Master of Deglutology (Leuven)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

This interdisciplinary program will focus on a theoretical in-depth, research-based approach to train you as a competent professional in the science of deglutition. You will learn a variety of skills, gain hands-on experience, and develop tools used extensively in clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic settings related to this expanding field.

What is the program all about?

The Master of Deglutology originated from the high demand for professionals specialized in the care of patients with swallowing disorders in the mouth or esophagus.

This interdisciplinary program will cover all the associated areas of study and equip the student with the necessary tools and experience to enter the workplace with confidence to solve problems and to face the current challenges in clinical care.


This one-year master's program is taught in English in small student groups and can be followed full time or part-time upon request. Lectures are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, and occasionally during the evening. Interdisciplinary clinical internships in a renowned university hospital will be tailored to accommodate participants' timetables where possible. This allows for a flexible combination of the master's program with other activities such as part-time employment.60 credits are earned according to the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).


The Deglutology program aims to:

  • Train the student as a professional and researcher who is able to bring his/her domain of expertise to a higher level of functionality, using enhanced knowledge and clinical skills in deglutology.
  • Build on the expertise that the student will obtain during the deglutology program - but also on his/her prior medical or paramedical expertise - to prepare the student to improve dysphagia screening and treatment in the larger community.
  • Provide the student with specific education so as to prepare the student to move into a job profile involving more advanced clinical research or managerial competencies and thereby help to close the existing gap in the labor market.

Is this the right program for me?

This Master’s program is intended for candidates or professionals who currently hold a Master’s degree in medicine, dentistry, speech pathology, physiotherapy and/or occupational therapy. All other relevant health-related master’s degrees will be evaluated on individual requests.

Candidates who hold a four or five-year university bachelor’s degree in speech pathology, physiotherapy or occupational therapy with access to higher degree education, such as an honors program leading to a Ph.D., are also eligible for this Master’s program.

All applications will be evaluated by the admission committee, international students will have to go through an administrative screening procedure of the KU Leuven Admissions Office.

Students should show proficiency in oral and written English.

Career opportunities

As a deglutologist, you will be an immediately employable professional, able to care for patients of all ages presenting with dysphagia, whose swallowing may have been affected by a variety of underlying medical pathologies such as prematurity, cerebral palsy, stroke, head and neck cancer, neurodegenerative disease, upper gastrointestinal disorders, etc.

Deglutologists find careers in the life sciences domain in the broadest sense, including healthcare, academia, and industry. The growing need for deglutologists in medical care and science ensures a large variety of job opportunities in clinical and applied research.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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