Industrial and professional experience
You can choose to spend the third year of your biological or biomedical degree on placement with one of our partner organisations in the UK or overseas.
After this year away you will come back to study for one further year.
Placements provide valuable work experience that will help you clarify your career objectives and give you an advantage in today’s competitive employment market.
We have a very successful programme of laboratory and field research placements with over 100 partner organisations all over the world including pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, hospitals and nature reserves. We have recently expanded our range of placements to reflect the growing range of science careers outside of the laboratory in science enterprise, education and communication. We provide a uniquely wide range of placement types.
Potential placements now include:
You undertake a research project, usually in an industrial or international research organisation. This provides a fantastic opportunity to undertake significant ‘real world’ research and decide whether a research career is for you.
You take placements in at least two different educational environments. You will gain experience of teaching and learning in different age groups and environments, preparing you for a career in a range of education sectors as well as providing you with transferable skills that you can use in other fields.
You can take advantage of Manchester’s thriving biotechnology industry by spending a year working in a biotechnology start-up or technology transfer company. You will gain valuable skills, experience, and contacts that will benefit you if you are interested in a career in the growing industry of biotechnology, or if you would like to set up your own enterprise after graduating.
You spend a year working in an organisation that communicates science, such as, the media office of a university, a medical writing company or a museum. This experience will give you a head start if you decide on a career in the field of science communication.
“Taking part in a placement was an invaluable experience. It enables you to experience professional environments whilst having the security of the University if anything should go wrong. The amount of transferable skills obtained is endless, and it also helps with your organisation when you return to your final year. It shows employers that you’ve had experience in a real work environment.”Alex Palmer / Biotechnology with Industrial Professional Experience
Where could you go?
We have partnerships with over 100 partner organisations all over the world including:
- AstraZeneca, UK
- Chester Zoo, UK
- Chiang Mai University, Thailand
- Copenhagen University, Denmark
- Eurofins Agroscience, UK
- GlaxoSmithKline, UK
- Mayo Clinic, USA
- Medical Research Council, The Gambia
- Nagoya University, Japan
- National Institute for Medical Research, UK
- Newquay Zoo, UK
- Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, UK
- Pfizer, UK
- Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, UK
- Sealife, various UK locations
- Unilever, UK
All students are allocated an academic Placement Advisor from the University who will have knowledge of the research area in which the student is working whilst on placement. The Placement Advisor will conduct formal skype meetings with their allocated student during the year to monitor the student’s progress.
We offer degrees with industrial experience in the following biosciences subjects. The below links will take you to the relevant industrial experience course page on The University of Manchester website.
- Anatomical Sciences
- Biology with Science and Society
- Biomedical Sciences
- Cell Biology
- Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology
- Developmental Biology
- Life Sciences
- Medical Biochemistry
- Molecular Biology
- Pharmacology and Physiology
- Plant Science
Tuition fees for an industrial placement year are significantly lower than tuition fees for a standard year and there are additional fee waivers and discounts for some students who are from financially disadvantaged backgrounds. Some placements are also salaried.
How to apply
You should apply through UCAS for the relevant four-year programme, but you can also request to transfer onto the programme during your first year.
Placement case studies
Read about some of our students' experiences on their placement year and find out how they benefited from their time in the world of work.
- Bryn White (Biology) - Havas Lynx, Manchester
- Tiziana Shqau (Biochemistry) - Mayo Clinic, US
- Emma Silcocks (Zoology) - Paignton Zoo
- Deborah Cooke (Biomedical Sciences) - Transplantation Laboratory, Manchester Royal Infirmary
Student Publications from their Placement Year
Students are frequently named in publications for work that they have undertaken during their placement year. Here are some examples of publications that our students have been involved with:
- Caroline Casey, 2015: Apolipoprotein E Inhibits Cerebrovascular Pericyte Mobility through a RhoA Protein-mediated Pathway
- Rebecca Devine, 2016: The effect of growth rate on pyrazinamide activity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis - insights for early bactericidal activity?
- Anissa Lakhani, 2016: Coxiella burnetii effector CvpB modulates phosphoinositide metabolism for optimal vacuole development
- Lucy Menage, 2017: Prevalence of human cosavirus and saffold virus with an emergence of saffold virus genotype 6 in patients hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2014–2016