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Cells are often called the 'building blocks of life' and most are only visible under a microscope.
Training and qualifications required
Two entry points: (1) as a Healthcare Science Practitioner through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking an accredited BSc degree in Healthcare Science (Cellular Science). You’ll need appropriate level-3 qualifications to get onto one of these courses (2) For the NHS Scientist Training Programme you’ll need a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a pure or applied science subject relevant to cellular sciences. If you have a relevant 2.2 honours degree, you’ll also be considered if you have a higher degree in a subject relevant to cellular sciences. Evidence of research experience is desirable.
Expected working hours and salary range
Staff in the NHS will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. Healthcare science staff working in cellular sciences may earn salaries between Agenda for Change bands 5 and 9, depending on the role and level of responsibility. So for example, as a healthcare science practitioner, you’d usually start on band 5, with opportunities to progress to more senior positions. Trainee clinical scientists train at band 6 level, and qualified clinical scientists are generally appointed at band 7. With experience and further qualifications, you could apply for posts up to band 9. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
An interest in science and technology; good communication skills; comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment; attention to detail; good interpersonal skills and effective team player.
There are opportunities in cellular sciences to develop your career through further study and experience and then apply for roles in management, research, teaching and further specialisation.