The University of Southampton
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New audiology degree to meet NHS staffing needs

Published: 17 March 2003

The announcement that the NHS is to fund hundreds of new training places in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is welcome news for the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton.

The University is launching a new undergraduate degree in Audiology to start in October 2003, and students on the programme will benefit directly from the NHS initiative.

"Audiology is becoming an increasingly important specialism," said Professor Mark Lutman, "and our new degree programme, combined with the NHS funding of training places, recognises that more scientific audiologists trained to degree level are needed in the Health Service."

Audiologists play a principal role in identifying and assessing disorders of the hearing and balance systems. They also provide appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. The work of the audiologist involves both adult patients and children, with their families. They typically work as part of a multidisciplinary team with professionals such as speech and language therapists, teachers of the deaf, physiotherapists and ENT surgeons. The work is challenging and rewarding with a high degree of job satisfaction. Research and development is also an important aspect of the job. Leading audiologists can expect to earn up to £60,000 in the NHS.

The new degree programme lasts four years and is funded by the NHS, so there are no fees for the student to pay and there are means-tested bursaries available to help meet living expenses. The third year is spent entirely on placement in the NHS during which time a training salary is paid to the student. The expanding workforce in audiology means that successful students will not experience difficulty finding jobs following graduation.

Prospective applicants are invited to attend one of the open days being held at the University's Hearing and Balance Centre, at the Highfield Campus, on Thursday 3 April and Wednesday 9 April 2003.

Notes for editors

  1. The Institute for Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) is an internationally renowned centre of excellence in teaching, research and consulting. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise it received the top 5* rating.
  2. The University is currently raising funds for a £5 million new building for the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. The new building will house an updated, state-of-the-art Biomedical Imaging Research Department, which will make it the one of the leading Biomedical Imaging centres in the country.
  3. The interface between technology and humans has been at the centre of ISVR's activities, with active research and teaching programmes in audiology (including a highly respected MSc course), human vibration interactions, medical imaging, patient monitoring and physiological modelling. Clinics at ISVR (including the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre) and collaborations with hospitals are at the core of these projects. More details can be found on the web-site at www.isvr.soton.ac.uk
  4. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £235 million.

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