DGHE & Coronavirus

Updates from Health Careers

Jul 4, 2020 | Students Career Progression

Dear students, 

For this week’s Careers Blog I am concentrating on news from the health sector.

I hope that the following information is of interest.  If you would like to discuss any career related issues with me please contact me at: a.kinloch@dghe.ac.uk

1.     Update on healthcare student funding arrangements from September 2020

From September 2020, undergraduate and postgraduate students studying pre-registration courses in many healthcare professions will be eligible for funding of up to £8,000 per year. The key facts are summarised below and the Health Careers website has been updated accordingly:

  • The funding is an extension of the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF)
  • There are eligibility criteria and these are the same as for the existing LSF
  • The £5,000 payment is a training grant and does not need to be repaid
  • The additional £1,000 towards childcare costs will be called parental support and will be added to the £1,000 already provided in the existing LSF
  • Payments will be termly
  • £1,000 specialist subject payment will be available for students studying learning disability nursing, mental health nursing, podiatry, orthotics/prosthetics, radiography and orthoptics
  • £1,000 regional incentive payment will be available for students studying in areas of the country where it is hard to recruit (we do not yet have the detail about which regions will qualify)
  • The two additional £1,000 elements will be applied automatically after an individual applies for the training grant
  • Updated webpages are now live on NHS BSA and Health Careers websites
  • The NHS BSA will open their digital application system on 1 July for registration and application

Read more here:



 There is a webpage on the Health Careers website which is dedicated to opportunities for graduates.  It is important to note that the list is not exhaustive; as well as the nationally coordinated schemes, there are also local opportunities with individual employers.  https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/career-planning/study-and-training/graduate-training-opportunities

2.     Healthcare science trends and changes to STP recruitment this year

As you will be aware, Covid-19 is very much a respiratory disease and therefore it likely there will be an increased need for respiratory and sleep scientists/physiologists in the near future and a greater number of job opportunities in these specialties.

Recruitment for the Master’s level scientist training programme (STP) takes place yearly and usually involves face to face interviews as part of the process.  In light of the Covid -19 pandemic, the selection process has moved to a virtual one with the intake of 359 trainees still planned for September. Recruitment for 2021 is expected to launch at the end of the calendar year or early in the new year.

Read more here: https://nshcs.hee.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-information/stp-recruitment-interviews/


3.     Expanding training scheme for IM&T graduates

The NHS has been running a successful graduate management training scheme for many years now (NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme); more recently a specialised information management and technology (IM&T) fast track scheme has got off the ground.  The NHS Graduate Digital, Data and Technology scheme is a highly focused two-year development pathway for IM&T graduates and provides an excellent grounding for a career as a future NHS information management and technology (IM&T) manager.

Trainees are employed as a band 5 apprentice, progressing to a band 6 or 7 level role on successful completion of the programme.  

Read more here:




4.     Increase in number of funded psychological places

Health Education England (HEE) has recently announced that from September 2020 there will be an expansion of the number of training places for clinical psychologists and child & adolescent psychotherapists. Nationally there will be an increase of 25% for both roles (an increase of 140) which is great news for the mental health workforce.

Entrants to both professions usually hold first degrees in psychology then enter academic training which culminates with a doctoral level academic qualification alongside a clinical qualification to enable them to practice. They are employed by a mental health trust and undertake clinical placements.

Read more here: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/news-blogs-events/news/increase-25-key-training-psychological-care-announced 

5.     Master’s level apprenticeships (HASO)

The number of available apprenticeships in healthcare continues to expand at all academic levels and there are currently approximately 20 level 7 apprenticeships either approved or in development. The Healthcare Apprenticeships website is a useful source of information.

 Read more here:


6.     Genomics programme

Although only available to individuals already employed in the NHS (and subject to support from their line manager), funding has been confirmed for Master’s-level modules and qualifications in genomics at partner universities. The modules are for those wishing to develop their knowledge of genomics and how it can be applied in clinical practice.

Read more here:


7.     Physician Associates

Still largely a postgraduate training opportunity (with only two undergraduate courses available in the UK currently), the training to become a physician associate (PA) is a two year Master’s or PGDip programme offered by over 30 HEIs. There are currently approximately 1,750 students on the postgraduate programme (across years 1 and 2). 

Typical entrants to the programme are graduates with a biomedical or healthcare related degree.  PAs are employed in general practice and hospital settings and work as part of the medical teams. There are currently 35 PA vacancies live on NHS Jobs, across a variety of clinical settings.

Very much a growing workforce, in February 2018 there were 1,358 student physician associates registered in England. And as of June 2020, there are over 1,700 qualified physician associates on the Physician Associate Managed Voluntary Register. 

Read more here: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/medical-associate-professions/roles-medical-associate-professions/physician-associate

(From AGCAS Deputy Chair for Health and Related Professions Task Group)

Best wishes,

Angela Kinloch,

Careers & Employability Consultant, DGHE