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    I'm currently in my third year studying Applied Biomedical Science. I'm a placement student so am currently working towards completion of my registration portfolio in an NHS lab.

    It has recently become apparent to me that if I want to be more involved with the treatment and diagnosis side of things I would need to follow the path of becoming a clinical scientist.

    Would my degree be suitable for entry into the SPT programme? I see that a research background is desirable but bar the fourth year project, I won't have much experience in regards to that.

    To clarify, I'm studying at a Scottish university and I am at placement in a hospital run by NHS Scotland so I would apply for the supernumerary training via NHS Education for Scotland.

    Hi Max
    Did you get anywhere with this? I am a consultant clinical scientist in the NHS. The training for clinical scientists has been changed significantly from when I trained however the entry requirements are similar. Usually it is stated that a good life science degree with a significant proportion of said degree in the subject that you wish to train in, for example biochemistry. I am a biochemist and my degree is in cell biology and pathology.

    It is possible to successfully gain a place on an STP scheme with a biomed science degree even though they do differ from straight science degrees, I know this as I have personally appointed BMS students onto the training scheme.

    My advice to anyone considering this is to research exactly what is involved in the training and be able to show you know what you are about to embark on. The training is intense and can be very stressful. I don't believe anything is too difficult, but rather you just need to approach it with a willingness to work hard.

    Research background is not required, however it can help as it shows a persons approach to problem solving, and can give an idea of their general ability to understand what may be considered more complicated problems. It also shows a persons ability to direct their own learning, something that is extremely important in such a training scheme. It is not like being at university where you are paying for a service (as seems to be the general view these days) but you are being paid to learn essentially and therefore you have to take control of that. This can be challenging for some. You could do this in other ways by taking initiative to get involved in projects outside your "routine" learning. For example, when in the lab and on your placement, ask the Clinical scientist there about their work and ask to be involved. Any decent human being would be grateful to help and of the help.

    Often some on interview panels will use academic qualifications to thin out the applications as it is a highly competitive scheme. From my personal experience of supervising trainees however, having a PhD or MSc prior to staring doesn't necessarily confer greater ability of intelligence.
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