The Student Room Group

how can you become a clinical scientist?

any clinical scientists out there, please help me.

is there any work experience/ programs i can take to help me get into uni?
which course should i take?
how do you actually become a clinical scientist?
can you specialise in a particular field? if so, what are the options?
is there any time for anything else e.g. job, revision, friends?
what devices should i invest in for success?
and is it an incredible hard road to go down?


please do help i wanna be prepared.
Reply 1
Not a clinical scientist but a biomedical student who has researched this a lot:

1. Lab placements are really hard to get at the moment and Unis know this but here's a few things i've done:
- Nuffield research placements
- volunteering at my hospital
- In2ScienceUK
- reading articles and books on my favourite topics
- Attending lectures given to the public by universities
- Summer schools (REALLY GOOD) i advise applying to sutton summer school AND look at different universities they run their own summer schools.
- Also some unis run their own competitions like essays or just mentorship events Imperial has a bunch

2+3. to become a clinical scientist you need to do a life science degree this is an umbrella term that comes a bunch of courses. The most common courses are: Biomedical science, Biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, genomics/genetics, anything with the word medicine afterwards (cancer medicine, nuclear medicine etc), immunology, hematology.

There's another factor to becoming an clinical scientist which i'll comment after this one, i don't want to make this too long and complicated.

4. It's up to you on the field you want to specialise in, more info on next comment.

6. I'm currently using an Ipad and Apple pencil, which i find helpful with annotating lectures, but honestly a laptop and dedication/time and you'll do fine

7. Whether it's hard depends on you, i must say you'll need to love science to go down this route, uni can be a struggle sometimes.
I hate my course which is why i'm transferring.
Reply 2
HOLD UP, sorry i think i gave the advice where I presumed that biomedical scientist is the same as clinical scientist.

ok so from my understanding to becoming a clinical scientist you need to complete any of the degrees i talked about and do the NHS STP or the PTP

NHS STP:
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/career-planning/study-and-training/graduate-training-opportunities/nhs-scientist-training-programme

NHS PTP:
https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/ptp/

A good forum on clinical vs biomedical scientist:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5121798
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by 3908
Not a clinical scientist but a biomedical student who has researched this a lot:

1. Lab placements are really hard to get at the moment and Unis know this but here's a few things i've done:
- Nuffield research placements
- volunteering at my hospital
- In2ScienceUK
- reading articles and books on my favourite topics
- Attending lectures given to the public by universities
- Summer schools (REALLY GOOD) i advise applying to sutton summer school AND look at different universities they run their own summer schools.
- Also some unis run their own competitions like essays or just mentorship events Imperial has a bunch

2+3. to become a clinical scientist you need to do a life science degree this is an umbrella term that comes a bunch of courses. The most common courses are: Biomedical science, Biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, genomics/genetics, anything with the word medicine afterwards (cancer medicine, nuclear medicine etc), immunology, hematology.

There's another factor to becoming an clinical scientist which i'll comment after this one, i don't want to make this too long and complicated.

4. It's up to you on the field you want to specialise in, more info on next comment.

6. I'm currently using an Ipad and Apple pencil, which i find helpful with annotating lectures, but honestly a laptop and dedication/time and you'll do fine

7. Whether it's hard depends on you, i must say you'll need to love science to go down this route, uni can be a struggle sometimes.
I hate my course which is why i'm transferring.

Hey!
Can I ask...
Which uni year are you in?
Why do you hate Biomedical Science?
and which course are you transferring to?
Reply 4
Original post by KaterinaPet
Hey!
Can I ask...
Which uni year are you in?
Why do you hate Biomedical Science?
and which course are you transferring to?

I go to Kings College London (KCL)

I hate biomed for many reasons, mostly because it was not as i expected. I mean i knew it was gonna be hard and stressful but honestly it was so much worse, topics aren't as fun as i thought they were, or as fun as they once were in A-level.
At a-levels biology was about the process of humans as a whole in biomed you need to know specific proteins and the molecular structure of them, names of drugs and their effects. It ultimately becomes a game of memory and no longer a subject i enjoyed.
Moreover, my dad always kind of pushed science in our household so i just thought it was the easiest thing for me to do.
I must specify i hate the course not the Uni.

Im reapplying for 2022 for: Urban planning at UCL, geography at UCL, Environment and development at LSE. Im just hoping i get in cuz if i dont then idk what im gonna do.:frown:
Original post by 3908
I go to Kings College London (KCL)

I hate biomed for many reasons, mostly because it was not as i expected. I mean i knew it was gonna be hard and stressful but honestly it was so much worse, topics aren't as fun as i thought they were, or as fun as they once were in A-level.
At a-levels biology was about the process of humans as a whole in biomed you need to know specific proteins and the molecular structure of them, names of drugs and their effects. It ultimately becomes a game of memory and no longer a subject i enjoyed.
Moreover, my dad always kind of pushed science in our household so i just thought it was the easiest thing for me to do.
I must specify i hate the course not the Uni.

