1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Clinical scientist

Clinical scientist

Alternative titles for this job include Healthcare scientist

Clinical scientists research and develop techniques and equipment to help prevent, diagnose and treat illness.

Average salary (a year)

£35,000 Starter


£68,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a clinical scientist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • an NHS training programme for non-graduates


You can do a degree to start your training as a clinical scientist. 

Subjects include:

  • life sciences
  • biology or biochemistry
  • genetics
  • biomedical science
  • medical physics

After completing your degree, you can apply for the NHS Scientific Training Programme (STP). During the 3-year programme, you'll combine employment in the NHS with study for a postgraduate master's degree.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You could apply for a place on a higher or degree apprenticeship, such as:

  • Healthcare Science Associate Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • Healthcare Practitioner Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship
  • Clinical Science Level 7 Postgraduate Apprenticeship

When you finish your apprenticeship, you can apply to join one of the NHS training programmes and continue your training to become a clinical scientist.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Other Routes

If you do not have a degree, you could apply to join the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP).

During the 3-year programme, you'll be employed in the NHS and study for an accredited university degree in healthcare science.

If you work as a healthcare science associate in the NHS, you may be able to apply for a place on the PTP.

More Information


Career tips

When looking to join an NHS training programme or an apprenticeship, you'll be expected to have an understanding of how NHS values apply in your work.

Further information

You can find out more about how to become a clinical scientist from Health Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • science skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

There are 4 main areas of clinical science. Depending on your area you could:

  • analyse data from genetic material to trace how diseases develop
  • research and test methods to improve diagnoses and treatments
  • assess abnormalities in different parts of the body
  • study cells or diagnose and analyse blood disorders
  • investigate the causes of illness or death
  • instruct medical staff on how to use instruments and equipment

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, in a laboratory or at a university.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Audiologist

  • Wage: £22,816.00 Annually
  • Location: Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

Courses In England

Biomedical Science

  • Start date: 05 September 2024
  • Location: Lincoln

L3 Edexcel Applied Biomedical Science

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Filton

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.