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Careers in healthcare science

Careers in healthcare science

There are a variety of different jobs within the healthcare science sector of the NHS and staff will work in four broad areas:

Life sciences

Life sciences is divided into four areas -

  • blood diagnostic services
  • infection sciences
  • tissue and cellular science
  • genetics. 

The life sciences play a crucial role in helping to improve understanding of illnesses and their treatment. Working in this area, may mean being responsible for developing new treatments for common medical problems, such as infertility or allergies. You will also work with doctors to choose the most appropriate treatment.

The majority of your time will be spent in hospital laboratories but you might also work on hospital wards or in the community.  Genetics staff are often based in specialist hospitals.

Find out more about careers in the life sciences

Physiological sciences

Staff in the physiological sciences work with patients directly and identify problems with the way that the body works. You would use the very latest techniques and equipment to identify any abnormalities and help to restore body functions - such as problems with hearing, heart and lungs, gastro-intestinal tract or the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Most scientists in this area work in hospitals, where you could be based in clinics, departments or operating theatres. However, you could work in a community setting, such as at a health centre or visiting patients in their own homes or at school. You'll work with patients of all ages, from newborn babies to the elderly.

Find out more about careers in the physiological sciences

Clinical engineering and medical physics

Staff in clinical engineering and medical physics work with other NHS clinical teams to ensure their equipment, such as renal dialysis machines, is working safely and effectively.

You'll also be responsible for developing new techniques and technology to measure what is happening in the body and to diagnose and treat disease. This might include ultrasound, radiation, magnetic resonance or clinical photography.

You might also develop techniques to design artificial limbs and body parts or improve facial reconstruction for those involved in accidents or born with disabilities.

Find out more about careers in clinical engineering and medical physics


Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field responsible for developing and improving methods for acquiring, storing, organising and analysing biological data that supports the delivery of patient care.

Find out more about careers in bioinformatics