Use your subject

Biomedical Science

Think about what 'using your subject' means to you and what you're really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it's a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

As a start, use the resources below to create your own list of career ideas to research.

Remember that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject.

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Biomedical Science graduates on Prospects and Targetjobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start-ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject.

Some career options

Our information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start to explore the following occupational areas. However you are not restricted to these and you should also consider any other additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Academic lecturing / teaching

Higher Education lecturers/teachers teach their subject to undergraduate and postgraduate students via lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical demonstrations, field work and e-learning. Lecturers also pursue their own research with the aim of having this published in scholarly publications to help raise their institution's profile.

Administrative tasks are significant and many lecturers / teachers also take on a pastoral role with their students. Having a PhD is a prerequisite alongside experience such as research assistant or teaching assistant / demonstrator in HE.

Use our Occupations section Higher education for more information and links to useful websites.

Clinical trials coordinator / manager

For graduates with a first degree in a life sciences or health related subject, working within clinical trials is a viable career path.

Employed within the public and private sector working for organisations such as the NHS, universities, pharmaceutical sector and contract research organisations, a clinical trials coordinator/manager will undertake the project management and overall management responsibilities for a clinical trial.

Responsible for planning, co-ordinating and completing the project a clinical trials coordinator will have excellent communication and presentation skills, together with the ability to organise and motivate others.

Use our Occupations section Scientific research and development for more information and links to useful websites.

Data analyst / scientist

Develops and applies record management systems, analyses and interprets data sets relating to her/his employer's business, and prepares reports using business analytics tools.

Data analysts are in high demand across all sectors, including pharmaceuticals, finance, manufacturing, government and education. They work across broad areas including business intelligence, data assurance, data quality, sales and marketing.

You might work for the organisation itself, eg a pharmaceutical company, or for a consultancy working on their behalf. Alternative job titles might include value analyst or business intelligence analyst.

Use our Occupations section Data science for more information and links to useful websites.

Food technologist

Works for food manufacturers on the development of manufacturing processes and the recipes of food and drink products. They may work on using ingredients to invent new recipes, and/or modify existing foods to create products such as fat-free foodstuffs or ready meals.

Use our Occupations section Scientific research, analysis and support for more information and links to useful websites.

Life science researcher / research assistant

Primarily involved in planning and conducting experiments and analysing results, either with a definite end use (eg to develop new products, processes or commercial applications) or to broaden scientific understanding in general. Researchers and assistants might work for universities, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies, private hospitals and NHS trusts, clinical research organisations, food & drink, research councils and their associated institutes, health-related charities or science consultancies.

A PhD is often required to progress beyond assistant roles alongside tenacity, problem solving and multidisciplinary teamwork.

Medical / healthcare communications

They help pharmaceutical companies to raise awareness of their medicines, via education and promotion, for audiences including GPs, hospital doctors, senior nurses or other scientists.

Medical writing is a common role, which includes producing articles for publication in peer-reviewed medical journals, presenting at large medical congresses or developing training for a drug company’s sales team. Most are employed by agencies, which also have roles in business development to bring new clients into the agency, but some pharmaceutical companies employ their own healthcare communicators.

Medicine, dentistry and other related healthcare professions

A number of BMS graduates hope to train to be a hospital doctor or General Practitioner, where they examine, diagnose and treat patients. Others plan to become dentists, who prevent and treat problems affecting the mouth and teeth including disease and injury.

Other related roles, which all require excellent interpersonal skills to complement scientific knowledge, include physician associate, nurse, physiotherapist, radiotherapist, orthoptist and other allied health professions. Getting hands-on caring experience before applying for these roles is important.

NHS healthcare scientist

The NHS Scientists Training Programme (STP) provides on-the-job training and a Masters qualification for individuals who aim to become future managers, with responsibility for progressing the service and strategic developments in their specialist area, within NHS budgets.

Specialist areas include clinical bioinformatics, life sciences, physiological sciences and biomechanical engineering. It’s quite different to being at the cutting edge of discovery as a researcher. If you’d prefer something more hands-on in the lab then technician or healthcare science associate roles may be more appropriate.

NB: The degree here at Sheffield isn’t IBMS accredited so you’ll need to do top-up qualifications to practice specifically as a Biomedical Scientist in the NHS.

Patent attorney / patent examiner

If you have an interest in law, a methodical and meticulous attention to detail and excellent written communication skills you may enjoy applying your technical background and engineering degree to this area of work.

In this role you will assess whether inventions are eligible to be patented by searching through existing records of patents that have been approved and assessing whether the new product is sufficiently new and innovative. You will develop extensive knowledge of intellectual property law and have highly honed skills in drafting patents.

You may also advise companies and individuals through the process of gaining a patent or enforcing infringements.

Science communicator / writer

Science writers prepare and deliver professional presentations on science-related topics to non-experts, including the general public as well as professionals in other disciplines. Opportunities range from schools outreach in HE to scientific events management with science communication agencies, public relations roles with learned societies, or education officer roles in science museums.

Some of the larger charities, eg Cancer Research UK or Wellcome Trust, may offer graduate schemes in areas like policy, public engagement and communications.

Science communicators also work in specialist publishing, journalism and broadcasting.