Careers in academic research and industry

Academic Work

The UK has a very active research community in medical physics, biomedical engineering and related physical sciences.  You can continue with further education with an MSc or a PhD.  Some PhD projects have relevance in the NHS environment, some are far more research based.  


A starting point for finding a PhD Project could be the website where you can look under Physical Sciences. Or look at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)  website.  EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year (in a broad range of areas from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering).   

You will need to do some research to decide which area would interest you and apply for funding of course.

The options after a PhD are to stay in an acdemic research based role as a Post Doctoral researcher, or to apply for lectureships.  If your PhD has some relevance to Medical Physics and Engineering you can still consider applying for the STP Training (which is not unusual) or consider the Route 2 / Equivalence option  if you want to move into a clinical role.  See the FAQ question section on the right for more information on Route 2.


Please note that if you are considering a purely academic non-clinical career, you do not need HCPC registration.



According to the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) the UK has over 2,500 MedTech companies in the UK, the vast majority employ less than 250 staff.  More than 90,000 people work in this industry all across the country, with a combined turnover of £17billion.   So there is a lot of potential work, but since many companies are small they do not have a structured training scheme. 


So this definitely needs some research on your behalf to target suitable companies as there is no central job resource  Fortunately the government publishes a list of all BioScience and Health technologies companies .  The 2017 database for this is searchable and can help you identify relevant companies that you can contact to find out about employment opportunities - for example you can search for companies involved in assistive technologies in Yorkshire).  


Larger companies like Siemens or Elekta have dedicated career sections on their website and some offer trainee programmes but this is not the norm.


If you want to look for internships and work experience the picture is similar, there is unfortunately no central resource with easy opportunities but you could look at LinkedIn or speak to your university..  



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