Careers Service Occupations

Science Careers Outside The Lab

Science Careers Outside The Lab


There are many careers open to science graduates who would prefer to use their science knowledge and skills outside of a lab setting. Opportunities exist across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Careers advice

Industry news

Industry news for regulatory affairs officers include:

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates.

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

Radiation Protection

The main professional associations for radiation protection include:

Regulatory affairs

The main professional associations for regulatory affairs include:

Making contacts

Making contacts is important for success in this sector. Many jobs come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

  • Graduate Connections – graduates happy to give you advice about the kind of work they do
  • social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, which is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. 
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice and inspiration


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and other sector events give valuable insight. There is also the opportunity to make useful contacts.

For events listings, see Careers Service events or External Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in:

See our other Sector-specific pages for more options.


The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.


Data science

Radiation protection practitioner

Regulatory affairs officer

Science communication

Also see Advertising, PR, Marketing and Economics and Statistics.

Science policy officer



A CBI-survey (PDF: 1.2MB) by the CBI  found that 42% of employers prefer graduates from a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) background because of their strong numerical and analytical skills. 

Prospects: What can I do with my degree? lists the skills specific to your degree including:

  • critical and analytical skills
  • problem solving
  • teamwork
  • verbal and written communication
  • project management
  • planning, organising and time management
  • attention to detail

Gaining Experience

With an increasing number of graduate vacancies now being filled by applicants who have previously engaged with an employer, it is more important than ever to gain relevant work experience.

Work experience will not only raise your profile with an employer, it will also allow you to develop new skills and industry/sector insight. It will also demonstrate your motivation and commitment.

Regulatory affairs

The European Medicines Agency offers traineeships aimed at graduates.

TOPRA has volunteering opportunities and a First steps into regulatory affairs guide.  They also run short courses to provide an insight into regulatory affairs.

ABPI has a list of pharmaceutical companies in the UK who offer work experience.  Look for opportunities advertised on their website or make a speculative application.

Finding Jobs

There are many advertised opportunities and specialist recruitment agencies that help in your search for a job.

Advertised vacancies



Data science

Data science vacancies can be found at NHS jobs.

Radiation protection practitioner

Vacancies are often advertised in the nuclear and electricity sectors – see finding jobs on our renewables, nuclear and utilities page.

Regulatory affairs

Many of the vacancies advertised for work within regulatory affairs are aimed at graduates with relevant experience. 

Try contacting companies speculatively, to enquire about possible entry level vacancies.

It may be possible to gain experience in a related role or sector, such as the pharmaceutical industry and quality assurance roles, then move into regulatory affairs, once you have built up your knowledge and skills.

ABPI have a list of pharmaceutical recruiters in the UK who run graduate training programmes.  Look for opportunities advertised on their website or make a speculative enquiry.

Science policy officer

The Campaign for Science & Engineering advertises science policy officer jobs. 

These posts can also be found with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technolog (POST) along with fellowships for PhD students.

Science communicator

To find a job as a science communicator, check out  NextMedCommsJob.

Specialist recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies regularly advertise opportunities.

See the North East Graduate Directory for North East-based agencies and the University of Kent for science recruitment agencies across the UK.


Science communicator

Finding companies


The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has a directory of pharmaceutical companies in the UK.

Radiation protection practitioner

The Society for Radiological Protection include a list of employers who recruit into this role and affiliate members.

Science policy officer

euraxess list governmental and academic organisations working in science policy.