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Healthcare Sciences

People working within healthcare science provide vital help with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a range of medical conditions. With a role spanning academic research, working to innovate the sector and transforming patient services, the work of Healthcare Scientists within both the NHS and public health services forms the basis of a large percentage of medical diagnoses and constantly strives to improve patient outcomes.

Read more about the main branches of healthcare science (which themselves can be broken down to more than 50 specialisms), and entry requirements for job roles, by clicking below:

Clinical Bioinformatics

Those working within Clinical Bioinformatics support the delivery of top-quality patient care by developing and improving ways to capture, store, organise and analyse biological data, and using computer software to generate useful biological knowledge.

Informatics within healthcare science can be categorised into three unique areas: genomics (ascertaining the best treatment for patients based on their genetic make-up), health informatics (combining computing with information science, medicine and biology) and physical sciences (design and use of equipment and software to study and process biological data).

Typical entry requirements:

  • Requirements vary based on specific role and course
  • You will likely need a 1st or a 2:1 relevant honour’s degree to apply for training places on, e.g. the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP), or be a registered, experienced clinical scientist for the High Specialist Scientist Training
    • You may also be considered for training places with a 2:2 depending on the specific degree subject completed and specialism applying for
  • Demonstrable understanding of science, and of informatics in a clinical setting, is advantageous
  • Evidence of research experience is also desirable
  • Experience of working within a relevant environment is also useful for applications

Life Sciences

This area of healthcare can largely be categorised into the three sections below:

  • Genetics – understanding illnesses from a genetic perspective
  • Pathology – testing patient samples (such as blood and tissue) to determine the cause and progression of illnesses and thereby, the best treatments
  • Reproductive Science – providing solutions to infertility (e.g. helping couples with IVF)

Those working within life sciences may be based in hospital laboratories, community clinics, or other organisations (e.g. Public Health England or NHS Blood and Transplant).

Entry roles can vary from organisation to organisation, and some training will usually be provided when you start the job. If you’re looking at a specific role and have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Physiological Sciences

Healthcare staff within the Physiological Sciences evaluate how different body systems work, diagnose abnormalities and advise on (and provide) long and short-term therapy and care solutions using specialist equipment and advanced technology. This kind of role will usually involve direct interaction with patients, within hospital clinics, in the community, in schools or in patients’ homes.

This could include vascular or cardiac science, neurophysiology, audiology or ophthalmic/vision science, gastrointestinal physiology, sleep science, respiratory physiology and much more.

Typical entry requirements:

  • Requirements vary notably based on specific role and course
  • For trainee courses or positions, you may need variety of qualifications ranging from:
    • GCSEs (or equivalent)
    • A-Levels (or equivalent)
    • A relevant honours degree (e.g. in a science subject)
    • Prior experience as a clinical scientist

Physical Sciences and Clinical Engineering

This area of healthcare science is concerned with measuring processes within the body, finding new ways to diagnose and treat diseases, and ensuring that equipment for monitoring patients (such as for ultrasound, radiation, magnetic/electromagnetic and optical imaging) is functioning effectively and safely. The majority of workforce will be based within specialist departments in hospitals, but some work directly with patients in their own homes.

Typical entry requirements:

  • You can enter this field at graduate or undergraduate level
  • To apply for the relevant NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) course, you will need 2 or 3 A-Levels (including science) / GCSEs (A-C/4-9)
  • For graduate-level NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP), you’ll need a 1st or 2:1 (either undergrad honours degree or integrated master’s in pure or applied science)
    • You may also be considered for training places with a 2:2 depending on the specific degree subject completed and specialism applying for