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Advice on graduate careers in science and research

In a career in the science industry you could push your expertise to the limits and make a difference to society. Some areas can be very competitive, particularly if you want to apply to major pharmaceutical companies – and you may need to get a masters or PhD under your belt, especially if you want a career in research and development. Don’t let this put you off though: our advice will help you on your way to landing a graduate job. You’ll find guidance on tackling technical tests, exploring your postgraduate study options and getting to grips with the range of sectors you could work in, from food and drink to forensic science.

Job hunting decisions and tips

Industry sectors

  • Aerospace and defence

    Advances in this area need a constant flow of graduate scientists. It is also one of the areas which does have graduate schemes available to top candidates.


  • Chemical industries

    It’s one of the UK’s largest manufacturing industries, with an annual turnover of around £55 billion, and it provides direct employment to 180,000 people.


  • Healthcare

    Healthcare scientists are involved in detecting and combating medical ailments. There are many different kinds of roles performed, and a lot of chances to make a difference, if not on a scientific scale then certainly on a personal one.


  • Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

    Discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing new compounds for use in medicine, agriculture and industry.


Training and qualification

  • Scientific postgraduate study: MSc, MRes or PhD?

    Getting a science postgraduate qualification could set you off on a budding academic or commercial research career or put you on the right path to getting a graduate science job in a specialist area. Find out what you could do and how to weigh up the benefits.


Alternative careers

Job descriptions