Undergraduate science placements

We offer undergraduates a choice of science placements in either our Global Manufacturing & Supply organisation (GMS) or in our Research and Development organisation (R&D). Our GMS science placements give first-hand experience of manufacturing in and out of the lab, with exposure to the best people, processes and technology.

We offer undergraduates a choice of science placements in either:

  • our manufacturing sites 
  • our research and development sites 

Manufacturing sites

Our Manufacturing sites science placements give first-hand experience of manufacturing in and out of the lab. We manufacture a huge range of different pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products from respiratory devices and antibiotics to toothpaste and premium sports nutrition products. Our integrated talented teams of engineers and scientists are able to deliver four billion packs of medicines and healthcare products every single year whilst meeting stringent quality and safety standards efficiently.   

Our Manufacturing science placements are based at sites in:

England: Worthing, Ware, Maidenhead, Barnard Castle and Ulverston

Research and development sites

Do you want to help discover and develop potential new medicines? Are you eager to learn from experts and be part of a vibrant student and professional community?

Our R&D placements are a mix of lab and non lab based roles based at our Research Centres in Stevenage, Ware, Stockley Park or Harlow. Within our Pharmaceutical R&D organisation we have around 140 undergraduate placements, available in hugely diverse areas of science including Respiratory, Biological Sciences, Clinical Data Sciences, In Vivo Imaging, Biophysics and many more.  Most placements are based in our Medicines Research Centre in Stevenage, where nearly 3,000 scientists work on ground breaking drug development, although there are other science opportunities across a number of our sites, including Ware and Stockley Park.

What will this placement offer me?

You will be joining well developed schemes that support a blended learning approach – with formal, classroom learning, mentoring and coaching and on-the-job experience.

You’ll find yourself in a real role, adding value to our business as a key member of a multi-disciplinary team, either discovering & developing new medicines or in the manufacture of existing GSK treatments and medicines.

During your year with us you’ll gain firsthand experience of science, technology or manufacturing, including development of personal skills, being able to understand how different sites operate, putting academic theory into practices and in many cases taking responsibility for your own projects.  Over the year you will build your technical knowledge, as well as developing your communication, planning, organization, problem-solving, team working and help to build an extensive network of industry contacts.

What manufacturing science programmes are there in GMS?

Analytical chemistry

Analytical chemistry and analysis is required to ensure the quality of the products and batches manufactured on site every day. By working in a laboratory environment you will provide quality assurance results to support the manufacture of world class products for global distribution. With the use of analytical technologies such as HPLC and GC, you will get the opportunity to work cross-functionally on a number of projects providing process development and support to ensure efficient and effective analytical analysis. You will experience compliance and quality regulations to ensure quality of results obtained and be involved in continuous improvement projects to improve analytical ways of working. Working in this fast paced and quality driven environment, you will have the opportunity to work with and support a number of different functions across site and interact with engineers, process chemists and manufacturing operators on a daily basis.


As a Microbiology undergraduate in a GSK Global Manufacture and Supply (GMS) you may work as a:

  • Process Microbiologist – ensuring the sterility of the manufacturing facility whilst providing expert knowledge and training to those who work in the facility on a day to day basis. This might include investigating environmental monitoring excursions and involvement in requalification activities to support the release of batches to the customer.
  • Laboratory Microbiologist – supporting manufacture by performing environmental monitoring of the manufacturing facility, sampling and examination of waters, microbial identification tests, endotoxin testing and sterility testing of the final product to provide results which will support batch release.

Pharmaceutical science

As a Pharmacy undergraduate in a GSK Global Manufacture and Supply (GMS) site you could be involved in:

  • New Product Introduction: Involvement in the manufacture, testing and supply of New Chemical Entities for development and clinical purposes. Including our new dosage forms on new manufacturing platforms.
  • Global Supply: Participate in Technical trouble-shooting and develop an understanding of the manufacturing process for a variety of pharmaceutical dosage forms, for example Oral Solid Dose (Tablets, Capsules & Powders), Inhaled and Sterile products. Learn about GMS strategy for new products and the management of existing global supply products.

Materials science

Pharmaceutical materials science is about understanding and evaluating how materials are transformed through manufacturing processes into the final dose form the patient will use. It is a broad discipline involving both chemical and physical sciences. The GMS Technical Material Science team are similar to a forensic science team, we use our specialist technical knowledge and advanced characterisation techniques to support GMS manufacturing sites to resolve complex problems across the many dose forms manufactured by GSK. We also support our manufacturing sites in ensuring we are successful when changing the pharmaceutical materials we use in our formulations.  

Do I have the skills?

You should have a strong interest in science, and be studying a degree in the following areas:


Area of study

Where are these roles

Analytical chemistry

Expected 2:1 or above in related Chemistry Degree


Medicinal chemistry

Expected 2:1 or above in related Chemistry Degree



Expected 2:1 or above in Microbiology or related science degree



Expected 2:1 or above in Pharmacy or related science degree


Biological science

Expected 2:1 or above in related Biology Degree


Clinical research

Expected 2:1 or above in Biomedical Sciences or related degree


Statistical computing

Expected 2:1 in combined degree in Mathematics, Statistics or numerate scientific discipline


Materials science

Expected 2:1 or above in related science degree


Having a relevant degree is just the start. You'll need ambition, excellent analytical, communication and team working skills, a genuine interest in the healthcare industry and a self-motivated, proactive approach.

Please note that all R&D placements will have different degree requirements so make sure you are aware of the requirements before applying.

Where will I be based?

Our R&D placements are based at our research centres in Stevenage, Ware, Stockley Park or Harlow.

When can I start?

Recruitment takes place annually. The majority of R&D applications open online in autumn; GMS applications open in October with placements starting any time between June and September 2016 (start and end dates are flexible for the outgoing and incoming needs of the students and the business). Placements run for twelve months.

How can I apply?

Applications are now open for 2016. You can apply online now.