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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 or an apprenticeship.


You'll need a first or upper second class honours (2:1) degree in a subject related to the specialist area you want to work in. For example:

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

Practitioner Training Programme

Alternatively, you could apply for the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) to get a degree in healthcare science.

Scientific Training Programme

Once you have your degree, you could apply for the NHS Scientific Training Programme (STP). This programme will train you to become a qualified clinical scientist with a master’s degree.

There are 2 different ways to apply for the Scientific Training Programme depending on your current circumstances.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and physics
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information


You might be able to start by doing a higher or degree apprenticeship.

You could do a:

  • healthcare science associate higher apprenticeship
  • healthcare practitioner degree apprenticeship
  • clinical science degree apprenticeship

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

More Information


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. You could work in clinical bioinformatics, life sciences, physical sciences and biomedical engineering or physiological sciences

Depending on your area you could:

  • research, develop and test methods of diagnosing and treatment
  • collect and analyse complex data to help develop treatments
  • assess different parts of the body to diagnose abnormalities
  • advise medical staff of how to use products and equipment
  • investigate the causes of illness or death
  • study cells or diagnose and analyse blood disorders

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 Clinical Engineer

  • Wage: Competitive salary Annually
  • Location: Herries Road, Sheffield

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

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