Careers and Employability Service
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Students in a laboratory in Malaysia 

The implications of the study of microbiology are wide ranging, touching all aspects of life on earth from disease control to food manufacture and climate change.

Have you thought about how you want to use the skills and knowledge you are developing while studying microbiology after you graduate? 


What skills will I gain during my degree?

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

  • Significant laboratory based experience meaning you will be qualified to work with microbial pathogens
  • Analytical skills
  • Ability to communicate findings and results to a range of audiences  
  • Ability to analyse data taking a methodological approach
  • Problem solving skills
  • High levels of accuracy and good attention to detail
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Ability to working collaboratively in teams

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?

Consider 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.

Year in Industry

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

Read Sophie Parfitt's blog post on her 12-month industrial placement with Redx.

Get a summer internship

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 do also consider making targeted speculation applications to smaller companies who may not advertise all opportunities. 

My Career - internships from companies targeting Nottingham students

Nottingham Internship Scheme

Royal Society of Biotechnology - placement opportunities 

IntoBiology placements page

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

Explore summer research placements 

If you are interested in the scientific side of your degree, the summer research placements might be a good option for you.  You can find these through the School of Biosciences by approaching a relevant academic who is working in the area you are interested in. 

There are also sponsored opportunities and funding for summer research placements, visit:

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.


Find societies that interest you


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 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 industry news and attend events

Knowing about the latest developments is important for a couple of reasons: firstly it may spark 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. 

Society of Applied Microbiology

Microbiology Society


What are the range of careers I could enter?

Microbiology graduates move into a wide range of different careers working in areas such as the food and drink industry, healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry, environmental organisations, research institutions and universities.

Some of the employers who have recruited our  graduates

Food and drink

  • 2 Sisters Food Group
  • Bowman Ingredients
  • Charlie Bigham
  • Greencore
  • Hardknott Brewery
  • Muller Milk and Ingredients
  • Nestlé


  • AstraZeneca
  • Covance
  • Sygnature Discovery


  • BUPA
  • Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
  • Northern Institute for Cancer Research
  • Public Health England
  • Twenty Thirty Labs

Some of the roles secured by our graduates

  • Assistant bacteriology scientist
  • Biology teacher
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Clinical trials associate
  • Healthcare scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Microbiology lab technician
  • Quality assurance lab technician
  • Research scientist
  • Supply chain graduate
  • Technical graduate
  • Trainee brewer 

Clinical Microbiology

Working as clinical or medical microbiologist you are likely to find yourself working in the private and public sector in organisations such as the NHS (recruited through the Science Training Programme), Public Health England, private pathology laboratories such as Spire Healthcare, private hospitals such as those run by Ramsey Health Care UK, and university departments.

Depending on the work you are applying for you could access vacancies as a graduate, masters or post doc depending on the role and organisation.


What are my further study options?

A large proportion of our microbiology graduates progress into further study.  Many choose to build on their undergraduate qualification by undertaking a microbiology-related masters course or PhD.  Others opt to take a postgraduate qualification which will allow them to pursue a particular career such as  Graduate Entry to Medicine.

PhDs in molecular microbiology, biosciences, and the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

MSc in food safety and management, microbiology and infection, and biology

A number of microbiology 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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