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Why study Biomedical Science at Bradford? Thread

Since graduating with a degree in BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science from Bradford in 2017, Elizabeth has enjoyed a varied and rewarding career in the field.

After securing a graduate role at a global pharmaceuticals company, going back to university to study a Master's, and then working as a lab technician and analyst, Elizabeth now plays a key role in a national vaccine task force.


A love for the field
Originally, I wanted to get into medicine, but after a year on the Biomedical Science degree at Bradford, I quickly realised how much I enjoyed microbiology and the diagnostic side of it. I knew then that I wanted a career in it.

Building a career
After university, I secured my first role at a pharma company.

My job as a quality assurance administrator was to make sure products were up to a certain grade before selling them on. It was mostly desk-based, but I got to go into the labs sometimes to physically check chemicals which I really enjoyed. It made me realise that while I knew I was getting good experience, it wasn't ultimately what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in the labs.

I decided to pursue a Master's in Glasgow so I could develop my lab knowledge further, before applying for roles like research scientist and medical lab assistant. I got a job as a lab technician at another pharma company afterward, specialising in anti-cancer drugs and the anthrax vaccine. I was quickly promoted to analyst after my probation period.

Making change
I now work as a scientist technician (ASAY operations) for UKHSA.

I'm part of a vaccine task force department at the UK Health Security Agency, who are responsible for making sure the Covid vaccine works on current strains of the virus. We receive blood samples from patients, test to see if they will have immunity against a current strain, and then give the results to the company who've funded the study.

It's amazing to be working on something that's affecting so many of us. And it's also a lot of fun! I like the aspect of working with dangerous microbes.

Foundations for a career
I couldn't do what I do without the degree from Bradford.

My time at Bradford gave me such a solid basis of lab techniques, knowledge, and practical skills that I still use to this day. As a student, I quickly knew my way around a lab and felt confident using the equipment. The content of the course is broad, and that is reflected in the number of career routes you can go down afterward. The degree is also accredited, which is a huge bonus.

My ambition now is to move more into management, perhaps a HEO position. I want to complete a biomedical scientist portfolio to broaden my prospects. I want to do more research and enjoy more creative freedom. There's still so much I want to do.

A bit of advice
If I could go back and do the course again, I'd do a placement year.

It gives you a leg up over other graduates and allows you to do a portfolio, which opens up more doors once you leave university. It's competitive getting a lab role, and a placement year would have given me a head start. I got there in the end though.

My advice to other students is to just get out there! Even if you don't get the job you really want at first, just be reassured that it will be a foot in the door and lead to other things. Just enjoy learning and take every opportunity that comes your way.

Interested in a career in biomedical science? Find out more about our course, entry requirements and how to apply. 🙌

Studying biomedical science will prepare you for a broad range of scientific careers beyond NHS and public laboratories, including research and development, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the food and water industry, clinical trials, medical sales and teaching.

Lab-based scientific roles
▪️ Researcher and developer in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries: develop new medicines
▪️ Healthcare support worker or medical lab assistant: work in NHS and public health labs
▪️ Cosmetics developer or safety tester
▪️ Food and water industry tester
▪️ Veterinary lab worker: use histology and microbiology skills to work in veterinary lab services
▪️ Academic researcher: complete a PhD and generate new knowledge through high-level research

Non-lab-based scientific roles
▪️ Clinical trial analyst: collect and analyse data from clinical trials carried out in hospitals
▪️ Medical representative: sell products including chemicals, research kits and equipment to schools, universities and hospitals

Business roles
▪️ Patent attorney: make decisions on the patenting of new pharmaceuticals within a company
▪️ Management and finance roles: a Biomedical Science degree is a stepping stone to these roles

Healthcare professionals
With a Biomedical Science degree you can transfer to:
▪️ Graduate entry medicine or dentistry: apply the principles and procedures of medicine to prevent and diagnose illness, disease and injury, care for patients, and maintain their physical and mental health
▪️ Physician associate: work alongside doctors and surgeons as part of a multidisciplinary team

Further education
Options to continue in education include:
▪️ Postgraduate Master's or PhD study
▪️ A Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree: pursue a career as a patent attorney
▪️ Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE): use your scientific knowledge to teach and inspire the next generation

Check out this blog post on five careers for Biomedical Science graduates! 🙂
(edited 2 months ago)
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Aqil graduated with a degree in BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science from the University of Bradford in 2017. He went on to secure a financially rewarding career in pharmaceutical sales, but more recently, he has followed his dreams to become a teacher.

This is Aqil's story.

Meant to be
My original plan was to study medicine. When I was rejected for medicine courses at university, I didn't have a back-up plan. I actually landed upon the Biomedical Science course at Bradford through Clearing, and while it wasn't my original choice, I wouldn't have it any other way now. My plan was to reapply for medicine after I'd completed the Biomedical Science degree, but in the end, I didn't feel I needed to. The career opportunities were very much open.

A fantastic opportunity
When I was looking into career paths after university, I knew I didn’t want to work in labs. Someone told me about pharmaceutical sales, which sounded like a good fit for my strengths and skills, so I started applying for roles when I graduated. I got a job in Essex and moved to London for three years. My science degree had given me a broad knowledge of prescription drugs and the medical environment, which meant I was able to hold my own in a room full of doctors, surgeons and medical professionals. I enjoyed the job and it was well paid, but it was very target-driven and I was out on the road a lot, which became tiresome after a while.

Taking a different path
I now teach Biology to A level students. I tell my students to apply to Bradford - it's great!

I moved back to Lancashire in 2021 to embark on a two-year PGCE course, working full-time as a teacher while completing my teaching qualification. I’d always fancied teaching and wanted a role where I was constantly surrounded by people and being inspired by others, but never imagined I’d actually do it. I now teach Biology to A level students at the college I studied at. I often help my students understand the subject through what I learnt on my degree, giving them examples of what I did at university. It’s been a big change, and there’s no more company cars or flash iPads, but I absolutely love it. I’ll qualify this year and have a job for life. I just want to become the best teacher I can be.

Skills for life
The scientific knowledge the degree gave me has helped me throughout my career.

[start]But I’m also so grateful for all the other experience and skills I gained at uni, like managing time, being independent, and speaking to people from different walks of life and cultures. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the University of Bradford.[/start]

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