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Infection sciences

Infection science focuses on such areas as clinical microbiology, immunology, parasitology and virology.

Training and qualifications required

There are two entry points - with A-levels in at least two subjects (including science) or equivalent level-3 qualifications to apply for an accredited BSc degree in healthcare science (infection sciences) to enter the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) or through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP) for which you’ll need a 1st or 2.1 either in an undergraduate honours degree or an integrated master’s degree in a relevant pure or applied science subject. 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 the specialism for which you are applying. Evidence of research experience is desirable

Expected working hours and salary range

NHS staff will usually work a standard 37.5 hours per week. They may work a shift pattern. Most jobs in the NHS are covered by the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay scales. If you work in infection sciences, you will typically be in a post between AfC bands 5 and 9, depending on the precise role and level of responsibility. 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 able to work as part of a team.

Prospects

With further training or experience or both, you may be able to develop your career further and apply for vacancies in areas such as further specialisation, management, research, or teaching.
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