Friday, 19th April 2019


Science plays an enormous and vital role in the provision of patient care and treatment in hospitals, and in the development of cures and treatments throughout the world of medicine.

Medicine and science are inextricably linked, in particular the life sciences (usually prefixed by ‘bio’) and chemistry. Additionally, healthcare science is closely linked with the design and development of technology and engineering.

Described as ‘the backbone of the NHS’, scientists in healthcare work in a range of different disciplines, including:

  • Life sciences
  • Physiological science
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Healthcare technology

With an increasing number of roles in healthcare and clinical research, healthcare science can be an extremely rewarding, challenging and lucrative profession for those with an interest in sciences and a desire to help people.

It is also not just doctors and nurses who work directly with patients. Many of the roles within healthcare science involve working at the forefront of patient care, alongside other healthcare professionals and with patients.

Other healthcare scientists work in laboratories and research facilities in a variety of organisations, including hospitals, industrial companies, health and safety agencies and higher education institutions. Although they typically go unseen, the work they do, the tests they carry out and the technology they help to develop saves more lives and helps more people than we perhaps know.

Most jobs in medical science will require education to degree level or equivalent at the very least. Scientists can pursue careers through training with the NHS on a number of programmes, including:

  • The Practitioners Training Programme (PTP) is the most well-known and typically consists of three years' training, leading to an accredited BSc Hons degree
  • The Scientist Training Programme (STP) is a postgraduate training course during which graduate scientists are paid a training salary and which leads to a recognised MSc