Biological Sciences Alumni Biological Sciences Alumni

Where can a degree in the biological sciences take you? Many of our graduates go on to work in biology-related employment: working within industrial laboratories for brewing, drug development or food production, in medical laboratories or forensic science, in environmental assessment or conservation management, in fundamental research at universities or scientific institutes, in the teaching profession, scientific patenting or the media.

Typically each year, about 35 per cent of our graduates continue into the higher degrees of MSc or PhD.

Some recent examples of careers in which our biological science graduates have gone into 6-12 months after graduation include:

  • Principal Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Microbiologist, Jeyes Ltd
  • Healthcare Science Practitioner (Genetics), NHS
  • Science Editor, Thomson Reuters
  • Biodiversity Information Officer, Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Scientific Research Assistant, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • National Nature Reserve Warden, Natural England
  • Genetic Technologist, Addenbrookes Hospital
  • Investigational Scientist, Parkes Content Services
  • Research Assistant, RSPB
  • Countryside Access Liaison, Norfolk County Council
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute
  • Science Teacher, The Oxford School.

Graduates in the biological sciences are also highly regarded in the business and management sectors of employment, or are accepted on to the fast-track graduate training schemes now offered by many multi-national companies. This reflects the value of the transferable skills developed while studying towards a degree in the School of Biological Sciences.

Karen Duff - BSc Biological Sciences

1984 - 1987

Deputy Director at the Taub Institute doing Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, and Professor in the Dept. of Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia University Medical Center  

“After my A Levels my interest was mainly in genetics and I knew UEA would be a good launch pad for my career.  I met some wonderful people at UEA who set me off on my path to do my Ph.D at Imperial college/St. Mary’s Hospital in London which I finished at Cambridge University. After my Ph.D, I  moved to Florida where I did 2 post docs; I then moved to New York where I now have a research lab at Columbia University.

I have a long history of looking at the molecular mechanisms that cause neurdegenerative diseases and I spent a couple of years at each place working on different things. My Ph.D looked at why congenital heart defects occur in Down's Syndrome. For my post-doc, I moved to the brain and Alzheimer’s Disease which I now focus on, looking at mechanisms and how we might be able to treat the diease using molecular, cell biology and computational tools, and creating transgenic mouse models of the disease. I am also developing therapeutic approaches to develop drugs which may be useful for treating Alzheimer’s Disease in patients.

To succeed, I believe you need passion, motivation, insight, confidence and stamina. It helps to be intellectually flexible - for me that meant to move between different diseases and different aspects of biology, using a wide range of techniques.  I try and keep aware of new developments in Biology, and in new technology developments that would be most suitable to address a particular question. I then either collaborate with experts, or work up techniques in my own lab. 

At the start of your career it also helps to be able to move to any institution in the world to tap in to the best research.  UEA was the perfect place to inspire and train me for a career in science and I am very grateful to all my mentors and the friends who I shared a wonderful time in Norwich with."