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Chemistry: Careers and employability

Our degree courses are focussed on what 21st century employers need from a chemistry or forensic sciences graduate. We know that our graduates are the best advertisement we have for this strategy, and their success in gaining graduate-level positions has been recognised by both the 2018 Guardian League Tables, and a recent Telegraph article which reported that Bradford chemistry graduates have better graduate prospects than those from Oxbridge.

Chemists are attractive to employers both for the skills that they offer directly related to their specialism, and for the professional skills that they have developed through study of the discipline. The range of careers available to chemists is vast – take a look at the Royal Society of Chemistry careers guide to get some ideas.

All of our courses are carefully designed to match the career profiles common in the chemical industries, this way our graduates emerge with both a broad knowledge of the fundamental sciences but are also prime candidates for scientific companies looking for promising students Stephen Rimmer, Head of School

Industrial Experience

Your chemistry education with us needn’t be confined to Bradford. We have links with companies and universities all over the world, and several of our students take the opportunity to complete stage 4 of their degree with one of our partners. Recent placements have included formulating new perfumes, working in an Alzheimer’s research group at Harvard Medical School, and searching for new antimicrobial compounds from fungi in the Canadian wilderness.

Industrial Chemistry

Recent Graduate Destinations

Alex Jones

  • MChem Chemistry with Industrial Experience
    Destination: Research Scientist in Personal Care, Unilever

I graduated with a Master's degree in Chemistry with Industrial experience. Originally I had chosen the Bachelors of Science 3-year course, but I chose to switch to the Masters course due to the number of post-university opportunities, the chance to work in industry and the chance to develop my research skills.

In my Master's year, I was taken on by Unilever R&D (Leeds) to complete a year in industry placement with them. This year, to me, was basically a stepping stone into the working world of research and allowed me to grow my connections, networks, research circles and ultimately improve my skills in the industry to allow me to apply for jobs once I finished University. I completed a dissertation whilst working at Unilever, along with balancing my short-course modules, coursework and exams (which was really tough but very rewarding!).

Before even graduating, I was asked if I would like to work at the prestigious Unilever Port Sunlight R&D site, as a Research Scientist in Personal Care, which I accepted and have been there ever since.

My year in industry proved to be so beneficial, it opened up so many more opportunities, and really helped boost my CV! I have been promoted since and I am now working as a Global Assistant Technical Project Leader for Sunsilk.

I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment at the University of Bradford from the lectures, to lab classes, to completing short research projects at other universities, and would highly recommend the Master's in Chemistry course to any prospective chemistry student.


Taniya Shandil

  • MChem Chemistry for Medicines Development
    Destination: PhD research at University of Cardiff

I studied Chemistry for Medicines Development with Industrial experience. The course was well structured with emphasis given to practical work and developing medicinal chemistry knowledge.

I feel that that the course also developed me professionally and equipped me with several really useful 'soft skills'.  As part of my master's year, I undertook an industrial placement at Vivimed Labs Europe in Huddersfield. This not only gave me a taster of working within a chemical industry, but also helped me to better my career prospects.

Presently, I am looking forward to furthering my career in academia and have secured a PhD within the field of chemical catalysis at the University of Cardiff.

I strongly believe that studying chemistry within the University of Bradford has proved to be my best decision so far, with excellent chemical facilities, outstanding teaching and help available at every step from friendly and supportive lecturers.

Becky Sparks

  • MChem Chemistry with Industrial Experience
    Destination: Sellafield Ltd

I studied chemistry for research experience and focussed on an analytical research project during my fourth year. This research project looked at the phase chemistry of different composition of paracetamol, citric acid and 4-bromobenzoic acid to manipulate popularities to control crystallisation.

Having been on placement at Sellafield Ltd over the summer between third and fourth year, I was offered a place on the graduate scheme. I will therefore undertake this role in the nuclear industry in September. I will work towards becoming a chartered chemist within the next 4 years.

Nile Saunders

  • MChem Chemistry for Medicines Development
    Destination: UniPetrol, largest oil refinery in the Czech Republic

I studied MChem Chemistry for Medicines Development. My final year research project was undertaken at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Bradford where I helped develop new anti- cancer drug candidates.

Whilst I found this both challenging and exciting, I have now secured a job in a different field working for UniPetrol at the largest oil refinery in the Czech Republic. Here I will initially be researching new water purifying techniques using nano chemistry and later on, the development of new fuels. I plan to use this experience to eventually undertake a PhD as I would like to pursue a career in academia.

Amber Ali

  • MChem Chemistry with Industrial Experience
    Destination: Analyst at Pantheon

I studied the MChem course at the University of Bradford and it has been the best four years of my life.

In my Master's year, I based my research on Crystal Engineering and how to improve Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API's) within drug formulations, and enjoyed exceptional guidance from my supervisor and other academics.

With all the fantastic scientific knowledge this course has provided me with I have decided to share this knowledge by pursuing a career as a secondary school teacher, and will be starting my PGCE this September. The knowledge, guidance and experience this University has offered me will stay with me forever.

Sadaf Aftab

  • MChem Chemistry with Industrial Experience
    Destination: PhD, University of St Andrews

I have recently graduated with a Master's in Chemistry with Industrial Experience from University of Bradford.

Initially I did not know where a degree in chemistry could take me as I was unsure about the careers possibilities and had very limited practical skills. However with the help of extremely helpful staff and all the exceptional lab and professional skills that I gained from being at Bradford; I managed to secure an Industrial placement in Unipetrol- Czech Republic’s largest oil refinery as part of my Master's year.

For my final year, I finished my exam based modules and short courses in semester one and moved to the Czech Republic to focus merely on my project. This placement also gave me a chance to travel to different countries and meet new people. The experience of working abroad was immensely enjoyable and I managed to learn a lot from the industrial placement.

During my placement, I worked on making jet fuel with 2nd generation feedstock over a heterogeneous catalyst which I thoroughly enjoyed therefore I decided to do further research in this area. I will therefore be starting my PhD at the University of St. Andrews this September in catalysis.

The University of Bradford hasn't only equipped me with subject knowledge; I have also gained various other skills that will stand me in a good stead; preparing me to face any challenges in the future! I have enjoyed every aspect of my chemistry degree, whether it was lab work, group presentations or preparing for exams-it has been a fantastic experience overall. I’d definitely recommend the MChem at Bradford to any student wanting to go far in the field of chemistry.