Healthcare sciences

Person in laboratory marking containers

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If you have a degree in a science subject you could have a rewarding career as a scientist in a health-related role.

The NHS employs over 50,000 healthcare scientists, but there are also roles for health scientists in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and in research roles in universities and research institutes.

There are many types of roles for you to consider, including life sciences (blood sciences, genomics, biomedical science), physical sciences (medical physics and clinical engineering), clinical bioinformatics and physiological sciences (audiology, respiratory physiology).

Find out about healthcare sciences

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:

What skills do I need?

As well as a degree in a sciences subject related to your chosen specialism, you’ll need to demonstrate:

  • research planning
  • problem-solving
  • oral and written communication
  • attention to detail
  • teamwork
  • good IT skills
  • leadership
  • laboratory skills for lab-based roles.


You can read the person specification for the Scientist Training Programme to understand the required scientific and transferable skills.

Work experience

Entry onto the Scientist Training Programme is particularly competitive, so work experience is essential to demonstrate your interest in the work.

  • Arrange a visit or job shadowing opportunity with a laboratory/department in your area of interest, to supplement your lab experience from your studies.
  • If you’re interested in the STP, attend the open day for your specialism to learn more about the role.
  • Take on a volunteering opportunity to develop your transferable skills.
  • Consider a summer internship or a placement year - you will find opportunities in a range of STEM roles on Gradcracker.
  • Look into part-time work in a role such as a laboratory assistant.

Finding jobs

The STP usually opens for applications in January each year and close in the February.

Other jobs are advertised on:

Some science organisations prefer to use recruitment agencies, such as:

Recruitment process

  • The STP has a multi-stage recruitment process including an online application, aptitude tests and interviews - read the advice for candidates applying in 2019
  • Recruitment in other roles will vary. You may be required to do any of the following:
    • Complete an online application
    • Send a CV and covering letter
    • Assessment centre
    • Competency tests
    • Technical tests
    • Interview.

What can I do at York?