Programme Specification

Programme Specification
A statement of the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin a
taught programme of study awarded by
The University of Sheffield
Programme Title
Cleft and Speech (CLASP)
Programme Code
HCST08 (Full-time)
HCST09 (Part-time by distance learning – 2 years)
HCST20 (Part-time by distance learning – 3 years)
Level of Study
Final Qualification
Master of Science (MSc)
Intermediate Qualification(s)
Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert); Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)
Teaching Institution (if not Sheffield)
Not applicable
Medicine, Dentistry & Health
Home Department
Human Communication Sciences
Other Department(s) involved in
teaching the programme
Not applicable
Mode(s) of Attendance
Full-time and Part-time
Duration of the Programme
1 year (Full-time) and up to 3 years (Part-time)
Accrediting Professional or
Statutory Body
Not applicable
Date of production/revision
August 2009. Revised May 2013, Revised March 2016
15. Background to the programme and subject area
The MSc in Cleft & Speech (CLASP) builds on the successful Certificate in Cleft Palate Studies which began in
October 2005. It is aimed specifically at speech and language therapists and others with a phonetics/linguistics
background who wish to specialise in developmental speech difficulties across the lifespan. The course is well
placed in Human Communication Sciences which is a multidisciplinary department covering linguistics, phonetics,
acoustics, psychology, speech and language pathology, education, computer sciences and medical sciences. The
Department of Human Communication Sciences is one of the leading departments of its kind in the UK and has a
particularly strong track record and reputation in the area of speech difficulties. Further information is available on the
departmental website at
16. Programme aims
The MSc in Cleft & Speech (CLASP) has the following aims which are consonant with the Mission Statement of the
University of Sheffield:
to provide students with a sound understanding of current research findings about the nature of speech
development and difficulties associated with cleft palate and related conditions.
to familiarise students with a range of analytical approaches necessary to investigate speech development and
to examine areas of development and difficulty associated with speech difficulties, in particular cognitive,
educational and psychosocial.
to design, implement and evaluate intervention for individuals or groups with speech difficulties in a range of
to develop professional presentation skills, e.g. oral and written presentations.
to provide students with a sound foundation for career development and specialisation.
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17. Programme learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding:
a knowledge of current research findings about speech development and difficulties associated with cleft
palate and related conditions across the lifespan.
an understanding of the impact of speech difficulties on school, home and social life, and later employment
and relationships.
knowledge of a range of methods used to investigate speech difficulties and evaluate intervention
Knowledge of current assessments and interventions for children with cleft palate and associated speech
Skills and other attributes:
selection and design of assessment procedures suitable for children/adolescents with cleft palate and
associated speech difficulties.
design and evaluation of intervention programmes for children/adolescents with cleft palate and speech
Skills in phonetic transcription and use of instrumentation, e.g. acoustics, electropalatography.
proficiency in a range of professional skills including critical analysis, written and verbal presentations, ethical
issues and computer applications.
18. Teaching, learning and assessment
Development of the learning outcomes is promoted through the following teaching and learning methods:
A range of teaching and learning methods are employed including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical
workshops according to the nature of the material to be learned. However, teaching is primarily seminar and
workshop based to allow students to engage as active participants in the learning process. This is particularly
important in developing the skills above, e.g. phonetic transcription and analysis. Broadly, lectures, seminars and
guided reading will be used to develop the knowledge based outlined in Section 17 K1-4 above; workshops, tutorials
and assignments will be used to develop skills S1-S4. The theme of theory and practice links will run through all
teaching and learning sessions. Four of the modules (on cleft palate) are taught in short blocks and the remainder
will be taught in either blocks or weekly sessions, all supported by directed reading.
Opportunities to demonstrate achievement of the programme learning outcomes are provided through the
following assessment methods:
Assessment varies slightly from module to module. For the most part, assessment consists of coursework exercises
and/or an assignment (such as an essay, case study) at the end of a module. All individual assessments are tailored
to the requirements of the specific skill, ability, activity or knowledge area being assessed, and cover both theoretical
and practical aspects. The assessment schedule is structured to provide opportunities for feedback fairly early on in
the course to avoid overloading students at any one time.