Im reapplying for 2022 for: Urban planning at UCL, geography at UCL, Environment and development at LSE. Im just hoping i get in cuz if i dont then idk what im gonna do.:frown:

Thank you for the reply!

I am a first-year biomed student and I don't know what to think of it tbh...I've been trying to research if the careers are good and how much money I can earn and I'm not sure if I'm satisfied. I only applied bc I really do like science, healthcare jobs and when it comes to jobs, there will be a broad selection out there which is good since I'm indecisive ://

Kind of the same here when it comes to my family and how they recommend/push sciences. They really want me to do pharmacy and I don't mind doing it but that means I have to move to another city and I dont even know if I'm clever enough to handle pharmacy

Your new course choices sound really interesting!! I hope you get accepted!
Original post by 3908
HOLD UP, sorry i think i gave the advice where I presumed that biomedical scientist is the same as clinical scientist.

ok so from my understanding to becoming a clinical scientist you need to complete any of the degrees i talked about and do the NHS STP or the PTP

NHS STP:
https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/career-planning/study-and-training/graduate-training-opportunities/nhs-scientist-training-programme

NHS PTP:
https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/ptp/

A good forum on clinical vs biomedical scientist:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=5121798

whats thw difference between the ptp wnd the stp
Original post by KaterinaPet
Thank you for the reply!

I am a first-year biomed student and I don't know what to think of it tbh...I've been trying to research if the careers are good and how much money I can earn and I'm not sure if I'm satisfied. I only applied bc I really do like science, healthcare jobs and when it comes to jobs, there will be a broad selection out there which is good since I'm indecisive ://

Kind of the same here when it comes to my family and how they recommend/push sciences. They really want me to do pharmacy and I don't mind doing it but that means I have to move to another city and I dont even know if I'm clever enough to handle pharmacy

Your new course choices sound really interesting!! I hope you get accepted!

Ooh. What’s biomedical science like? Because I wanna do it at uni.
Reply 8
Original post by JA03
whats thw difference between the ptp wnd the stp

PTP is a degree type offered by some universities, but STP is a training programme after the science degree you want to study.

The STP is for people who want to be scientist in the lab, but PTP is for people to be Healthcare Practitioner. Im not too sure on the job role of Healthcare Practitioners
Original post by JA03
any clinical scientists out there, please help me.

is there any work experience/ programs i can take to help me get into uni?
which course should i take?
how do you actually become a clinical scientist?
can you specialise in a particular field? if so, what are the options?
is there any time for anything else e.g. job, revision, friends?
what devices should i invest in for success?
and is it an incredible hard road to go down?


please do help i wanna be prepared.

1) This depends what you want to do, there’s not one specific course you need, it’s not like biomedical science where there is one specific type of undergraduate course you have to do to work as a biomedical scientist. The route to get into clinical science is post-graduate, so you do a BSc/MSc in a related degree first e.g. physics for medical physics, biochemistry for clinical biochemistry etc.

2) This depends again what specialism you’re interested in, the degree should be directly relevant to the specific area you’re interested in.

3) If you google “NSHCS STP” this will bring up the main application page, most people apply through the STP route (specific training course with job-based and university-based parts) but there are other routes available.

4) Yes, in fact you have to! There are about 30-40 specialisms (see https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/programmes/stp/applicants/stp-specialisms/), you apply to the one that you’re most interested in. I think you can still apply for up to two different specialisms but only put in one application.

5) My job is 37.5 hours, so similar to most full-time jobs. There are further exams after you qualify but it’s pretty manageable.

6) Not sure I understand this question, sorry. Having relevant experience is most useful.

7) It’s very competitive. Most of the STP posts have 20 people applying per job and there’s only one round of applications a year. I applied three times before getting a place. There are no guarantees of getting a place and there isn’t one route that everyone takes before applying. Getting practical experience in your preferred area through working in labs, a PhD or similar helps but isn’t necessary.

Sorry, I don’t know anyone who’s done the PTP, but the NSHCS website has information about this. I've answered some questions previously so have a look through some of my previous posts if you want more information on the STP or clinical scientist.
Reply 10
To become a clinical scientist you need to apply for the STP training which is very competitive due to the very small amount of vacancies yearly and high application numbers. I personally wouldn't only hope in this. I applied for STP in 2020 and 2021 with getting put in the reserved list then not hearing anything back for last year when they cancelled the online tests and something else due to covid.

Personally try and see if you can get a laboratory placement during your study or anything in a hospital where you might get lab related work. I've had no luck with laboratory assistant or trainee biomed scientist jobs but thankfully got a apprenticeship role as a healthcare support worker which I certainly know I got due to my years volunteering in that same hospital for a few years. One good thing is I do Covid testing and venous blood gas testing there that might help me. I spoke to one of the guys there who's related to the labs to help me. He got back saying the labs can't take any volunteers due to some stupid policy 😒. He did however say I could start as a receptionist and see if they can take me on and train me with the high turnover of staff however that's not certain and it sounds risky especially to why people are leaving the place. Also I don't want to end up as a receptionist at 17k and find out after 2-3 years I cannot get trained.

