Frequently asked questions

Here you will find answers to the questions we are often asked by students. If you want to know something that is not covered on the website, please send us your query and we will try to answer it.

How much will I earn?

In 2014 new graduates were likely to start on a salary of at least £25,000, those with a relevant postgraduate MSc could expect about £30,000. Starting salaries for recruits with a PhD were higher. Employees can normally also expect a bonus and other benefits such as sports facilities, private healthcare and pensions.​


I am hoping to gain some work experience during my time at university. Would it be possible for me to organise a placement through your organisation?

Our organisation does not have the infrastructure to organise work experience or industrial placements on behalf of others, please refer to the pharmaceutical recruiters section of the website for details on companies that you can contact directly. Alternatively, speak with your university department or careers service.


When do I need to apply for an industrial placement?

Placements are advertised the summer or autumn before they start. Often the deadline for applicants is at or before the end of October.


I am studying Pharmacy and I would like to find out about industrial pre-registration placements and the companies that offer them.

A pre-registration pack has been developed by several pharmaceutical companies that offer placements; you can download a  copy of it from this site. You could also search the pharmaceutical recruiters section of this website for companies that offer industrial placements, this will include companies who offer pre-registration placements. You will then have to contact them directly.


Whilst I do not have a scientific background, I was wondering whether there were any opportunities within the industry for me, perhaps in marketing?

You may be interested in the commercial or support areas of the industry. The Case studies area of the website may give you some ideas of areas where you could work. We recommend you approach our member companies directly through the pharmaceutical recruiters section of the website for specific job vacancy information.


Can I apply for a job at your company or through this website?

As the ABPI is a trade association, rather than a pharmaceutical company, we do not get involved with the recruitment of people into the industry, you would need to contact individual pharmaceutical companies, or look for vacancies on their websites. Information on pharmaceutical companies is available through the pharmaceutical recruiters section of the website.


I studied for my Pharmacy degree overseas, what career opportunities are there for me in the UK?

Please contact the General Pharmaceutical Council regarding your enquiry as they register pharmacists in the UK, their web address is They will be able to advise you on whether you would be able to work as a clinical pharmacist in the UK with your qualifications. They also have an industrial pharmacy section that may be able to help with industry related enquiries. The pharmaceutical recruiters section of our careers website has links to individual pharmaceutical company websites. Jobs are often advertised through company websites.


I have gained my degree(s) and have worked overseas (for example in India), what opportunities are there for me in the pharmaceutical industry?

The pharmaceutical industry is a worldwide industry, many companies set up their Research and Development sites (as well as Manufacturing and Marketing) in multiple countries, for instance AstraZeneca has a site at Bangalore in India – Use the internet to explore the companies that are represented in the country you wish to work in.

Last modified: 02 May 2024

Last reviewed: 02 May 2024