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Ophthalmic and vision science

Ophthalmic and vision science is the study of disorders of vision, plus diseases of the eye and the visual pathway.

Training and qualifications required

You’ll need two or three A2 or A-levels including science subjects or equivalent level-3 qualifications for the BSc (Hons) healthcare science NHS Practitioner Training Programme, a relevant degree (at a minimum of a 2:1 classification. 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 relevant pure or applied science subject such as physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology or human biology or sports science (if there is significant scientific content). 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. To enter Higher Specialist Scientist Training you'll need to be a registered clinical scientist and have considerable relevant experience.

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. As a healthcare science practitioner, you’d typically start of AfC band 5 and band 6 on the STP. With further experience and qualifications, you could apply for posts up to band 9, depending on the role and level of responsibility. Terms and conditions of service can vary for employers outside the NHS.

Desirable skills and values

Able to show understanding, tolerance and give reassurance to patients, an interest in science and technology, good communication skills, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, pay attention to detail 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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