Careers with a biosciences degree

A degree in biological or biomedical sciences will prepare you for a number of career paths, from scientific research to conservation and communications.

Whether your interests lie inside or outside of the lab, our bioscience graduates go on to enjoy successful careers in a number of disciplines.

Developing your employability

We’re committed to helping you develop the skills that potential employers are looking for to prepare you for your future career.

You’ll have access to employability tutorials throughout your course and each taught unit specifies any relevant employability skills students can develop.

In your final year, you can also choose to do an enterprise project that will equip you with commercial and project management skills.

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend a range of events that showcase the numerous career paths for biosciences graduates, including talks, workshops and networking events.

Placements and work experience

We understand that employers are looking for graduates with work experience. Most of our undergraduate courses can be taken with industrial/professional experience or a modern language where you will undertake a year-long research placement in a variety of organisations and industries globally.

You will also receive guidance and support to help you gain valuable summer internships and other work experience.

Plus, there are opportunities to get involved as a peer mentor, course rep or leader on our PASS study scheme, as well as a Student Ambassador, taking prospective students and parents on a tour of the University on interview days. This experience can help you develop transferable skills that will be useful in your chosen career.

Careers our graduates go into:

Research careers

Many of our graduates move into roles in scientific research and development. To progress into a career in scientific research, you will usually need to have a postgraduate qualification, such as a master's or, more usually, a PhD/MPhil.

Around a third of our graduates decide to progress to further study, carrying out research into a diverse range of fields. After completing postgraduate qualifications, research roles are available in industry and education.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Unilever, Novartis Vaccines and Boehringer Ingelheim;
  • research institutes including Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Cambridge Institute of Medical Research and the Mayo Clinic, Florida;
  • universities including the University of Sydney, the University of Cambridge, Kings College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Clinical and technical careers

You may choose a career in healthcare working, for example, as a biomedical or clinical scientist in NHS or government laboratories. Specialist knowledge in microbiology would enable you to work in safety or quality control for organisations such as food and drink companies, medical supplies manufacturers or utilities companies.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • the NHS;
  • United Utilities;
  • Systagenix;
  • Heinz;
  • Reckitt Benckiser;
  • Key Forensic Services Ltd.

Science in the field/conservation careers

Graduates with a passion for plant science, zoology or the environment have taken on roles in the field, such as ecologist, field biologist or conservation officer.

These are popular and competitive roles that require significant experience gained, for example, by volunteering or undertaking a placement year with a relevant organisation.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • Kalahari Meerkat Project (South Africa);
  • The Millennium Seed Bank;
  • Lancashire Wildlife Trust;
  • Bimini Sharklab (Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation, Bahamas);
  • Costa Rica Sloth Sanctuary;
  • The National Trust.

Science education, communication and policy careers

Other graduates use their scientific knowledge in a creative way, entering careers in scientific publishing or communicating science on websites, in museums or for outreach or educational organisations. A significant number of our graduates go on to teach science at schools or colleges.

If you are interested improving government science policy, there are opportunities for graduates to work as scientific advisers in the civil service or campaigning organisations.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • Natural History Museum;
  • Teach First;
  • BBC;
  • Manchester Museum;
  • The Wellcome Trust;
  • The Society of Biology;
  • The Cabinet Office;
  • Nature Publishing.

Science administration, management and sales careers

Some of our graduates use their science knowledge and transferable skills to work in science or healthcare administration, management and sales, for example, as clinical trials administrators and medical sales representatives.

Employers of our graduates include:

  • biotechnology companies including Syngenta, Protomed and ThermoScientific;
  • pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and medac GmbH;
  • the NHS.

Start your career with a biosciences degree from The University of Manchester.