The academic part of the HSST

Guidance about the academic part of the programme for HSST trainees.


About the DClinSci

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. It also allows individuals to situate professional knowledge developed over time, in a theoretical academic framework and includes a research project embedded within the candidate’s profession.

This Doctoral level academic programme will formalise and facilitate the development of clinical scientists through HSST as they:

  • Create and interpret new knowledge, through original research scholarship requiring advanced academic enquiry.
  • Systematically acquire and apply a substantial body of scientific and clinical knowledge at the forefront of their specialism and embrace the future scientific and technological advances within the field.
  • Systematically acquire, develop and apply the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment as a consultant clinical scientist or equivalent, requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and taking largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations.

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

Trainees will develop the knowledge, skills, experience, behaviours and attitudes required of a clinical leader, in an evolving and rapidly developing health and life sciences sector.

The doctoral-level programme has a modular format, and although successful completion of the programme will lead to the award of a professional doctorate, it is not an essential requirement for those in the life sciences. Clinical scientists in HSST must obtain the FRCPath and the learning outcomes of HSST, including the ICS project to achieve completion of the programme.


Exceptions to the DClinSci

For Life Sciences trainees

Life sciences trainees may complete all, or part of the DClinSci, but although encouraged this is not mandatory providing they can meet all of the HSST requirements via another route. However, life sciences trainees should also be aware of an agreement between MAHSE and RCPath which allows a trainee to follow a dual track qualifications pathway, for completion of FRCPath and DClinSci.

Following an agreement reached with the Royal College of Pathologists for trainees in Life Sciences specialisms, successful completion of FRCPath part 1 can be used to demonstrate the scientific specialist knowledge required for the Doctorate. Similarly the research project undertaken as part of the Professional Doctorate, can be used to demonstrate the required research competencies for FRCPath part 2.

For the Medical Physics Expert Programme

Trainees following the Medical Physics Expert Programme only (MPE), can complete the MPE modules within the first 12 months of their two-year programme.

Any HSST trainees following the MPE with the professional doctorate,  the MPE modules will be completed in year one (three modules) and year two (one module).


Delivering the academic part of the programme

Health Education England (HEE) has engaged the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) consortium to deliver the academic portion of the programme.

The MAHSE HSST consortium consists of the following partner institutions:

  • Aston University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester (lead university)

The innovative consortium model will allow the inclusion of new provider partners where required.

Details of the doctoral programme can be found in the MAHSE programme specification. Further information on the academic component of the HSST programme and the possible recognition of prior experiential learning (APEL) can be obtained directly from the MAHSE administrative office or by telephoning 0161 275 1454.

Last updated on 22nd July 2021