Is Studying Speech Pathology Hard?
Considering taking the leap into a career in Speech Pathology? If you’ve done a little research into the field already, the medical and biological side of the profession might be something that’s causing you to contemplate whether it’s the right choice for you.
Is studying Speech Pathology hard? Well, it depends. Of course, like any university degree you’re going to need to put in the time and effort so that you pass your subjects and graduate with flying colours. But the good news? It’s totally doable.
But if you’re looking for more specific guidance from those who’ve been there and done that, keep on reading. We asked our team of Queensland-based Speech Pathologists (and AHA’s) whether they thought studying Speech Pathology was hard, and here’s what they had to say about it.
Is Studying Speech Pathology Hard? Find Out!
Before you started studying Speech Pathology, what subject were you most concerned about?
I was most concerned about the biology / neuroscience aspect of the degree and learning to understand how structures within the brain and body affect communication and feeding. I had always found this subject area difficult within school and was worried I would find it difficult to follow at university as well.
I would say I feared (and even with a little practice, still do) Linguistics. Yes, you are a master of the English language by the time you reach University, but do you know how to identify a determiner? Do you know what components every English sentence “needs”?
Everything! I barely knew what a speech pathologist did, and I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would enjoy but I gave it a shot anyways!
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year of studies?
Get your Pre-Placement requirements up to date as soon as possible. If in doubt about your vaccines: get a serology ASAP and get cracking on getting jabbed! In a university context, your lecturers want you to succeed, don’t get intimidated to approach (especially if you’re a mature aged student like me) – it’s okay to not know things!
Creating my own study questions and answers from each lecture to study in preparation for exams.
The best way to stay on top of your studies is to attend every single class and actively participate! It may sound a bit basic but doing this allows you to soak up all the advice from tutors as well as making connections with your classmates who will help keep you on track throughout your degree as well. Another tip is to write out an assessment calendar for yourself at the beginning of semester, so you know all the upcoming due dates you have and don’t get taken by surprise.
In your view, how hard was studying Speech Pathology?
I found it to be a degree with a lot of difficult content and therefore very time intensive. However, if you put in the effort and manage your time efficiently you will find it to be an enjoyably challenging degree.
Not too difficult. Granted, I have come from a different degree (Law) and understand how Uni is structured more than some of my fellow students. I have found if you stay positive, know that this is what you want to do, pay attention, and take good notes, you will surprise yourself with how much you can absorb and how capable you actually are!
Which subject/unit have you found most difficult in your degree?
Linguistics can be a challenge in transcription if you overthink how words sound (but it is funny listening to a class of students all vocalising “duh duh duh” sounds finding the right one!) – but I would say the general health-care science classes. You will inherently prioritise your Anatomy and Linguistics over them, but don’t fall into that trap, do your best to stay awake and give them your all as well).
As I mentioned previously, I struggled most with the biology and neuroscience topics as they required learning and understanding a large amount of complex information and jargon. What helped me most throughout these subjects was reviewing chunks of the content throughout the semester instead of cramming it all into one study block towards the end.
What tips or advice would you give to those considering studying Speech Pathology at university?
If you have the opportunity, try to go to all the open days and information sessions you can, and even reach out to local speech pathologists near you to see if they would allow you to shadow them for the day to get a feel for what the profession may be like. It is a wonderful, rewarding career path for those who choose to pursue it!
Find out as much info from the subject tent at University Market Day as you can. Some speech clinics offer open door days to come and ask further about what they do – this genuine information from those in the course and profession is infinitely helpful and gives a real kick of inspiration that you may need to settle on the course.
Reach out to clinics and see if you can come in for an observation – this is a good opportunity to see first-hand what a speech pathologist does and ask any burning questions. Give everything a go and know that it’s okay to be unsure of things and ask questions – we are all learning regardless of where we are in the degree/profession.
We hope you found this collection of advice helpful! We know how daunting studying Speech Pathology at university can be. Whether you are still trying to figure out if the profession is right for you or you’re nearing the end of your degree and would like to experience Private Practice for a day, come and join us in one of our Queensland Speech Therapy clinics!