Biosciences and Chemistry

As a graduate with a degree in a science you will be highly skilled and knowledgeable.  In addition to the technical abilities and specialised subject knowledge you now have, you will also have a wide range of skills. A degree in science can lead just about anywhere - from teaching to management to law.  Those with science degrees are amongst the most sought-after graduates as they are good at problem solving, work well in teams and know how to produce results.


You will typically be able to demonstrate:

  • wide-ranging knowledge of essential facts, theories, methods and applications, ethical standards and professional codes of conduct
  • ability to apply practical techniques and methodologies, including designing, planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, preparation of risk assessments and following of standard operating procedures and health and safety protocols
  • ability to interpret results, analyse data, and present findings
  • an understanding of, and interest in, current developments in your subject discipline, new techniques and any ethical issues involved.

In addition, these are the types of wider set of 'transferable skills' that, as a science graduate you will typically be able to demonstrate:

  • communication skills (listening, verbal, written)
  • logical, critical thinking, analytical and research skills
  • planning and organisational skills
  • accuracy and efficiency
  • initiative, independent thinking and self-motivation
  • team-working skills
  • flexibility and adaptability
  • the ability to prioritise a wide range of different  tasks to meet with conflicting deadlines
  • problem solving  and creative thinking
  • IT skills, numeracy
  • decision making


Scientific research and development - Includes academic research, industrial research and product development. Science has traditionally been split into fundamental scientific research carried out in universities or industrial scientific development using scientific knowledge to create new products or processes. However research can take place in industry and scientific development can take place at university.  Postgraduate qualification (e.g. PhD, MRes or MPhil) are commonly required.  A postgraduate degree may be helpful in gaining a job in scientific development however you may progress well with a good degree and excellent technical and laboratory skills.  Entry may also be possible though technicial roles where good practical laboratory skills and attention to detail and record keeping are required.   

Scientific Information - If you like science but don't want to be in a laboratory everyday a career using scientific information could be for you. Career areas are varied - science writing or publishing, patents and scientific sales.  Science writing includes science journalism, science publishing and medical writing.  Commonly, science writers will have a PhD, particularly for medical writing, however entry is possible with a degree combined with writing exprience.  A postgraduate qualification in science communication, journalism or publishing can also be useful.

Scientific Services - Limited roles are available in local councils, higher and further education and consultancy firms. Work in Scientific services involves applying practical, problem solving, analytical and teamwork skills in challenging commercial or public sector environments. Some roles are essentially scientific consultancy. Your client might be pharmaceutical company, police force or hospital clinician. You need to be able to operate effectively in a multidisciplinary environment, have good communication skills and ability to work to deadlines.

Healthcare Sciences - Most healthcare scientists in the UK work in the NHS. The scheme for recruitment into graduate level healthcare scientist training posts in England is the Scientist Training Programme (STP) which is part of the Modernising Scientific Careers Programme. Health care scientists in England work across a range of specialisms to deliver science - based diagnoses and treatments in virtually all healthcare settings.  Training posts for the STP are usually advertised in January for a short two week period although sometimes earlier (Autumn) and will be available on the NHS jobs website.

Graduates and postgraduates can apply for a 3 year fixed term integrated training programme of work place learning and a Masters degree in their chosen specialism. Trainees are employed by a single NHS Trust. They undertake a range of rotations and further training in their specialist field. After this period successful trainees will be in a position to apply for NHS posts as Healthcare Scientists. Further details of the scheme and lists of posts can be found on the NHS Careers website.

Biomedical scientists - currently graduates can enter directly into the NHS as a trainee or Biomedical Scientist ( if IBMS accredited) or enter via the STP.  The Biomedical Science degree programme at Sheffield Hallam University is accredited by the IBMS.  If an appropriate placement is secured during the degree programme after L5 for a year it will allow for a building of a portfolio and if completed registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates not able to secure this can still apply for trainee posts or enter at technician level and look for internal promotion.

Last modified: 
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 15:47