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Healthcare scientist, audiology: Entry requirements

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In order to work as a healthcare scientist in audiology you need to successfully complete the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) .

This leads to eligibility to apply for a Certificate of Attainment from the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) , which allows registration as a clinical scientist with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The STP is a graduate-entry programme that leads to more senior scientist roles in the NHS. Successful candidates are employed by an NHS Trust as trainee healthcare scientists and join a salaried three-year, fixed-term training programme, which includes study for an approved and accredited Masters degree specialising in neurosensory sciences.

Entry on to the STP is competitive and you will need a first or 2:1 in a relevant science-degree subject or a 2:2 with a relevant Masters or PhD.

Gaining good academic results and relevant work experience is helpful. Contact your local hospital to find out what voluntary opportunities are available and try to get direct experience of working with patients.

An MSc or a PhD in a relevant subject area may be advantageous when applying for trainee positions, but is not a requirement. Additional skills and experience, such as involvement with research projects and publications, may also be useful.

NHS organisations in England and Wales annually offer 250 to 300 training posts in life sciences, physiological sciences, physical sciences and informatics. Details of training posts have been advertised in the New Scientist, but candidates must apply through the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS): STP recruitment . Recruitment usually takes place in January, but check the NSHCS website regularly for details.

There are separate scientist training schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland:

It is also possible to achieve registered clinical scientist status by completing an MSc in audiological science accredited by the British Academy of Audiology (BAA), followed by completion of the BAA Higher Training Scheme (HTS). This route is running concurrently with the STP. Contact the BAA for further information.

For those without a degree undergraduate training that leads to a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Audiology), accredited by the National School for Healthcare Science, is provided by the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) . Entry on to the degree course usually requires a good mix of GCSEs at A to C grade, including English, maths and science, and a minimum of two, (usually three), A2/A-levels, including science subjects.

Courses are three years full-time and include at least 50 weeks of workplace-based training in the NHS. Applications are made via Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) . Entry requirements vary so check with individual institutions before applying.

For a list of accredited courses see the Health Careers Course Finder .

Graduates from the PTP can then apply to enter the NHS in a healthcare science practitioner role or they may choose to apply for the STP, which offers pay on a higher scale and more opportunities for career progression.

Graduates of the BSc Healthcare Science (Audiology) can apply to register with the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists (RCCP) .

Candidates need to show evidence of the following:

  • good interpersonal skills;
  • ability to communicate well and interact with patients of all ages;
  • technical abilities;
  • manual dexterity;
  • time management skills;
  • patience and empathy;
  • problem-solving ability;
  • a scientific background and an interest in audiology.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search postgraduate courses.

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Written by AGCAS editors
December 2014

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