A good proportion of BMS students aim to enter jobs relating to their discipline. Upon graduation some obtain employment as research assistants or lab technicians, often in Higher Education or schools, but also in hospitals or pharmaceutical companies as well as smaller organisations (SMEs). A high proportion of BMS graduates go on to further study, to enhance their prospects of pursuing a scientific research career in academia, research institutes, the NHS, or in industry. Many undertake a PhD / MPhil whilst others go on to Masters courses related to their discipline.
Careers in Medicine and Dentistry are sought after by many BMS students. A number of graduates go on to study this as a second degree, with others undertaking paid or voluntary work in caring roles after graduation in order to boost their chances of making a successful UCAS application the following year. Some choose to study for an alternative healthcare related profession. Teaching training is also popular.
Not all BMS 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 business management, finance, IT, recruitment, sales, retail, and project management. Some use their science indirectly, for example in scientific publishing or medical sales.
“I thoroughly enjoyed everything I learnt and it gives me the inspirational stories to tell my pupils (Teacher)” - BMS Graduate
“I am very proud to be a Sheffield Graduate and the support and encouragement, as well as knowledge and skills that I learnt from my degree have been the basis for my career" - BMS 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
We have put together a number of resources to help with this.
Make a start by reading these sections of the Prospects website and develop ideas on how best you can use your degree. NB: the BMS course here at Sheffield does not provide vocational training for IBMS accreditation / HPC approval so you would need additional training to become a biomedical scientist in the NHS. This does not mean that you cannot work in the NHS as a healthcare scientist assistant or trainee; explore the other clinical scientist roles listed on the Prospects website and on the NHS careers website (see below).
While there are a number of obvious jobs that you may wish to consider such as research scientist, healthcare scientist, doctor, or dentist, there are also a number of other alternatives. A large proportion of vacancies advertised to graduates are open to any degree subject, so you should be prepared to explore all your options and be open to new career ideas, investigating roles with small companies (SMEs) as well as the large organisations you may already be familiar with.
This guide produced by Targetjobs, should help you think about the skills you have and the jobs they can be applied to.
Careers A to Z - Health Careers
The careers in the NHS website includes over 300 profiles including healthcare scientists, health informatics, doctors, dentists and other allied health professionals.
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.
If you are interested in postgraduate study, a good place to start is Prospects, which offer a database of courses and research opportunities.
A significant proportion of BMS graduates progress into postgraduate study, particularly those wishing to enhance their prospects of a career in research or healthcare science. Many pursue a PhD / MPhil or MSc in relevant subjects around biomedical science, neuroscience, cell biology, physiology and other related areas. Second degrees in Medicine and Dentistry are also popular, whilst some students choose to take conversion courses in other healthcare professions.
A few graduates choose further study, which enables them to use science in a different way such as biotechnological law or science communication. Some choose to move away from science altogether, and into areas such as marketing, or business management courses.. Teacher training via the PGCE course is also popular.
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.