Career opportunities

The field of biology is an extremely dynamic and progressive one, with demand for graduates being high across of range of sub-disciplines. Biologists from Reading are qualified to enter a very wide spectrum of work. This broadly divides into biomolecular and environmental disciplines, although a significant minority of graduates develop careers in education and the media. Some graduates remain 'purists',for example becoming taxonomists within a museum or university, whereas others apply their skills to more generic situations – for example as a manager within the National Trust dealing with volunteer conservation groups.

CryopreservationStudents specialising in biomolecular and medical arenas are much sought after by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, the National Health Service, the food and dietary industry, agricultural sectors and forensics. Graduate careers in these areas are among the most rewarding in terms of job satisfaction, salary and promotion prospects. In addition to students having a 'strong pedigree' in science from a research intensive university, we actively engage with employers to help students develop their career prospects through placements and collaborative research projects.

Societal concerns relating to climate change, sustainability and loss of biodiversity are resulting in increased demand for environmental biology students too, particular in the arenas of environmental consultancy and environmental policy. Many graduates go on to work for bodies such as Natural England, DEFRA, NERC as well as becoming conservation officers for local authorities and private consultancy firms. Again Reading student are well placed in this respects due to their grounding in both sound scientific principles and practical realism.

For those students specifically wishing to develop careers in research, there are numerous opportunities for further studies at MSc or PhD levels, either at Reading or other institutions.

We strongly encourage students to take placement places to enhance long-term career prospects. Placements are taken both in the UK and overseas, working within a wide range of biological disciplines (medical, pharmaceutical, horticultural to name but a few). Students consistently report positive experiences gained from working in positions of considerable responsibility in commercial companies such as Procter & Gamble and Genetix and with research bodies such as the Medical Research Council. These placements also significantly improve graduates' potential and scope for employment (often with the placement company concerned).

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