Animal and Plant Sciences
The Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield includes Biology, Ecology, Plant Sciences and Zoology. Its graduates therefore enter a broad range of occupations.
Some graduates enter jobs relating to their discipline, including research assistant and lab technician posts in sectors such as Higher Education, schools, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, environmental consultancies, water companies, agricultural research centres and other research institutes as well as smaller organisations (SMEs).
A high proportion of APS graduates go on to further study to enhance their prospects of pursuing a research career in academia, research institutes, industry, or the public sector. Many undertake a PhD, others go on to Masters courses related to their discipline. Teaching training is also popular. A small number move on to second degrees in subject areas such as medicine or veterinary science.
Not all APS graduates choose to pursue a career in science. Many use the transferable skills gained from their course and extra-curricular activities to follow career paths as diverse as journalism, IT, finance, charity administration, marketing, recruitment, retail, and logistics. Those studying a modern language alongside their science may choose careers such as translation or teaching abroad.
For some APS graduates it is necessary to undertake a period of voluntary work before entering their chosen career, particularly in career areas like conservation and working with animals, where graduates volunteer with wildlife trusts, charities and zoos before gaining paid employment.
"I enjoyed all aspects and topics of the degree and the information given has helped me understand the situation of the zoo animals I work with and those in the wild" - Animal and Plant Sciences Graduate
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Step 1 - Look at the career paths of recent graduates
Understanding what recent graduates from your subject have gone on to do can be a valuable source of information to help in career planning, but bear in mind that what you choose to do will be a personal decision based on many other factors, such as what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what you want from work.
Read this section first, if you have not already done so, as it will help you explore these factors and get ideas for possible careers.
This data was collected six months after graduation, so although useful, it doesn't provide a reliable indicator of longer term career paths. Some graduates are still in transition and may be in short term jobs, mainly in administrative, retail and customer service roles, developing further skills and experience while at the same time job hunting, travelling or taking time out.
Our graduate case studies database allows you to search by department and read the case studies from graduates who describe their career path and provide a realistic insight into the world of work.
Step 2 - Research options linked to your subject
This section of the Prospects website will help you to explore how you can best use your degree.
Careers - A future in Biology - Society of Biology
The Society of Biology has a careers section designed to help undergraduate and postgraduate students in their career development.
This part of Prospects includes profiles covering a wide range of occupations, including job descriptions, salary, entry requirements, training, typical employers and vacancies.
A significant proportion of APS graduates progress into postgraduate study, particularly those wishing to enhance their prospects of a career in research. Many pursue a PhD / MPhil in relevant subjects around biology, ecology, zoology and other animal and plant sciences. MSc courses in these areas are also popular, along with others which might use science in a different way such as documentary making, journalism or science communication. Teaching is popular, with most taking the PGCE route to train as a teacher.
If you are interested in postgraduate study, a good place to start is Prospects which offer a database of courses and research opportunities.
Step 3 - Search vacancy databases for jobs of interest
We advertise over 5000 vacancies each year for graduate jobs, placements, part-time, voluntary and vacation work.
Our Information resources database includes a section covering a large number of general and regional graduate vacancy websites. Within the ‘Occupations’ section we include recruiters who specialise in a particular sector. Many professional organisations and government bodies also include vacancies as part of their website.