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Masters Degrees (Neurosensory)

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The Department of Health has introduced a new career pathway for Healthcare Scientists. This includes clinical science training to provide an appropriately trained workforce to work in the NHS. Read more
The Department of Health has introduced a new career pathway for Healthcare Scientists. This includes clinical science training to provide an appropriately trained workforce to work in the NHS.

DBS & Fitness to Practise

Students enrolling onto certain programmes within the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University will be required to undertake an Enhanced Level Disclosure and Barring Service check. Also in line with national requirements for programmes leading to a health professional qualification, a number of degree programmes in the School of Life and Health Science are subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations.

Course Outline & Modules

The Department of Health has introduced a new career pathway for Healthcare Scientists. This includes clinical science training to provide an appropriately trained workforce to work in the NHS. This requires the education and training of practitioners in the division of neurosensory science. This division is made up of 3 pathways:
-Audiology
-Neurophysiology
-Ophthalmic & Vision Sciences

Students undertake common learning throughout the programme but also have specialist topics in year two and three. Students are employed within NHS Departments and released to undertake academic study.

First year modules:
-NS1HS1 Introduction to Healthcare Science (15 credits)
-NS1PP1 Professional Practice (15 credits)
-NS1NS1 Introduction to Neurosensory Sciences (15 credits)
-NS1CS1 Clinical Science (15 credits)

Second year modules:
-NS2RM1 Research Methods (10 credits)
-NS2EB1 Evidence Based Practice (10 credits)
-NS2RP1 Research Project (20 credits)

Audiology pathway
-NS2AR1 Adult Rehabilitation (20 credits)

Vision Science pathway
-NS2VS1 Ophthalmic & Vision Science (20 credits)

Neurophysiology pathway
-NS2NE1 Evoked Potentials (20 credits)

Third year module:
Neurophysiology pathway
-Neurophysiology Practice (30 credits)

Learning, teaching & Assesment

The majority of the teaching and learning material is delivered via the virtual learning environment (Blackboard 9). Students are provided with a study guide for each module which ensures they are aware of what material needs covering when. The first year is mostly assessed via coursework so students are able to benchmark their abilities early on and to develop their skills in managing their learning.

In the second and third years of the programme students undertake a research project with an associated research methods module to develop their skills in this area.

Students are on campus for short periods each term when they have the opportunity to participate in group activities, tutorials, skills laboratories and seminars.

Professional accreditation

The programme is accredited by the Department of Health via the Modernising Scientific Careers programme.

Career opportunities

This programme sits within the Department of Health’s vision for the Healthcare Science workforce. The aim is to develop practitioners who can improve the scientific profile within healthcare and who have the requisite skills to enhance both the diagnosis and treatment of patients in the NHS. As such it is predominantly aimed at graduates employed within the Scientist Training Programme. It is also aimed at NHS practitioners within the disciplines who wish to undertake an academic qualification as part of their professional development. Individual modules can be undertaken as part of the School’s flexible credit accumulation system leading to a post-graduate certificate, diploma or masters qualification.

The ageing population means that demand for assessment and treatment services is set to rise substantially over the coming years. Our Graduates will be well placed to enter careers in hospitals, community-based practice and also related research areas. Previous graduates have become advanced practitioners or gone on to lead a section of service.

The programme is designed to formally meet the requirements of the NHS and builds on Aston’s established links and extensive experience of health education.

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This course is aimed at practising audiologists. It combines audiology-specific course units and units shared with other health professionals from a variety of other disciplines. Read more
This course is aimed at practising audiologists. It combines audiology-specific course units and units shared with other health professionals from a variety of other disciplines.

You may choose to complete 60 credits for a PGCert (exit award) or 120 credits for a PGDip. On successful completion of 120 credits, progression to the full MSc qualification allows you to explore, in depth, a specific aspect of audiology practice, policy, research or education in the form of a 60-credit, 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation.

Aims

The course aims to:
-Enable you to critically evaluate and apply aspects of contemporary audiology and healthcare practice, policy, research and education
-Foster positive values and attitudes that recognise and respect individual and cultural diversities and challenge discriminatory practice
-Equip you with in-depth knowledge, understanding and skills to critically evaluate research and the evidence base for audiology practice that promotes optimal health and involves service users and carers in the delivery of care
-Develop your abilities and skills in critical reflective practice, problem solving and creative ethical decision making
-Contribute to innovation, change and quality improvement in audiology and health care practice at both individual and organisational levels by equipping you with a systematic and critical understanding of relevant knowledge, theoretical frameworks and advanced skills
-Enhance your career development and lifelong learning in order to support safe practice and the maintenance and enhancement of appropriate standards of audiology practice

Additional aims for the MSc are to enable you, through the systematic, in-depth, exploration of a specific area of audiology practice, policy, research or education to extend your knowledge, understanding and ability to contribute to the advancement of audiology knowledge and practice at an individual and/or organisational level.

