Not signed up?

 
 

Options with your subject: Biology

A biology degree can prepare you for a career in the science and health sectors. You also develop a range of transferable skills…

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.

Work experience

Biology-related jobs are particularly competitive, so it is valuable, and sometimes critical, to gain practical experience in the field. Work experience demonstrates your commitment to the career area and knowledge of what is involved. Some degree courses may incorporate a year-long industrial placement and you may be eligible to receive a bursary or grant to support your placement.

During your course, you could also use the summer holidays or evenings/weekends to get some experience through paid opportunities or voluntary work. A number of organisations offer work experience including the:

You could also try contacting science museums, research and clinical laboratories, conservation facilities or pharmaceutical companies.

Search for placements and find out about work experience and internships. More information about work experience opportunities and industrial placements is available from the Society of Biology - Work Experience and Placements

Typical employers

A wide range of employers recruit graduates for biology-related jobs including:

  • universities and clinical research organisations;
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies;
  • private hospitals and NHS trusts;
  • national and global health and environmental charities;
  • scientific and technical consultancies;
  • schools and colleges;
  • outreach organisations, such as museums, science centres and broadcast companies, etc.

Many biology graduates pursue opportunities outside the science and health sectors in business, finance, marketing, education and sales.

Find information on employers in science and pharmaceuticals, environment and agriculture, health and social care, and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

In addition to subject-specific knowledge of biological systems and concepts, you will develop a range of practical and technical skills and learn how to use specialist techniques and technical equipment. A biology degree also develops more general skills, which are attractive to employers in all sectors, including:

  • communication skills - through report writing and presentations;
  • teamworking skills - through group projects and seminars;
  • organisational skills;
  • ability to confidently handle masses of diverse data and to draw conclusions;
  • problem-solving, project and time management skills;
  • self-reliance, initiative and business awareness.

Further study

Many biology graduates choose to study for postgraduate qualifications in a more specialised science to increase their expertise in a particular area. Others pursue postgraduate opportunities in other career areas.

A higher qualification may be an advantage in a competitive job market as it will enhance your research skills, specialist knowledge and communication skills. It can also help with career progression.

If you want a career as a research scientist or a university lecturer, you must do a PhD following your degree. This takes three years but is likely to be fully funded with a 'salary'.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.

What do biology graduates do?

Around 1 in 12 biology graduates are working as laboratory technicians. Other professions in the top ten include biochemists and medical scientists and researchers.

Graduate destinations for biology
Destinations Percentage
Employed 52.9%
Further study 25.2%
Working and studying 6%
Unemployed 10.6%
Other 5.3%
Types of work entered in the UK
  Percentage
Retail, catering and bar work 20.8%
Technicians and other professionals 16.5%
Secretarial and numerical clerks 10.8%
Caring and education work 8.6%
Other 43.3%
 

For a detailed breakdown of what biology graduates are doing six months after graduation, see What Do Graduates Do?  

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
November 2012
 

Spotlight on...

Sponsored links

 
 
 

This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.