Careers Service


Scientific Work

The scientific sector offers a range of career options, both in and out of “the lab”. Applying what you know about your subject to your role is an important part of scientific work, and some options need a degree in a relevant discipline. However, there are also roles for graduates without a science degree.

  • Scientific research and development extends what is known about a topic or product and includes academic research, industrial research and product development. There are opportunities in large multinationals to small SMEs.
  • Scientific communication is sharing what is known about science with different audiences. It includes medical communications (in the pharmaceutical industry), science journalism, publishing and education.
  • Scientific information and data analysis includes roles in data analysis and bioinformatics.
  • Commercialisation of science Taking scientific products or inventions to market, includes patents, technical sales and business development roles.
  • Scientific services are about practical problem solving in a scientific setting and include scientific consultancy, clinical trials, quality control and even government owned organisations like the Met Office. Some organisations will outsource (or insource) areas of work to an external service provider like a Contract Manufacturing Organisation.
  • Healthcare science roles are where you apply your scientific skills to clinical diagnoses and treatment. Roles are available in life, physiological and physical sciences and in the UK they work primarily in the NHS.

We’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions asked by Manchester science (and non-science) students interested in scientific work, e.g. “do I need a PhD?” and “what options are there for non-science graduates?”

Getting in and getting experience

Find out about options for work experience in our guides below:

More about the science sector

Scientific work Graduate JobSearch

General science job searches

Chemistry job searches

Earth sciences job searches

(also see Energy and Environment links)

Life sciences job searches

Materials science job searches

Physics job searches