Careers Service

Life Sciences Sector

This page contains background information on the Life Sciences sector, to help you identify potential employers, keep up-to-date with developments and develop an understanding of the sector as a whole.

For information on specific job roles see the other pages in this section. For example, for information on being a research scientist in life sciences, see 'Scientific research and development'.

A Career in Life Sciences 2018

The event comprised a discussion based careers information session. The session was led by Scott Johnstone, CEO, Scottish Lifesciences Association (SLA). Notes from this presentation are available in MyCareerHub.

A Career in Life Sciences 2018 report

Bringing Life Sciences to Life

The Careers Service has filmed interviews with a range of people working in this industry, designed to give you an insight into what it's like to work in Life Sciences, what the industry is all about, and the kind of opportunities it offers. Find these videos in the Bringing Life Sciences to Life playlist on our YouTube channel.

Bringing Life Sciences to Life (YouTube)



Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:


Your future in...

Find out what it’s like to work in the Biotechnology sector, how to get work experience and tips on job hunting. Information and advice specifically for University of Edinburgh students and graduates.


Bioindustry Association - trade association for the UK's bioscience sector, with directory of its member companies (useful for identifying potential employers). Also lists important reports (Government and industry). The useful links section (news and resources tab) includes organisations overseas.

Bioindustry Association

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Britain's leading funding agency for academic research and training in the non-medical life sciences. The site has extensive information about funding.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

UK Trade & Investment: Life Sciences Organisation - includes a search function for UK Life Science companies.

UK Trade & Investment: Life Sciences Organisation

Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) - the industry association for the medical technology sector in the UK. The ABHI website includes a directory of its members, which can be searched by the type of medical technologies they produce.

Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI)

Scottish and Regional sites

Life & Chemical Sciences Scottish Directory - searchable database of companies, academic organisations, research centres and trade associations. Useful for finding potential employers.

Life & Chemical Sciences Scottish Directory

Talent Scotland - advertises jobs and includes detailed information about the life sciences sector.

Talent Scotland

Scottish Development International: Life Sciences and Biotech - encourages investment in this sector in Scotland. Gives a useful overview, plus more detailed information on some sub-sectors including medical technology and regenerative medicine.

Scottish Development International

SULSA - Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance - a networking research partnership between Scottish universities; offers postdoctoral exchanges.


Scottish Lifesciences Association represents the interests of this sector to Government and other bodies. The site has no careers information, but is included here as the Association welcomes enquiries on career-related issues.

Scottish Lifesciences Association

BioDundee is an initiative to develop and promote the life sciences sector in Dundee and Tayside. Search its company directory by name or by sub-sector.


Oxford Bioscience Network - the site has names of companies in the bioscience cluster around Oxford and the south east. Includes vacancies.

Oxford Bioscience Network