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Vascular studies - careers

A career as a clinical vascular scientist is a fantastic opportunity to combine a scientific approach with patient care. Clinical vascular scientists use ultrasound and other non-invasive techniques to diagnose and monitor diseases of the arteries and veins.

The healthcare science workforce plays a central role in safe and effective patient care across all pathways of care from health and wellbeing to end of life. It comprises approximately 5% of the healthcare workforce in the UK, and 80% of all diagnoses can be attributed to their work.

Department of Health, 2010

In order to become a clinical vascular scientist, you need an undergraduate degree in a relevant science subject. There are currently 2 acknowledged routes into the profession, both geared towards obtaining professional accreditation with the Society of Vascular Technology

Original route

This is sometimes still an option depending on the hospital with the vacancy. A relevant undergraduate scientific degree is required. This training route will take place over at least 3 years. During this time you will work as a trainee clinical vascular scientist in a vascular studies unit department with in house training and also undertake a part time MSc in vascular ultrasound.

Scientific training programme (STP)

The route into vascular science has changed in recent years as a result of the modernising scientific careers programme. The aim of this programme is to standardise healthcare science training across the UK.

With this route, you apply for a training post when advertised by Health Education England. If successful you are then placed in a hospital who have applied to have an STP student.

The STP training route is a 3 years master’s degree which is hospital based with block release to university for lectures and protected study time for coursework. During your first year you will relate through similar specialties (cardiac, respiratory and sleep physiology) to gain a better understanding of healthcare science in the modern NHS.

For more information about the Scientist Training Programme (opens in a new tab).

If you are interested in a career in vascular science, please see the links below for more information.