Studying Biochemistry at Queen‘s develops the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions – particularly analytical and numerical skills.
Biochemists can gain employment in growth areas such as the biotechnology, food and pharmaceutical industries, biomedical research, the NHS and research and development in academia and industry. Approximately one third of our graduates go on to further study before entering specialist employment.
Although the majority of our graduates pursue careers in the molecular life sciences, significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors such as science communication, education, legal services, journalism, finance and management. The subject is also widely accepted for graduate entry to medical, dental, veterinary and pharmacy schools – an increasingly common route into these professions, with many universities in the UK and Ireland offering four-year graduate programmes.
Those wanting a career in biochemistry research will normally obtain a PhD, and we anticipate that the majority of MSci graduates will either progress directly to research roles in biochemistry laboratories or to PhD programmes. Both BSc and MSci Biochemistry graduates are well-placed to obtain places on PhD programmes in biomedical research, biotechnology, drug discovery and agri-food research as well as in ‘pure‘ biochemistry.
Masters programmes offer the opportunity to train in specialist areas (eg forensics, nutrition, biotechnology) in order to enter professions in those fields or to further enhance academic and research skills before embarking on a PhD; see the School website for further study information.
Biochemistry graduates are eligible to study for a PGCE (a qualification enabling graduates to teach in schools) in either Biology or Chemistry – subjects in demand in schools across the UK.
Our dedicated Careers and Placement Advisor (who works only for students in the School of Biological Sciences) works closely with many local, national and international employers in the life sciences sector. A number of events are organised each year to enable the exchange of views and ideas between the School and employers.
Our past students have also gained work placements with organisations such as:
- Hospitals – including Altnagelvin and Belfast City
- Other Universities
- Warner Chilcott
Further study is a common option open to Biochemistry graduates. For those wanting a career in biochemistry research, the normal route is to obtain a PhD (a three year postgradute degree which involves intense research into a topic under the supervision of one or more academics). Every year, some of our Biochemistry graduates have secured fully funded PhD studentships at Queen’s University (not just in the School of Biological Sciences, but also in Medicine, Pharmacy and Chemistry).
Our graduates are also highly competitive in securing funding at other leading universities, such as Manchester and Cambridge.
The Biochemistry degree also provides a route into professions which require a knowledge of the subject. Biochemistry graduates are eligible to study PGCE (a qualification to enable graduates to teach in schools) in either Biology or Chemistry. Both subjects are in demand in schools across the UK.
The subject is also widely accepted for graduateentry to medical and dental schools. This is an increasingly common route into medicine and dentistry with many universities in the UK and Ireland offering four year, graduate-only programmes. Masters courses offer the opportunity to train in specialist areas (e.g. forensics, nutrition, biotechnology) in order to enter professions in those fields or to further enhance academic and research skills before embarking on a PhD. Details of relevant courses offered by the School of Biological Sciences can be found on the school website.
www.prospects.ac.uk provides information concerning the types of jobs that attract Biochemistry Graduates.
Queen’s University places a strong emphasis on Employability. Our graduates are highly valued by many employers, locally, nationally and internationally.
Queen’s is member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skill development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others e.g. employers
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplus