medical testing

Applications for STP in England are now open until 12th Feb, with 23 specialisms recruiting in different locations.

  • Competition ratios for last year’s specialisms: microbiology, clinical immunology and histopathology & transfusion science headed the league table last year, although that doesn’t necessarily mean the same will apply this year.
  • There is lots of guidance available, including advice on applying, FAQs, and important dates.
  • Don’t forget that, whilst applicants aren’t expected to have work experience in the NHS, it’s very helpful to go to an open day for your specialism.

Relevant degrees

The NSHCS does not offer a list of relevant degrees for the STP, but have made a list of suggestions depending on the specialism. You’ll need to do your very best to prove how your degree discipline relates to the specialism that you’re applying to. If you’re interested in applying in the future, you might want to choose research projects or work experience that will demonstrate your interest and experience in this area.

It’s particularly important for students applying to physiology and genetic counselling to have good people skills – physiologists are usually running tests on a person rather than on a sample, so anything you can do to prove your people skills will be really beneficial. Caring experience is essential for genetic counselling, and should be equivalent to 6 months’ full-time work. Any counselling experience or training should definitely be highlighted on the application.

MRes vs MSc

MRes and MSci degrees do not hold as much weight as a taught masters in the entry criteria, even though they are assessed at M-level in the same way as a taught masters.  If you have a 2:2 and you would like to do the STP, you are best applying for an MSc, not an MRes. And for students doing a BSc with the option to extend to an MSci – the MSci is unlikely to put you in a better position than the BSc, and you may wish to try an MSc instead.

Applicants and advisers should follow the National School on Twitter @NSHCS

Thanks to Lorna Dargan from Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services for sharing these top tips.