The field of Speech-Language Pathology deals with disorders in communication as well as feeding and swallowing difficulties throughout the lifespan. These disorders can be developmental and/or acquired in nature. A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), also known as a Speech Therapist, is an allied health professional who works to "identify, assess, diagnose, help prevent, and treat a wide range of disorders affecting speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and feeding and swallowing in children and adults". Having highly qualified and specialized Speech-Language Pathologists is of primary importance since speech and language are the mental and spiritual means by which one can connect and communicate with others, whereas swallowing is vital to sustain an individual's life. Therefore, there is a need to develop professionals who have the skills and knowledge to tackle these disorders, and in addition, carry out cultural and linguistically valid research to develop Saudi Arabian normative data as well as valid and reliable assessment and therapy protocols.
The Master of Clinical Speech Language Pathology program at Alfaisal University and KFSH&RC-Riyadh will be a center of excellence of international standards, committed to professional education and basic and translational research in speech language pathology.
The Clinical speech language pathology (MSP) master program prepares students to become future leaders and educators with excellence in clinical practice. The ultimate goal is to enable graduates to use their acquired knowledge and skills to prevent, evaluate, and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders effectively. In addition, to contribute to research, locally and internationally, to increase evidence-based practice effectiveness. Graduates of the program are prepared to receive their license to practice based on the requirements of the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS). Graduates are also prepared to apply for the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).
On successful completion of the program, students may seek employment in inpatient and outpatient jobs as Speech-Language Pathologists (sometimes called Speech-Language Therapists). Career growth is above average for all occupations, due to medical advancements for instance in premature infant survival rates and increased ability for individuals to recover from strokes and other medical conditions.
Graduates may also work in:
- Poly clinics, general, specialized, and tertiary hospitals
- Rehabilitation and long-term care centers
- Private practice
- Mainstream schools for children with special needs
- Colleges and Universities
A two-year program. The program consists of nine mandatory taught courses, one elective course from two available options, 3 practicum, and one project.
- Term1: Three courses,1 practicum.
- Term 2: Three courses, 1 practicum.
- Term 3: Two courses, 1 practicum.
- Term 4: One course, one elective, one project.
This course will explore the fundamentals of clinical methods and practices
Our teaching faculty for MSP.
A bachelor's degree or recognized
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Program Overview Curriculum
Clinical Methods and Ethical Considerations This course will explore the fundamentals of clinical methods and practices, starting from evaluation process up to implementation and management of cases. In addition to clinical methods, ethical considerations will be discussed in elaboration and will learn about how to bridge between ethical consideration and clinical practice.
Pediatric Language Disorders This course will provide graduate speech-language pathology students with an overview and discussion of typical as well as atypical development of language in addition to the social and behavioral aspects of communication in the infant, toddler, pre-school, and school age children. Focus will be placed on the phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic characteristics of language disorders in children with delayed language development, developmental disabilities (i.e., ASD and ADHD) and cognitive based language impairments via introducing the interplay between the cognition and linguistic abilities. In addition to the interaction between language, learning, and literacy.
Neurogenic Acquired Communication Disorders This course will provide an overview of cognitive neuroscience and the nervous system, its anatomical and physiological interconnections in relation to language and speech processing. The course will focus on acquired neurogenic communication disorders secondary to brain damage or neurodegenerative disorders in adults. It will include the assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and recovery processes associated with aphasia, motor-speech disorders, and cognitive-communication disorders using updated evidence-based practice. Targeted topics include cognitive neurosciences that is essential for an understanding of communication, acquired cognitive-communication disorders associated with traumatic brain injury, right hemisphere damage, and neurodegenerative diseases, and age-related changes in the brain structures that carry implications for cognition and communication in the elderly.
Feeding and Swallowing Disorders This course will include a review of the structural and functional aspects of the aerodigestive tract and motor control for swallowing. It will also include a review of the development of anatomy and physiology of feeding and swallowing in infants, children and adults. Exploration of the physiological and anatomical disturbances affecting swallow function throughout lifespan. Focus will be on assessment (instrumental and bedside) and treatment of both adult and pediatric with swallowing disorders. Exposure on managing special population of patients is also included, i.e., premature infants, patients with Head & Neck cancer, oncology, patients post-transplant, children with maxillofacial anomalies.
Fluency and Speech Sounds Disorders The course will cover two topics: Speech disorders and Fluency disorders.
- The speech disorder part will include advanced study of normal phonological/articulation development. Presentation and discussion of theories, practices, differential diagnosis, and intervention of disorders of articulation/phonology. The course content will also include childhood apraxia of speech. Emphasis will be placed on integrating normative data, scientific knowledge, and clinical practice of the Arabic Speech Sounds. Speech problems associated with special population such as cleft lip and plate will be discussed.
