The field of clinical neurophysiology is a specialized branch of medicine that focuses on the study of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Clinical neurophysiologists play a critical role in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the steps to become a clinical neurophysiologist, neurophysiology technician, or a nerve conduction technician.
Study the Neurophysiology Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) at Aston University to become more autonomous in your role and to develop the ability to evaluate and improve services for patients.
Location: Aston University, Birmingham
Part-time, Online / distance learning
Start dateSeptember 2024
Mode of delivery: Part-time, blended learning. While all teaching and learning materials are hosted online, students are expected to attend live activities (synchronously online or on-campus) such as lectures, seminars, and/or presentations according to the timetable.
- Candidates should be employed in clinical neurophysiology departments or related services
- A first or upper-second-class honours degree in a life sciences-based subject. When the degree or qualification has been obtained outside the UK, it should be deemed at least of equivalent standing – find out more on our Aston in your country pages.
- UK applications are welcome from in-service neurophysiology staff who do not meet the academic requirements. Candidates should have a minimum of six months of service within a Neurophysiology department before starting the programme with exposure to the investigations within the selected module. Applicants will need a recommendation or supporting letter from their head of department.
- Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived if students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English-speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements.
The information on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams before applying whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. Less commonly encountered qualifications will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.
Duration: 1 year
Start dates: September 2024
Learning, teaching, and assessment
All teaching and learning materials are hosted on Blackboard – a virtual teaching environment – as you will be taught via a blended learning approach combining individual and directed learning with scheduled seminars and workshops to complement your learning. You will be provided with a clear plan per study module with assessments aligned to the module learning outcomes.
It will be the candidate’s responsibility to negotiate the studies days and attendance to the program activities with his/her department.
Dedicated support systems are in place from across the University, and this program benefits from a guest lecture series. Your scheduled time on campus provides you with the opportunity to discuss learning and participate in group activities.
Although this will depend upon the individual, a typical student can expect to spend around 10 hours a week throughout the duration of the course, equivalent to 500 hours of study in total.
Modules are primarily assessed via coursework, so you can benchmark your abilities early on and develop your skills in managing your learning.
Programme director: Dr Valia Rodríguez-Rodríguez
• Nisha Dhanda
• Zahra Gill
• Dr Amanda Hall
• Saira Hussain
• Dr Helen Pryce
• Peter Bill
• Dr Andrew Lawley
• William McDevitt
• Dr Valia Rodríguez-Rodríguez
• Prof. Stefano Seri
The Neurophysiology PgCert programme is designed for individuals already in professional practice seeking to advance their skills to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of patients and gain a deeper understanding of their clinical neurophysiology practice area or develop knowledge in new areas.
Demands for assessment and treatment services are set to rise substantially over the coming years. As a graduate of this course, you will be well-placed to develop careers in hospitals, community-based practice, and related research areas. Previous graduates have become advanced practitioners or service section leaders.
The programme is designed to meet the NHS’s requirements and builds on Aston’s established links and extensive experience in health education.
Speak to our Admissions Team
If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:
Email: [email protected]
Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm BST)
Becoming a Clinical Neurophysiologist
Clinical neurophysiologists are highly trained medical professionals who perform complex diagnostic tests to help physicians understand and treat neurological disorders. To become a clinical neurophysiologist, you should follow these steps:
- Educational Background: Begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as biology, chemistry, or neuroscience. Following your undergraduate studies, you’ll need to pursue a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, which typically takes four years.
- Medical Residency: After completing medical school, you’ll undertake a medical residency in neurology, which usually lasts three to four years. During your residency, you will gain hands-on experience in diagnosing and treating various neurological conditions.
- Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology: To specialize in clinical neurophysiology, you’ll need to complete a fellowship program, which can take an additional one to two years. During this period, you’ll gain expertise in conducting and interpreting tests such as electroencephalograms (EEGs), electromyography (EMG), and nerve conduction studies.
- Licensure and Certification: After completing your medical training, you’ll need to obtain a medical license to practice as a physician. You can also consider becoming board-certified in clinical neurophysiology through the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology (ABCN) or a similar organization in your country.
- Ongoing Professional Development: To stay current in your field, participate in continuing medical education (CME) activities, and engage in research and professional networking.
Becoming a Neurophysiology Technician
Neurophysiology technicians, also known as electroneurodiagnostic technologists, work alongside clinical neurophysiologists, assisting with diagnostic tests and monitoring patients. To become a neurophysiology technician, follow these steps:
- Educational Background: Start by earning a high school diploma or equivalent. Then, enroll in a neurophysiology technology program, which is typically offered by community colleges and vocational schools. These programs typically last one to two years and result in an associate’s degree or a certificate.
- Clinical Training: During your program, you will receive hands-on training in performing neurophysiological tests, such as EEGs, EMGs, and nerve conduction studies.
- Certification: Many employers prefer or require certification. You can pursue certification through organizations like the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine (ABEM) or the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET).
- Continuing Education: Stay up-to-date with advancements in the field by participating in continuing education and attending conferences and workshops.
Clinical Neurophysiology Courses
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in clinical neurophysiology, it’s essential to understand the coursework and education involved. Key topics covered in clinical neurophysiology courses typically include:
- Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System: Understanding the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
- Neurophysiological Testing: Learning how to conduct tests like EEG, EMG, and nerve conduction studies.
- Neurological Disorders: Studying various neurological conditions and their diagnostic procedures.
- Patient Care and Ethics: Developing essential skills in patient communication, bedside manner, and understanding ethical considerations in healthcare.
- Interpretation of Test Results: Gaining the expertise to interpret test results and collaborate with physicians to diagnose and treat patients.
Becoming a Nerve Conduction Technician
A nerve conduction technician is a specialized role within the field of neurophysiology, primarily focusing on nerve conduction studies. The path to becoming a nerve conduction technician involves these steps:
- Educational Background: Start by completing a high school diploma or equivalent. While some employers may hire candidates with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, pursuing formal education can enhance your prospects.
- Neurophysiology Program: Enroll in a neurophysiology program that specifically covers nerve conduction studies and associated techniques. These programs often result in a certificate.
- Clinical Training: Gain hands-on experience in conducting nerve conduction studies under the guidance of experienced professionals.
- Certification: Pursue certification through organizations like the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) or the American Association of Electrodiagnostic Technologists (AAET).
- Continuing Education: Stay updated with advances in nerve conduction techniques and equipment through continuous learning and professional development opportunities.
In conclusion, a career in clinical neurophysiology, as a clinical neurophysiologist, neurophysiology technician, or nerve conduction technician, requires dedication, education, and practical training. The path you choose will depend on your career goals, the level of responsibility you desire, and your passion for the field of neurophysiology. Whether diagnosing neurological disorders or conducting nerve conduction studies, these careers play a crucial role in improving the lives of patients with neurological conditions.