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How to become a speech pathologist

4 May 2020
Everything you need to know about becoming a speech pathologist in Australia
Becoming a speech pathologist is a straightforward process. After completing the HSC, you must study an accredited tertiary degree and then register with Speech Pathology Australia to become a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist.

1. Complete a university degree in speech pathology

Straight from high-school

You can apply to study speech pathology as an undergraduate student straight from 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 communication and speech disorders in children and adults, including problems with speaking, comprehension, reading, writing, voice problems and stuttering, or;

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.

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 neurology 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 Practicing Speech Pathologist

After completing your degree, you need to register with Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) to become a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).

Information for graduates registering with SPA can be found on the SPA website.

3. Meet the Continuing Professional Development requirements required for ongoing certification

To continue practising as a speech pathologist in Australia, you will need to enter into SPA’s Professional Self Regulating (PSR) program and complete a minimum of 12 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities each year.

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