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Pharmaceutical Technology & Development Summer Placements

Pharmacy Summer Placements: Applications are currently closed.
Analytical Chemistry Placements: Applications are currently closed.
Chemical Engineering Placements: Applications are currently closed.


Apply for Pharmacy programme

Apply for Analytical programme

About AstraZeneca

At AstraZeneca, we’ve long been advocates of industrial placements and work experience to help provide relevant 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 to a specific work package that contributes to one of our cutting-edge drug development projects, allowing you to make a significant contribution to developing new ways of working.

Programme details

About the programme

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

How to join us

Firstly, you will need to complete an online application form. Applications for Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering open in September and close mid-October. Applications for Pharmacy students open end of November and close end of January. 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 form.
If you are applying for more than one scheme a separate application must be submitted for each scheme.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an assessment centre or interview at our Macclesfield campus.
If you are successful, you will be offered a place on the programme. Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is due to commence the following July, completing in early September, with Pharmacy commencing the end of June for 10 weeks.

Meet our people

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

Meet Richard

Meet Richard

I’m Richard and I have recently joined the Pharmaceutical Development graduate programme.

I graduated from the University of East Anglia with a Masters of Pharmacy degree in 2014 and during my third-year , I completed a summer placement with AstraZeneca based in an Early Phase Development team, which focused on Oncology compounds. I was given my own project based on the production of nanoparticles. It was here that I gained a depth of knowledge, responsible for managing my own time and project outcomes – which helped develop my time management skills and to have confidence in my own ability.

Following this I completed my pre-registration training year with AstraZeneca, Macclesfield as the role of a ‘scientist’ working on a number of different projects. I worked as part of a late phase development team and learnt about tabletting, dissolution and coating.

AstraZeneca has allowed me to learn more about the pharmaceutical industry and the role I can play within it. I have also learnt about the ways drug development is carried out and what is needed to support the approval of new medicines. AstraZeneca has also allowed me to develop my technical understanding of targeted therapies and why they are needed. But most importantly, the work environment and ethos here is amazing and everyone has been extremely helpful! This was the main reason for continuing my career with the company on the Pharmaceutical Development graduate programme.

Meet Charlotte

Meet Charlotte

Hi, my name is Lottie and I graduated from the Keele University in 2013 with an MPharm degree. I completed the AstraZeneca Pharmacy Student Summer Placement following my third year and was based at the Macclesfield site.  As part of my placement, I was allocated a laboratory-based project working with the solid state team in Pharmaceutical Development. I was trying to design a method for forming co-crystals using sonication – not something I had any prior knowledge of! But that didn’t matter, as I had an allocated supervisor who helped me work through any challenges. There were always people around in the labs that were happy to offer help and advice. I really enjoyed the responsibility of my own project, and learning how to overcome unexpected results. I also had the opportunity to present my work to colleagues and peers at the end of the placement, and receiving their feedback was really rewarding. All of the skills I gained were incredibly useful when I returned to university for my final year.

I really enjoyed my placement, and the skills and experiences I gained. It had a huge impact on my personal development. Now I’m back working for AstraZeneca on their Pharmaceutical Development Graduate Programme. I would definitely recommend a placement with AstraZeneca: it’s a fantastic place to work and can offer so many exciting opportunities.

Meet David

Meet David

My name is David and I recently completed a Process Engineering Summer Placement at AstraZeneca, Macclesfield in 2014 after my third year at Birmingham University. My placement was in Chemical Development, investigating issues that were being found during the manufacture of a commercial active pharmaceutical ingredient. It was a really exciting opportunity to work on a project that already improves the lives of so many patients across the world.

During my placement I learned a lot of new skills by driving and designing my own lab work, learning how to use a variety of modelling software, and presenting my work to people both inside and outside of AstraZeneca. The best experience, however, was the people who work here. They are so passionate about what they do, there’s a real buzz of curiosity that feels unique and is really stimulating. Everyone is really keen to show you what they are doing, and there are some excellent opportunities to shadow people across the organisation.

This 10-week placement prepared me perfectly for the graduate position I now have in Product Development. I help during the development of a capsule-delivered medicine, preparing for commercial launch as well as investigating new continuous process technologies. I thoroughly enjoy working here and would recommend a placement to anyone. I feel very lucky to have been allowed to come back and work here permanently.

Explore our other undergraduates programmes

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