Logopedics

Logopedia

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.

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 (see the section on teaching clinic operations). 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 (see the section on teaching clinic operations), 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.

Major subject students in logopedics at the University of Helsinki treat some 100 clients each year during their training periods. Clients are referred to the clinic by a speech therapist or physician. In some cases, clients contact the clinic directly.

Patients treated during the training periods completed by students of logopedics are children and adults with various problems related to speech, language and communication (for example, an articulation disorder or a specific language impairment, or impairments of language, speech and interaction caused by a developmental disability, illness or injury), or clients with voice disorders. Training period duration varies between 10 to 20 visits. Therapy visits are usually arranged in facilities provided by the University of Helsinki twice a week. Rehabilitation periods are free of charge to clients. Training is completed under the supervision of a licensed speech therapist.

The coordinator for teaching clinic operations is University Instructor Alisa Ikonen (alisa.ikonen at helsinki.fi; tel: +358 2941 29357). Training Coordinator Jenni Ovaska (jenni.ovaska at helsinki.fi; tel: +358 2941 26604 or +358 50 316 5954) coordinates student training periods for teachers.

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 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

Research groups

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.

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.

  • 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)

Head of Department

professor Laura Hokkanen
laura.hokkanen@helsinki.fi
PO Box 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki

Contact details

PO Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5A)
00014 University of Helsinki

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

Staff

Professori Minna Laakso, TUHAT
University Lecturer, Director of the BA and MA Programme Kaisa Launonen, TUHAT
University Lecturer Seija Pekkala, TUHAT
University Lecturer Satu Saalasti, TUHAT
University Lecturer Suvi Stolt, TUHAT
University Lecturer Ritva Torppa, TUHAT
University Lecturer Leena Tuomiranta, TUHAT
University Instructor Alisa Ikonen, TUHAT

Training Coordinator Jenni Ovaska, tel: +358 2941 26604 or +358 50 316 5954
Laboratory Technician Samuli Saastamoinen, tel: +358 2941 29346 or +358 50 415 4662

Professors Emeritus/Emerita

Professor Emerita Anu Klippi, TUHAT

University and Student Services 

Education Planning Officer Kirsi Sivukari, tel: +358 50 415 4660
HR Coordinator Marja Junnonaho

Appointments are to be arranged by telephone or email.

Student Advisor Heli Kuusisto/Jenni Ovaska
Tel: +358 2941 29515/+358 50 415 6635
Email: meilahti-student@helsinki.fi
PO Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5A, Room 340)
00014 University of Helsinki

Opening hours: Mon and Tue 12.00–15.00, Wed and Thu 10.00–13.00, Fridays closed

University of Helsinki Student Services