Isabel-McGauley examining patient

Changing lives: how Southampton sparked a passion for a future career

Published: 20 December 2023

She discovered the BSc Audiology by chance at a Southampton open day and has never looked back. Now she is committed to sharing that passion with potential students.

Discovering an exciting, fulfilling career

Isabel knew she wanted to pursue a career that involved human interaction and used her A-Level science skills, but she didn’t want to do a straight biology degree. At a Southampton open day, she literally bumped into the audiology stand, got speaking to staff and her enthusiasm for audiology began.

“Audiology is an amazing, constantly evolving and changing career. Without their hearing, people can become really disconnected, so they start to avoid doing things, becoming very isolated and increasing their risk of things like depression or dementia,” she says.

“As audiologists, we rehabilitate individuals to hear better and make lifestyle changes through supporting informed decision-making, and this can have a massive life impact and significantly improve their quality of life. 

In audiology, no day is the same. You are continuously facing new challenges. We are reconnecting people with themselves, their families and friends and the world around them.
Isabel McGauley

Joining a passionate audiology community

Audiology at Southampton has a small intake and a lot of the lecturers have been there for a long time or trained there, so it has a real community feel to it. 

She says: “Southampton ranks really well in the league tables and employability after graduation is very good. There is also a well-equipped dedicated skills lab.” 

One of the biggest draws for Isabel on the BSc Audiology was the long placement Southampton organised at the beginning of the  third year. She spent seven months as a student audiologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, one of the largest audiology departments in the country.  

“I was trained by some amazing people who gave me real-life experience and the competency to work as an audiologist. The University does a great job preparing you for the real world and the placement give you the practical experience. It ensured that I was proficient in all clinical skills and capable of working in a professional environment. By the end of my placement, I was leading appointments,” she says. 

The placement also helped her develop a network of highly trained, knowledgeable contacts that will be useful to her in her future career.