applications for STP in England are now open until 12th Feb, with 23 specialisms recruiting in different locations. For information about applications to Wales, please contact Christine Love.
She provided the following excellent advice:
- “Competition ratios for last year’s specialisms: microbiology, clinical immunology and histopathology & transfusion science headed the league table last year. Don’t forget that high levels of competition in a specialism last year don’t necessarily indicate high competition this year – the link gives ratios back to 2014 for comparison.
- 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 their specialism.
And just to pick up on some questions that I am frequently asked…
The NSHCS does not offer a list of relevant degrees for the STP, but have made a list of suggestions depending on the specialism. Candidates need to do their very best to prove how their degree discipline relates to the specialism that they’re applying to. Students wanting to apply in future recruitment rounds might therefore want to choose research projects or work experience that will demonstrate their interest and experience in this area.
Worth noting that 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 they can do to prove their 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 are a student who has a 2:2 and wants 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 “
We were asked to answer the above questions by the Student Recruitment Strategy Group, so we undertook some research last semester looking at the future needs of graduate employers (from a review of influential recent reports) and the current picture from employers of:
- the key attributes they look for in graduates
- the value they place on a degree and extra-curricular activities
- their perceptions of graduates from research intensive universities in general and the University of Edinburgh in particular.
We used the biennial employer survey, feedback at careers fairs and interviews conducted with 15 employers from different sectors. The findings confirmed many of the messages we work to get across to students and academic staff:
- The future labour market will favour employees with advanced skills in creativity, innovation, imagination, design- and system-thinking.
- Whilst discipline knowledge counts, employers place at least equal weight on long-term and varied extra-curricular activities.
- Work experience is one of the most important factors in recruiting and relevant work experience is highly valued. For some organisations, it can mitigate lower academic attainment.
- How students learn is as important as what they learn.