The new breed: Bristol’s first Audiology graduates
21 July 2008
Eleven pioneering students are the first to complete Bristol University's four-year BSc degree in Audiology.
Eleven pioneering students have successfully completed their four-year BSc degree in Audiology, which qualifies them to undertake specialist work with adults and children who have hearing and balance disorders, either in the NHS or in private practice. Audiology has undergone a transformation in recent years, with a change in status to a fully degree-level profession and the introduction of advanced digital hearing aids throughout the NHS. Hearing and balance services around the country can expect to benefit from the skills of Bristol graduates, five of whom obtained first-class degrees.
The course, which began in October 2004, attracts students from a range of backgrounds, with a mixture of school leavers and mature students. All students spent a year on placement in an NHS hospital, learning to put their skills into practice..
Links with the NHS are strong, and the degree programme is commissioned and funded by the South West England Strategic Health Authority. Derek Sprague, SHA workforce development manager, commented:
'We are delighted that the first cohort of graduates can now enter the healthcare workplace. Hearing and balance services are becoming a greater priority for the NHS and these excellent results bode well for improved patient care. We look forward to strengthening the partnership between the NHS and Bristol University.'
Since the early days, the Centre for hearing and Balance Studies has grown in both student and staff numbers, with 30 students enrolling on Audiology BSc programmes each year. A unique MSc in Audiological Rehabilitation has also been developed, and will see its first graduates in 2009.