School of Biological Sciences
The skills you acquire during your bioscience degree will enable you to pursue a career in a wide range of science or non-science based occupations. These knowledge-based and transferable skills will be developed gradually, allowing you to make the transition to an independent learner, through subject-specific subjects units (modules), our personal tutorial system, professional careers guidance service, your PDP system, and our work placement advice service. Additionally, you can apply and improve many of your acquired skills by being involved with a student society run by the Students Union.
For many science-based occupations, your first degree is the initial step on the career ladder. For those of you wishing to continue your studies after graduation, University staff will provide you with help and advise to find the right programme for your career. All of our degree programmes are recognised by the Society of Biology, allowing you to become a member of the Society automatically. The key transferable skills (communication, numeracy, problem solving, team work and time management) are sorted by employers in all walks of life, and you will find these central to our courses.
What opportunities might it lead to?
A high percentage of our students are in work or further study 6 months after finishing their course. Many decide to continue into higher education by registering for a higher degree or a teaching certificate qualification.
Students graduating from our Department enter a range of career destinations, including:
- Managerial posts for a variety of companies and charities
- Laboratory technical work
- Sales positions
- Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
- Health Services
- Media roles
- Marine Consultancy
- Conservation roles
The long term career prospects of our graduates is impressive, with television presenters, leading researchers, scientific writers, senior corporate managers, environmental consultants, marketing consultants, biotechnologists, and educationalists being listed amongst our alumni. All of these people started their careers with one of our degrees.
- Miles Wellington
- Studied: Biochemistry
- Current job: Research Associate, Ilumina
Miles expanded his skills and knowledge in biochemistry by completing a work placement, supported by the School of Biological Sciences further increasing his employability to help him gain employment soon after finishing his course.
The University and my supervisor encouraged my desire to work in the Biotechnology industry, They aided me with the opportunity to complete a work placement during my degree. This work placement helped my employment prospects after graduation. I now work with Illumina, developing new tests to diagnose genetic diseases.
Work experience, internships & placements
Gaining work experience can dramatically improve your chances of obtaining future employment. Although work experience is not a compulsory part of our degree programmes, you will be encouraged and helped to do this. There are many different ways to obtain this experience while you are studying, ranging from voluntary work to short-term employment. Summer work placements, where you are paid or have a grant, in academia or industry are routinely arranged either by agreement with a company or through our ERASMUS links, allowing you to work in a european laboratory or field station. When your work is laboratory or field based, it can form part of your final year project. Internships are paid, and sometimes unpaid, short-term positions where you are expected to perform a specific role. Employers often use internships to assess individual suitability for employment. Internships are occasionally arranged within the School where students are trained to use specific equipment or techniques. Throughout your degree you will be provided with information about work experience that is available.
Marine Biology placements
The value of real work experience is essential to help achieve your marine science career especially in today’s global job market. Gaining relevant work-based experience that fits your desired career goals alongside your BSc in Marine Biology will ensure that you develop the necessary skills potential employers are looking for. By doing so, you will be demonstrating how diligent, committed and enthusiastic you are in that field as well as acquiring many marine and generic skills (e.g. confidence, communication) essential for your post-degree future.
Our course is flexible enabling students to undertake a variety of work-based placements from a few weeks to a year or gain experience through their research project. Through our extensive network of partners from industry, government agencies, conservation NGOs and research institutions we can facilitate the process of finding the right placement* to suit your career aspirations. For example, for those who want to work abroad you can study for your honours project or part of your degree under the ERASMUS scheme through which we have strong links with many European universities.
Below is a small selection of the partner organisations that we work with that can provide work experience opportunities for marine biology students wanting to gain valuable experience in marine and aquatic sciences.
- Blue Reef Aquarium
- Eco-Fish Consultants
- Field Studies Council
- Fugro EMU Ltd
- Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
- Maidenhead Aquatics
- Marine Conservation Society
- Marine Stewardship Council
- Oil Spill Response Ltd
- Operation Wallacea
- Pontus Research
- Sea Watch Foundation
*Placements subject to partner availability and may require external application process
Enterprise & entrepreneurship
Converting your employability skills into entrepreneurial ones is encouraged within the University. The University Enterprise unit, part of Purple Door, runs a number of events, workshops and competitions each year that are designed to help you develop these business skills. In addition to this, students on the Biology and Biochemistry pathways can participate in developing a scientific idea for business as part of their final year work.
Our recruitment service will support you with part-time jobs, career planning, work experience, volunteering, placements, business start-up and graduate jobs to help you get into graduate work, further study or a start-up business.
Visit Purple Door