Biological sciences graduates at Kingston have gone on to work in a wide range of scientific careers. Examples include: medical and veterinary product development; quality assurance and sales; product development and testing in the pharmaceutical industry; the food and brewing industry; in medical laboratories; the biotechnology industry; environmental organisations such as consultancies and charities; and in local government and non-government organisations, as well as teaching and research.
Check out what our graduates have gone on to do and how studying at Kingston helped them achieve their goals.
Former student: Charlotte Duly
Year of graduation: 2003
Current job: Trainee trade mark attorney, Mastrovito and Associates
Although Charlotte decided on a career path unrelated to biology, she has found that the degree gave her many transferable skills and an invaluable life experience.
"I initially embarked upon a pharmacy degree, but decided I preferred biology. I chose to transfer to Kingston as I was impressed with the facilities available. Before enrolling, I had a discussion with the course director who showed me around. His enthusiasm for both biology and Kingston University aided my decision. In addition, I knew other people who had attended the University and spoke very highly of it.
"I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my studies. The degree was hard work and I did dedicate a lot of my time to it, but it always felt worthwhile. As the course was modular, I was able to study the subjects that I found interesting. The final year project takes a lot of motivation as you are required to study and research a topic on your own. But, as well as learning very valuable skills and discovering how to research, I was extremely pleased with the result I achieved.
"Other highlights of my time at Kingston include helping to organise the end of degree party, which was an immense amount of fun. Also, I was a Peer Assisted Learning Leader (helping first year students academically), which made me feel like I was contributing to the University.
"Following Kingston, I completed an Management of Intellectual Property MSc*. I had aspirations of becoming a patent attorney. However, once I embarked on the course, I realised I preferred trade mark law. I am now a part-qualified trade mark attorney working in central London.
"I am currently employed by a small private practice. I perform a range of functions including filing trade mark applications, responding to objections, opposing marks of third parties that conflict with our client's property and generally advising clients. I enjoy the variety of work and the fact that you are at the junction where consumerism, law and business merge. Intellectual property is a fascinating area of law that I only entered because of my science degree.
"Although I do not use biology in my day-to-day work, there are many skills I acquired during my degree that I do use. In particular the ability to write essay-length documents! The research skills are also extremely useful.
"I found it very difficult to choose a degree as I believed I was committing myself to a career path. My advice is to do something you find interesting and worthwhile. If you enjoy the subject then you will do well and, even if you end up working in a different area, you will gain many useful skills. Remember that you are studying for at least three years in the same institution so make sure you are happy with the university and the course. I can thoroughly recommend the Biology BSc(Hons) degree at Kingston University!"
*Intellectual property is the ownership of a creation or innovation, such as a design or trade mark, in the same way as people own a physical property.
Former student: Beak-San Choi
Year of graduation: 2004
Current job: Research technician/part-time PhD Student, Imperial College London
Beak-San has a passion for biology. Fuelled by her Kingston degree and subsequent masters, this has led her into an exciting career that she loves and which enables her to develop her knowledge on a daily basis.
"Since I was at school I have loved the fact that the human body is capable of so many amazing things that occur non-stop and that we don't even notice. Human biology is what keeps me in awe of life itself.
"Kingston offered a non-restrictive biology degree, which lets you choose to study the topics you are most interested in, but also gives you guidance so you don't select incompatible subjects. The open day I attended at the University made me feel welcome, and the town and train station were really convenient for student life and for going into London for those all-important shopping sprees!
"I really enjoyed the course. The lecturers were fantastic and I made some wonderful friends. The lab work built my confidence and allowed me to become familiar with a variety of techniques. I enjoyed the modules I had chosen and they gave me a basic background in the area I went on to study and now work in. Although you don't really notice it, you also pick up a lot of practical skills, such as time management, organisation, punctuality and presentation skills.
"My most memorable time was the final year summer project. I worked at the hospital at St George's, University of London. It was great fun. I had a really good supervisor, made some really good friends and it gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in a lab full-time.
"The degree enabled me to progress onto a masters in immunology of infectious diseases and this helped me step into my first 'real' job. I am currently a researcher at Imperial College London for the Department of Immunology. I work for an Immunology group that looks at the immune response within leishmania, a parasitic disease. I'm really enjoying being here – the working environment is brilliant and the work is so interesting.
"The degree at Kingston gave me a broad knowledge of biology, which allowed me to define an area of interest to take further. The MSc built on the practical skills that I had taken from the lab at Kingston and applied even more detailed knowledge, which helped my understanding of why the body reacts the way it does to infection and disease.
"I enjoy the sheer interest I have for the topic. Biology is not a static subject - it changes constantly with new research, drugs and discoveries. I love being the eternal student who learns something new every day. I really enjoy being in the lab and being hands-on with the research and seeing the results that I have produced. I also really like the challenges that crop up – problem solving, although stressful, is so rewarding in the end.
"I would highly recommend being a scientist. It's fun, it's interesting and you'll never be bored as things change all the time. Science is everywhere, plus we need someone to cure bird flu, SARS, HIV, malaria... you get the message! I would suggest to everyone to go to uni. It is such a brilliant opportunity to study, have fun and to grow up."
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In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.
As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:
In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.
The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.
The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting. For example, here students are practising their interview skills with employers at a 'speed interviewing' event on campus.
If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni. Here are some courses that might interest you: