Audiology Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is Audiology?

The word audiology is made up of two roots: Audio and Logy. ‘Audio’ refers to ‘hear’ and ‘logy’ to ‘the study of’. In essence, audiology is the study of hearing and because the inner ear is also required for balance this is also included in the field of study. In medical terms, it is the branch of science dedicated to the study of hearing, balance, and their associated disorders.

Audiology combines the best available technology with medical science to come up with solutions to hearing or balance disorders people have. People who practice audiology are called audiologists. Audiologists are responsible for managing and rehabilitating disorders related to hearing as well as balance.

Audiologists are trained to care for patients ranging from newborn babies to elderly people. The wide age spectrum includes a multitude of possible problems that they need to resolve. They work with a multidisciplinary team to provide these individualized solutions for their patients.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Audiology courses in the following subject areas:

  • MSc Audiology – The study of the assessment and management of the needs of children and adults with hearing and balance disorders. 
  • Higher Certificate In Science In Hearing Aid Audiology – A study of the science of hearing aids and audiology.
  • Hearing, Balance and Communication – Gain knowledge and skills in the field of hearing and balance-related difficulties.
  • Higher Certificate in Science Hearing Aid Audiology – Gain the requirements of being able to practice as a Hearing Aid Audiologist, trained to deal with the assessment and rehabilitation associated with the provision of hearing aids for adults.

Studying Audiology in college

Many Audiology courses take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience within a hospital audiology department. Arrange a visit to a department in your local hospital to find out more about the role and see if you can work shadow a clinical scientist working in audiology.

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Audiology you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of hearing and auditory processing with the ear.

Many clinical scientists working in audiology are employed in ear, nose, and throat clinics or audiology departments in hospitals. Opportunities are also available with cochlear implant companies and working for cochlear implant services or in private hospitals and the independent sector.

You may choose to follow a research career, work in a university, or work in the industry for a company that develops and manufactures hearing technology. Some audiologists work in a university, where their job is primarily concerned with teaching and research. 

In this field, work is available in areas such as pediatrics, adult assessment and rehabilitation, special needs groups, research and development, and teaching.

Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full-time, Monday to Friday but in some roles, this may include occasional weekend work in practice, hospital, or clinic.

Related jobs include:

  • ENT Specialist
  • Audiologist
  • Hearing aid audiologist
  • Newborn hearing screener
  • Healthcare science practitioner
  • Clinical scientist
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Medical physicist
  • Statistician
  • Dietician/nutritionist
  • Chiropractor
  • Process/development chemist

Further study

After completing a course in Audiology you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Physiology, Healthcare, or Speech and Language Therapy.

FAQ

What are some reasons to see an Audiologist?

Common early signs of hearing loss include:

· Needing to turn the volume of the TV or radio up higher than other people would like

· Difficulty understanding speech when there is background noise present

· More difficulty hearing women and children than men

· Difficulty hearing in meetings or at public speaking events

· Ringing in one or both ears when no external sound is present

· Difficulty hearing people with “low voice”

· Frequently needing people to repeat themselves 

What skills could be helpful for a career in Audiology?

For a career in Audiology, scientific background and an interest in audiology are excellent places to start. Other skills that may be helpful are excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to relate to patients of all ages, patience, and empathy to deal with patients who may be in distress, manual dexterity, an analytical and investigative mind, team working skills as you’ll be working as part of a multidisciplinary team including other medical professionals and a willingness to keep up to date with the latest scientific and medical research in audiology.

General skills that are helpful across all fields and are always appreciated by employers are the ability to work independently and use your initiative, meticulous attention to detail, time management skills, the ability to solve problems and research alternative solutions, and the ability to lead and motivate others.

Are there specialties within Audiology?

There are specializations in particular areas of audiology such as:

· Auditory rehabilitation

· Bone anchored hearing devices

· Cochlear implants

· Paediatrics

· Tinnitus

Where can I study Audiology?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Sitting close to loudspeakers at concerts (which can reach about 120 decibels) can damage your hearing in just 7.5 minutes

· The bones in the middle ear (malleus, incus, and stapes) are the body’s smallest bones. All three can fit together on the surface area of a penny.

· In World War I parrots were kept on the Eiffel Tower in Paris because of their remarkable sense of hearing. When the parrots heard enemy aircraft, they warned everyone of the approaching danger long before any human ear would hear it.

· The ear has three main parts: external ear, middle ear, and inner ear. They all have different, but important, features that facilitate hearing and balance.


Mariza Halliday

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Courses


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