How to become a speech pathologist

Everything you need to know about becoming a speech pathologist in Australia
To become a speech pathologist, you must study an accredited speech pathology degree (Bachelor or coursework Masters degree). You can then apply for Certified Practising membership with Speech Pathology Australia (Provisional Certification), converting to Full Certification after meeting specific requirements.

1. Complete a university degree in speech pathology

After high-school

You can apply to study speech pathology as an undergraduate student after high school if you meet the minimum ATAR score and English language requirements.

At the University of Sydney you can study the Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) (4-year degree), where you will learn to treat a range of communication and swallowing conditions in both children and adults. This includes knowledge and understanding of communication and swallowing, and communication and swallowing needs, throughout an individual’s lifespan.

After completing a bachelor’s degree at university

If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to study speech pathology as a postgraduate student if you meet the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.5 out of 7.0 and English language requirements.

With a strong practical focus, the Master of Speech Language Pathology is a two-year graduate-entry program accommodating all suitably qualified candidates regardless of their previous discipline, designed to prepare you for professional practice as a speech pathologist, developing the skills to assess and treat people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures, and change lives by making it easier for people to communicate with others or swallow safely.

You may wish to study an undergraduate degree in a relevant area such as linguistics, neuroscience or psychology to prepare for the Master’s degree. This is not essential however, as all students accepted into the Master of Speech Language Pathology are given access to free online learning modules so that you can gain this assumed knowledge.

Assumed knowledge for Master of Speech Language Pathology:

  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Functional anatomy of the speech system
  • Functional neuroanatomy of the speech system.

Learn more about the knowledge and practical skills required in each area of assumed knowledge and examples of study units which meet these requirements.

2. Register to become a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist 

After completing your degree, you can apply for Certified Practising Membership with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) . New graduates may be eligible for Provisional Certification, prior to transitioning to Full Certification after meeting specific requirements.

Find more information:

Eligibility for Speech Pathology Australia Certified Practising Membership may be required for employment or when registering as a practitioner with service providers and funding schemes for services in Australia.

4 May 2020

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