Original post by 3908
I go to Kings College London (KCL)

I hate biomed for many reasons, mostly because it was not as i expected. I mean i knew it was gonna be hard and stressful but honestly it was so much worse, topics aren't as fun as i thought they were, or as fun as they once were in A-level.
At a-levels biology was about the process of humans as a whole in biomed you need to know specific proteins and the molecular structure of them, names of drugs and their effects. It ultimately becomes a game of memory and no longer a subject i enjoyed.
Moreover, my dad always kind of pushed science in our household so i just thought it was the easiest thing for me to do.
I must specify i hate the course not the Uni.

Im reapplying for 2022 for: Urban planning at UCL, geography at UCL, Environment and development at LSE. Im just hoping i get in cuz if i dont then idk what im gonna do.:frown:

Hope it all goes well 👍. I did the same degree in Middlesex university. I don't know I enjoyed it there but it probably depends on the place. I did do a masters in infection and immunity in UCL. To be honest I enjoyed Middlesex university. UCL I felt students only cared about themselves and felt left out from everyone 😒.

I'll be honest though I'm thinking of switching into finance. More money in it plus seems like I had interviews for job in this sector compared to none from laboratory vacancies which I studied for. Only drawback I can think of is job security
Original post by 3908
I go to Kings College London (KCL)

I hate biomed for many reasons, mostly because it was not as i expected. I mean i knew it was gonna be hard and stressful but honestly it was so much worse, topics aren't as fun as i thought they were, or as fun as they once were in A-level.
At a-levels biology was about the process of humans as a whole in biomed you need to know specific proteins and the molecular structure of them, names of drugs and their effects. It ultimately becomes a game of memory and no longer a subject i enjoyed.
Moreover, my dad always kind of pushed science in our household so i just thought it was the easiest thing for me to do.
I must specify i hate the course not the Uni.

Im reapplying for 2022 for: Urban planning at UCL, geography at UCL, Environment and development at LSE. Im just hoping i get in cuz if i dont then idk what im gonna do.:frown:

hii! omg i feel like we're the same person. I'm debating between biomed and geog and while the former is a stem so much more favoured in my household I know I'll enjoy geog more. my only worry is the job prospects with geog so what are your career aspirations?
Reply 12
Original post by lilyrose270
hii! omg i feel like we're the same person. I'm debating between biomed and geog and while the former is a stem so much more favoured in my household I know I'll enjoy geog more. my only worry is the job prospects with geog so what are your career aspirations?

Finally some on on my level!!!!!!!

The whole reason I avoided geo the first time was the whole job things but people don’t tend to tell you most of the time people care more about the uni.

My aspirations is to work either as a surveyor, town planner or a policy consultant in a think tank, government or the private sector.
Original post by 3908
Finally some on on my level!!!!!!!

The whole reason I avoided geo the first time was the whole job things but people don’t tend to tell you most of the time people care more about the uni.

My aspirations is to work either as a surveyor, town planner or a policy consultant in a think tank, government or the private sector.

oh amazing! i was told its uni>degree for finance so I'd rather fo geog at UCL/lse than a stem subject I will find difficult at UCL.
Original post by 3908
Not a clinical scientist but a biomedical student who has researched this a lot:

1. Lab placements are really hard to get at the moment and Unis know this but here's a few things i've done:
- Nuffield research placements
- volunteering at my hospital
- In2ScienceUK
- reading articles and books on my favourite topics
- Attending lectures given to the public by universities
- Summer schools (REALLY GOOD) i advise applying to sutton summer school AND look at different universities they run their own summer schools.
- Also some unis run their own competitions like essays or just mentorship events Imperial has a bunch

2+3. to become a clinical scientist you need to do a life science degree this is an umbrella term that comes a bunch of courses. The most common courses are: Biomedical science, Biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, genomics/genetics, anything with the word medicine afterwards (cancer medicine, nuclear medicine etc), immunology, hematology.

There's another factor to becoming an clinical scientist which i'll comment after this one, i don't want to make this too long and complicated.

4. It's up to you on the field you want to specialise in, more info on next comment.

6. I'm currently using an Ipad and Apple pencil, which i find helpful with annotating lectures, but honestly a laptop and dedication/time and you'll do fine

7. Whether it's hard depends on you, i must say you'll need to love science to go down this route, uni can be a struggle sometimes.
I hate my course which is why i'm transferring.

Hi,
Would a Bioscience degree be a relevant life science degree to enter the STP?
Reply 15
Original post by itsapieburger2.0
Hi,
Would a Bioscience degree be a relevant life science degree to enter the STP?

yes

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