Logopedics
Teaching and research in the field of logopedics are centred on the development, disorders, assessment and rehabilitation of speech, language, voice, communication and swallowing functions, as well as the impact of potential background factors on these abilities/functions.

Those graduating with a Master of Arts degree in logopedics can apply for the right to practise as licensed health care professionals with the title of speech therapist. Speech therapists work in environments such as health care centres and hospitals, as self-employed entrepreneurs and in various expert positions.

Education

Students majoring in logopedics can complete both the Bachelor of Arts degree (first-cycle degree) and the Master of Arts degree (second-cycle degree).

The Bachelor of Arts degree in logopedics aims to provide graduates with fundamental knowledge of the various fields in logopedics, as well as the research methods used. In addition to basic and intermediate studies in the major subject, the degree structure includes studies in general linguistics and medicine. Psychology is a mandatory minor subject for students with logopedics as their major subject. The Bachelor’s thesis included in the Bachelor of Arts degree is written during the third year of studies. Students with logopedics as the major subject will complete altogether four brief training periods during their studies leading to a Master’s degree. Three of these periods are included in the Bachelor of Arts degree programme.

The objective of the Master of Arts degree is to advance the knowledge attained during intermediate studies and provide the skills needed to conduct research. The degree includes advanced studies in logopedics, a written examination and a Master’s thesis. Clinical studies in the Master’s degree programme include a brief training period, as well as a longer, four-month training. The long training period is completed under the supervision of a licensed speech therapist in a social or health care services unit.

Doctoral students in logopedics conduct their studies under one of the doctoral programmes belonging to the Doctoral School in Health Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine, including the following: the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Research, the Doctoral Programme Brain & Mind, and the Doctoral Programme in Population Health. Doctoral students in logopedics can also study under the Doctoral Programme in Psychology, Learning and Communication, which belongs to the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Doctoral students completing their dissertation in logopedics hold two to four joint seminars each year, coordinated by the professor in logopedics.

Research

Research areas in the discipline of logopedics at the University of Helsinki include

  • Observation of speech in different patient groups (autistic spectrum disorders, children with cochlear implants), as well as the brain mechanisms of speech and language
  • Characteristics of interaction with defective language, as well as supporting interaction
  • Typical and atypical early language development, as well as the predictive value of language development in different groups (e.g., subjects with healthy, normal development or subjects who were born extremely prematurely)
  • The symptoms of specific language impairment and its impact on school selection and subjective quality of life in young adults
  • Language acquisition and the recovery of speech and language abilities in aphasic individuals
  • Changes in speech, language and communication related to normal ageing and memory disorders in individuals communicating with speech and sign language

Aphasia Research Group
The group is investigating language disorders in adults caused by damage to or a functional disorder of the cerebral cortex. The group studies the manifestations of aphasia in language use and human-to-human interaction, the practices of aphasia therapy and its effectiveness, as well as the knock-on effects on an individual’s life caused by aphasia.

Interaction and Intervention Group
Interaction and Intervention Research Group focuses on the study of everyday communication in connection with human communication disorders, as well as the study of speech-language therapy interaction and the effect of speech-language interventions.

Dementia and Communication Research Group

Early Language Development (ELD) Group
The group investigates the early development of language and communication taking place during the first two years in an individual’s life, its assessment and the predictive value of early language development in relation to later language development.

Pragmatic Issues in Alternative Communication
The alternative communication research group focuses its observations on non-speaking people and their speaking partners. These people may use un-aided or aided communication forms for various and multifaceted functions, such as having conversations and narrating, as well as interaction based on developmentally very early means of expression and interpretation.

Human communication disorders research unit (DIS-CO)
Research Unit for Disorders of Human Communication (DIS-CO) at UH focuses on both basic research and clinically relevant investigations related to the disorders of communication, including language, speech, and swallowing, across the lifespan.

Professors

  • Professor Minna Laakso 
  • Professor Suvi Stolt
  • Professor (emeritus) Anu Klippi
  • Docent Kaisa Launonen

Teachers

  • University lecturer Sofia Holmqvist-Jämsén
  • University lecturer Seija Pekkala
  • University lecturer Satu Saalasti
  • University lecturer (20%) Katri Saaristo
  • University lecturer (50%) Inkeri Salmenlinna
  • University lecturer Irina Savolainen
  • University lecturer Ritva Torppa
  • University lecturer Leena Tuomiranta
  • University instructor (50%) Alisa Ikonen
  • University instructor (30%) Niina Nylander
  • University instructor (50%) Susanna Surakka

Doctoral student

  • Doctoral student Eveliina Joensuu
  • Doctoral student Riikka Mustonen
  • Doctoral student Satu Paavola
  • Doctoral student Asta Tuomenoksa
  • Doctoral student Eva Ståhlberg-Forsén
Links
  • Foni Ry (in Finnish only)
    Foni Ry, the student association for students of logopedics, accepts all students of logopedics at the University of Helsinki as members. Foni conducts cooperation with other associations at its home university, as well as student associations operating in other universities where logopedics is included in the teaching programme. Foni has members from every stage of the educational programme, beginning from freshmen. In addition to recreational activities, Foni organises events in support of studies, such as expert lectures and excursions to companies and associations in the field.
  • Speech Therapist Union (in Finnish and Swedish only)
Contacts

Head of De­part­ment

professor Laura Hokkanen
laura.hokkanen@helsinki.fi

Dir­ect­or of the De­gree pro­gram in lo­go­ped­ics

professor Minna Laakso
minna.laakso@helsinki.fi

Address

PO BOX 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki

Staff

Contact details for the Department of Psychology and Logopedics

Teachers can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname(at)helsinki.fi.
Appointments are to be arranged by email.

University and Stu­dent Services

Faculty of Medicine staff contact details
University of Helsinki Student Services
Email: meilahti-student@helsinki.fi