What is Audiology?
Audiology is a tricky profession to summarise in a just a few short lines. If you like a challenge, want to put your knowledge to good use and enjoy working with people of all ages then this may well be the career for you. Audiology professionals can work in a variety of settings including hospitals and private practice; they carry out a wide range of duties including assessment and rehabilitation of people with hearing loss or balance disorders.
Why choose audiology?
Audiology is a challenging and expanding field involving the study of hearing and balance. As a healthcare profession, audiology also involves assessment, management and therapeutic rehabilitation of people with hearing and balance problems, and associated disorders. This work involves patients of all ages, from newborn babies and children to working adults and elderly people.
New and exciting opportunities exist in this expanding field. Audiology is a fast-evolving and varied discipline. Individuals with an interest in biological sciences, psychology, physics and electronics, as well as speech and language development, may find that audiology has a lot to offer them. Many audiologists work in multidisciplinary teams, frequently liaising with medical, education and research professionals. A desire to work with and help people is essential and forms an important component of both training and the job.
Employment opportunities are available both in the NHS and the private sector.
Qualities of an Audiologist
- Ability to communicate well with all types of people
- Good problem solving skills
- Ability to work as part of a team
- A caring and understanding attitude
- Good manual dexterity
- Analytical skills
In addition you should have evidence of ability to effectively work with people of all ages, particularly the elderly and young children.
Training in Audiology
There are three different entry levels into Audiology at the moment. This section should be read in conjunction with the BAA Degrees section for more information on the individual universities offering courses in Audiology.
Foundation degree / Diploma in Higher Education in Hearing Aid Audiology (undergraduate diploma)
This type of qualification involves working as a trainee while completing the course. See the careers section on http://www.bshaa.com for more information. Graduates are eligible to register to work as a Hearing Aid Dispenser with the HCPC on completion. This course requires employment in the right healthcare context with access to patients/clients as well as supervision from a registered audiologist or hearing aid dispenser.
BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (PTP) (Audiology)
This course is offered at a number of universities in the UK. See http://www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/msc-framework-curricula/ptp-1/accredited-bsc-hons-healthcare-science-programmes or the BAA Degrees section for more information.
Postgraduate MSc Level
Pre registration level
The courses below allow graduates from related honours degrees the opportunity to study Audiology.
MSc Clinical Science (STP)
There are other MSc Audiology pre registration options available as well at:
- Queen Margaret University
- University College London
- University of Manchester
- University of Southampton
Post registration level
Qualified audiologists who are interested in furthering their knowledge and skills are advised to review the postgraduate courses offered at the individual universities. Most courses offer modules on a standalone basis, as part of CPD and the BAA Higher Training Scheme (HTS). Modules and courses range from being delivered completely online to some with attendance on campus.
Research in Audiology
If you are interested in pursuing research in Audiology we would recommend that you consider the PhD and Clinical Doctorate programmes offered at most of the universities offering Audiology programmes, as well as the MRC Institute for Hearing Research http://www.ihr.mrc.ac.uk/pages/postgraduates/2015/projects. Also see the Modernising Scientific Careers section of this website for more information on the Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) programme