What can I do with my biomedical science degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a biomedical science degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

Your study of biomedical science will provide you with knowledge and skills that are valuable to employers:

  • problem-solving and critical thinking skills through biomedical investigation and experimentation
  • data analysis, evaluation and interpretation through conducting and evaluating experiments
  • practical laboratory skills through the application of advanced laboratory techniques
  • organisation and project management through independent research
  • accuracy and attention to detail through undertaking complex laboratory observations and measurements
  • oral and written communication through report writing and presenting
  • team-working skills through group activities.

Career options

A Biomedical Science degree from the University of Plymouth will prepare you for a range of diagnostic roles in pathology and research laboratories in the NHS and private sector hospitals. It also opens up opportunities in the commercial life sciences sector, for example in pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical and medical technology organisations.

Biomedical Scientists are regulated professionals and you will need to gain registration from the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to practise in the NHS. This is achieved by completing the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) portfolio while working in an approved laboratory. Students at Plymouth have the opportunity to complete their professional registration as part of a 1-year placement at the end of their second year, leading to a degree in applied biomedical science. Alternatively, it is possible to complete the IBMS portfolio after graduation, while working as a Trainee Biomedical Scientist or perhaps as a laboratory assistant in the NHS. Such opportunities can be fiercely competitive.

Biomedical Science is a strong foundation for a broad range of patient and non-patient facing roles in healthcare, including medicine, dentistry, healthcare science, nursing, allied health professions, public health and management. Medicine and dentistry are often popular choices, though students should be aware that the high academic and personal requirements of these programmes mean that it is wise to have a back-up plan. Emerging professions such as physician associate could also be worth exploring.

Graduates are also found in the commercial sector, for example in drug discovery, product development, clinical trials, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, operations and sales. Those with an interest in data may wish to explore the growing field of informatics, where organisations seek to create value out of the wealth of data now available. A few graduates carve out careers in science communication through roles in the media, science policy or public relations.

Research-based careers are another pathway. This is a very competitive field, so exploring a wide range of options across higher education institutions, research institutes, charities and industry can be advantageous.

Researching your career options

With such a wide range of careers open to you as a biomedical graduate, it is important to make sure you explore and research your options thoroughly so that you can make informed decisions about your future.  

The following websites provide helpful information for career research:

Employment Opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth biomedical science graduates told us they were doing six months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as stepping stones to other roles by providing relevant workplace experience:

  • Science Technician
  • Analytical Scientist
  • Purification Development Technologist
  • Lab Analyst
  • Research Assistant
  • Microbiology MLA
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant
  • Healthcare Technical Officer
  • Graduate Lecturer
  • Assistant Practice Manager of GP Surgery
  • Biomedical Scientist Trainee
  • PR and Marketing Officer
  • Reduce Testing Specialist
  • Royal Naval Officer
  • Medical Support Worker
  • Medical sales representative
  • Theatre Assistant in Gynaecology

Employers

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by biomedical graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options related biomedical science:  

There is a progression pathway for biomedical science graduates onto the physician associate programme, with ten ring-fenced places available.

There are two further progression pathways onto the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) and Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at Plymouth. One pathway is available at the end of Stage 1 and the other for graduates. Places are limited and applicants will need to meet the admission criteria.

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your particular situation.  

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme:

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access our 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more

Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn’s alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • Search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience

Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out particular career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.

You have plenty of options open to you. You could apply for a placement year, work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union also offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.

Clubs & Societies   

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to biomedical science such as Biomed+ or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.