Medical physiology and therapeutics
A degree in medical physiology and therapeutics can lead to a diverse range of employment and postgraduate study opportunities.
A good number of students commit to scientific careers in areas as varied as medicine, NHS Scientific Training Programme, midwifery, phlebotomy, radiography, pharmaceutical sales, perfusionist, physicians associate, quality assurance, laboratory work, university administration and healthcare advisor.
The degree also equips you to look for employment outside of healthcare and you could consider work as diverse as social work, law, finance, sales, public relations, marketing, market research and teaching, amongst others. In order to pursue some careers you may have to undertake further study and develop specialist skills and knowledge.
What skills will I gain during my degree?
In addition to the subject knowledge gained from your medical physiology and therapeutics degree your extracurricular activity equips you with key skills sought by employers in all sectors and industries.
Here are just a few of the skills you may have developed on your course:
- written and verbal communication
- research, analysis and interpretation of data
- time and personal management
- presentation skills
- data handling
- project management
What careers have graduates gone into?
Students from the course have secured employment with a variety of employers ranging from Ashfield Healthcare, Interserve Healthcare, Royal Derby Hospital, Network Rail, The FoodBank, Halfords, Leeds General Infirmary, Poole Hospital, Premier Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham City Hospital, Charles River Laboratories and Perkbox.
What are my further study options?
A wide range of postgraduate degree programmes and diplomas have been undertaken by recent students including midwifery, MRes Medicine and Health, MBBS Medicine, Graduate Entry Medicine and masters courses in the following:
- Physicians Associate
- medical ethics and the law
- stroke medicine
- clinical sciences
- public health
- assisted reproduction technology
- radiotherapy and oncology
Graduates have also undertaken PhDs and entered into Doctoral Training Programmes.
If you are considering postgraduate study, then at the start of your final year you need to be thinking specifically about what you want to study and begin making applications.
Masters courses and PhDs have varying closing dates throughout the academic year. You must check application deadlines with the institution of your choice.
Working as a biomedical scientist in the NHS
The most direct route to becoming a biomedical scientist in the NHS is to consider applying for the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP). The STP is usually advertised in January of the year you wish to start.
Your current degree will not be accredited by the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC) and in order to access biomedical work in the NHS as a biomedical scientist, or in some cases as a laboratory technician, you will need to acquire this accreditation.
To gain accreditation you will need to undertake top-up modules required by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). These can be taken at IBMS accredited universities.
NHS Health Careers - for other career options in the NHS
What else could I do?
You have many options available to you and it is in your interest to investigate the employment sectors (e.g. healthcare, pharmaceutical, food, finance), organisations and roles offered and apply to those opportunities that appeal to you. The areas highlighted below are some of the career paths you might want to investigate further as they are most closely linked to your area of study. However this list is not exhaustive.
Public health is closely related to your course of study and if this area interests you then do look at the areas of health protection, and health improvement and you could find yourself working for the NHS, the Government, local government, the Armed Forces or the charity sector.
NHS Public Health Careers
Medical sales representatives or ‘reps’ are a key link between medical and pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. They typically sell medicines, prescription drugs and medical equipment to GPs, hospital doctors, pharmacists and nurses, working to raise awareness and use of their company’s products.
Prospects - medical sales rep
Do you like communicating? Enjoy writing?
Then have you thought of science communication and science writing?
Science writers research, write and edit scientific news, articles and features in a range of different formats, including:
- business, trade and professional publications
- specialist scientific and technical journals
- general media
- promotional brochures, press releases, websites, podcasts and blogs
Association of British Science Writers
Science communicators do much of the above but they may also organise exhibitions, produce film and digital content and present science education to the public.
You may want to consider a specialist masters course in science communication such as those offered at the following universities Imperial College, Sheffield, West of England, Manchester Metropolitan, and Edinburgh.
The European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) describes medical writing as ‘communicating clinical and scientific data and information to a range of audiences in a wide variety of different formats.
Medical writers combine their knowledge of science and their research skills with an understanding of how to present information and pitch it at the right level for the intended audience.
European Medical Writers Association
The pharmaceutical sector
We tend to think of pharmaceutical companies as huge global corporate, and they do account for the majority of UK Pharma employment.
But a growing number of small to medium sized enterprises are becoming involved in drug development too.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has developed a comprehensive list of pharmaceutical companies, their contact details and some of the areas they regularly recruit into. It is searchable by location, category, employment area and type of role e.g. internship, graduate training programme etc.
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry