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About the programme

The Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) is a five year programme available to registered and experienced clinical scientists who may be interested in training to become a consultant clinical scientist. The work-based training programme is equivalent to the standards of training undertaken by medical postgraduate trainees and gives trainees the possibility of gaining Medical Royal College qualifications.

A detailed description of the HSST programme and its development is available in Scaling the Heights: an overview of Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) in Healthcare Science. You can also read the HSST Life Sciences Joint Statement that sets out the key features of the programme and details of the HSST curricula.

The documents below contain details about the programme and how to apply and what skills and experience you will need to be able to apply to the programme.

There are two routes of entry into the HSST:

Direct entry - apply for a newly advertised post in an accredited training department. To qualify for direct entry you will not be currently employed by the NHS (if you are employed by the NHS you must resign from your position if you receive an unconditional offer). You will follow the whole programme full time through to award (except for any exemptions details of which are available in our FAQs), whilst occupying a fixed-term five year training contract with a host organisation.

In service - you are nominated by your current employer to move into an existing post. To qualify for in service entry you will already be employed as a clinical scientist and have your employers support to undertake the HSST programme. Your employer will stay the same throughout the progrmme which you will complete full time through to award (except for any exemptions details of which are available in our FAQs).

The specialisms

Clinical Bioinformatics

  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics)
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Health Informatics)
  • Clinical Bioinformatics (Physical Sciences)

Life Sciences (completion of the HSST will also include the Fellowship Examination from the Royal College of Pathologists)

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Immunology
  • Genetics
  • Haematology
  • Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Pathology of Acquired Disease
  • Reproductive Science
  • Virology

Physical Sciences

  • Clinical Biomedical Engineering
  • Medical Physics (which includes diagnostic imaging sciences and radiotherapy physics)

Physiological Sciences

  • Audiological Science
  • Cardiac Science
  • Neurophysiological Science
  • Respiratory and Sleep Physiological Sciences