The School of Biosciences currently offers two 4-year 'with industrial experience' degree programmes that accommodate an industrial placement year, aligned to the standard degree programmes in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry and Biochemistry.
In the placement year (year 3), you work on a research project in either the chemical, pharmaceutical or biotechnology sectors; we have established collaborations with local, national and multi-national companies. During your year in industry you are paid by the company and take two modules - Industrial Placement and Report; and Learning from Industrial Experience. You’ll have regular contact with an academic supervisor in addition to an industrial supervisor at the company.
In terms of the degree course, progression to the industrial placement year is dependent upon academic performance in years 1 and 2 of the degree, with attainment thresholds set at 60% and 55% respectively. You undertake the two credited modules listed above during the placement year; the year counts 1/7 towards your final degree classification.
How are the placements organised?
- you are a paid employee of a company for 10-12 months
- the placements are sought during the second year of study and commence the following October
- you are responsible for applying for positions, with direct guidance from the School industrial placements co-ordinator
Who benefits from the industrial placement?
- you can gain valuable experience from working in industry, both improving your personal skills, making new contacts and enhancing your employability
- placements can help employers enhance their workforce and improve training
- our industrial placement degrees produce experienced graduates with many skills applicable to industry, and placement companies often offer employment after graduation
If you are interested in studying for one of our industrial placement degrees, or you are a company that is interested in taking placement students, please contact the Industrial placements co-ordinator:
Dr Sara Burton
tel: 01392 723437
I am currently employed in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK) of the Neurology Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) for GlaxoSmithKline. This area of drug discovery focuses on selecting strong candidate compounds from a large compound library that have shown potential in a given CNS disease model. My role in the department is to improve candidate selection so that higher quality candidates are forwarded helping to reduce attrition rates preclinically and decrease the number of late stage failures. This requires an understanding of the screening processes surrounding DMPK and of the multidimensional data accumalated from each area on each compound, such as the Pharmacokinetics (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Elimination, Toxicology, ADMET), Physiochemical and even the structure of compounds. Working on the project I get to enjoy a broad understanding of the drug discovery process and gain experience of the many different roles within DMPK and associated drug dicovery processes. My position also gives me a large degree of independence, access to other departments/resources, and first-hand experience from working alongside experts in different specialities.
Greg Stapleton, 3rd Year Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with industrial experience
Last year I carried out my year in industry placement at Maybridge, in Tintagel, Cornwall. My job as a Junior Chemist was to synthesise Reactive Intermediates – Heterocyclic Building Block compounds for use in the Drug Discovery industry. I decided to apply for the ‘with industrial experience’ programme as it provides an extra practical chemistry aspect to the BMC course, and of course very useful experience and references for gaining a good job in industry after graduation. I chose Maybridge as the chemistry that they focus on is organic synthesis, and this was one of the modules that I found most rewarding as a second year undergraduate. Working at Maybridge, I had the opportunity to use very expensive and hi-tech equipment that is not available at the University, as well as carrying out many reactions that I had not encountered before. Now, in my final year, I am able to combine this practical knowledge that I have gained with the theory that I am learning in lectures, and I feel it has given me a much deeper understanding of my topic. I would strongly recommend the Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with Industrial Experience Course at Exeter, as it provides an excellent balance of theoretical and practical chemistry and biosciences, and an opportunity to discover what it is like to work as an industrial chemist.
Jessica Hatherley, final year Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with Industrial Experience