Industrial and professional experience

You can apply 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.

Hear what some of our placement students thought of their placement year:

We have a very successful programme of laboratory and field research placements. Students have been able to undertake placements all over the world, including with pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, hospitals and nature reserves.

“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

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:

Industrial/professional research experience

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.

Science communication

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.

Conservation and animal husbandry

You can spend a year working in an organisation that centres on animal husbandry and/or conservation, such as a zoo, a research station or a non-governmental organization (NGO).

If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, this experience will be invaluable to you.

Where could you go?

Students undertake placements with organisations all over the world. These have included:

  • 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 while on placement.

The Placement Advisor will conduct formal online meetings with their allocated student during the year to monitor their progress.

Eligible courses

We offer degrees with industrial experience in the following biosciences subjects. The below links will take you to the relevant industrial experience course page (2024 entry) on The University of Manchester website.


Tuition fees for an industrial placement year are significantly lower than tuition fees for a standard year.

Bursaries may be available. Further information can be found on the Student Support website.

Some placements may also be salaried.

Students participating in placements outside the UK may be able to apply for funding from the UK's Turing scheme, depending on eligibility. Priority will be given to students from low-income households.

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.