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Pharmaceutical Technology & Development 12 month Industrial Placement

Applications have now closed. 

About AstraZeneca


At AstraZeneca, we’ve long been advocates of industrial placement training.

We see it as our responsibility to help promising scientists and engineers mature into the researchers of the future, by immersing them in a world of practical, laboratory-based science. This is achieved by aligning each student with a team working on cutting-edge drug development projects, and allowing you to make a significant contribution to the development of new drugs.

Programme details

About the Programme

The Pharmaceutical Technology & Development 12-month Industrial Placement introduces you to the world of ground-breaking drug development, embedding you in highly dedicated teams committed to delivering impactful new medicines to patients.

About the placement

The Pharmaceutical Development 12 month Sandwich Placement introduces individuals to the world of ground-breaking drug development, embedding undergraduates within highly dedicated teams driven to delivering impactful new medicines to patients.
At AstraZeneca, we’ve been long-time advocates of industrial placements that provide training relevant to the industry. We take it as our responsibility to help promising scientists and engineers mature into the researchers of the future by immersing them in a world of practical, laboratory based science. We achieve this by aligning each student to a team that works on cutting edge drug development projects, allowing each student to make a significant contribution to developing new drugs.  

What you can expect

We offer 12 month placements at our Macclesfield campus, in three distinct but parallel schemes; Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Within Synthetic Organic Chemistry you will:

·         Join one of our project teams working with world class scientists to develop processes for new medicines
·         Have the opportunity to learn about organic synthesis, purification, reaction monitoring and automation techniques
·         Spend 80-90% of your time carrying out practical synthetic chemistry, being exposed to a wide range of diverse organic synthesis and process development
·         Develop a range of transferable attributes including communication and presentation skills

Within Analytical Chemistry you will:

·         Join one of our project teams working with world class scientists to deliver new medicines to patients
·         Have the opportunity to learn about analytical techniques in-depth, develop your investigative skills and lead your own 10 week analytical chemistry-based project
·         Spend the majority of your  placement carrying out practical analytical chemistry, and being exposed to a wide range of diverse analytical techniques
·         Develop a range of transferable attributes including communication and presentation skills

Within Chemical Engineering you will:

·         Join one of our project teams working with world class engineers to deliver new medicines to patients
·         Have the opportunity to learn about the application of risk assessments, scale-up and process transfer to the pharmaceutical industry
·         Support development of drug substance or drug product manufacturing processes, and be exposed to a wide range of manufacturing processes and scales
·         Develop a range of transferable attributes including communication and presentation skills

Who can apply?

In all of our programmes we look for individuals who have drive, enthusiasm, strong team working skills and a desire to learn. Specific requirements for each programme are listed below.

Synthetic Organic Chemistry;

Undergraduate applicants should be studying for a chemistry-based BSc / MChem / MSci or equivalent degree.
Should have completed the first/second year of their degree, and be starting the second/third year of study.
Be performing at a high level, equivalent to achieving a 1st or 2.1 class degree.

Analytical Chemistry;

Undergraduate applicants should be studying for a chemistry-based BSc / MChem / MSci or equivalent degree.
Should have completed the first/second year of their degree, and be starting the second/third year of study.
Be performing at a high level, equivalent to achieving a 1st or 2.1 class degree.

Chemical Engineering;

Undergraduate applicants should be studying for a bio/chemical engineering  BEng /MEng degree.
Should have completed the first/second year of your degree, and be starting the second/third year of study.
Be performing at a high level (equivalent to achieving a 1st or 2.1 class degree).

How to join us

Firstly, you will need to complete an online application form. Applications open in September and close mid-October. It is important that you take your time to complete your application in full as we place a lot of importance on all areas of the application form.
Please clearly specify your preferences if you are applying for more than one scheme.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment centre at our Macclesfield campus in early November.
Successful candidates will then be offered a place on the programme, which is due to commence the following September, completing end of August.

Meet our people

Meet some of our people and discover what they do, what they’ve achieved, and what their ambitions are.

Meet Amy

Meet Amy

Hi, my name is Amy and I have recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Chemistry, during which I completed a year placement at AstraZeneca as an Analytical Scientist in Product Development.

I thought working at a company like AstraZeneca would be interesting and rewarding, so the AstraZeneca Analytical Student Placement appealed to me straight away.

During my placement I learnt to test a range of drug products and substance samples. I spent the majority of my time working for the Efficient Analysis team, which looks after all GMP stability studies and release testing. The work was fast-paced and improved my ability to meet tight deadlines and organise my time. This helped a lot with my final year at university.

I would recommend doing a placement to anyone. It can be hard work, but was definitely the most enjoyable and valuable year of my degree. Not only did I develop technical skills in analytical chemistry, but I also gained some of the softer skills employers look for. The atmosphere at AstraZeneca is also great! Everyone is happy to help you learn and you always feel your work is valued.

I applied for a job at AstraZeneca after graduating, and was successful. I now work as an Analytical Scientist in Chemical Development. It’s a little different from the work I did as a student, but it’s interesting and I am learning lots.

Meet Beth

Meet Beth

Hi, I’m Beth and I was an Analytical Industrial Student based at the Macclesfield campus. My placement was in Chemical Development where I worked on projects which involved the drug substance and the intermediates in the synthetic process. I spent my placement in the Technical Stewardship team, which is responsible for the drug substance of all AstraZeneca marketed products. The work was really interesting as I got to work on lots of projects across a wide range of disease areas, and I learnt how to maintain a marketed product. In the second half of my placement I spent some time in a mid-late phase project team, working on a highly accelerated project.

I started my placement with limited analytical knowledge, having had no practical experience at university and knowing only a small amount of theory. After the initial training I spent time shadowing other members of my team, but it wasn’t long before I was working independently using a range of equipment. I quickly became confident in many techniques and by the time I ended my placement, I was developing and validating methods. I also became a super-user in Ion Chromatography.

Placements at AstraZeneca are a great experience. It’s a very friendly environment where everyone is very happy to share their experiences with you and answer any questions you might have. During my time at AstraZeneca I went from an analytical novice to being confident in using a wide range of techniques. As well as improving my technical ability, I developed many other skills including learning how to work in a professional team, presenting in meetings and communicating with other members of the project.

I would highly recommend a placement at AstraZeneca to anyone, it is a great transition between university and work life. The skills I developed helped in my final year at university and secured me a job at AstraZeneca after graduation.

Explore our other undergraduates programmes

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