Entry requirements

Last Updated: 21st September 2020

This is the entry requirement information for Scientist Training Programme applicants.

General entry requirements

The degree

To apply to the programme you must have a 1st or 2:1 in either an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree, in a pure or applied science subject. The degree subject must be relevant to the specialism for which you are applying. Science degrees related to medicine may also be considered suitable for some of the specialisms.

However you may also apply if you have a 2:2 honours degree in any subject and you also have a higher degree in a subject that is relevant to the specialism you wish to apply for.

If you haven’t yet received your degree results when making your application, you will need to provide us with your predicted results. Your predicted results must still be a 1st or 2:1 otherwise your application will not be considered. If your final results do not meet these requirements any offers made will be withdrawn. When you have received your final degree result, please email us to confirm your grade within 5 days of being notified by your university.

Any postgraduate qualifications that have been included in your application must have been successfully awarded by the start of the programme.

Skills and knowledge

Review the job description and person specification to make sure that you have the skills and knowledge required for the specialism you wish to apply for. Make sure you add any work experience, including voluntary work, to the supporting information section of the application.

Research experience

Evidence of any research experience is also desirable. This can be in the form of a higher degree or equivalent evidence of a scientific/academic basis. Postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates are not accepted. Visit the Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree Awarding Bodies (Level 7 – page 17) for a definition of what is a higher degree.

Relevant degrees

Due to the extensive variation in degrees it is not possible for us to provide a definitive list of relevant degrees but the most commonly accepted degrees are:

Life Sciences

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry

Genomic Counselling

One of the biological or equivalent sciences, Nursing, Midwifery or psychology. If your degree did not include a genetics module, we would advise you to have completed a short course in genetics. Experience working in a caring role is imperative to understand the role and candidates are unlikely to be shortlisted without this. This may be through previous professional work (e.g. nursing/social work) or in a related voluntary capacity (e.g. a patient support group or telephone counselling service) and should be equivalent to 6-months full-time work. Awareness of, or basic training in counselling skills may also be advantageous. Your application will be strengthened if you use the supporting information section of the application form to describe this experience; please also include the duration. You should also reflect on the insights it has given you, which are relevant to genomic counselling.

Clinical Bioinformatics

Mathematics (at least A level standard)

Clinical Bioinformatics (Genomics)

  • Genetics
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Health Informatics (degree courses with significant IT content or equivalent).

Clinical Bioinformatics (Health Informatics)

  • Genetics
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Health Informatics (degree courses with significant IT content or equivalent).

Clinical Bioinformatics (Physical Sciences)

  • Computer Science
  • Scientific Engineering
  • Mathematics (that contains a significant level of mathematical and computer programming knowledge and skills).

Clinical Pharmaceutical Science

  • Chemistry
  • Life/Biological Sciences which are Chemistry related (e.g. Biochemistry or Pharmacology)
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmacy.

Applicants do not require a Pharmacy degree but this specialism is open to those with a Pharmacy qualification.

Physiological Sciences 

  • Physiology
  • Pure or Applied Physics
  • Engineering
  • Biology or Human Biology
  • Sports Science (if significant scientific content)

Physical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering

If you are applying for either the Medical Physics or Clinical Engineering specialisms and are a successful applicant, you may be allocated to a post which may have a predetermined relevant specialism or one in which the specialism will be decided after the first year of training.

Clinical Engineering

  • Pure or Applied Physics
  • Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

A relevant Engineering degree is one whose content would satisfy the majority of the Engineering Council’s requirements as stated in their guidelines under ’The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence’

Medical Physics

A degree that contains a high level of physics and whose content would satisfy the majority of the Institute of Physics requirements as stated in their guidelines. The Institute also publishes a register of accredited courses.

Reconstructive Science

A relevant Dental Technology qualification that enables Dental Technician registration with the General Dental Council. Applicants must have the registration by the start date of the programme.

We are unable to advise further on degree relevance. If you successfully get through the initial application stages, the national shortlisting panels will judge which applicants closely match the person specification.

International qualifications

If you hold an international qualification and get through to the interview stage, you will need to provide UK NARIC equivalence. Visit the Gov.uk website for further information on degree equivalence from NARIC and the Overseas Degree Equivalency section.

Applying to the programme from outside the UK

Before you make your application visit the UK Visas and Immigration Service  to check whether or not you are eligible to apply. You must also make sure that you have established your right to work in the UK for the full three years of the programme and you must have this in place for the start date of the programme.

If you require a Tier 2 visa to work and train in the UK as a healthcare scientist visit the Home Office website for the latest guidance. Should you be successful and receive an offer, this will be based on you meeting the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT).

Information for applicants from the EU in relation to the UK leaving Europe

The UK is in the process of leaving the European Union. This means that freedom of movement will be affected. However, the NHS will continue to welcome trainees from across Europe.

If you are an EU citizen some points to be considered are:

  • If an agreement is reached with the EU, you will continue to be able to move to the UK to work and study until 2021, with the same rights as is current today.
  • If you already live in the UK, you will be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • If you have continuously lived in the UK for more than five years, you will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (equivalent to indefinite leave to remain).
  • If you have lived in the UK for less than five years you will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ and can upgrade to ‘settled status’ when you have been here for five years.

Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme will be free to all from 30 March 2019. Any payment made for an application before this date will be refunded.

In the event that an agreement is not reached, there will be a transition period once free movement ends and before the UK’s new immigration system begins in 2021. During this transition period, newly arriving EU citizens will still be able to enter the UK for an initial stay of up to three months and will be able to visit, work or study without applying for a visa. However they will not be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens who wish to stay longer than three months will need to apply to the Home Office for leave to remain within three months of arrival. Subject to identity, criminality and security checks, leave to remain will be granted for 36 months which will include permission to work and study. This will be non-extendable, temporary leave so those who wish to stay longer-term will need to apply in due course under the future border and immigration system arrangements. There may be some who do not qualify under the new arrangements and who will need to leave the UK when their leave expires. Visit the Government website for the latest details.

Level of English competency required

You must have the required level of communication skills to enable you to undertake the role effectively and deliver safe care to patients. You must also be able to demonstrate that you can achieve the standards set for clinical scientists by the  Health and Care Professions Council.

Ways to demonstrate you meet these standards include:

  • Being a national of a majority English speaking country or have worked in an organisation/institution where English was the primary language.
  • Pursued as part of your education in the UK.
  • Hold a degree or relevant educational qualification that was taught in English by a recognised institution abroad.
  • Pass an English language competency test.

If English is not your first language, you will also have to demonstrate to the Higher Education Institution (HEI) that you have the necessary knowledge of English to meet the entry requirements and enrol on the MSc course.

If you require a Tier 2 visa to apply to the programme, you will have already needed to demonstrate your English language skills as part of the visa application process. Therefore all you need to do is provide evidence that you passed this test set by the  Home Office.