Speech and language therapists assess and diagnose disorders of language, speech, fluency, voice, swallowing and written language and carry out appropriate therapies, supportive trainings and counselling sessions with the affected children, adolescents and adults.
The bachelor programme provides students with the scientific and practical competencies to work in educational and/or clinical settings. The programme is interdisciplinary and provides students with expert knowledge in speech and language pathology as well as basic knowledge in the areas of special education, linguistics, medicine and psychology. Placements and written assignments round off the programme.
The University of Fribourg is the only university in German-speaking Switzerland to offer a degree course in speech and language therapy. Further distinguishing features are detailed courses to develop competencies such as one's own initiative, self-organisation, reflective and critical thinking, communication skills and specific practical expertise.
Profile of the study programme
Fribourg is the only university in German-speaking Switzerland to offer a bachelor's degree course in speech and language therapy. The modular training programme consists of three years of full-time study. The language of tuition is German. Students acquire indepth scientific and practical competences which qualify them for later careers in educational and/or clinical settings.
In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the speech and language therapy as a subdiscipline of special education, students at the University of Fribourg receive a sound basic knowledge during the first five semesters in the areas of special education, linguistics, medicine and psychology, which specifically underpins and complements the expert knowledge in the field of speech and language pathology. Besides theoretical training, which consists of written assignments (including a bachelor's thesis) on speech and language therapy topics, there are also practical courses and four study-integrated placements from the second year onwards. This combination of theory and practice culminates in a case report. In the sixth semester, the comprehensive practice-related training concludes with a full-time 18-week placement (with a case report) and a practical exam.
The programme of speech and language therapy in Fribourg has a good national and international reputation, particularly attributable to consistent interlinking of subject-specific and practical training content. Studies provide graduates with a professional qualification, and are firmly anchored in the university infrastructure. This facilitates the integration of current theoretical and empirical findings from relevant related sciences into speech and language therapy studies and promotes cooperation between researchers and teaching staff from disciplines such as speech and language pathology, special education, linguistics and psychology.
In addition to gaining a scientific grounding in the subject, a diverse spectrum of teaching and learning methods further enhance the high quality of the well-designed speech and language therapy curriculum. Classical study elements such as lectures and seminars are complemented by target-specific courses. These are designed to give prospective speech and language therapists effective support, and help them improve their reflective and critical thinking, communication, organisational and specific practical skills (self-awareness courses, placements, case reports, supervision) as well as the ability to take the initiative. A well-established tutorial system assures students of individual care and support on their path to the successful completion of their degree studies.
Learning outcomes and career openings
The academic diploma in speech and language therapy provides graduates with a professional qualification which entitles them to assess and diagnose disorders of communication, language, speech, fluency, voice, swallowing and written language in children, adolescents and adults. It further qualifies them to plan, carry out and evaluate therapeutic, supportive and counselling interventions for persons with communication impairments.
The university diploma, which is recognised by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), opens up a wide range of career options in the area of educational and/or clinical speech and language pathology. Apart from genuine speech and language therapy activities in fields such as early education, mainstream school (outpatient centre), special schools, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, or private practice, speech and language therapists can also be involved in the practical training of students (placement supervision) after acquiring a minimum of two years' professional experience.
The university diploma in speech and language therapy (bachelor) is the formal admission requirement for continued academic study (master) in special education, speech and language therapy/logopaedics, or in the neighbouring disciplines of speech and language therapy, such as linguistics or education (in Switzerland and abroad).
Structure of studies
180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
http://studies.unifr.ch/go/AC34U (German only)
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-swiss-certificates
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language (native language)
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
- Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-countrylist
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «CRUS Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates, 7 September 2007» (http://studies.unifr.ch/go/crus07en). The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.
Special admission requirements
Candidates wishing to be admitted to the Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Language Therapy must satisfy both:
a) the admission requirements under Art. 6 of the Regulation on the Recognition of University Degrees in Speech and Language Therapy and University Degrees in Psychomotor Therapy of 3 November 2000;
b) and the following special admission requirements:
- Certification by a speech pathologist that the candidate's vocal organs, hearing and voice are normal;
- Certification by a speech therapist that the candidate has normal language ability, articulation and elocution, and vocal suitability;
- Perfect command of spoken and written German (speech therapy assessment);
- Confirmation of having completed a three-week career guidance course (78 lessons) in an approved speech therapy service.