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Radiotherapy physics

Radiotherapy is the treatment of cancer with high energy radiation, such as x-rays.

Training and qualifications required

Appropriate A-levels (including science) or equivalent level-3 qualifications for entry into the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP); through the NHS Scientist Training Programme 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; or with experience as a registered clinical scientist to enter NHS Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST).

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 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, including Higher Specialist Scientist Training, 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

Effective communication skills, an interest in science and technology, comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment, meticulous 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 (eg proton beam therapy), management, research, or teaching.
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