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Healthcare sciences

Person in laboratory marking containers

Discover other sectors

This sector not for you? Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.

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

Start your research into healthcare science by looking at:

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
  • If you're going to work in the NHS, you'll need to understand and demonstrate the 6 core NHS values

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 when available to learn more about the role.
    A list of the specialisms can be found on the STP website
  • 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; 2023 applications are open 9-23 January, see key dates.

Other jobs are advertised on:

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

Recruitment process

  • The STP is very competitive, and has a multi-stage recruitment process including an online application, aptitude tests and interviews - find out more in the 2023 webinar for potential applicants 

  • 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

For help with these, see our pages on applying and interviewing.

What can I do at York?

Useful links and accounts to follow

Connect with York graduates on York Profiles and Mentors

Listen to these podcast episodes

  • Stefan Sipika, Laboratory Process and Production Manager
  • John Filby, Clinical Scientist in the NHS specialising in genomics

Social media accounts