Entry requirements, skills and interests (biomedical science)
You can enter biomedical science through three different routes.
There are currently three main entry points into training as a biomedical scientist:
- with appropriate A-levels (including at least one science) through the NHS Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) by taking an accredited integrated BSc degree in Healthcare Science (life sciences). It is essential to contact universities directly to clarify what they will accept for entry onto their programmes, and also whether any particular experience is required or preferred. To find universities running these courses, please use our course finder.
- with an honours degree in biomedical science from one of the UK education centres accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), by gaining employment with the NHS as a trainee biomedical scientist. Graduates with a non IBMS-accredited degree, should contact the IBMS to have their degree assessed.
- with A-levels in life sciences and/or equivalent as a trainee biomedical scientist, however this is only possible if the employer is willing to offer financial support and the time off to study for the degree on a part-time basis.
Healthcare science assistants and healthcare science associates work in many areas of healthcare science, where they support healthcare scientists and clinical scientists. Within pathology, they may be involved in taking blood and running routine tests, for example.
Skills, qualities and interests needed
Success in modern healthcare relies on the accuracy and efficiency of work by biomedical scientists as patients' lives and the treatment of illness depends on their skill and knowledge. 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
- Good interpersonal skills - you may have direct contact with patients and you must respect their privacy, be sympathetic and have a friendly and professional attitude towards them
- 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 same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.
The NHS values form a key part of the NHS Constitution.