Since the launch of the HSST programme in 2014 there has often been confusion regarding the pathways available for trainees who may have pre-existing doctoral qualifications. This situation is further complicated for Life Science trainees with respect to the requirement to attain Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath) in order to achieve successful completion of the HSST programme

Components of the professional doctorate

All HSST trainees including those in Life Sciences undertake a Doctoral Research and Innovation in Clinical Science module of the professional doctorate. HSST trainees in Life Sciences may then optionally choose to take the full Professional Doctorate requiring completion of Sections A and C the Research Project Module or they may choose to undertake solely Section A and exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Professionalism for Healthcare Sciences.

Those HSST trainees with a research doctorate (PhD) should note that this is not admissible in lieu of Section C of the professional doctorate but may be allowable as evidence against the research requirement of FRCPath Part 2.

The engagement of Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) by Health Education England (HEE) to deliver the Professional Doctorate programme has seen further discussions between the College, School and MAHSE and further agreement that:

  • MAHSE partner Universities will accept a pass in the FRCPath Part 1 examination in a relevant specialty in place of the Professional Doctorate (DClinSci) Section B.
  • The Royal College of Pathologists will accept the research component of the Professional Doctorate (DClinSci) in a relevant specialty as the written option for the FRCPath Part 2.
  • The National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) will work with MAHSE in the delivery of the Innovation Project report and that trainees could utilise elements from FRCPath Part 2 as the basis of their ICS Project report.

Section A

Leadership and Professional Development

Section B

Specialist Scientific Clinical Programme

Section C

Research, Development and Innovation

  • Module: Research Project
  • Module: Doctoral Research and Innovation in Clinical Science

Entry to HSST programme for Life Sciences

The HSST trainee in Life Sciences therefore completes the workplace learning, Innovation Project and fulfils the requirements of the FRCPath examination to meet all the learning objectives of the College HSST curriculum and successfully exits the HSST programme as is summarised in the pathway diagram below. 

Graphic showing the HSST Life Sciences pathway

Fig. HSST Life Sciences pathway

Entry to HSST programme for Physical Sciences and Physiological Sciences

All HSST trainees in Physical and Physiological Sciences are normally required to undertake a ‘Common Pathway’ completing all sections of the DClinSci and the Workplace Learning and exiting HSST with a DClinSci. 

An ‘Alternate Pathway’ for those with an appropriate research doctorate (PhD) is available which requires completion of all components of the DClinSci other than the research project. However since the research doctorate (PhD) is not admissible in lieu of Section C of the professional doctorate those trainees opting to follow this pathway exit HSST solely with a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership and Professionalism for Healthcare Sciences. 

Graphic showing the HSST Physical and Physiological Sciences pathway

Fig. HSST Physical and Physiological Sciences pathway