Entry requirements, skills and interests (clinical bioinformatics - genomics)
You’ll need a relevant honours degree to apply for a training place on the Scientist Training Programme, or be a registered and experienced clinical scientist to apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training.
Entry points and requirements
To apply for the NHS Scientist Training Programme, you’ll need a substantial grounding in genomic, genetic, computing and physical sciences. This unique combination will enable you to integrate into a clinical genetics environment.
Specifically, you must have 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 the specialism for which you are applying.
If you have a 2.2 honours degree or better in any subject, you will also be considered if you have a higher degree* that is relevant to the specialism for which you are applying.
(*Higher degree as defined on page 17 of The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies Please note this does not include postgraduate diplomas or postgraduate certificates.)
Your degree should have strong links with informatics and science (eg biological, biomedical, natural sciences, computing, informatics and computer science). Because of the extensive variation in degrees available, it isn’t possible to provide a definitive list of relevant degrees for entry to the STP. You need to be sure that you’ve reviewed the job description and person specification for the training (on the National School of Healthcare Science’s website), and the information on this page.
You then need to be sure to match the skills and knowledge required to the content of your degree and the specialism you wish to apply for.
For full details of entry requirements, including qualifications, scientific skills, transferable skills and physical requirements, please see the person specification on the National School of Healthcare Science’s website.
For all candidates, evidence of research experience (e.g. in the form of a higher degree or equivalent evidence of scientific and academic capability) is considered desirable.
With experience as a registered clinical scientist, you can apply for Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST)
Experience of working in a relevant environment before applying could be advantageous. You should always check with the course provider/employer to see what sort of experience is preferred or required.
To work in bioinformatics (genomics) you’ll need:
- an interest in science and technology – a good academic background and an ability to update and test your knowledge against experience
- good communication skills to be able to liaise with the healthcare team and also to advise and reassure patients
- to be comfortable using modern technology and complex equipment
- meticulous attention to detail to produce highly accurate work even when under pressure
- to be able to work as part of a team
If you work in a role with responsibility for resources (such as staff, budgets or equipment) you'll need excellent leadership skills and be able to use your initiative within the remit of your job role.
If you're applying for a healthcare science role or training position either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work.
The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.