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About the programme

The Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a three year training programme that includes work-based and academic learning. Whilst on the programme you will also complete a part-time master's degree at the university offering your chosen specialism. The aim of the STP is to attract, select and retain the very best people to clinical scientist posts.

The documents below outline all of the relevant details about the role of a healthcare scientist trainee and what skills and experience you will need to be able to apply to the programme. You can also visit our section on entry requirements for the STP which covers eligibility and degree information.

There are two routes of entry into the STP:

Direct entry - you will complete the full-time (except for any exemptions) three year programme and be employed at a local level by the organisation you are allocated to; your fixed term training contract will be salaried at circa £26,000. You will have a maximum of two choices of specialism to apply for and as many choices of location/employer as is available for your chosen specialism. 

In-service entry - to apply for an in-service position you will already be working in your desired specialism and your employer will already have the following in place:

  • a nomination from your current employer for the STP
  • arrangements for training at your current employment

Once you begin to make your application you will need an 'in-service code' which you will receive from your employer. If you work in the NHS but do not have these arrangements already in place, you must apply for the STP via the direct entry route.

The specialisms

The programme offers specialisms based around the following areas:

  • Andrology
  • Audiology
  • Cardiac Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics)
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Health Informatics)
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Physical Sciences)
  • Clinical Engineering including: Rehabilitation Engineering, Clinical Measurement and Development and Device Risk Management and Governance
  • Clinical Immunology
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
  • Critical Care Science
  • Gastrointestinal Physiology
  • Genomics (formerly Genetics)
  • Genomic Counselling (formerly Genetic Counselling)
  • Haematology and Transfusion Science
  • Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • Histopathology
  • Medical Physics including: Imaging with Ionising Radiation, Imaging Non Ionising Radiation, Radiation Safety Physics and Radiotherapy Physics
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Neurophysiology
  • Reproductive Science
  • Respiratory and Sleep Sciences
  • Urodynamic Science
  • Vascular Science

A full list of the 2019 specialisms is available on the 'STP Specialisms by location' page. The information on this page is updated regularly, therefore we recommend that applicants re-visit this page on a regular basis to check the specialisms information before submitting their final application.

You can find a full outline of these specialisms on the Health Careers website.

Once accepted into your chosen specialism you would spend approximately a year in clinical rotations, before spending the rest of your training focusing on a specialism within your training pathway.

The academic part of the programme

The accompanying master's degree is theme based with specialist and generic modules eg. a MSc in Blood Science with a specialism in Clinical Biochemistry. The generic elements include items such as:

  • professionalism
  • patient and carer perspectives
  • ethics
  • communication skills
  • research project.

STP Competition ratios 2014  - 2018

Click here for information on how many applicants per specialism applied for direct entry posts from years from 2014 to 2018. Also available is the data showing the number of posts available, the number of applicants and the competition ratio.

Healthcare Science driving innovation in the NHS

This short animation from the North West Healthcare Science network explores how healthcare science is transforming patient care and helping to drive innovation and new technology forward.