Special features

The course provides unique opportunities for interprofessional learning, combining specialist audiology course units with a range of course units in which students from a range of health care professions study core concepts and subjects together. You will also have the opportunity to study with professionals in closely related areas such audiology as teachers of the deaf.

The wide variety of units available allows you to your tailor learning and through assessments you will further apply core knowledge and skills.

Additional course information

The University is at the forefront of developments in health care professional education and research having received excellent research ratings in UK Research Assessment Exercises. We have also been commended on the excellent quality of teaching and learning provision.

An established reputation for excellence, outstanding learning facilities and high student support, combined with the opportunity to be taught by leading academic, clinical and research staff, make The University of Manchester the ideal place for practising audiologists to study for a postgraduate qualification.

Teaching and learning

You will participate in a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, small group work, student led seminars, problem based learning and online learning. In addition, you will be required to undertake independent study in order to further develop and consolidate your learning. Where appropriate, and with individual arrangements, some audiology modules may include participation in practical skills laboratories.

Part-time students entering the PG Dip or MS will normally study one day per week to complete 60 credits per year as required for the award. An exit award of PG Cert is available to students exiting after completion of 60 credits. This must include at least 15 credits of Audiology specific units from those available.

Please note, a maximum of 30 credits of individual course units can also be studied on a stand-alone basis.

Coursework and assessment

A variety of assessments are used within individual course units and across the course as a whole. All assessments require you to integrate knowledge and understanding, and apply this to your own practice relevant to the outcomes of each unit.

Assessment methods include:
-Essays
-Case studies
-Assessed seminar presentations
-Literature reviews
-Change proposals

The full MSc qualifications requires an extended written piece of work (12,000-15,000 words) which focuses on a specific aspect of audiology practice, policy or research in the form of an extended literature based review.

Course unit details

Taught units can be studied in any order except where there are specific pre-requisites. Optional taught units for the PG Dip/MSc:
-Neurosensory Science
-Clinical Applications of Neurosensory Sciences
-Adult Auditory Assessment and Management
-Vestibular Assessment and Management
-Paediatric Audiology
-Effective Amplification for Infants and Children
-Developing Deaf Child
-Language Acquisition
-Understanding Practice in Deaf Education in the UK
-Advanced Skill in Aural Rehabilitation

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The Audiological Science MSc provides a detailed study of the hearing and balance mechanisms. their structure, function and pathology. Read more
The Audiological Science MSc provides a detailed study of the hearing and balance mechanisms: their structure, function and pathology. The relationship between laboratory research and clinical aspects forms a key element: lectures, demonstrations and tutorials will be complemented by practical experience in the clinic and laboratory.

Degree information

Students learn how people develop, or are born with, hearing and/or balance difficulties; how to test for hearing and balance problems and how to rehabilitate or habilitate patients with these problems. They learn the theory and science underpinning these practical clinical skills including acoustics and the anatomy and physiology of the auditory and vestibular systems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits) There are no optional modules for this programme.. A Postgraduate Diploma, eight core modules (120 credits), full-time nine months is offered.

Core modules
-Signals, Systems, Acoustics and the Ear
-Anatomy and Physiology of the Audiovestibular System
-Diagnostic Audiology
-Introduction to Amplification and Aural Rehabilitation
-Balance
-Paediatric Audiology
-Clinical and Professional Practice
-Research Methods and Statistics

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical demonstrations, and clinical placements. Practicals will consist of observations followed by supervised testing for rehabilitation and diagnostics in the Ear Institute’s specialist Skills Laboratory. Assessment is by essays, presentations, written examinations, clinical practical examinations and the dissertation.

Careers

Many graduates are now employed as audiologists either within the NHS or private sector or work as hearing aid dispensers.

Please note that the Audiological Science MSc does not meet the requirements of the UK regulatory bodies on its own. The programme provides the required theoretical skills and knowledge for clinical registration in the UK but does not provide the practical training required. Applicants wishing to practise as an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser in the UK will need to transfer to the Audiological Science with Clinical Practice MSc (two-year full time). This is subject to availability and there is a competitive interview process.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Audiologist, Broomfield Hospital (NHS)
-Senior Assistant Audiologist, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
-Student Audiologist, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
-Student Audiologist, West Middlesex University Hospital (NHS)
-Trainee Healthcare Scientist, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and studying MSc Neurosensory Science, Aston University

Employability
As well as working as audiologists, graduates have also pursued academic careers, completing PhDs and taught doctorates. International students have used the knowledge and skills gained to promote and develop audiological services in their countries. It is suitable for audiologists who have no graduate-level qualification in audiology and wish to develop their careers, or academic researchers who have a specialist interest in audiology.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Ear Institute is the largest and most broad-based academic unit for research into hearing and deafness in the UK. Students benefit from the range of clinical and research expertise among its staff.

The UCL Ear Institute is associated with the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, which houses the largest clinical audiology unit in the country, and works closely with NHS audiology departments to provide placement and observation opportunities for students.

The programme has close links with, healthcare providers and industry (e.g. hearing aid manufacturers) providing students with access to the latest practice and technology and excellent networking opportunities.

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