Careers bookmark

Biology is a diverse subject centred around the mechanisms and principles of life – from the way molecules and cells work, to the way whole ecosystems function.  Thus the study of biology can lead to very diverse career choices.  Here we have tried to compile resources which highlight information about a career in biology, and what options and choices are available to help with this.

The Biology Equality and Diversity Committee is working to reduce any bias throughout a university biology career.  In terms of gender, we want to encourage both men and women to pursue a career in biology, and ensure that men and women are equally represented as leaders in this field.

Watch interviews with 50 biologists, including Sir David Attenborough, Professor Dame Sally Davies, and Professor Richard Dawkins, talking about their inspirations and careers on the Royal Society of Biology Changing the World project website.

Secondary school students

Wondering about a degree in biology?  In St Andrews, our Biology degrees are open to anyone and we have various schemes to assist with widening access.

Nuffield research placements can provide an opportunity for summer work experience working alongside a biologist for secondary school students.

The Royal Society of Biology (RSB) Make a Difference website highlights six very different types of careers accessible through a Biology degree.  The RSB has also produced a comprehensive pdf guide on choosing your biology degree called Becoming a biologist: Degrees and careers in biology.

The Futuremorph website provides careers advice for 11-13 year olds, 14-16 year olds and 16+ year olds.

Undergraduate students

Information on a University of St Andrews degree in Biology and subsequent career options can be found at Biology – using your degree.

You can also look at case studies of several of our undergraduate students describing their time at St Andrews and future plans.

Other useful information on Biology careers can be found at:

Some academic societies also run conferences specifically for undergraduate careers, e.g. British Ecological Society undergraduate careers conference

Postgraduate students

In terms of career opportunities, postgraduate students may be interested in the STEM Ambassador scheme.  This volunteer scheme encourages STEM research volunteers to engage with young people inside and out of the classroom, bringing STEM subjects to life.

The Medical Research Council have produced an interactive map with information on options for careers and funding in biomedical research within academia and/or industry.

Vitae supports the professional development of researchers, and their Researcher Career Stories showcases over 150 career stories from researchers, many of whom go on to work outside of academia. 

Finding a job

After a bioscience degree, there are various options. Information on job seeking, tailored to different types of jobs, can be found at: