School of Life Sciences
A degree in Life Sciences opens up a huge number of doors, it certainly won’t leave you struggling with options of where to work when you graduate. The UK life science sector is a large industry that employs over 250,000 people and has an annual turnover of £70.3bn with 5,650 businesses (Office for Life Sciences, gov.uk).
You can see what careers other graduates who studied your degree entered by reading the Prospects ‘What Do Graduates Do?’ guide:
You may choose to work in the life science industry in a role directly related to your degree or there are a large number of roles available in the wider science industry or outside of science that you may be interested in. For example, the financial industry is keen to recruit life science graduates due to their analytical skillset, their ability to interpret data and their numeracy skills. However, some of the roles that are open to graduates of a Life Science degree include:
- Clinical Scientist
- Biomedical Scientist
- Research Scientist
- Science Teacher
- Science Writer
- Medial Sales Rep
- Physician Associate
- Environmental Education Officer
- Food Analyst
- Nature Conservation Officer
- Environmental Consultant
- Animal Behaviourist
- Animal Nutritionist
- Water Quality Scientist
There are a large number of companies that recruit life science graduates, some large, multinational companies and some smaller regional companies. Some companies recruit through their own websites so it is helpful to start by highlighting some relevant companies that you may be interested in and search their career pages on their websites for their opportunities.
Companies that recruit life science graduates may include:
NHS, water companies, wildlife trusts, food and drink companies, agriculture companies, veterinary diagnostics, pharmaceutical companies, universities, NGOs, charities, FMCG, research institutes, environment agencies, zoos and wildlife parks.
Some companies use recruitment organisations to advertise their graduate roles rather than managing the process themselves. These recruitment sites can be particularly useful if they specialise in the scientific areas that you are interested in. Recruitment organisations can either operate as an agency or a jobs board, you will need to research each company to find out what they specialise in and how they work. Many large scientific companies engage scientific recruitment agencies to support their recruitment practices so registering with an agency in your chosen area may be helpful in your last few months of university. Agencies will recruit staff on behalf of a company so registering your CV with them could be helpful, they may also advertise roles on their website to apply directly though too.
Useful Life Science Job Sites
The following are some job sites that may interest you as a Life Sciences student:
- NHS Jobs
- Royal Society of Biology Jobs
- Wildlife Trusts
- Environment Job
- Biomed Scientist Jobs
- Nature Careers
Scientific Job sites and Agencies
The following are job sites that specifically list scientific roles:
Graduate Scheme Options
Below are just some of the graduate scheme options you may be interested in with a Life Sciences degree. But remember there are many graduate schemes that are open to graduates from any discipline.
- NHS Scientist Training Programme
- Environment Agency
- Thames Water
- Cancer Research
- Astra Zeneca
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
For general support and information about protected characteristics please visit our Diversity, Equality and Inclusion page. The following organisations focus on and promote diversity and equality in science:
- Royal Society of Biology– The RSB is working hard to increase the diversity within the Biosciences and currently manages a number of different inclusivity initiatives including….
- Women in Biology– The Royal Society of Biology is concerned about the loss of women from the biosciences workforce and the low number that progress to senior positions in universities and research institutes, government, business and industry.
- Returners to Bioscience Group– The Royal Society of Biology has established the ‘Returners to Bioscience’ group to examine the experiences of those who face such difficulties in returning to a career in the biosciences as well as those who achieve success.
- Pride in STEM – their goal is to raise the profile of LGBT+ people in science, technology, engineering and maths/medicine (STEM) as well as to highlight the struggles LGBTSTEM people often face. They aim to “queer up science spaces” and to “science up queer spaces”.
- BBSTEM – inspires the young Black British generation to pursue STEM subjects in university and beyond.
- STEMM Disability Advisory Committee– providing support across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine for disabled workers, current and aspiring disabled students and their teachers.
- WISE– enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
If you’d like more personalised advice on how to start thinking about your career in life sciences, you can always book a Careers Guidance session with one of our advisors for a one to one chat.