Popular career areas for Neuroscience students:
A degree from Scotland’s first university is a perfect start to any future career. The University of St Andrews has a reputation for excellence and the ability to attract the brightest students worldwide. With this as a starting point you are well on the way to impressing future employers.
Neuroscience is a wide and varied field of study, encompassing the workings of the brain and the nervous system. Graduates of Neuroscience degrees go into a range of career areas, described in more detail by the British Neuroscience Association in its Career Guide for Students:
The profile below identifies the skills that can be developed based on subject/benchmark statements developed by UK higher education communities:
Intellectual skills and attributes
Professional / subject-specific / practical skills
|Recent Neuroscience graduates|
|Illy Systems - Accounts Manager||Phoenix Futures - Quality Officer (Clinical Governance)||UPenn Center for Neuroscience & Society - Researcher|
|Oregon Health & Science University - Research Assistant II||University of Edinburgh - MSc by Research Integrative Neuroscience||University of St Andrews - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Psychology and Neuroscience|
Southampton University - Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
|ESMT European School of Management and Technology - Graduate student|
|Graduates who are established in their profession|
|Neurocrine Biosciences - Scientist- Behavioural Neuroscience||Omya - Market Development Manager||Axol Bioscience Ltd - Product Specialist (Field Application Scientist)|
KPMG UK – Analyst
|AstraZeneca - Vice President and Head, Neuroscience Innovative Medicines||United BioSource Corporation (UBC) - Project Associate|
Giulia graduated in 2015.
She is currently studying for an MSc by Research Integrative Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh.Read Giulia's case study.
Anna graduated in 2014.
She is currently a Research Assistant II at Oregon Health & Science University.Read Anna's case study.
Visit the Graduate Destinations page to see what graduates and postgraduates from your School are doing now.
Many jobs and internships are not advertised. One of the best ways to find out about these ‘hidden opportunities’ is by networking. Networking can also help secure a job that is publicised or is part of a training scheme. Your contacts can open doors, set up meetings, help prepare you for interviews, and provide you with an inside look at a company or industry.
This group allows neuroscience alumni and students to stay connected, as well as make new connections. Join to receive regular updates.
How to contact alumni
There are two main ways to contact alumni on-line:
In 2014, 43% of Neuroscience graduates went on to do further study. Advisers can discuss postgraduate applications – vocational and academic.
Work experience is becoming ‘essential’ in the UK when it comes to securing graduate level employment.
During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 90% of the UK’s leading graduate employers offered paid work experience programmes for students and recent graduates. Altogether, 55% of St Andrews finalists had completed some element of work experience with a graduate employer whilst at university – much higher than the survey average. More than two-fifths had a part-time job during term-time and three-fifths had some form of casual vacation work. Source: High Fliers –The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2016.
The Scottish Life Sciences Internship Programme
Provides students with paid, relevant work experience in the Life Sciences sector. Open to undergraduate students in 1st, 2nd or 3rd year, who are studying a Life Science degree at a Scottish University. Placements last from ten to twelve weeks between June and September each year. ScotGrad website.
The Vienna Biocenter Summer School
Provides a unique opportunity for approximately 25 undergraduate students to work side by side with leading researchers in a dynamic scientific environment. Further details.
Child Health Research Summer Studentships
These are non -clinical projects based in the UCL Institute of Child Health. Up to eight studentships are available to students studying science or medicine with maintenance support of at least £190 per week. Further details
Imperial College London - Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)
UROP is a research opportunities programme available to students from within and outside Imperial. Further details
Medical Research Council
The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is a world-class research laboratory. The LMB Summer Studentships scheme is aimed at undergraduate students who are considering a future in academic research. Summer students join one of the research groups at LMB and carry out original research, working alongside LMB scientists with full access to the world-class facilities at the LMB. Further details
Biomedical Vacation Scholarships (Wellcome Trust)
These awards provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the summer vacation, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research. Further details
EASTBIO Undergraduate Research Placements (BBSRC)
EASTBIO allocates several Research Experience Placements awards annually to excellent undergraduate students during the summer holiday. The scheme aims to provide students with a first-hand opportunity to experience research in a British lab, thus encouraging them to consider a career in scientific research. Further details.
Some of these international opportunities are open only to citizens and or/students of specific countries:
INSIDER TIP: Many Institutes around the world run short summer courses for postgraduates. These courses sometimes hire course aides to help with logistics. This is a great entry level position for students keen to get experience working in labs. Search for a job title such as ‘course aide’ or ‘course assistant’ together with the name of an institute (e.g. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory or Marine Biological Laboratory). If that doesn’t work, try contacting the people responsible for directing a given course and simply ask if there are any opportunities along these lines.