Use your subject

Medical School

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 Medical School 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.

Almost all graduates from a degree in Medicine enter the next stage of professional training to become a doctor. There are over 60 specialties in medicine and information on each can be found at NHS health careers.

Many postgraduate students in the Medical School progress into related PhDs or employment in scientific research and development in medical/life sciences.

Biomedical engineer

Applies knowledge of engineering principles and materials to healthcare by researching, designing and developing medical products for medical equipment manufacturers, eg replacement knee joints and medical equipment. Alternatively, biomedical engineers manage the use of clinical equipment in healthcare settings where the job is typically called healthcare scientist.

Use our Occupations section Medical engineer for more information and links to useful websites.

Clinical research associate

Runs drugs trials with humans to test the effectiveness of newly developed and existing drugs as well potential side effects and benefits, to ensure they are safe for release to the market.

Usually employed by a pharmaceutical company or a contract research organisation, CRAs work on all stages of the trial. The work includes outlining the trial methodology, designing the data collection process, working with regulatory authorities, selecting facilities for the trial and liaising with medical professionals.

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


Diagnoses and treats illnesses and other medical conditions. Most doctors generally work either in hospitals or in general practice in the community. However, some specialised roles in different environments also exist.

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

Health promotion specialist

Helps people to improve their own health and increase their control over it. The roles in health promotion vary from advising individuals, or developing and implementing health education policies, to establishing programmes that promote healthy lifestyles and running campaigns.

Although a specialist health promotion qualification may not always be necessary, a relevant one in health education or public health may be required by some employers, especially for senior posts or positions involving staff or project management.

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

Healthcare scientist

Involved in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Working primarily for healthcare providers such as the NHS, healthcare science practitioners and scientists carry out a wide range of specialist scientific procedures. Depending on the role, you could be carrying out lab-based analysis of samples, working with specialist medical equipment, and assessing and treating patients.

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

Higher Education lecturer / researcher

Specialises in the university teaching and research of a range of life and biomedical subjects. Initial entry would normally be via a PhD, plus further postdoctoral research to add to your academic research and teaching experience.

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

Management consultant

Management consultants support organisations to solve issues in order to maximise growth and improve business performance. They use their business skills to provide objective advice and expertise and help an organisation to develop any specialist skills that it may be lacking.

You will be concerned primarily, with the strategy, structure, management and operations of a company. Your role is to identify options for the organisation and suggest recommendations for change, as well as advising on additional resources to implement solutions.

Use our Occupations section Management consultant for more information and links to useful websites.

Medical / life science researcher

Plans and conducts experiments and analyses results, to develop new products or processes, or to expand general scientific understanding. Typically part of a larger research team, you will often carry out experiments on your own, and disseminate relevant information to professional colleagues.

Employment can be in commercial labs (eg pharmaceutical manufacturers), hospital or government labs, research institutes and universities. You will usually need a research based Master’s or PhD.

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

Medical sales representative

Representatives (often known as 'reps') sell health/dental care companies' products to customers including dentists, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. You will promote your company's dental and/or pharmaceutical and medical products to new and existing customers, and seek to meet set sales targets while being responsible for maintaining good commercial relations with your clients.

Use our Occupations section Purchasing, supply and retail for more information and links to useful websites.

Physician associate

Provides support to doctors working under their direction to carry out patient examinations, diagnosis of conditions, analysis of test results and treatment. Requires a relevant two-year postgraduate qualification.

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

Public health professional

Contributes to the reduction of ill-health and improving the general population’s health through health protection (e.g. from environmental threats); health improvement (eg through policies to promote healthy lifestyles and improved living conditions); and healthcare improvements (working to ensure provision of efficient and accessible healthcare).

Staff work in a wide range of roles including health promotion, health advice, policy research and development and public health management.

Use our Occupations section Public health for more information and links to useful websites.

Regulatory affairs officer

Regulatory affairs officers ensure the appropriate licensing, marketing and legal compliance of products (including pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, agrochemicals, cosmetics and therapeutic devices) in order to control the safety and efficacy of those products. It requires a combination of scientific, legal and business knowledge to ensure products being developed, manufactured or distributed by a range of companies meet the required legislation.

Work experience or an internship in the pharmaceutical industry can be useful and provides insight into the industry as a whole.

Use our Occupations section Science policy and regulation for more information and links to useful websites.

Science writer

Researches and writes scientific news and other articles for a range of business and professional publications, specialist scientific journals, and the general news media. To do this, they need to understand complex information and theories and be able to write in clear and accurate language that can be understood by the intended audience which may be scientists, medical professionals or the general public.

While some writers work in scientific journalism and write for a general audience, others in scientific communications write for a more specialist technical/scientific audience.

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