Entry requirements, skills and interests (audiology)
You can enter a career in audiology with a variety of qualifications from GCSEs (or equivalent level-2 qualification) to a relevant honours degree.
There are four entry points into a healthcare science career in audiology:
- with GCSEs
- with A-levels or equivalent qualifications
- with a degree
- as an experienced clinical scientist
You’ll usually need the equivalent of three GCSEs at grade C or above to enter a role as a newborn hearing screener. It can be advantageous to have a nursery nursing or child-care related qualification, such as an NNEB, BTEC or NVQ. There are sometimes apprenticeships available in newborn hearing screening. However, each employer will indicate its requirements in the person specification of the job vacancy when advertised. Additionally, you need to have confident baby-handling skills, good interpersonal and communication skills, basic computer skills, an ability to manage your own workload, be able to work as part of a team and be self motivated.
You’ll typically need at least two if not three A2 or A-levels* including science subjects and a good spread of GCSEs at A-C grade to enter as a healthcare science practitioner. Entry is through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking an accredited BSc degree in healthcare science (audiology). (*Alternative or equivalent qualifications may be accepted by some universities, but you’re advised to check with each university (or visit their website) before making an application).
You can apply for a place specialising in neurosensory sciences on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme. Specifically, you must have a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to the specialism for which you are applying.
If you have a 2.2 honours degree or better in any subject, you will also be considered if you have a higher degree* that is relevant to the specialism for which you are applying.
(*Higher degree as defined on page 17 of The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies Please note this does not include postgraduate diplomas or postgraduate certificates.)
Because of the extensive variation in degrees available it isn’t possible to provide a definitive list of relevant degrees for entry to the STP. For STP positions in the physiological sciences (which include audiology), the most commonly accepted degrees will be in physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology or human biology, sports science (if there is significant scientific content).
For all candidates, evidence of research experience (e.g. in the form of a higher degree or equivalent evidence of scientific and academic capability) is considered desirable.
You need to be sure that you’ve reviewed the job description and person specification for the training (on the National School of Healthcare Science’s website), and the information on this page. You then need to be sure to match the skills and knowledge required to the content of your degree and the specialism you wish to apply for.
For full details of entry requirements for the STP, including qualifications, scientific skills, transferable skills and physical requirements, please see the person specification on the National School of Healthcare Science’s website.
With experience as a registered clinical scientist, you can apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST)
Skills, qualities and interests needed
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To work in audiology you’ll need:
- good interpersonal skills - to be able to communicate with people of all ages. You must respect their privacy, be sympathetic and have a friendly and professional attitude towards them
- to be able to think logically and adopt an analytical scientific approach combined with a caring and patient focused attitude to their work
- to have an interest in science and technology – an ability to update and test your knowledge against experience
- good communication skills - to be able to liaise with the healthcare team and also to advise and reassure patients
- to be comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment
- to pay great attention to detail - to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure
- the ability to work as part of a team
If you work in a more senior role with responsibility for resources (such as staff, budgets or equipment) you'll need excellent leadership skills and be able to use your initiative within the remit of your job role.
If you're applying for a healthcare science role or training position either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.
The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.