Augmentative & Alternative Communication MSc

School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

Learn how to develop strategies, techniques and technologies to assist people who have little or no speech

Date of entry

September 2023

Start date
September 2023
12 months (full time)
Dundee City Campus

Also available: MSc Augmentative & Alternative Communication (part-time)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to strategies and techniques used by individuals who experience difficulties with communication because they have little or no functional speech. 

AAC devices can be used for a whole range of difficulties. These could stem from poor hearing, cerebral palsy, or autism, for example. AAC devices can augment speech or provide a replacement for spoken communication. They can also support the development of language and natural speech. We have an international reputation in the development of AAC devices. 

You will learn to develop technological systems to meet the needs and aspirations of a variety of people, including those with severe speech and physical impairments, and adults with acquired aphasia. Throughout the course you will be interacting with users of AAC devices to get their feedback about what works best for them. We also have links with local speech and language therapists to help you find suitable situations for carrying out your research. 

You will learn about:

  • the psychology of language and communication development
  • the design ethnography of AAC solutions (thinking about the design in terms of the culture of people with disabilities) 
  • the engineering of AAC solutions
  • evidence-based evaluation of AAC solutions on an individual and group basis

Our facilities include EEG labs, a variety of eye tracking technologies, 2D and 3D movement tracking systems, and offsite fMRI access via the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells Hospital.

You will have access to your own dedicated social and study areas within the psychology building. You can also join our active student Psychology Society, which organises social events that you can attend.

This is one of our MSc Assistive Technology degrees. You can also study:

“The course has led to a huge variety of new knowledge and experience, including working closely with people who use AAC devices and designing a PokemonGo App. Dundee is at the forefront of AAC research and the course has taught me more than I could ever imagine.”

Jenna Lyons

Qianyi Hong wearing blue and standing against a plain white background
“I find the lecturers really care about you, especially as an international student. I still remember the first 3 months I came to Dundee they set up different types of activities to help us get involved in the courses, we climbed the Law Hill and visited different areas in Dundee. The University is very welcoming and Dundee is a very affordable city.”

Qianyi Hong, Augmentative and Alternative Communications MSc Student

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