- The fluency disorder part will cover theories of stuttering origins. Descriptions of stuttering and overall dysfluencies. The students will gain a holistic perspective on the overt and covert features that have led individuals to develop problems of fluency as well as the various factors of stuttering. Practical aspects of fluency disorders such as assessment, classification and evaluation will be discussed. Diagnostic procedures will cover appropriate age-related assessments both qualitative and quantitative evaluations, analyses of data as well as clinician-client communication.
Principles of Voice Production and Disorders
This course will give the students the opportunity to learn the art of voice production, anatomy, and physiology of voice. Students will understand the types of voice disorders and will learn the principles of diagnosis and treatment of Voice. Students will gain their knowledge from attending lectures, discussions, hands on training. Students experience throughout the course will help in depth learning. Students will practice interpreting endoscopic images, learn instrumental assessment, design and apply appropriate therapy techniques and understand special voice population.
Augmentative and Alternative Communications
Overview of the use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) across the lifespan. Emphasis on assessment of personal skills and abilities for use of AAC, identification of barriers to communication and participation, and intervention strategies.
The purpose of the practicum courses is to provide students with an opportunity to review and reflect on their clinical experiences with pediatric, adults and specialized population, and apply concepts from academic coursework to their clinical practice, master skills involved in clinical assessment and intervention, and focus on acquisition of skills in managing cases, writing appropriate short- and long-term objectives, and communicating with professionals, colleagues, and families. A range of service delivery models for each clinical setting will be discussed. There are three practicums throughout the program:
Practicum I: Pediatric Populations
Clinical experience in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric clients. Including assignment to clinical teams, clinical team meetings addressing clinical methods with pediatric patients.
Practicum II: Adult Populations
Clinical experience in the evaluation and treatment of adult clients. Including assignment to clinical teams, clinical team meetings addressing clinical methods with adult patients.
Practicum III: Specialized Populations
Clinical experience in the evaluation and treatment of specialized and preferred clients. This will be based on student’s interests to be assigned to clinical teams and clinical team meetings addressing clinical managements of specialized populations (Autism, Adult critical care, Head & Neck Cancer, Voice disorders, Adult acquired neurogenic communication disorders).
Electives (Student can select one):
Tracheostomy and Ventilators (Elective course) Exploring the different types of tracheostomy, ventilation, clinical considerations when assessing the speech and swallow skills of patients (adults & pediatric) who are on tracheostomy and/or ventilation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (Elective Course)This course will provide graduate speech-language pathology students with an overview and discussion of current research regarding neurodevelopmental issues in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Issues related to the diagnostic criteria used to identify children with ASD; etiologies; characteristics of ASD across the lifespan; assessment and intervention considerations in communication, social interaction, and play; and the selection and use of appropriate screening & evaluation tools, and intervention strategies with an evidence-base. A variety of teaching tools and teaming activities will be used to facilitate the students’ interdisciplinary learning.
This course is designed to understand fundamentals of research such as characteristics of research, research designs, methods of sampling, data collection, processing and analysis, ethical considerations and use of literature review, sources of information and organization of information.
This course is designed to review the fundamental principles of probability and statistics. This will be covered both in a formal lecture setting, self-directed learning setting with tutorials, and during the statistical analysis lab. This course will give students direct practice in the statistical reasoning skills needed to choose appropriate procedures for analyzing research data and to better understand the design, conduct, and analysis and subsequently interpret the results of biomedical research studies.
Students are expected to complete a culminating project to successfully complete their degree. The student will be assigned a primary supervisor who will oversee the project.
Dr. Yara Aljahlan, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, at Alfaisal University. Program Director, Master of Clinical Medical Speech Language Pathology Alfaisal University. Senior Speech-Language Pathologist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center.
Dr. Mashael F. Al Saud, PhD. CCC-SLP
Adjunct Assistant Profession, Alfaisal University. Director, Clinical Services at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh.
Dr. Wael Al-Dakroury, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Director of Communication Disorders Department, Psych Care Complex. Adjunct Associate Professor, College of Medicine, AlFaisal University and Adjunct Professor, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University.
Dr. Reem Alyahya, PhD, FHEA, FNIBS, MSc-NLC, SLP
Consultant Speech and Language Pathologist, King Fahad Medical City. Specialized in neurogenic communication disorders, advanced subspecializing in neuroimaging and brain stimulation. Visiting Neuroscientist, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Saudi Arabia.
Hawazin Aljehani, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center. Medical speech pathologist with voice concentration Adjunct Senior lecturer, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University
- A bachelor's degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution accepted by Ministry of Education (MOE) in Speech-Language Pathology.
- A satisfactory scholastic average; a minimum GPA of 3/5 the bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders.
- Minimum One year of Professional work experience (A clinical internship would fulfill this requirement)
- Satisfactory English Language score on one of the following tests: IELTS Band score of at least 5.5, TOEFL band score of at least 65, ( for more details contact Graduate School)
- On-campus or Virtual Interview.
- Personal statement (minimum 1000 words).
- Applicant should provide two letters of recommendations from professors who taught or from a manager at the workplace.
200,000 SR for the Program.