19. Reference points
The learning outcomes have been developed to reflect the following points of reference:
The learning outcomes for the MSc CLASP have been developed in parallel to the Certificate in Cleft palate studies,
the PGDip CLASP and our ESRC recognised MSc in Human Communication Sciences, see ESRC Postgraduate
Training Guidelines:
thus ensuring that in addition to subject specific content and skills, emphasis is also placed on their own personal
and career development.
The Strategic Plan of the University of Sheffield informed the design and the content of the curriculum, University
Strategic Plan ensuring, for example, that teaching is informed by current
developments in research.
In addition, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Handbook for Practice (Communicating Quality
3) has influenced the development of this course.
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20. Programme structure and regulations
Please refer to the Programme Regulations, General University Regulations and the On-line Directory of
Modules for detailed information about the structure of programmes, regulations concerning assessment and
progression and descriptions of individual modules.
1. A person may be admitted as a student who has successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Cleft
Palate Studies (HCST05) normally within the previous twenty-four months.
2. The programme of study will be pursued for not more than two year full-time (HCST08) or for not more than three
years part-time (HCST09) or four years part-time (HCST20).
3A. A student will take
HCS6027 Developing an Evidence Base for Practice AUT SEM 15 Credits
HCS6103 Cleft Palate: Speech Assessment ACAD YR 15 Credits
HCS6104 Cleft Palate: Intervention and Service Provision ACAD YR 15 Credits
HCS6105 Cleft Palate: Speech Production and Multidisciplinary Care AUT SEM 15 Credits
3B. A student will take
HCS6021 Speech Difficulties 1: Nature and Investigation SPR SEM 15 Credits
HCS6022 Speech Difficulties 2: Intervention and Management SPR SEM 15 Credits
HCS6048 Research Methods in Human Communication A AUT SEM 15 Credits
HCS6049 Research Methods in Human Communication B SPR SEM 15 Credits
3C. A student will take 60 credits from this group.
HCS6007 Research Project GRAD YR 60 Credits
HCS6095 Evaluating Clinical Practice ACAD YR 60 Credits
HCS6100 Dissertation ACAD YR 60 Credits
21. Progression through the programme structure
For the award of:
MSc – Students must pass all modules listed above (180 credits)
Transfer from Postgraduate Diploma to MSc Speech and Cleft will normally be within 2 years and at the
discretion of the Board of Examiners and facilitated through change of status forms.
A student who has been awarded one hundred and twenty credits in respect of units listed at 3A and B
above in not more than two years from the date of original registration will be eligible for the award of the
Postgraduate Diploma in Speech and Cleft (HCST06).
A student who has been awarded sixty credits in respect of units listed at 3A above in not more than twelve
months from the date of the original registration will be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate
in Cleft Palate Studies (HCST05).
The programme of study will be pursued for not more than two year full-time (HCST08) or for not more than
three years part-time (HCST09) or four years part-time (HCST20).
22. Criteria for admission to the programme
Detailed information regarding admission to the programme is available in the University’s On-Line Prospectus at and also in the department’s website at
Applicants should have a First class or Upper Second degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline and which
normally includes a background in phonetics, such as Linguistics, Speech Sciences, Speech and Language
Therapy. Candidates with a diploma or ordinary degree in speech and language therapy can be accepted if the
candidate can show continued learning and experience after this qualification. Non-native speakers of English
require an IELTS score of 7 or above with at least 6 in each component, or equivalent.
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23. Additional information
The design of the course above is to:
a) allow maximum flexibility for part-time students who are likely to be working as speech and language
therapists or similar.
b) enable students who register for the Certificate in Cleft Palate Studies initially but then wish to continue with
their studies to progress to the Diploma CLASP normally within 2 years of completing the Cleft Postgraduate
Certificate modules.
c) enable any student who is unable to progress through the Diploma programme but who has completed all 4
cleft modules successfully to be awarded the Pg Certificate in Cleft Palate studies.
d) enable Pg diploma CLASP students to transfer to the MSc CLASP
This programme does not result in a professional qualification in speech and language therapy (for that see the
MMedSci in Clinical Communication Studies) but does provide continuing professional development for speech and
language therapists and related disciplines.
This specification represents a concise statement about the main features of the programme and should be
considered alongside other sources of information provided by the teaching department(s) and the University. In
addition to programme specific information, further information about studying at The University of Sheffield can be
accessed via our Student Services web site at
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