Biomedical science students’ intended graduate destinations

Christian Panaretos, Kay Colthorpe, Judit Kibedi, Louise Ainscough


Undergraduate students enrolled in generalist degrees, such as biomedical science, have diverse potential graduate pathways that they may choose to pursue. The aims of this study were to evaluate the intended graduate destinations of students, the reasons they chose to study science and the perceived value of the skills they are acquiring for their intended profession. The participants were second year biomedical science students at the University of Queensland. Their responses to open-ended questions regarding their intentions, choices and perceptions were subjected to thematic analysis. Three-quarters of students mentioned one intended profession, with the remainder mentioning two or more. Overall, they identified 53 different intended graduate destinations in the fields of medicine (69%), research (34%), the science industry (14%) and allied health (8%). As reasons for studying science, students commonly reported their interest in science, the influence of role models and enjoyment or academic success in prior study. Many students, particularly those intent on pursuing medicine, said they planned to use science as a pathway to a postgraduate degree. Importantly, all students perceived that the skills they were acquiring in their degree were highly applicable to their future intended professions.

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