Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology (BSLP Hons) 

Two woman testing children

Speech-language therapists work with people who are unable to communicate effectively because of serious speech or language problems. They might work with children who have failed to develop any language, adolescents whose lack of fluency (stuttering) makes speaking difficult or impossible, or adults affected by illness or accident.

Hands-on learning

Our undergraduates gain experience working at speech-language therapy clinics in schools and hospitals. They learn to work directly with clients and indirectly, advising and training parents, family members, teachers and others to carry out remedial programmes. Therapists may work individually or as part of an educational or medical team.

If you are interested in a professional or research career in audiology or speech and language pathology, the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology is your first step. This professional degree involves an intermediate course and three further years of specialised study.

  • ‌Established four-year professional degree
  • Highly employable graduates
  • Accredited by the New Zealand Speech–Language Therapists' Association, with the opportunity to work in Canada, USA, UK, Australia & Ireland (additional exams/courses may be required)
  • Excellent resources including on-site clinics and research dedicated facilities and staff
  • Postgraduate opportunities in Speech and Language Sciences, and Audiology

The deadline for applications is October 1

Intermediate Year

Entry to the Intermediate Year of study is open to all students with University Entrance. The recommended preparation for the Intermediate programme is a science background to at least NCEA Level 2 and English.

  • Are you currently in the first year of a degree? If you would like to apply for the first Professional Year of the BSLP, but have not completed the Intermediate year, please contact the Programme Coordinator.

Professional Years

Entry to the First Professional Year is competitive. Students need to apply for entry into the First Professional Year by 1 October in the year preceding desired entry.

The selection criteria include academic merit from the Intermediate Year (or equivalent/or other degree), fluency in English, some knowledge of what a speech and language pathologist does and an interview with Departmental Representatives.

If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place in the First Professional Year, your passed courses in the Intermediate Year can usually be credited to the BSc, BHSc, or BA.

Year 1 Intermediate Year 

The BSLP(Hons) requires a total of 480 points and may be awarded with honours. The first year is called the Intermediate Year and comprises a minimum of 120 points or eight 15-point courses (or equivalent). The Intermediate courses may be taken in one full-time year of study or accumulated over more than one year.

The one-year Intermediate programme is followed by three full-time years of specialised professional education – the professional years.

Compulsory courses

  • CMDS 161 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism (Semester 1 or Summer Course)
  • STAT 101 Statistics 1 (Semester 2 or Summer Course)

One of the following

  • MAOR 165 He Timatanga: Engaging with Māori
  • TREO 110 Conversational Māori for Absolute Beginners
  • TREO 111 Te Reo: Te Kahano – Introductory Language 1
  • MAOR 172/SCIM 101 Science, Māori and Indigenous Knowledge
  • HLTH 106 Nga Take, Te Wero - Māori Health Issues and Opportunities

Recommended courses

  • LING 101 The English Language (Semester 1 or Summer Course)
  • PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology – Brain, Behaviour and Cognition (Semester 1)
  • CMDS 113 Introduction to Communication Disorders (Semester 2)
  • PSYC 106 Introductory Psychology – Social, Personality and Developmental (Semester 2)

The professional years

The Professional Years correspond to Years two to four of the Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology (Hons) programme. Entry into the Professional Years is limited. Prior to admission into the First Professional Year, applicants must have completed the Intermediate Year.

Year 2 First Professional Year 
Semester 1 Semester 2
CMDS 223 Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics CMDS 222 Language Disorders in Children
CMDS 243 Introduction to Audiologic Assessment and Management
CMDS 232 Speech Sound Disorders
CMDS 262 Neuroscience* from 2020 / CMDS 420 Professional Studies l* 2019 year only CMDS 263 Evaluating Research for Clinical Practice
CMDS 281 Observation and Clinical Practice 1 CMDS 282 Clinical Practice 2
Year 3 Second Professional Year 
Semester 1 Semester 2
CMDS 320 Spoken and Written Language Disorders in Educational Settings CMDS 367 Voice Disorders
CMDS 365 Dysphagia and Related Disorders: Diagnosis CMDS 363 Motor Speech Disorders
CMDS 369 Aphasia and Related Disorders CMDS 366 Dysphagia and Related Disorders: Management
CMDS 381 Clinical Practice 3 CMDS 382 Clinical Practice 4
Year 4 Third Professional Year 
Semester 1 Semester 2
CMDS 420 Professional Studies l / Special topics* 2021 year only CMDS 468 Professional Studies II
CMDS 461 Complex Communication Disorders

CMDS 451 Fluency Disorders

CMDS 482 Clinical Practice 5 CMDS 484 Clinical Practice 6
Plus one of the following  
CMDS 491 Capstone Project, or CMDS 490 Research Project (Whole Year)  

Hear from our students

Learn from our students' experiences

Natasha shares her experiences studying Speech and Language Therapy at UC.

See it from a student's viewpoint

Esther shares her experiences studying Speech and Language Therapy at UC.

See our researchers and students at work

Research into swallowing at the New Zealand Brain Research Institute is a current strength.

See us in action online

Visit the Department of Communication Disorders' channel on YouTube.

The College of Science Student Advisor

can provide further information and support