80% of all clinical decisions are influenced by opinions and results determined by healthcare scientists; assisting patients on the road to recovery. Marc Rayan, Programme Leader
The role of the healthcare scientist sits at the forefront of the medical profession, making a vital difference to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Clinical physiologists (neurophysiology) work with patients of all ages to diagnose, monitor and treat conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, and even the body's smallest nerves.
This course will provide you with the knowledge skills and practical experience to work as a professional healthcare scientist in neurophysiology. The role involves working closely with patients of all ages to investigate the function of the nervous system in order to diagnose and monitor neurological disorders, including epilepsy, strokes, dementia, nerve and muscle dysfunction and multiple sclerosis.
Our highly specialist neurophysiology degree is designed for aspiring physiologists to develop the knowledge, skills and practical experience to step, successfully, into a professional healthcare scientist role. Developed in response to the Department of Health's Modernising Scientific Careers [http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/healthcare-science/modernising-scientific-careers/] programme (aimed at training expert NHS Healthcare Scientists), this course will enable you to provide the highest standard of patient-centred care.
Our course is based on the latest Department of Health curriculum and has been accredited by Health Education England
As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.
Learning to apply scientific principles of healthcare science to patient care will be at the heart of all you study. You will develop the understanding and confidence to execute specialist procedures in neurophysiology, including: EEG (electroencephalography) - recording the electrical activity of the brain; evoked potentials – measuring brain responses to specific stimuli; and EMG (Electromyography) and NCS (Nerve Conduction Studies) - assessing nerve and muscle function.
You will learn to perform a wide range of clinical procedures competently, in accordance with health and safety guidelines, and within the scope of practice and professional codes of conduct.
You will graduate with:
You can find further information about this course in the programme specification
Placements are an integral part of the course. Over the three years, you will spend a total of 50 weeks in NHS clinical physiology departments: 10 weeks in year 1, 15 weeks in year 2 and 25 weeks in year 3. You will attend your placement from Monday to Thursday, and study on Fridays. We will help you find your placement, as well as helping you make the most of the learning opportunities it offers while you are there.
You will also attend lectures, seminars, practical clinical sessions and laboratory classes, give presentations and take part in role plays, debates, group work and problem-solving exercises. You will supplement all this with your own reading. You will design and carry out your own research project, which could include a clinical audit, and develop a portfolio of work.
You will be assessed on your research project and written portfolio, as well as practical and theoretical examinations, clinical practice assessments, laboratory reports and other written work, case study analyses and presentations.
Both the practical skills you develop during your placement and written assignments you produce as part of it will be assessed.
Typical offers for this course:
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
DBS (formerly CRB) and health clearances are also required, which must be achieved before the start of the placement. Students do not pay for the DBS and health checks. Students who do not get either a DBS or health clearance will be allowed to transfer to another degree, e.g. biomedical science.
Our entry requirements are displayed as grades. Please use the UCAS calculator to find out the equivalent tariff points.
Please note: Entry must be at Year 1 Level for all applicants. There can be no direct entry into either Year 2 or Year 3. This is due to the placement element of this course.
This course is open to UK and EU students only. International students are not eligible to apply for this course.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 7.0 (with minimum 6.5 in written English). Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
All applicants need to be interviewed, complete a satisfactory enhanced DBS check and Occupational Health check.
Applicants will be asked to sit a small literacy and numeracy test as part of the interview stage.
The National Health Service (NHS) is one of the largest employers in the world and this degree provides you with the skills, knowledge and experience to work at the heart of the NHS as a healthcare scientist in neurophysiology. The NHS has recognised a skills shortage in this area and our course is designed to meet the requirements of the sector.
Placements are a key element of the course. Over the three years, you will spend a total of 50 weeks in NHS clinical physiology departments at hospitals in London or the South East. This time is divided as follows:
Year 1 – 10 weeks
Year 2 – 15 weeks
Year 3 – 25 weeks
You can also find useful information about medical engineering careers on NHS Careers
Rebecca is currently studying to become a Clinical Physiologist specialising in Neurophysiology.
"Working in a hospital whilst completing the neurophysiology training has giving me invaluable practical experience. Neurophysiology allows me to apply my academic knowledge and enjoy the patient interaction aspect of the job. Learning on the job and seeing several patients daily helps to put academic studies into practice. My favourite part of the job is the variety and the fact that no two days are the same. While it has been difficult at times to complete multiple assignments and prepare for exams whilst working full time, patient/practitioner relationships cannot be taught in a classroom.
My week is varied as I work across a range of different nervous system testing each week. Since completing my Part 1 professional exam, I spend three days a week carrying out EEG's (elecroencephalogram), and on average I see approximately five patients a day. One day a week I train in NCS (nerve conduction studies) and the final day of the week is spent training in EP's (Evoked Potentials) which tests the central and peripheral nerve/spinal pathways.
Neurophysiology is a diagnostic field of medicine where patients are referred for various tests on the nervous system. When the patient attends the Neurophysiology department for the required test the results are analysed and reports are written and sent to the referring consultant. A clinical physiologist can generally expect to see between 4-6 patients a day and write the relevant reports which are discussed with a registrar or consultant neurophysiologist before the final report is issued.
After completing my course I would like to continue training to further types of testing such as intraoperative monitoring (IOM) and possibly in the long term undertake a PhD alongside my clinical position."
Marc Rayan Programme Leader
Marcstarted teaching clinical neurophysiology in 2002 and continued to practice professionally while also undertaking research projects - all helping to guide the next generation of neurophysiologists.
"Would you like to look inside someone's head? Would you like to support a team of NHS healthcare professionals to diagnose diseases of the nervous system? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you should consider a career in neurophysiology.
80% of all clinical decisions are influenced by opinions and results determined by healthcare scientists; neurophysiologists using a test such as the EEG is one example of this. After studying with us you will be using state-of-the-art equipment in a highly specialised environment to screen and help diagnose a wide range of patients; you may even assist in surgical procedures to help your patients on the road to recovery.
You will become experts in conditions affecting brain, spinal cord and even the smallest nerves in your fingers and toes!"