Medical physiology and therapeutics
A degree in medical physiology and therapeutics (MPT) can lead to a diverse range of employment and postgraduate study opportunities.
A good number of students commit to scientific careers in areas as varied as medicine, NHS Scientific Training Programme, midwifery, phlebotomy, radiography, pharmaceutical sales, perfusionist, physicians associate, quality assurance, laboratory work, university administration and healthcare advisor.
The degree also equips you to look for employment outside of healthcare and you could consider work as diverse as social work, law, finance, sales, public relations, marketing, market research and teaching, amongst others. In order to pursue some careers you may have to undertake further study and develop specialist skills and knowledge.
How my MPT degree lead to
...a career in medicine
Larissa-Nele Schaffert explains...
...a career in teaching
Kelly Calladine explains...
...a career in quality assurance
Michael Wild explains...
What skills will I gain during my degree?
In addition to the subject knowledge gained from your medical physiology and therapeutics degree your extracurricular activity equips you with key skills sought by employers in all sectors and industries.
Here are just a few of the skills you may have developed on your course:
- written and verbal communication
- research, analysis and interpretation of data
- time and personal management
- presentation skills
- data handling
- project management
What careers have graduates gone into?
Students from the course have secured employment with a variety of roles and employers
- Clinical coding and data co-ordinator assistant
- Clinical perfusion scientists (STP programme)
- Data analyst
- Higher medical laboratory assistant
- Medical representative
- Medical science liaison
- Microbiology technician
- Physician associate
- Plant engineer
- Research assistant
- Radiographic assistant
- Sales accountant manager
- Senior assistant healthcare scientist
- Ashfield Healthcare
- Charles River Laboratories
- Interserve Healthcare
- Leeds General Infirmary
- Nottingham City Hospital
- Poole Hospital
- Premier Education
- Royal Derby Hospital
- The Pharmacology Society
What are my further study options?
A wide range of postgraduate degree programmes and diplomas have been undertaken by recent students including Midwifery, MRes Medicine and Health, MBBS Medicine, Graduate Entry Medicine and masters courses in the following:
- assisted reproduction technology
- clinical sciences
- medical ethics and the law
- Physicians Associate
- public health
- radiotherapy and oncology
- stroke medicine
Graduates have also undertaken PhDs and entered into Doctoral Training Programmes. Students have undertaken courses at:
- Bangor University
- Brighton And Sussex Medical School
- Cranfield University
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- Keele University
- King's College London
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- Manchester University
- Sheffield Hallam University
- The University of Liverpool
- The University of Nottingham
- University of Sheffield
- University College London
- University of Kent
- University of Sofia - Bulgaria
- University of Southampton
- University of the West of England
- University of Warwick
If you are considering postgraduate study, then at the start of your final year you need to be thinking specifically about what you want to study and begin making applications.
Masters courses and PhDs have varying closing dates throughout the academic year. You must check application deadlines with the institution of your choice.
Working as a healthcare scientist in the NHS
According to the Association of Clinical Scientists, there are two branches of science in hospitals – Clinical Science and Biomedical Science. Both careers result in state registration with the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council). The clinical scientist has a clinical interpretative role while the biomedical scientist is more laboratory based.
Becoming a clinical scientist
The most direct route to become a clinical scientist is to participate in the STP (Scientific Training Programme) The STP is open for applications in the January of your graduating year and placements commence in September. For further information on how to become a clinical scientist, please look at the NHS careers website for more information and the National School for Healthcare Science website
The Association of Clinical Scientists lists professional bodies related to specific modality.
STP - listen to Nottingham alumni about the scheme
Becoming a biomedical scientist
It is likely that your undergraduate degree is not an accredited IBMS (institute of Biomedical Science) degree. To become a biomedical scientist as a graduate and gain HCPC accreditation you will need to do two activities, one, undertake top-up modules required by the Institute of Biomedical Science at IBMS accredited universities. For more information, please visit the IBMS website and two, to gain HCPC accreditation, you will also need to complete an IBMS registration training portfolio at an IBMS registered laboratory. These laboratories tend to be located in the NHS. Look at NHS Jobs and put in the search engine Trainee BMS.
Can I use an IBMS accredited masters' degree to meet HCPC education standards for registration?
No. An IBMS accredited postgraduate degree does not count towards the academic requirements for HCPC registration, but does meet the requirements for registration with the Science Council as a Chartered Scientist (CSci). Visit the Science Council website for more information.
What else could I do?
You have many options available to you and it is in your interest to investigate the employment sectors (e.g. healthcare, pharmaceutical, food, finance), organisations and roles offered and apply to those opportunities that appeal to you. The areas highlighted below are some of the career paths you might want to investigate further as they are most closely linked to your area of study. However this list is not exhaustive.
Public health is closely related to your course of study and if this area interests you then do look at the areas of health protection, and health improvement and you could find yourself working for the NHS, the Government, local government, the Armed Forces or the charity sector.
NHS Public Health Careers
Do you like communicating? Enjoy writing?
Then have you thought of science communication and science writing?
Science writers research, write and edit scientific news, articles and features in a range of different formats, including:
- business, trade and professional publications
- specialist scientific and technical journals
- general media
- promotional brochures, press releases, websites, podcasts and blogs
Association of British Science Writers
The European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) describes medical writing as ‘communicating clinical and scientific data and information to a range of audiences in a wide variety of different formats.
Medical writers combine their knowledge of science and their research skills with an understanding of how to present information and pitch it at the right level for the intended audience.
European Medical Writers Association
Science communicators do much of the above but they may also organise exhibitions, produce film and digital content and present science education to the public.
You may want to consider a specialist masters course in science communication such as those offered at the following universities Imperial College, Sheffield, West of England, Manchester Metropolitan, and Edinburgh.
Listen to Tamela Maciel, Space Communications Manager at the National Space Centre
The pharmaceutical sector
We tend to think of pharmaceutical companies as huge global corporate, and they do account for the majority of UK Pharma employment.
But a growing number of small to medium-sized enterprises are becoming involved in drug development too.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has developed a comprehensive list of pharmaceutical companies, their contact details and some of the areas they regularly recruit into. It is searchable by location, category, employment area and type of role e.g. internship, graduate training programme etc.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
Find out about careers in the pharmaceutical sector
Where to look for jobs and explore more options