Course Overview

The aim of this MSc in Childhood Speech, Language, and Communication Needs is to provide a critical and conceptually sophisticated understanding of children with SLCN and the contexts of their lives. This programme has been designed to meet the needs of busy practitioners who need to keep up to date with the emerging evidence base when working with children with SLCN in the clinic, classroom, and community. (Note: it is not a professional qualification in speech and language therapy.)

Our flexible blended learning approach, combines face-to-face workshops (e.g., two days per module) and online learning to support you as a busy practitioner with many competing demands on your time. Course activities and skills training enable you to apply knew knowledge and skills directly in the clinic, classroom, and community.

NOTE: information on the NUI Galway Taught Masters Scholarship Scheme is online here.


Supporting Children with SLCN
Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
  1. Discuss the impact which speech, language and communication needs can have across a range of contexts including individual and societal levels (e.g., ICF, Bronfenbrenner) 
  2. Discuss the relationship between language and literacy and numeracy in the classroom 
  3. Critically appraise the policy context in relation to law/equality, health, and education as it relates to speech, language and communication intervention e.g., Disability Rights perspective, inclusive policies, New Language Curriculum, Early Childhood Curriculum Framework  
  4. Discuss the methods which are used to screen for speech and language needs (e.g., those used by teachers, SLTs, and psychologists) 
  5. Interpret the results of assessments in order to identify strengths and needs
  6. Discuss specific evidence-based intervention strategies to support children with SLCN in the classroom, clinic and community
  7. Critically appraise service delivery options e.g., pull-out, classroom-based intervention, clinic-based intervention, whole-school approach, models of multi-professional working.
Cultural, Linguistic, and Social Diversity in Health and Education

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise a range of theories and cultural beliefs about bilingual language acquisition, childhood, child rearing, health/illness, and disability that will impact on practice
  2. Discuss the impact of parental addiction, neglect, poverty on child speech and language development and well-being  
  3. Apply knowledge and understanding to assessment and intervention of culturally, linguistically, and socially diverse families
  4. Critically reflect upon their own cultural competence
  5. Problem solve working with interpreters
Using Evidence in Practice

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Describe the evidence based practice resources available which are relevant for practice in the clinic, classroom and community.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in turning questions into effective search strategies.
  3. Appraise quantitative and qualitative research literature
  4. Analyse and synthesise information from multiple sources to draw valid inferences about the state of knowledge in a particular field.
Narratives in childhood

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  1. Discuss stages of narrative development in childhood
  2. Discuss the characteristics of narrative associated with a range of clinical populations
  3. Compare and contrast a range of elicitation and analysis procedures
  4. Critically appraise a range of elicitation and analysis procedures
  5. Critically evaluate a range of elicitation and analysis procedures
  6. Discuss the available evidence base for narrative-based language interventions
  7. Discuss cultural diversity in narratives and their clinical significance
  8. Discuss the role of narrative in identity construction in childhood

Scholarships Available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

Dr Mary-Pat O'Malley
B.Sc., M.LITT, Ph.D
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Dr Clare Carroll
Lecturer Above The Bar
Dept. Speech & Language Therapy
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Dr Stanislava Antonijevic-Elliott
B.S., M.S., Ph.D
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Dr Maura Dowling
MSc,BNs,RNT,RGN,RM Cert Oncology,PhD
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Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Primary degree with at least Second Class Honours or an equivalent qualification.

Additional Requirements


1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

Next start date

September 2021

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

Closing Date

15 August 2021

NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting




Course code

1MLN1 [full-time]; 1MLN2 [part-time]

Course Outline

 The programme is comprised of five core modules (compulsory) plus a minor dissertation. The core modules are:

  • Advanced Research Methods
  • Narratives in Childhood
  • Using Evidence in Practice
  • Cultural, Linguistic, & Social Diversity in Health & Education
  • Supporting children with SLCN
  • Dissertation (thesis) (year long)

Assessment is by continuous assessment in each module.

Module details for the full-time course

Module details for the part-time course

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

  • Are you a health, education, or social care professional? Or someone who is interested in childhood communication impairments? 
  • Do you want to learn how you can engage, support, educate, and help children with SLCN (aged from birth to 18 years) in the clinic, classroom, and community? 
  • Do you want to learn how to facilitate the child with SLCN to participate in these contexts, and realise their full communication potential?

With our interdisciplinary MSc, which combines on-line and face-to-face learning, you can continue your professional education and training in the principles and practice of working with children with SLCN.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes


Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€7,346 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Tuition

€7,206 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2021/22

Fees: Non EU

€15,616 p.a. 2021/22

EU FT:  €7,430. EU PT: €3,770 p.a. 2021/22

Find out More

Dr Clare Carroll
T: +353 91 495 470

Mary-Pat O'Malley-Keighran
T: +353 91 495 470


  • Childhood Speech, Language and Communication Needs

    Childhood Speech, Language and Communication Needs PDF (1.83 MB)

  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2021 PDF (11.3MB)