An overview of the HSST programme

Key information about the HSST programme for new trainees.


The HSST is a 5-year academic and workplace-based training programme equivalent in status and challenge to medical registrar training. The programme is a collaboration between the School, the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) consortium and the professional body The Royal College of Pathologists.

The aim of the programme is to enable participants to gain the skills necessary to become a consultant clinical scientist, mastering higher scientific knowledge and clinical competence. You will be expected to achieve personal and professional development in leadership, teaching, values, attitudes and behaviours appropriate for higher professional practice. There is a requirement for a contribution to innovation and improvement through service delivery, patient safety and care, public communication/outreach and quality management.

Watch the video below in which Jan Taylor, a current Clinical Bioinformatics HSST trainee, outlines her experience of the challenges and benefits of the HSST programme.


The main components of the programme

The standard of education and training is based on the Academy of Healthcare Science’s Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency. Both the academic and the work-based training will involve considerable amounts of self-directed and independent learning in which you will be encouraged to be continuously reflective and innovative. You will be expected to develop and increasingly demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a consultant clinical scientist.

The work-based training component of HSST will require that you plan a bespoke programme of activity in your workplace, negotiated along with your supervisor, and that you record this activity in your e-portfolio, mapping the evidence of activity to the domains and standards of the Higher Specialist Scientist Standards of Proficiency.

The academic component of HSST, the Doctor of Clinical Science, DClinSci is a Research Degree meeting QAA Level 8 criteria and FQ-EHEA for doctoral degrees. It includes within its structured elements, an emphasis on the candidate acquiring skills relevant to professional practice, in addition to producing original research.

The five-year programme will equate to 540 credits split across the three sections of the programme, namely:

  • Leadership and Professional Development
  • Specialist Scientific Clinical Programme and Research
  • Development and Innovation

Watch the video below in which Ronnie Wright, a Genomics HSST trainee, summarises his experience of the HSST programme.


Last updated on 3rd September 2021