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Career Options in Medicine & Medical Sciences: Graduate

Graduated? Want to delve into medicine, medical sciences and research? This sector is a vital one, and involves a lot of expertise and responsibility. Time to get clinical with the details on your career path…

Graduate opportunities in medicine, medical sciences & research

- Graduate roles (suitable for your degree discipline)

- Internships

- Postgraduate study

After study for three to five (or more!) years in a subject relating to medicine, medical sciences and research, you may have already had plenty of time to consider what it is you want to do within the sector.

There are graduate roles available throughout the NHS and private health care sector, research institutions, medical research charities and various pharmaceutical companies. Most graduate employers are looking for students with a 2:1 degree/although 2:2s will be considered in some cases.

Internships abroad could be an option if you’d like to gain some medical experience in another country after you’ve graduated. Experiences like this can really put you to the test, and can look very impressive on a CV.

If you like the idea of a research career, then you can look into the plethora of medicine and medical sciences research opportunities available through postgraduate study. You can receive financial support for many of these postgraduate options through fully- or partially scholarships; either from universities, research councils or other research bodies.

Will my degree do?

Ah, well that all depends on what your undergraduate degree is, and what exactly you plan to do with it. The realm of medicine and medical sciences contains myriad niche specialist areas, each with their own complexities, and many of them require degree study solely on those areas in order to do a particular job.

For example, you’ll only be able to work in certain careers such as a pharmacist, doctor or dentist if you’ve studied an accredited MParm, MBChB or BDS degree respectively. Clinical engineering and physical sciences careers will require a related degree subject such as mechanical engineering, biotechnology, chemical engineering, electronic engineering or biomedical sciences.

Dietician careers will also require a relevant degree, and audiologists and opticians will have to have gained qualifications in their expertise too before being registered and able to practice.

It’s possible to ‘convert’ to many career paths in this sector, providing you already have a related degree. Read on to find out more…

Is postgraduate study necessary?

No surprises here that if you want to carry out research down any pathway within medicine and medical sciences then postgraduate study can be, usually to PhD level for the most senior research roles, is a big old must in many cases!

If you want to get into nursing or midwifery, you need to have a pre-registration nursing degree or midwifery degree, so you may have to ‘retrain’ with this if you have a degree in another discipline. If you hold a nursing degree already, there are some Master’s courses out there which will allow you to further your expertise in a particular area of nursing. Master’s study isn’t always necessary, but it’s an option you might want to consider as you develop your career. Trained nurses can undertake the extra study needed to change career path and become midwives.

The same goes for roles in areas such as therapeutic or diagnostic radiography, pharmaceuticals, or in diatetics. You’ll either need to have a degree in this or undertake a postgraduate course to ‘convert’ to this profession. Your undergraduate degree will need to be in a related discipline, such as biological sciences, to enable you to do this.

In most cases, you’ll need to have earned at least a 2:1 in your undergraduate degree to be able to proceed to postgraduate studies, though some course providers will consider applications on an individual basis.