Speech Pathology

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Speech Pathology at Newcastle?

Speech Pathology encompasses learning in the fields of speech, language, fluency, voice, swallowing, and multimodal communication or augmentative and alternative communication in children and adults with acquired or lifelong disorders affecting communication and/or swallowing.

Speech Pathology researcher Bronwyn Hemsley

At the University of Newcastle, Speech Pathology is a health discipline in the Faculty of Education and Arts that has research expertise across all domains of speech pathology – offering a broad range of experiences to graduate research students.

World-class research

Newcastle's Speech Pathology researchers are recognised internationally for their contribution to the discipline. Our Head of Speech Pathology, Dr Sally Hewat, was recently awarded the Medal from the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City for her work in Vietnam.

Our academic staff have active collaborations with other researchers in the field at leading National and International Universities – individually and as part of our Speech Pathology Research Network.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from the opportunity to work with world-class researchers, such as our Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researchers (ARC DECRA).

What you can research

Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • child and adult fluency
  • child and adult augmentative and alternative communication
  • communication disabilities
  • communication in healthcare interactions
  • Dysphagia
  • mealtime safety and oral care in populations with lifelong disabilities
  • social media use by people with communication disabilities
  • clinical linguistics
  • language and ageing
  • speech sound disorders
  • communication in acquired neurological disorders
  • clinical education
  • speech pathology in disadvantaged and/or developing communities

Research methodologies

In the discipline of Speech pathology the following methodologies are employed:

  • qualitative research
  • quantitative research
  • mixed-methods research, encompassing all techniques and traditions of research in the field of Speech Pathology and Education.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Associate Professor Bronwyn Hemsley: augmentative and alternative communication, developmental disability, healthcare communication, inclusive research, qualitative research
  • Dr Nicole Byrne: Aboriginal engagement, adult speech and language, allied health, career choice, public image/ knowledge of speech pathology, speech pathology management, swallowing disorders, vulnerable children
  • Dr Sally Hewat: clinical education, evidence-based practice, stuttering
  • Dr Elizabeth Spencer: clinical linguistics, language and ageing, speech intelligibility, stuttering

How to apply

Current Graduate Studies in Speech Pathology

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Speech Pathology at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Social Media Use by People with Communication Disabilities Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Discourse analysis in Aphasia: Supporting the translation of research to practice
  • Development of Professional Competency: Critical Experiences of Marginal or Failing Students
  • Children with Autism and Their Engagement and Interaction with Visual Supports in Early Intervention Settings: A Sociotechnical Investigation of Mobile Technologies for Communication