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Biotechnology is a revolutionary science which involves the exploitation of biological systems with proven impact on health, medicine, food and the environment. 

For more information on biotechnology as a sector visit this webpage


What skills will I gain during my degree?

In addition to your subject specific knowledge, your biotechnology degree will equip you with a range of transferable skills including the ability to:

  • Assess the commercial opportunities and constraints involved in the exploitation of novel technologies
  • Understand and debate the ethical considerations for new technologies
  • Communicate findings and results to a range of audiences  
  • Analyse statistical and technical  data
  • Take a scientific approach to problem-solving

Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies

You will also develop 12 competencies which have been  divided into these four headings:

  • Fundamental skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Personal aspiration and development
  • Professional responsibility

Explore the Biosciences Core Graduate Competencies


How can I develop my skills and experience during my degree?

Take a Year in Industry

Why not take an optional industry placement, between years two and three of your degree? This will extend your degree to a four-year programme. Biotechnology students have previously secured placements at GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Medimmune amongst others.

Year in Industry

As part of this, it is possible to gain accreditation from the Science Council as a Registered Scientist (RSci)

Apply for summer internships

Summer internships are also a great way to gain experience, whether in science or non-science based roles. You can search for roles using the links below, but also consider making targeted speculative applications to small and medium-sized companies who may not advertise opportunities. 

My Career - internships from companies targeting Nottingham students

Nottingham Internship Scheme

Royal Society of Biology - placements opportunities

For list of organisations offering work experience or internships in the lab visit - Laboratory work

Look into summer research placements

Summer research placements are available through the School of Biosciences, these depending on the research being conducted.  It is worth approaching the academic staff working in the area of research that you are interested in, particularly if you are considering applying for a PhD in future.

There are also other sponsored opportunities and funding for summer research placements through organisations such as the BBRSC.

Royal Society of Biology - undergraduate studentships

Wellcome Trust - Biomedical Vacation Scholarships

Get involved in Students' Union activities

Involvement in relevant SU activities including volunteering, sports clubs and societies can help you to develop and enhance skills that employers look for such as working in multidisciplinary teams, communicating scientific information to a non-science audience and consulting with local businesses.


Full list of the Students' Union's student societies


Join the Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award offers a range of modules to help you expand, develop and evidence your skills and experience during your time at university. With over more than 200 modules across our three campus in the UK, China and Malaysia, there's something for everyone.

If you’re thinking of moving into consultancy after graduation, the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge module will help you develop and demonstrate all the right skills.

Nottingham Advantage Award - find out more and explore the modules on offer

Keep up to date with the latest industry news

Knowing about the latest developments is important for a couple of reasons: firstly it may spark off your interest in a particular part of the sector and secondly, employers often ask questions about the factors that may be affecting their company at an interview as a way of gauging your interest in their business. 

News from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Latest news from BioIndustry Association 


What are the range of careers I could enter?

The biotechnology course gives the option to specialise in plant, animal or microbial biotechnology and so our graduate can choose to continue to pursue one of these paths of biotechnology, but we have also seen our graduate use the skills, experience and knowledge gained to enter a diverse range of employment areas.

A sample of employers who have recruited our biotechnology graduates

  • BDO
  • Bio Products Laboratory
  • Capgemini
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Institute of Cancer Research
  • Major International
  • Noble Foods
  • Public Health England
  • Quotient Science
  • Regents University London
  • Time Dairy

A sample of roles undertaken by our graduates

  • Associate consultant
  • Fermentation scientist
  • Graduate buyer
  • Graduate operations trainee
  • Microbiology technologist
  • New product development technician
  • Project officer
  • Quality control lab technician
  • Quality control technologist
  • Research and development scientist
  • Trainee accountant



What are my further study options?

A large proportion of our biotechnology graduates progress into further study.  Particularly for those wanting to pursue a research-focussed career either in industry or academia. A postgraduate qualification, usually a PhD, is almost always required.

As you will see from the examples below, many graduates choose to build on their undergraduate qualification by undertaking a biotechnology-related masters course or PhD.  Others opt to take a postgraduate qualification which will allow them to pursue a particular career interest such as Graduate Entry to Medicine.

  • PhDs in biotechnology, plant science, molecular biology and BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership
  • MSc in biochemistry, applied biopharmaceutical biotechnology and entrepreneurship, and stem cell technology

A number of biotechnology graduates undertook a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in science or biology in order to train to become a teacher, a profession for which science students are currently in high demand.

Search for courses and find out about funding


Explore more...



Careers and Employability Service

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