PgCert Dysphagia

How does a person’s swallow change from childhood to adulthood? What are the ethical considerations when working with individuals with dysphagia?

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On this course, you’ll consider the evidence behind the assessment and management of dysphagia (difficulties eating, drinking and swallowing).

It’s designed for professionals working across the health, social care and education sectors.

You might be a speech and language therapist, a nurse, or a physiotherapist. You might work with clients who have acquired difficulties as a result of a stroke or Parkinson’s disease, for example. Or, you may work with children with swallowing difficulties. 

Whichever sector you work in, through our Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Dysphagia, you’ll reflect on assessment and management practices for dysphagia across adults and children.

You’ll explore topics including the neurobiological causes of dysphagia, the psycho-social impact on clients, and current management and intervention approaches.

You’ll complete an independent study project, too. This allows you to apply your new knowledge to a work-based project that’s unique to your interests, experience and workplace.

At Manchester Met, our academic team has clinical and research experience in the field of dysphagia. In 2015, they completed a study for Health Education North West on developing dysphagia competencies in the speech and language therapy profession.

This course builds upon the findings of that project and offers support to increase evidence-based knowledge of working with children and adults with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

Can’t fit full-time study around your career? You don’t have to complete the full PgCert, you can also study one or two of the units as part of your continuing professional development (CPD).

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Once you have completed this course, you could go on to further masters study in a relevant field.

This course also supports your work with children and adults with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties in health, social care or educational settings. Please note this award is not a certificate of practical competence in dysphagia assessment/management.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a UK Honours degree (or International equivalent) in a relevant discipline.

As the assessment involves a case study of a client with dysphagia students should be working with children or adults with dysphagia.

Course details

Our Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Dysphagia course is made up of three individual continuing professional development units. The course has a flexible timeframe, and you can study full-time or part-time. If you choose to study part-time, you’ll usually complete at least one unit (20 credits) each year.

On this course, you’ll typically explore topics including normal swallow through the lifespan, screening and clinical evaluation of swallowing, and ethical considerations. You’ll consider nutrition and hydration, oral hygiene, and how to understand chest X-rays.

We teach you through a variety of methods, usually including online weekly workbooks and group forums. In the group forums, you might critique an article, discuss a topic from the workbook with fellow students or reflect on the practice in your workplace.

Your final assessment on our PgCert Dysphagia course is usually a case study (usually 4,500 words).

We suggest that you complete the assessment and intervention-based units before the independent study module but this isn’t essential. Depending on the order in which you choose to complete the units, you're able to start the course in September or January. 

For further information, please contact Programme Lead, John Lancaster:

Over the duration of your course, you'll cover the following units:

For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Dysphagia: Evidence-based Practice in Assessment

In this unit you'll study the assessment of swallowing disorders in the context of developmental and acquired conditions. This key content will be supported with exploration of holistic dysphagia assessment such as multi-disciplinary and ethical aspects of dysphagia assessment.

Key Content:

  • Normal swallow through the lifespan.
  • Clinical evaluation of swallowing.
  • Instrumental assessment of swallowing.
  • Physiotherapy role in dysphagia.
  • Nutrition.
  • Ethical aspects.
Dysphagia: Evidence-based Practice in Management and Intervention

In this unit you'll explore the management of swallowing disorders in the context of developmental and acquired conditions. This key content will be supported with exploration of related holistic aspects such as ethical issues of dysphagia management.

Key Content:

  • Evidence-based management approaches to dysphagia.
  • Ethical issues.
  • Managing psychological and social issues.
  • Nutritional management.
  • Medication and swallowing.
Contemporary Issues in Practice (Independent Study Unit)

We've designed this unit to explore the contemporary issues in intervention, you'll get the opportunity to perform a detailed project that can be used to demonstrate to teams, managers or commissioners that an intervention is underpinned by research and clinical evidence. This information could be used to support a business case. Are there areas where you and your team are undertaking innovative practice? This unit can support you to evaluate and write about innovative work and enable preparation of this work to be disseminated to colleagues, or wider to a more formal healthcare audience.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Department of Health Professions

Our Department of Health Professions teaches subjects including physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, and nutritional sciences.

The department is committed to ensuring its courses stay relevant and up-to-date with current professional practice, by maintaining links with colleagues in clinical practice and research.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £2,834 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £4,834 studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

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Please see

Here you can download the application form via the Download the Postgraduate Application Form link. Send completed applications via email to:

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
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