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Where Can a Warwick Life Sciences Degree take me?

Pursuing a Life Sciences degree at the University of Warwick can lead you to a range of different sectors, far more than you may think! From Consulting to Pharmaceuticals, a Life Sciences degree will have you well-equipped for any career path you may choose.

As a starting point, the Life Sciences Careers and Employability Moodle has a wide range of resources and information to help you explore your options.

Take a look at some of the sector profiles below to see what catches your interest.


The world's top Pharmaceutical companies are always looking for new talent, particularly from university students. They often host a range of programmes for students in different years, in addition to graduate schemes:

  • Insight days - for year 1 students
  • Summer internships - for year 2 students
  • Placement year - for penultimate year students
  • Research placements - for MBio in Industry students
  • Graduate schemes
GSK Link opens in a new windowhas multiple sites across the country and globally, where students have an opportunity to apply for a range of different roles. Explore what they have to offer and be sure to apply early, as places are competitive.

Although primarily a pharmaceutical company, there are many other business functions within organisations such as these where work experience opportunitiesLink opens in a new window can be found:
  • R&D (a likely sector to be chosen by Life Sciences students interested in Drug Development)
  • FMCG
  • HR
  • Marketing
  • Procurement
  • Finance
  • Tech

Recruitment process:

Pharmaceutical companies such as GSK often have lengthy recruitment processes to filter out the most suitable candidates:

  • An online application form
  • "World of GSK" online assessment
  • GSK Life job simulation
  • Virtual assessment centre

Top Tips:
  • Be well aware of application deadlines - there are a lot of stages to the recruitment process. It is likely you will be applying to multiple organisations, so organisation is key!
  • Research the values of the company, do they align with yours? Can you demonstrate the skills they’re looking for? Knowing deadlines in advance gives you time to prepare these skills and add achievements to your CV.
  • Be aware that if you are applying to sectors outside of R&D, students from non-scientific degree streams will also be applying, competition is high! This shouldn't stop you from applying if you feel the job is the right fit for you, go for it!

Academic Research/ Further Education

  • An advanced research qualification is unlike any other degree, every PhD is unique with its own original research topic.
  • It is also possible to delve into new areas of Life Sciences and other disciplines. Interdisciplinary collaboration is increasingly common and necessary within scientific research.
  • There are many potential pathways into government research, environmental science, medical and pharmaceutical research to name just a few.

The University of Warwick offers a range of taught Master's ProgrammesLink opens in a new window and PhD programmesLink opens in a new window within Life Sciences. There is helpful information on Moodle regarding further studyLink opens in a new window to support you in navigating your options.

How Can you Get Ahead in Academia?
  • Be aware of the timeline that is involved in academia. The pursuit of further degrees requires several years and cannot be fast-tracked.
  • Look into organisations that offer funded PhD schemes and whether what they offer is research that interests you/aligns with your interests and passions.
  • Industrial PhDs are an alternative research route for those looking to apply academic research in an industrial setting.

Recruitment Process:
  • Academic transcript - academic achievement is crucial, it is important that your university grades are strong.
  • Further Study is essential for a career in academia - consider Master's for progression to PhD, a PostDoc would follow a PhD.
  • Continuity of research from your PhD is most likely to be your area of expertise and your chosen specialism.
  • Universities can offer funding and grants to explore your chosen area should they feel it can align with their objectives and research.

Global institutions around the world offer a range of funding for students wanting to pursue a PhD more about PhD study abroad can be found hereLink opens in a new window.


  • Explore the vast range of opportunities within the finance industry - Accounting, Banking & Finance, Financial Planning, Insurance, Investments & Pensions, Tax. The finance sector is more applicable to Life Sciences students than you might think.
  • The 'big four' accountancy and professional services firms are Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG.

Recruitment Process - Goldman SachsLink opens in a new window - Investment Banking Firm

Top Tips:
  • Be aware of application deadlines - a lot of organisations recruit on a rolling basis, so even if there is a deadline, places may fill up before this date. Especially in these sectors, there is a high level of competition for very few places, so it is important to keep up to date.
  • A 1 page CV is preferred within this industry - be concise.
  • Play to your strengths - demonstrate the skills that have benefited you and how they will benefit the organisation.

Take a look at some other financial institutions as well, such as HSBCLink opens in a new window, BarclaysLink opens in a new window, or JP MorganLink opens in a new window. The bank that you apply to may specialise in a certain area of finance, so be sure to thoroughly research before applying. For example, Goldman Sachs has multiple divisionsLink opens in a new window ranging from Corporate Treasury to Global Compliance.


  • If you enjoy problem-solving and have an interest in helping organisations to operate better, then management consultancy is the career for you.
  • Consultancy firms range from those that offer end-to-end solutions to smaller or more niche firms that offer specialist expertise and skills in certain industry areas.

Recruitment Process

A top consulting firm such as PwCLink opens in a new window has a recruitment process designed to ensure the best candidates are filtered out. It is important to be familiar with each stageLink opens in a new window and what is involved as you progress:

Top Tips For Success and Getting Ahead:
  • Be aware of application deadlines - particularly for each stage of the recruitment process. This is a common tip for a lot of sectors, make sure you are able to keep on top of the right dates and timings.
  • Research the organisation's valuesLink opens in a new window - what ethical code of conduct do they operate, what do they value in their employers, particularly which skills do they see as the most important?
  • Do you agree with their views, do their values align with yours? When working in consulting or any other sector, it is important to understand an organisations values and ethics.

Other consulting firms that may be of interest include: AccentureLink opens in a new window, DeloitteLink opens in a new window, McKinsey and CompanyLink opens in a new window, Boston Consulting GroupLink opens in a new window.

Additional resources

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch: slsplacements at warwick dot ac dot uk