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About the programme

STP 2018 applications are now closed

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 AFC Band 6. 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
  • whether you will complete the STP full-time (except for any exemptions) or part-time over an extended period of time no longer than five years.

Please note: most applicants will need to apply to the direct entry vacancy should they feel they meet the eligibility as outlined in the person specification. The in-service vacancy is only for those applicants whose employer have a commissioned post as agreed with Health Education England's local team and lead commissioner, and are nominated by their employer and will be working in the department of the specialism they want to train in.

The specialisms

The programme offers specialisms based around the following areas:

  • Andrology
  • Audiology
  • Cancer Genomics
  • Cardiac Science
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics)
  • 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
  • Gastrointestinal Physiology
  • Genomics (formerly Genetics)
  • Genomic Counselling (formerly Genetic Counselling)
  • Haematology and Transfusion Science
  • Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • Medical Physics including: Imaging with Ionising Radiation, Imaging Non Ionising Radiation, Radiation Safety Physics and Radiotherapy Physics
  • Neurophysiology
  • Ophthalmic and Vision Sciences
  • Reconstructive Science 
  • Reproductive Science
  • Respiratory and Sleep Sciences
  • Vascular Science

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 for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Click here for information on how many applicants per specialism applied for direct entry posts from years from 2014 to 2017. 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.