Training, Career Development & Employability

The Department of Chemistry recognises that as well as successfully achieving a qualification in your chosen subject, it is vital for today's graduates to have other transferable skills to equip them for a successful career. Throughout your period of postgraduate study, you will have numerous opportunities to enhance such skills through a variety of training sessions and activities both inside and outside of the Department.


  • Techniques training on a variety of state of the art equipment - you will receive expert training to enable you to carry out your research safely and effectively
  • Health and safety in the lab
  • Scientific writing and project planning - guidance and advice is available throughout your period of study to help you to plan your research project, and improve your scientific writing skills.
  • Academic integrity tutorial - all students are required to complete this tutorial to ensure an understanding of the various forms misconduct such as plagiarism, collusion
  • Specialist taught courses in specific areas of chemistry - course are available in all departments to help enhance your knowledge of a particular area of interest
  • Current awareness courses and literature seminars - you will be required to make presentations about your work and current literature as well as other topics to develop your awareness of chemistry on a broader scale, as well as improving your presentation skills
  • Information Technology - a variety of IT courses are offered to students to ensure your skills are kept up to date
  • Learn a new language - students who wish to learn a new language can take advantage of the Languages For All programmes offered by the University. Successful completion can even mean a refund of your course fee!
  • Improve your English - students from outside of the UK have the opportunity to improve their English language skills at the University's Writing and Language Skills Centre
  • Research Excellence Training Team - RETT offer training and development opportunities to research students and staff
  • Visiting Speakers - the Department and the University are regular hosts to a variety of world class speakers and experts in their respective fields. As a student at York, you would have the opportunity to attend seminars and lectures from a variety of inspiring researchers

Career Development

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant - after completing the required training, research students have the opportunity to demonstrate in labs to undergraduate students enabling you to earn extra money as well as improve your own transferable skills
  • Trainingthe innovative Doctoral Training in Chemistry programme provides integrated training to develop scientific and transferable skills in order to enhance your employability
  • Presenting - it is important that you are able to present your work to colleagues. There are many opportunities for you to do this at at conferences and symposia at York, around the UK and abroad
  • Departmental competitions - the department holds two competitions for 3rd year PhD students, giving the opportunity to present their work with the chance of winning prizes
  • Outreach work - the department has strong links with schools and runs a full Outreach programme. Postgraduate students have the opportunity to assist with Open Days, Chemistry Camp and a variety of outreach activities
  • Researcher Development Team  - a dedicated team who provide support and guidance for researchers. The RDT is also part of a national organisation called Vitae who pioneer training and support for researchers, including UK GRAD schools  and the Researcher Development Framework
  • Committee membership - there are opportunities for students to get involved in a range of groups and committees at University and Departmental level, such as the Chemistry Graduate School Board, Board of Studies, Graduate Students Association to name a few. This gives you the opportunity to highlight issues on behalf of fellow students and have a say on how these can be addressed


  • Skills Development Officer - a dedicated member of staff available to offer advice and guidance on a range of topics including careers, transferable skills for both graduate students and postdoctoral researchers
  • Careers advice - is available from a variety of sources including your supervisor, the Skills Development Officer and the University Careers Service
  • York Award - the York Award is a certificated programme of skills training and experiential learning which is delivered in partnership with leading public, private and voluntary sector employers
  • Industrial experience and placements - members of staff in the Department of Chemistry have a range of contacts in a variety of industries giving many students the opportunity to gain work experience
  • Royal Society of Chemistry - the Department enjoys close links with the RSC with regular visits from representatives. Membership of the RSC can also entitle you to a variety of discounts and special offers
  • Employability Plans - both the University and the Department are keen to support students in planning for the future and thinking about future emplyoment. Throughout your time at York, you will be encouraged to consider what skills you have as well as those you may need to develop to give you the best chance of a fulfilling career. An online tutorial has been developed on our Virtual Learning Environment to help guide you through this process
  • Networking Opportunties - Linked In, York Space, RSS feeds, York Alumni
  • Transferable Skills - communication, presentation, writing, team work - all these skills and many more are vital in today's workplace. Throughout your studies, you will have numerous opportunities to enhance your transferable skills by participating in a wide range of activites


Having completed their studies, our postgraduate students go on to participate in a range of jobs and careers in a variety of organisations such as:

  • Academia - many graduates continue their research in post doctoral roles at institutions in the UK and around the world. Others remain in academia in a teaching role as lecturers, teaching fellows, school teachers or science education / outreach workers
  • Chemical industry - a variety of companies including pharmaceutical, global product, instrumentation and equipment
  • Health care, clinical research, drug development, medical training
  • Analysts
  • Environmental work
  • Water treatment
  • Forensic science
  • Patent law

Although a large proportion of our graduates do go on to work in a chemistry related field, there are also a number who take a different direction and choose to train in a new area. Postgraduate study at York does not just focus on your research, but gives you the opportunity to enhance your range of knowledge and skills to equip you for the future, and to give you the freedom of choice over your future.