You have probably watched the viral online videos of the heart-warming moment where a person who is deaf puts on their specialist hearing aid for the first time and can finally hear their loved ones’ voices, or of a baby who is hearing impaired listen to the world around them (if not, watch it here!).
Many people aspire to have a career that can inspire and help others, and careers in health are usually the first ones to be considered. Often, this leads to conversations about medicine, dentistry, or nursing, but did you know that there are many more options out there that can also give you a fulfilling, respected, and stable career in healthcare? And did you also know that you can potentially get there faster by studying in the UK? This blog series will tell you a little more about what’s on offer, and this post will focus specifically on Audiology.
In Canada, most healthcare programs such as Audiology, Physiotherapy, and Speech and Language Pathology require you to complete a four-year undergraduate degree (in a related or non-related subject), followed by a two-year specialized master’s degree. Only 5 universities in Canada offer the Audiology master’s course, and competition for a spot is fierce. However, specialized audiology degrees are also offered by universities across the UK which can lead to professional accreditation after only three years.
What Is Audiology?
Audiologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of hearing, balance, and other neural disorders. More than a million Canadian adults have some degree of hearing loss and it is a growing problem that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Accredited audiologists are therefore in high demand. Audiologists can work in hospitals, private clinics, rehabilitation centers, and other healthcare settings and will see a huge variety of patients throughout their careers.
In the UK, students can complete a Bachelor’s degree in Audiology from several major universities. These degrees are typically three years, and students then graduate as accredited professional audiologists. If students then want to undertake more research into audiology and hearing disorders, they are also able to take a master’s degree at the University of Southampton. To be able to work as an audiologist back in Canada after graduating, students need to have their qualifications recognized by the SAC, which involves proving that their degree gave them the minimum number of clinical training hours. As most UK audiology degrees require students to complete multiple clinical placements, often at least 27 weeks in length, the minimum hours required by the SAC are often greatly exceeded.
Which Universities Offer Audiology?
The University of Southampton, part of the UK’s elite Russell Group of universities, is well-known for its BSc Audiology degree. It is the only university with in-house auditory implant clinics, and is particularly proud of its small class sizes and research facilities. Southampton is well-located: with London being just over an hour away by train, and having local airports nearby offering regular cheap flights to Europe, it is an excellent base to explore other parts of England and to spend weekends in other cities on the continent.
The University of Leeds, also a member of the Russell Group, offers a BSc in Audiology. Located within the School of Medicine, Leeds’ Audiology faculty has access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and students spend their placements at several major teaching hospitals. As well as being a large city, Leeds University is perhaps most well-known for its fantastic student life. Leeds’ Students’ Union, where social clubs, events, and other student activities are held, is consistently voted as one of the very best in the UK.
If you are open to the possibility of studying in other parts of the UK, Swansea University is the main Audiology school in Wales. Their three-year BSc degree is a relatively new course at the university, which brings the added benefit of lower entry requirements for aspiring students. Swansea is a small city on Wales’ south coast, near Cardiff (the capital) to the east, and the beautiful Pembrokeshire countryside to the west.
Considering a Career in Audiology?
If audiology sounds like something you’d like to know a little more about, book a session with one of our consultants to talk about studying Audiology in Canada, the UK, or the US!