A-Level Placement Opportunities

Work Experience/Work Shadowing Opportunities for AS/A Level Students

The School recognises the importance of relevant experience to help inform AS/A level students to make appropriate course choices.  The School offers work experience across a range of research areas outlined below which will provide AS/A level students with the opportunity to experience/observe what it's like to work as part of team on projects related to the major areas of research going on across the School and Institute for Health Sciences.  This may range from laboratory based work (including cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, etc) to bioinformatics to qualitative/epidemiological projects and participants, dependant on the subject/discipline they wish to pursue, will be exposed to range of key skills including:

  • scientific reasoning
  • laboratory methods
  • theoretical principles
  • science communication
  • teamworking.


How to Apply

While we will try to facilitate as many requests as possible, this will depend on the level of demand for placements in specific Centres. 

You are encouraged to access Research Centre websites to get an understanding of the type of research being undertaken before applying as you will be required to select one Centre in your application.  Details on opportunities in the Centre for Biomedical Sciences Education are outlined below.

Applicants should complete the application form accessible through the link below. 

Work Experience Application Form

On receipt, the relevant Centre will contact you by email to confirm whether it can/cannot facilitate your request and to make arrangements for your placement.


Centres Offering Work Experience

Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine

The Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine offers A/AS level students a work experience/shadowing opportunity to see a snapshot of what it is like to work in a vibrant biomedical research facility.  Successful placements will be limited to a maximum of three days, during which the student will have a chance, under close supervision, to shadow postdoctoral researcher fellows or PhD students involved in, eg molecular cell biology research projects and learn about various basic and specialised laboratory techniques.   They will also be able to assist technical teams in basic laboratory housekeeping tasks, such as simple equipment maintenance/checks, infrastructure organisation, inventory updates & compliance documentation, etc. In the video below students share their experience of working in the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine. 



Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

The Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology (CCRCB), which is a dynamic research centre with the explicit aim of translating basic scientific programmes into the clinical arena, offers an opportunity to gain work experience in state-of-the-art labs alongside world class scientists.  Our research groups study a wide range of topics related to the cell and molecular biology of cancer and use a number of cutting edge techniques like molecular pathology, flow cytometry, next generation  DNA and RNA sequencing  thus providing a very valuable experience for students.  Importantly, the work experience students have the chance to meet PhD students and post doctoral fellows who are in the early stages of their career. 

Centre for Public Health

The Centre for Public Health offers A/AS students up to 5 consecutive days’  work experience in our nutrition and metabolism laboratories. We also offer office based work experience in the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and with our many research programmes including the NICOLA Study, the Northern Ireland Administrative Data Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Public Health in Northern Ireland and the PARC Study.


Centre for Biomedical Sciences Education

The Centre's work experience programme gives AS/A level students the opportunity to engage in a one to three day period of observation which will give an insight into the modules offered within our Biomedical Science/Human Biology Degree Programmes.  The benefits to participants include:

  • Experience mainly in the areas of Histology (processing, sectioning, staining and photographing tissue samples) and Tissue Culture (the culture of cells, a variety of techniques subsequently used on the cells depending on research requirements and viewing/using a Confocal microscope);
  • Seeing first-hand how theory is turned into practice and how learning is applied in a working environment.
  • Observation of the skills required in the work place/development of a work ethic and exposure to work place culture;
  • Work with experts in the field.


Medicine and Dentistry

The School cannot facilitate work experience in clinical medicine or dentistry and candidates interested in this type of work experience are advised to contact the relevant Health and Social Care organisation.

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