The UK's official graduate careers website

Not signed up?


Toxicologist: Training

Entry into industry as a toxicologist may be achieved directly as a graduate of a degree or Masters course, but in some cases a PhD may be advantageous for longer-term career progression. Employers often sponsor toxicologists to study for a PhD or MSc part time whilst working. It is also possible to gain experience in other related areas of an organisation and then specialise in toxicology.

In order to become a clinical scientist specialising in toxicology within the NHS, graduates need to secure a position as a clinical scientist 'trainee'. Training lasts up to three years. This period involves a formal programme in different laboratories, rotating between teaching and district general hospitals. Training is overseen by a regional tutor. Full-time or part-time study may also be pursued during this time and usually leads to an MSc or postgraduate diploma.

Within the UK, there's a choice of examination systems by which professional toxicologists may achieve advanced qualification which include the Diploma of The Royal College of Pathologists  and the Diploma of the American Board of Toxicology . Workshops are also organised by the British Toxicology Society (BTS) .

Those working in environmental or ecotoxicology may take Diplomas or Masters courses in subjects such as pollution science, pesticide science, waste management, aquatic resource management or environmental toxicology.

In addition to practical laboratory-based and GLP (good laboratory practice) training, toxicologists are likely to receive training in project and study management, data interpretation and report writing, and presentation skills. Those involved in forensic work are trained in court reporting as well.

Written by AGCAS editors
July 2012

Spotlight on...

Sponsored links


This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.