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Modernising Scientific Careers

Modernising Scientific Careers

Careers and training in healthcare science have been revitalised by the Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) programme. Training is more consistent and patient focused, allowing trainees at all levels to gain practical and engaging workplace experience as soon as they start, coupled with academic learning.

Training and education programmes

MSC introduces training programmes at four main career levels for the healthcare science workforce.

These are supported by workplace-based assessment tools, assessment of equivalent learning and development of academic careers.

NHS Practitioner Training Programme

Undergraduate training for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) will lead to an approved and accredited BSc honours degree in one of five themes of healthcare science:

  • cardiovascular, respiratory and sleep sciences (cardiac physiology, respiratory and sleep physiology)
  • neurosensory sciences (audiology, neurophysiology, ophthalmic and vision science)
  • life sciences (blood sciences, infection sciences, tissue and cellular diagnostics, genetic )
  • medical physics technology (radiotherapy physics, radiation physics, nuclear medicine)
  • clinical engineering (medical engineering, radiation engineering, renal technology, rehabilitation engineering).

Learning will be delivered through approved and accredited BSc honours degrees that integrate academic learning and workplace-based training. These degrees will include 50 weeks of workplace-based training over three years with a broad scientific training in the first two years, followed by specialisation in year 2 or 3.

NHS Scientist Training Programme

Postgraduate training for the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) will lead to a specifically commissioned and accredited master's degree and certification of workplace-based training following one of seven themed pathways:

  • infection sciences (general microbiology including infection control and epidemiology, mycology, virology, bacteriology and parasitology)
  • blood sciences (clinical biochemistry, haematology/transfusion science, immunology, genetics)
  • cellular sciences (histopathology, cytopathology, reproductive science, genetics)
  • neurosensory sciences (audiological science, neurophysiological science, ophthalmic and vision science)
  • cardiovascular¬† respiratory and sleep sciences with gastrointestinal physiology and urodynamics (cardiac science, respiratory and sleep sciences, vascular science, gastrointestinal physiology and urodynamics)
  • clinical engineering (rehabilitation engineering, clinical measurement and development, device risk management and governance)
  • medical physics (radiation physics, radiotherapy physics, imaging with ionising radiation, imaging with non-ionising radiation).

Learning is delivered through approved and accredited three years of workplace-based training, with the first year in a range of settings before specialisation. Scientist trainees will also be required to undertake a specifically commissioned master's degree in their chosen area. The structure of the STP is shown in the diagram below.


NHS higher specialist scientific training

NHS higher specialist scientific training (HSST) will be a training programme similar to medical consultant training, leading to medical royal college examinations where these exist and may have a doctoral award.