Higher Scientific Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) Programme

A five-year workplace-based doctoral training programme providing opportunities for clinical scientists to train to become eligible to apply for available consultant clinical scientist posts


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Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) is a five-year workplace-based training programme that provides opportunities for clinical scientists to train to become eligible to apply for available consultant clinical scientist posts.

What does the HSST programme involve?

The Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST) is a five-year workplace-based training programme supported by an underpinning doctoral-level academic programme and, where appropriate, Royal College qualifications. Further information about the Royal College qualifications exam regulations, guidelines and policies is available via the Royal College of Pathologists website. The Royal College can be emailed via info@rcpath.org/ .

Applying to the HSST programme

Applicants to the HSST programme need to be registered as a clinical scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council.  Recruitment to the HSST programme is conducted by the National School of Healthcare Science.  Details of the application process and frequently asked questions are available via the National School of Healthcare Science website.

Further Details

Professor Karen Kirkby is Deputy Director of the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) Higher Scientific Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) Programme and is responsible for approximately 350 trainees. With Dr Julia Handley (The Christie NHS Foundation Trust), Professor Kirkby is a Programme Director for the Physical Sciences component comprising approximately 120 trainees. Alongside producing a doctoral level research project, trainees undertake taught modules (at level 8) and leadership and management courses (Business School).  HSST allows the trainees from the NHS to join the consultants register and apply for consultant level jobs.

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