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Entry requirements

General entry requirements

To apply for the programme you must have a 1st or 2:1 either in an undergraduate honours degree, or an integrated master's degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to the specialism for which you are applying. Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree or better in any subject, will also be considered if they have a higher degree that is relevant to the specialism for which they are applying. Evidence of research experience in the form of a higher degree or equivalent evidence of a scientific/academic basis is also desirable. Please note that a higher degree is as defined by The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies (Level 7 - page 17). Please note this does not include Postgraduate diplomas or Postgraduate Certificates.

If you are an applicant for STP places in reconstructive sciences (maxillofacial prosthetics), you must hold current registration as a dental technician with the General Dental Council.

Also, science degrees related to medicine may also be considered suitable for some specialisms, if they are relevant to the specialism or theme for which you are applying.

Make sure that you review the job description and person specification to ensure that you match the skills and knowledge required for the specialism you wish to apply for. Entry to the STP is highly competitive and you are more likely to succeed if you apply for a specialism that is relevant to your degree. Make sure you add any work experience, voluntary and/or non-voluntary, to the supporting information section of the application information.

If you are currently studying and your predicted grades indicate you will achieve a 2:1 or higher you may still apply to the programme.  You will need to provide us with your predicted degree grade in your application; please note that your application will only be considered if you go on to achieve a 1st or 2.1. If you do not achieve your predicted results you will no longer meet the entry requirements and any offers that have been made will be withdrawn. Once you have received your degree result please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to confirm your grade, within 5 days of being notified by your university.

Any postgraduate qualifications that you have included in your application must be successfully awarded by the start of the programme. Applicants for STP places in reconstructive sciences (maxillofacial prosthetics) must hold current registration as a dental technician with the General Dental Council. 

What is classed as a relevant degree?

Due to the extensive variation in degrees it is not possible for us to provide a definitive list of relevant degrees but the most commonly accepted degrees are:

  • Life Sciences - biomedical sciences, biology, microbiology, genetics or biochemistry.
  • Genomic Counselling - one of the biological or equivalent sciences, nursing, midwifery or psychology. If your degree did not include a genetics module, we would advise you to have completed a short course in genetics. Experience working in a caring role is imperative to understand the role and candidates are unlikely to be shortlisted without this. This may be through previous professional work (e.g. nursing/social work) or in a related voluntary capacity (e.g. a patient support group or telephone counselling service) and should be equivalent to 6-months full-time work. Awareness of, or basic training in counselling skills may also be advantageous. Your application will be strengthened if you use the supporting information section of the application form to describe this experience; please also include the duration. You should also reflect on the insights it has given you, which are relevant to genomic counselling. 
  • Clinical Bioinformatics - mathematics (at least A level standard)
    • Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics) - genetics, biology, computer science, health informatics (degree courses with significant IT content or equivalent).
    • Clinical Bioinformatics (Health Informatics) - genetics, biology, computer science, health informatics (degree courses with significant IT content or equivalent).
    • Clinical Bioinformatics (Physical Sciences) - computer science, scientific, engineering or maths (that contains a significant level of mathematical and computer programming knowledge and skills).
  • Clinical Pharmaceutical Science - chemistry, life/biological sciences which are chemistry related (e.g. biochemistry or pharmacology), pharmaceutical sciences or pharmacy. Applicants do not require a pharmacy degree but this specialism is open to those with a pharmacy qualification. 
  • Physiological Sciences - physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology or human biology, sports science (if significant scientific content).
  • Physical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering - if you are applying for either the medical physics or clinical engineering specialisms and are a successful applicant, you may be allocated to a post which may have a predetermined relevant specialism or one in which the specialism will be decided after the first year of training.
    • Clinical Engineering - pure or applied physics, engineering and applied mathematics. A relevant engineering degree is one whose content would satisfy the majority of the Engineering Council's requirements as stated in their guidelines under 'The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence' 
    • Medical Physics - a degree that contains a high level of physics and whose content would satisfy the majority of the Institute of Physics requirements as stated in their guidelines. The Institute also publishes a register of accredited courses.
    • Reconstructive Science - The degree required is most likely to be dental technology, but the overriding requirement is that the degree enables subsequent registration as a Dental Technician. Applicants for STP places in reconstructive sciences (maxillofacial prosthetics) must hold current registration as a dental technician with the General Dental Council by the start date of the programme.

Please note that the School is unable to advise further on degree relevance. Should you get through to this stage of the process, the national shortlisting panels will judge which applicants closely match the person specification.

UK NARIC equivalence will need to be provided at the interview stage (if invited for interview) if you hold an international qualification. You can get further information on degree equivalence from NARIC and the Overseas Degree Equivalency section of the website.

You can find further information about eligibility and accepted qualifications on the Health Careers website. 

Can I apply to the STP if I am from outside of the UK?

Before you apply to the STP refer to the UK Visas and Immigration Service to check whether or not you are eligible to apply. You must also make sure that you have established your right to work in the UK for the full duration of the programme.

If you require a Tier 2 visa to work and train in the UK as a healthcare scientist visit the Home Office website for the latest guidance. Should you be successful at the interview stage for the STP any offer made to you will be based on meeting the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).

Please note applicants will need to have the right to work in the UK by the start date of the programme.

Information for applicants from the EU in relation to the UK leaving Europe

You will be aware that the UK is in the process of leaving the European Union. This means freedom of movement will be affected. However, the NHS will continue to welcome and value staff and trainees from Europe as it does the whole world.

From 30 March 2019 the UK will have left the European Union. If an agreement is reached with the EU, then EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK until 2021 on the same basis as you could do today, with the same rights to work and study freely, as you currently do. For EU citizens who already live in the UK, you are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. All EU citizens who have lived in the UK for more than five years continuously will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (equivalent to indefinite leave to remain). If you have lived in the UK for less than five years you will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ and can upgrade this to ‘settled status’ when you have been here for five years. As the Prime Minister announced on 21 January, this process will be free to all from 30 March 2019. Any payment made for an application before this date will be refunded. More information on the settlement scheme can be found here.

In the event that an agreement is not reached, there will be a transition period once free movement ends and before the UK’s new immigration system begins in 2021. During this transition period, newly arriving EU citizens will still be able to enter the UK as they do now for an initial stay of up to three months and will be able to visit, work or study without applying for a visa, but they will not be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. If you want to stay in the UK for longer than three months, you can apply from within the UK for ‘European Temporary Leave to Remain’, which will be granted for a further 36 months, subject to identity, criminality and security checks.

More information will be available soon on the process to register and how the UK’s Future Immigration System will work. To keep up to date, please regularly visit:

What level of English competency is required?

All applicants must have a high enough level of communication skills to enable them to undertake the role effectively and to assure the safe delivery of service to patients. You must also be able to demonstrate that you can achieve the standards set for clinical scientists by the Health and Care Professions Council

Ways to demonstrate you meet these standards include:

  • Be a national of a majority English speaking country or have worked in an organisation/institution where English was the primary language.
  • Pursued as part of your education in the UK.
  • Hold a degree or relevant educational qualification that was taught in English by a recognised institution abroad.
  • Pass an English language competency test.

If your first language is not English, you will also have to demonstrate to the Higher Education Institution (HEI) that you have the necessary knowledge of English to meet the entry requirements to enrol on the MSc course, which is the academic component of the programme.

If you require a Tier 2 visa to apply, you will have already needed to demonstrate your English language skills as part of the visa application process. Therefore all you need to do is provide evidence that you passed this test set by the Home Office.