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What can I do with a biology degree?

CellsFind out about your career options with a biology degree.

In the lab

The most common way to stay in biology after your studies is as a researcher in a laboratory. However, unlike in many other areas this does not have to be academic. Biologists can find employment as scientists or lab technicians with only their first degree. Both government organisations and private companies need biologists to do research into things like the environment or pharmacology.

However, an academic career is still an option. After your degree, the path to an academic career starts with a PhD. From there, you’ll usually do postdoctoral study before looking for jobs at universities.

Beyond the lab

Lab work isn’t the only way you can stay in science. Alternative careers include:

  • Clinical Research Associate (CRA): Monitoring clinical trials to make sure that they are well run. As well as your degree, this will require a good knowledge of clinical practice and, usually, a professional certification on top of your degree.
  • Medical sales: Marketing new medicines and equipment on behalf of the companies that manufacture them. This is a very specialised kind of sales, which requires a good understanding of the science behind the medicine.
  • Communications jobs, such as science writing and managing science events. This could be public communication, to increase the understanding of science, or communication with other scientists - for example, as a journal editor.
  • Teaching: biology is a ‘priority specialism’ for teaching in the UK, which means that you could get a bonus of up to £9,000 when you start, depending on how well you do in your degree.

Beyond biology

Scientists of all kinds are in demand in a variety of jobs, including marketing, accountancy and management. While some of these will require additional qualifications, for many the skills you learned while doing your degree will be enough.

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