Health Care

The healthcare sector can provide both a rewarding and challenging environment in which to work. In the UK the main employer is the National Health Service (NHS) although it may be possible to work in private hospitals or in industry for biotech companies. Quality patient-care is at the centre of all healthcare.

There are opportunities for graduates, not only in healthcare practitioner roles, but also in management, scientific and support roles.

Allied medical professions

Dentistry and related careers

Dentistry is a graduate profession, an accelerated 4 year degree is available for graduates of other subjects. Most dentists work as General Dental Practitioners providing care in the NHS and/or privately. Others work in variety of hospital-based specialisms (including orthodontics), in community dentistry, the armed forces, corporate practices, industry or university teaching or research.

Dental Hygienists and Therapists are not graduate careers, but you do need to take a recognised qualification


It is becoming increasingly common for graduates to study medicine either on a five year medical degree or a shortened four year graduate entry medical degree. All medical graduates then undertake a generic two year Foundation Programme which forms the bridge to speciality training which can last a further 3-8 years according to the field.

Getting onto a medical degree

  • Graduate entry to medicine - everything you need to know about choosing courses, funding, applications, tests, interviews, work experience and studying medicine outside the UK.

Short talks - videos

After a medical degree

Nursing and midwifery


It is necessary to take a four year MPharm Pharmacy degree to qualify as a pharmacist. There is no shorter graduate entry route available. After completion of the MPharm all graduates must complete one year of pre-registration training and pass a registration exam.

  • Community Pharmacist Prospects profile. Community pharmacists dispense drugs and advise patients in a pharmacy.
  • Hospital Pharmacist Prospects profile. Hospital pharmacists work as part of the clinical team in a hospital setting.
  • General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Regulatory body for the profession. All pharmacists practising in the UK must be registered with the GPhC. They also accredit approved MPharm qualifications a list of which can be found on their website.

Physician Associate

Physician associates are medically trained, generalist healthcare professionals, who work alongside doctors and provide medical care as an integral part of the multidisciplinary team. They typically work in General Practitioner (GP) surgeries or hospitals as part of a medical team.

Physician associates are graduates and work under the direct supervision of a doctor and carry out many similar tasks, including patient examination, history taking, diagnosis and treatment.

This is not a route to becoming a doctor, but is an increasingly recognised job within the National Health Service.


Postgraduate training is academically challenging and usually lasts for 2 years. Applicants should hold a minimum of 2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. biomedical science, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, healthcare science, pharmacy, audiology, nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy). A 2:2 may be acceptable in some cases if you already have exceptional health care experience.


Health Education England funds £5,000 towards tuition fees, split equally across two years. Courses offered at Masters level may be eligible for postgraduate loan funding.

Work Experience

Admissions tutors will look for evidence that you understand the core NHS values and the role of a Physician Associate within the context of contemporary local and national healthcare issues. You will need to demonstrate that you have the skills to balance academic study with clinical placements and are willing to travel and work flexibly. Evidence of voluntary or paid work experience in a clinical or healthcare setting (e.g. healthcare assistant or care home) is preferred.


Public sector, health and charities Graduate JobSearch

Targeted job searches

Public sector and politics

Health and social care