pathology Association of Australia.

Located in the Faculty of Human Sciences, the Master of Speech and Language Pathology program is ideally placed to provide students with both a specialist and a multidisciplinary holistic approach to language/communication. Within this Faculty, students have access to world-renowned researchers in the field of speech pathology both as lecturers in the course and as part of the Center for Language Sciences. They are also in contact with the dynamic and internationally acknowledged Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, as well as being part of a campus that has built up a reputation for research into special education. Students will be in close contact with other postgraduate students training as TESOL specialists, audiologists, neuropsychologists, interpreters and other applied linguists.

Course Philosophy

The Program is based on a sociolinguistic framework in which students will be encouraged to view communication as a means of achieving social endeavour. In this light, the individual is seen against the background of family/social network/ school/ workplace as well as other cultural factors, with communication goals framed accordingly. The physical and intellectual/cognitive bases for the communication impairments covered in the course will be explored utilizing research bases from speech pathology, psychology, medicine, linguistics and related disciplines. In a social framework, the individual seeking the services of a speech pathologist will be viewed as playing an integral part in informing the assessment and treatment process. This involves incorporating his/her social goals and expectations. Treatment is consequently seen as a consumer-driven process.

The course provides students with basic knowledge of both institutional and societal structures as well as political influences of importance to individuals with disabilities. This is aimed at increasing their understanding of optimal ways of facilitating participation and advocacy for individuals with communication impairments.


The course combines a framework of didactic and self-directed learning, informed by problem based learning principles. Students develop the skills to access a range of multi-media resources relevant to the study of communication impairments so as to further their own learning and to develop the capacity to act as a resource person for potential clients.

Learning occurs in a small group environment, with collaborative work and sharing of information and experience an integral feature of the course. This aims to foster the teamwork and networking required for successful working within the Speech Pathology profession, as well as making the learning experience an enjoyable and productive one.

Evaluation is predominantly case-based, and focuses on assessing the students' ability to both potentially and actually work with their clients in planning appropriate and practical assessment and treatment programs based on strong theoretical rationales.

Clinical practicum consists of a variety of experiences, ensuring that students have maximum exposure to individuals demonstrating the full range of communication impairments.

Student Outcomes

On completion of the program, students will be:

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