Graduate certificates and diplomas in this field are both primarily designed for those already somewhat versed in the field.
The certificate programs generally take six months to complete and are focused on improving specific speech pathology skills in a short time. These aim to improve the student’s knowledge of chronic condition management, clinical reasoning and interviewing technique in a timely manner.
Diplomas in speech pathology offer more extensive knowledge than certificates, including courses about program development and further work on methodology. The diploma is optimal for speech pathologists wanting to cover a lot of coverage and the proper application of theory learned throughout undergraduate study. They take a year to complete if undergone full time, or two if part-time.
Students of these programs come to them already equipped to be speech pathologists, but the additional knowledge they provide act as a career launchpad. Being able to prove proficiency with cutting-edge program building techniques, cultural sensitivity or specialised knowledge in fields like aural rehabilitation or swallowing disorders is highly useful. To that end, careers in the specialisations mentioned here are well-suited to graduates from these courses.
Funding opportunities for postgraduate speech pathology are exceedingly rare, making general scholarships the best option. The Gallipoli Scholarship and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowsinitiative are all ways for speech pathology students to gain partial funding for their studies. These tend to have quite specific requirements however; students should be wary they meet them before applying.
Applicants to graduate certificate courses like those offered by James Cook University normally require some sort of physiotherapy or health science background to enter. Unrelated bachelor level degrees can be accepted so long as they are accompanied by other relevant studies.
Diploma level courses tend to require a relevant undergraduate background. Unrelated three-year bachelor degrees can be accepted, but require other studies to accompany them. Two years of clinical experience are also a requirement at accredited institutions like Australian Catholic University, making this diploma primarily for students who are already speech pathologists wanting to broaden their knowledge.
Novices to the field are advised to browse master level courses.