Entry requirements, skills and interests (gastrointestinal physiology)
You can enter this area of healthcare science with a relevant honours degree or as an experienced and registered clinical scientist.
There are currently two entry routes into gastrointestinal physiology:
You can apply for a place on the graduate-entry NHS Scientist Training Programme for which 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.)
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. For STP positions in the physiological sciences (which include gastrointestinal physiology), the most commonly accepted degrees will be in physiology, pure or applied physics, engineering, biology, human biology or sports science (with sufficient scientific content).
Successful completion of the STP will enable you to apply to register as a clinical scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
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.
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 for the STP, including qualifications, scientific skills, transferable skills and physical requirements, please see the person specification on the National School of Healthcare Science’s website.
- with experience as a registered clinical scientist, through Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST).
It can be advantageous to have gained some experience of working in a relevant environment (such as in a role using customer service skills) before applying for an STP vacancy. You should always check with the employer to see what sort of experience is preferred or required.
If you work in GI physiology, you’ll need:
- a mature, calm, confident but sympathetic approach to achieve the best outcome for the patient, as many patients may be anxious about the procedures and will need reassurance from you
- to be confident with technology, systems and processes
- an interest in science and technology, a good academic background and an ability to update and test your knowledge against experience
- 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.