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UCC Postgraduate courses

Hearing, Balance & Communication

Course Fact File
Duration2 Years Part-time
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 9
Closing Date19 August 2024
Non-EU Closing Date30 June 2024
Start Date2 September 2024

Course Outline

Our MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication is the only degree of its kind in Ireland. The Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at University College Cork is pleased to provide you with the opportunity to acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in the field of hearing and balance-related difficulties.

This MSc is unique in incorporating a focus on communication and how it is affected by hearing loss across the lifespan. Our mission is to engage professionals in expanding and progressing their professional capacities in order to contribute to the improved care of patients and their families.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, with expert facilitators from a wide range of disciplinary and clinical backgrounds, our course content includes the nature and etiologies of hearing and balance disorders in the pediatric and elderly population; behavioural and objective assessment of hearing loss in children and adults; cochlear implants and implantable devices, as well as habilitation for adults, including those with complex needs. A further unique focus of the course is the nature and management of tinnitus and hyperacusis.

The MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication is offered on a part-time basis only. A range of elective modules allows students to tailor their studies to their own professional and personal interests. At all times the emphasis is on the critical appraisal of research evidence.

  • Please note that no part of the programme for a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma, or MSc in Hearing, Balance and Communication, confers clinical competencies or eligibility for professional practice or registration in health or social care professions.


The course consists of 90 credits total taken over two years. In Year 1 you take modules worth 40 credits and in Year 2 you take modules worth 50 credits.

  Core Modules (70 credits)
CT6100 Balance: Assessment and Management in Adults (10 credits)
MH6014 Advanced Research Methods for Healthcare Professionals (10 credits)  
CT6101 Tinnitus and Hyperacusis: Assessment, Etiology and Management (10 credits)  
CT6200 Communication and Hearing in Paediatric and Adult Populations (10 credits)  
CT6201 Research Project (30 credits)  
  Elective Modules (up to 20 credits)
CT6102* Objective Assessment of Hearing: Principles of Auditory Evoked Potentials in Paediatric and Adult Populations (5 credits)  
CT6103 Advanced Practices in Paediatric Assessment of Hearing  (5 credits)  
CT6104 Advanced Diagnostics of Otological and Neuro-otological Pathologies in Adults with Hearing Loss (5 credits)   
CT6105  Hearing Balance and Communication: Impact on Quality of Life in the Elderly Population (5 credits)  
CT6106  Cochlear Implants, Implantable Hearing Devices, and Impact on Communication for Children and Adults (5 credits)  
CT6107  Psychological Management of Tinnitus: Principles of CBT and Mindfulness (5 credits)  
CT6108  Auditory Rehabilitation in the Hearing-Impaired Adult Population (5 credits)  
CT6109  Independent Study (5 credits)  
Other In consultation with the Programme Director, one 5-credit module may be taken from other programmes at UCC, in related disciplines, for a total of 5 of the 90 required credits. Such electives will be approved on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on the permission of the relevant department and module coordinator, timetabling and workload considerations. (5 credits)  

*Restricted to students with recognised prior clinical experience in diagnostic audiology.

Recognition of Prior Learning

In accordance with UCC’s policy on Recognition of Prior Learning, a student who has successfully completed modules for Continuous Professional Development within the MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication programme, and/or has completed relevant university postgraduate modules in a cognate area at a similar NFQ level (subject to the approval of the Programme Team), and who meets the entry requirements for the MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication, can apply to register for the MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication with exemptions granted for modules taken within the previous five years. 

Academic Programme Catalogue

See the Academic Programme Catalogue where you can search for the complete and up-to-date content for this course. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year to year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of Modules.

Course Practicalities

This programme is part-time over two calendar years, with three semesters per year. On-site contact time is concentrated in two-three day (5-credit modules) and three-four day (10-credit modules) periods. There will be five or six contact periods in Year 1 and four or five in Year 2.

Students attend for induction at the beginning of September of Year 1. Contact times are limited to September, December, January, April, and May.


Assessment is wholly by continuous assessment, consisting of written assignments, both live and online presentations, online activities such as discussion groups and e-portfolios, blogs, podcasts and reflective journals.
The course involves approximately 100 hours of learning per 5 credits, of which 80 hours are self-directed learning and reading, for a total of 1800 hours.

Who teaches this course

Leading authorities in hearing, balance, speech, and communication science from the School of Clinical Therapies; national and international specialist guest lecturers including practicing clinicians and clinician-academics.

Why Choose This Course

The MSc in Hearing Balance and Communication is the only degree of its kind in Ireland. The degree aims to provide opportunities to acquire state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in the field of hearing and balance-related difficulties. This MSc is unique in incorporating a focus on communication and how it is affected by hearing loss across the lifespan. The mission of the programme is to engage professionals in expanding and progressing their professional capacities in order to contribute to improved care of patients and their families.


  • Candidates will hold either a Second Class Honours Grade I in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or a Postgraduate Degree (NFQ, Level 9 or equivalent) , in any scientific or medical discipline, such as but not exclusively, Audiology, Anatomy, Biomedical Science, Engineering, Social Sciences, Speech and Language Therapy, Medicine, Nursing and Education.
  • In exceptional circumstances candidates without an honours degree may be recommended for entry to the programme after a review of their qualifications and experience by the programme lead. The admission of such candidates will be subject to the approval of the School of Clinical Therapies.
  • Under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), applications will be reviewed on the basis of educational qualifications, relevant work experience and motivation.
  • A motivational statement is part of this application process. The motivational statement should be no longer than 800 words and demonstrate motivation, relevant previous experience, commitment and suitability in applying for this course.
  • Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview and each applicant will be scored by an interview panel on the basis of educational qualifications, relevant work experience and motivation.

For Applicants with Qualifications Completed Outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements. For more information see our Qualification Comparison page.

International/Non-EU Applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure visit our how to apply pages for international students.

  • In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.
  • Note that not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above. For more information contact the International Office.
English Language Requirements

Applicants who are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university-approved English language requirements. Visit our PG English Language Requirements page for more information.

Fees and Costs

Postgraduate EU and International Fees 2024/2025

See our Postgraduate EU and Non-EU (International) Fee Schedule for the latest information.


If your course requires a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second-semester fee payment in January.

Fee payment 

Fees are payable in two equal instalments. First payment is at registration and the balance usually by the end of January.

How can I pay? 

See different options on our How Do I Pay My Fees? page.

Any questions? See the 'Contact Us' section on the Fees Office page.

How To Apply

1. Check dates

Check the opening and closing dates for the application process in the fact file boxes at the top of the page.

2. Gather documents

Scanned copies of supporting documents have to be uploaded to the UCC online application portal and include:

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC.
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course if required.

3. Apply online

Apply online via the UCC online application portal. Note the majority of our courses have a non-refundable €50 application fee.

Any questions? Use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.
  • In addition to your previously declared qualifications, please outline any additional academic courses, self-learning and professional training relevant to this programme.
  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.
  • Please upload certification of current registration with the appropriate professional body.
  • Please upload relevant certificates of achievement.


The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2024

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact