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Pathology staff lead on biomedical science degree apprenticeship

A group of UHNM pathology staff have become some of the first in the country to achieve a degree apprenticeship in healthcare science. The qualification is a new route to biomedical scientist education which integrates traditional academic learning on a degree programme with work-based learning through employment in the laboratory. The demanding workload required students to balance academic study with family and work commitments during the pandemic.

Katie Berger, pathology quality and training manager, said: “All of our team members are outstanding and the grades they have achieved reflect the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout their studies. It has been a pleasure and privilege to see them develop over the last four years and we are all really proud of their achievements and of the biomedical scientists they can now become.”

Donna Simms, Registered Biomedical Scientist in Histopathology

“I had worked as an associate practitioner in histology for the past 13 years so had vast experience but I was unable to progress due to not having a degree in biomedical science.  The apprenticeship scheme has enabled me to complete the degree and registration portfolio whilst working and I have recently been successful in obtaining a post as a registered biomedical scientist.  Balancing work life, two young children and the degree apprenticeship was difficult at times but I was able to remain focussed and determined to succeed, enabling me to gain a promotion in a department I love.”


Adrian Wilson, Associate Practitioner, Biochemistry

“With my career coming to a halt due to the qualifications required to progress, I found the opportunity to have a fully funded and supported apprenticeship degree too good to miss. Being the oldest person to start and complete the course came with its challenges. With help and guidance from my colleagues and other students, as well as the lecturers, I was able to enjoy the journey of studying this healthcare science degree, particularly as I have not been to university previously. I hope to now progress into a position as a biomedical scientist in the not too distant future, which will enable me to use this knowledge to assist the department that funded me.”


Jessica Sherwin, Associate Practitioner, Biochemistry

"After working in Pathology for 12 years I was excited for the opportunity to complete the healthcare science apprenticeship degree, as it is now a lifelong career in which I can progress. The knowledge and skills that I have gained at Staffordshire University are now put into practice to benefit patient care at UHNM. This is a fantastic opportunity and has been well supported from all colleagues and staff members in Pathology."


Katie Preston, Biomedical Scientist, Virology

"I feel very lucky that I was able to undertake the healthcare science degree apprenticeship. It has really given me a boost for my future career, especially with the inclusion of the HCPC registration."


Jacob Robinson, Biomedical Scientist, Microbiology

I started with the UHNM in 2016, sparking a passion for microbiology. The apprenticeship gave me the tools and support to expand my knowledge and aid my progression into a field I love. Now qualified, I am working as a biomedical scientist in molecular virology, performing Covid-19 PCR testing. This has been hugely rewarding and if not for the apprenticeship scheme I would not have had this wonderful opportunity.”

Other students to complete the apprenticeship this year include Dominic Hill, Bekki Neilson, Adam Whittingham and Ian Blanshard.

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