09 October 2009

Biomedical Science graduates buck national trend

Colchester Campus

Biomedical Science graduates are bucking the trend when it comes to students having trouble finding jobs after their degrees.

As the University celebrated a bumper intake of new students this week to its three and four-year BSc Biomedical Science(BMS) programme, there was also cause for celebration among students graduating this summer.

At a time when the current economic climate is having a knock-on effect for graduates nationally experiencing tough times finding work after university, nearly all the BMS students who graduated from the four-year course at Essex this summer have found work in the East of England and beyond.

With the four-year course focusing on students completing their registration portfolio for the Certificate of Competence during their clinical placement year, it means they can leave university and step immediately into a job as a fully-fledged biomedical scientist. Out of the 26 graduates, 18 are already employed as biomedical scientists with others undertaking further scientific training such as going into Medicine/Dentistry degrees or enrolling onto PhD programmes.

Explained Dr Mücke Leithauser, Director of Biomedical Science: ‘We feel this to a be a remarkable success and confirms our view that the programme we offer produces high quality, well motivated graduates.’

She added: ‘The strength of our courses is that they were designed in close collaboration with biomedical scientists at a number of regional hospitals who are also involved with delivering the programme.

‘These practising biomedical scientists are brought in from the regional hospitals to bring the sense of the workplace into the campus environment.’

With the University’s enviable reputation for producing high quality graduates, coupled with a predicted shortage of biomedical scientists in the future, it looks like the demand for BMS graduates is set to continue.

Leanne Gomm is among the BMS graduates who stepped straight into a job after university.

For Leanne, spending the third year of her degree on a clinical placement was crucial in making her more employable after university.

‘I think the course at Essex was very much tailored towards getting a job, so it stood me in good stead. People can have lots of qualifications but no experience. Having that background knowledge of laboratory experience helped a lot.’

Leanne, 22, is now a biomedical scientist in the Microbiology Department at Colchester General Hospital, where she also did her clinical placement during her degree course.

Fellow Biomedical Science graduate LeAnne Carmichael has also got a job where she worked during her clinical placement, in the Biochemistry Department at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

LeAnne was also awarded the Institute of Biomedical Science President’s Prize for best Biomedical Science degree at Essex. Like Leanne, she thinks the course was essential in helping her get a job.

‘There are fewer positions as trainees but we were much more employable as we are already qualified,’ she explained.

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