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Postgraduate Educational Audiology

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  • Entry requirements
    Normally entrants to the course should possess the following qualifications: * qualified teacher of the deaf, or professional in a field related to the education of hearing-impaired children * an appropriate academic background equivalent to degree-level study (applicants without a degree will be required to register for the Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Audiology in the first instance) * English as the first language or GCSE or O-level English Language, or a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based).
  • Academic Title
    MSc / PGDip Educational Audiology
  • Course description
    The MSc in Educational Audiology is designed for qualified teachers of the deaf and other professionals involved in the education and/or audiological management of hearing-impaired children. It aims to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to practise as educational audiologists.

    The course is provided in partnership with Mary Hare school for the deaf and is delivered at the school's base in Newbury, Berkshire. It is a modular course that aims to stimulate and provide the opportunity for critical reflection on the scientific principles underlying audiological practice. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to relate general principles and issues from their own experience of working with hearing-impaired children and young people. Laboratory sessions, practical workshops, clinical instruction and clinical experience are used to support the acquisition of practical and professional skills. Teaching and learning experiences include lectures and demonstrations, tutor- and student-led seminars, discussion groups and e-learning opportunities and materials.

    This course is involves a two-year part-time course, when all students must attend ten residential weekends of lectures and workshops, over two years. In addition they must attend two summer schools, (one per year) each of five days' duration. The award of the MSc involves successful completion of all modules and the practical skills and theory assessments, plus the complete of a research methods module and dissertation in Year 3. An exit point is available at the end of Year 2, following successful completion of all Year 1 and year 2 modules, for those wishing to take the award at the Diploma stage.

    In addition, for those wishing to update their skills and/or to supplement their existing qualifications, individual modules can be taken independently within one or two academic years according to need.
    Course content

    The MSc in Educational Audiology will take qualified and experienced teachers of the deaf (or professionals in a field related to the education and/or audiological management of hearing-impaired children) and develop their existing professional practice in audiology to a more exacting level of competence. The course is designed to provide sufficient theoretical knowledge and practical expertise to enable successful candidates to work within educational provision for the hearing impaired as educational audiologists who may provide the sole point of reference within a service, school or hospital. It is intended to produce well-motivated, enthusiastic and well-informed practitioners who can maximise the use of residual hearing in children or young people, irrespective of setting or phase of education.

    The MSc will develop professional skills, but will also promote reflection on the principles underlying particular practices in audiology. We aim to help students become able to support the families of hearing-impaired children and engage in fruitful professional dialogue with other specialists working in related fields (eg clinical audiologists, ear nose and throat consultants and their staff, educational psychologists and speech therapists). It is also critical, in the light of the 1981 Education Act, 1988 Education Reform Act and the 1993 Education Act, that students become able to work constructively alongside classroom teachers in mainstream schools, non-teaching assistants and advisers/coordinators working in the special educational needs area.

    All students on the course will undertake clinical placements in a variety of audiological settings. These will include the school clinic catering for children of primary and secondary school age, the support service clinic catering for children of pre-school, primary and secondary school age, and the hospital clinic providing both screening and diagnostic services. Additional placements will be made available with audiologists recognised by the British Association of Educational Audiologists as offering appropriate extra-clinical experience within services for hearing-impaired children. All students involved in clinical placements will be eligible for membership of the British Association of Educational Audiologists, the British Association of Audiological Scientists or the British Association of Audiological Physicians.

    Students leave the course to work in a wide variety of settings in schools for the deaf or in units for hearing-impaired children attached to mainstream schools, or in a peripatetic role. Although the main focus of the course is the preparation of audiologists to work with pupils of school age, time will be spent discussing issues of interest to audiologists working in pre-school and post-16 sectors. We will also be looking at the prospective role of audiological professionals in response to the new challenges of neonatal screening. Experience in these areas will be given in the assessment centre of the Mary Hare School.

    The modules:

        * Physics of Sound and Acoustics and Speech Production is concerned with the nature of sound as a form of energy, the sounds produced by the speech articulators and the acoustic features that are specific to the phonetic elements within a spoken utterance, and the anatomical and physiological basis of speech production.
        * Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology of Hearing is concerned with the anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, and the pathology and aetiology of the outer, middle and inner ear.
        * Assessment of Hearing, Instrumentation and Calibration is concerned with screening and diagnostic procedures, and calibration, application and routine management of audiological equipment.
        * Development and Psychology of Hearing is concerned with the development of auditory and speech perception, and the psychological properties of sound and their implications for educational audiology.
        * Hearing Aids, Hearing Aid Systems, Assistive Devices and Cochlear Implants is concerned with personal and educational hearing aids, the role of cochlear implants, and the scope of assistive devices.
        * Habilitation, Early Linguistics and Communication is concerned with early child development and the potential effects of hearing impairment, the difference between linguistic delay and linguistic disorder, the scope of psychological assessment and its role in the management of hearing-impaired children,  the nature of the habilitation process and the role of family support. Issues related to the Every Child Matters agenda and integrated working practices are a key focus.
        * Research Methods is concerned with experimental design, data analysis and evaluation. It will develop students' knowledge of a range of research approaches, methods and techniques and consider ethics in educational/audiological research.

    Teaching, learning and assessment

    There will be five residential weekends and one summer school in each of the first two years, and an additional Research Methods module. Students complete the dissertation in their third year.

    Assessment will take a variety of forms, including written coursework, experimental reports, seminar presentations, clinical practice diary and demonstration of clinical competence. MSc students are also required to write a dissertation.

    It is possible to take an exit award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Audiology at the end of the second year.

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