Published: 24 May 2017

What can you do with a degree in biosciences?

Biosciences students are provided with a wealth of relevant skills and knowledge, allowing them to pursue a wide range of exciting and rewarding careers. Read on to scope out which jobs biosciences graduates are best-suited to, from the obvious to the potentially unexpected.

Are you interested in learning about life in all its forms, but not sure how a degree in biosciences could multiply your prospects?

A biosciences degree covers a broad range of scientific content and there is always something new to discover in this rapidly changing field. A degree in this innovative and diverse field of study will provide you with a range of valuable transferable skills that can open doors to a variety of fascinating careers.

What skills will a biosciences degree teach me?

As a biosciences student, you will develop practical expertise gained from laboratory and field work. You will also acquire first-class research, analytical and data handling skills, as well as a strong awareness of ethical issues.

My degree has given me plenty of time within the laboratory environment in some of the best facilities in the country.

Ralph Newbold, BSc Food Science and Microbiology

Alongside these degree-specific skills, you will also gain a range of key transferable skills that are highly valued by employers across industries. These include essential skills such as teamwork, attention to detail, communication, problem solving, organisation and time management. Biosciences graduates also develop technological knowledge and strong computing skills.

What job can I get with a degree in biosciences?

Biosciences graduates, with their well-developed research skills, are perhaps most obviously qualified for professions such as:

  • Scientific researching
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Laboratory technician
  • Conservation management
  • Toxicology
  • Clinical research associate
  • Nutritionist/Dietitian
  • Sports coaching
  • Teaching or lecturing

However, a degree in biosciences can also lead to a variety of different professions beyond the scope of laboratory or science based work. You may find that the numerous skills and practical knowledge gained during your biosciences degree will prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career in other, perhaps more unexpected, areas.

I have found my experiences in creating new research and knowledge has helped me to be more critical of the data and evidence that we base healthcare practices on.

Rowan Softley, Biochemistry graduate

Unexpected career paths for biosciences graduates

Science writing and communication

As a biosciences graduate, you will be equipped with excellent communication skills, logical thinking, the ability to work to deadlines and a strong understanding of science, which are all key skills for a successful career in science writing and communication.

Science writers play a vital role in communicating research discoveries, and biosciences graduates possess the necessary skills to be able to interpret complex scientific information and present this in a clear, concise and accurate way that can be understood by the general public.

There are many varied roles within science writing and communication, whether you wish to write for research papers, newspapers, magazines or journals, the report writing skills you developed during your biosciences degree will prepare you for a rewarding career in this sector.

Business and finance

The impressive analytical and numeracy skills developed throughout a biosciences degree makes biosciences graduates strong candidates for a career in business and finance.

A biosciences degree provides experience in data handling and the ability to effectively collect and analyse data will prove highly beneficial in the business and finance sector. You will also find that the teamwork and problem solving skills developed during your biosciences degree will aid you in working collaboratively in this fast-paced sector.

Patent law

Combine your degree in biosciences with an interest in the law, and a career as a patent attorney might be for you. Working in patent law allows you to apply the strong logical, analytical and research skills gained from your biosciences degree by assessing inventions, analysing scientific or technical documents, defending patents and arguing cases.

The majority of patent attorneys have a scientific background, as this job role deals with the scientific and technical aspects of a patent, therefore a degree in biosciences gives you an edge in this innovative sector. Additionally, the strong communication skills you developed during your biosciences degree will prove highly advantageous when it comes to successfully arguing cases.

Physician associate

If you want a hands-on medical role but you aren’t interested in becoming a doctor, then pursuing a highly rewarding career as a physician associate could be your ideal next step. A relatively new role, physician associates support doctors with the diagnosis and management of patients, and are crucial to the healthcare sector.

A biosciences degree provides the perfect base to pursue training as a physician associate. The analytical skills gained from a biosciences degree will enable you to analyse test results and diagnose illnesses. You will also benefit from the strong communication and interpersonal skills gained from your biosciences degree, which will significantly assist you with examining patients and providing treatment plans.

At Surrey, our PGDip in Physician Associate studies allows you to build upon the skills and knowledge developed from your biosciences degree, and prepares you for an exciting career as a physician associate.

Sales and marketing

There are numerous opportunities in sales and marketing for biosciences graduates to apply their strong communication, problem solving and interpersonal skills. Many industries employ science graduates for customer-facing sales roles, where they can use their scientific and technical knowledge to overcome problems and better understand customer needs.

As a biosciences graduate, you will also possess strong research and organisation skills, as well as the ability to analyse and understand technical information, which will be invaluable in understanding marketing data, and conceptualising and managing marketing campaigns.

At the University of Surrey, our innovative biosciences and medicine programmes are ranked top ten by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, the Guardian University Guide 2018 and the Complete University Guide 2018.

Discover more about where a degree in biosciences and medicine from the University of Surrey could take you. Explore some of the top jobs our biosciences and medicine graduates have secured over the past few years and learn more about careers and employability at Surrey, including our world-renowned Professional Training placement programme.

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