Life sciences and chemical science professionals apprenticeship

A vast range of industries employ science technicians, including pharmaceuticals or petrochemicals, marine science or mining and quarrying, environmental science or nuclear research.

For the first time, the Higher Apprenticeship for Life Sciences and Chemical Science Professionals offers laboratory, scientific and technical employees the opportunity to gain qualifications up to graduate level, with the addition of hands-on experience gained through work.

Whether you wish to work in pharmaceuticals or petrochemicals, marine science or mining and quarrying, environmental science or nuclear research, a whole host of opportunities could be available for you to work in areas such as production, research and development and scientific analysis.

The Life sciences and chemical science professionals Higher Apprenticeship contains six pathways:

  • Life sciences
  • Chemical science
  • Food science
  • Process development
  • Packaging development
  • Healthcare science.

Each pathway offers a choice of qualifications and levels including new HND/C Diplomas in Chemical Science for industry, HND/C Diplomas in Bioscience for industry and a variety of foundation degrees, which have been designed to maximise work-based learning. The qualifications are flexible enough to allow you and your employer to select modules that best meet the needs of the job role, while providing the knowledge and skills that are required for jobs at each level.

In addition, as an apprentice you will develop professionally and gain skills in creative thinking, independent enquiry, team working, self-management, communication and problem solving.

Recognition of professional development

This Higher Apprenticeship has been mapped to the requirements of the Science Council Technician Register, allowing higher apprentices to gain professional recognition as a Registered Technician (RSciTech) at Level 3 and, on completion of the programme, as a Registered Scientist (RSci) at Level 5.

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Higher (Level 4, Level 5)

Starting salary (once qualified):


Job roles:

There is no standard title for job roles and the range of activities varies widely depending on the organisation and the nature of its business. Some examples of job roles in different industries are given here:

Chemical manufacturing – Product analyst, Polymer manufacturing – Colorist, Pharmaceuticals – Quality control technician, Crystallisation engineer, Process safety scientist, Laboratory technician, Tissue culture laboratory technician, Packaging technician, Nutrient analyst, Animal technologist, Animal breeding technician, Veterinary pathologist, Livestock/equine breeding technician, Plant research technician, Plant breeder, Water treatment technician, Hospital laboratory technician, Paper manufacture – Quality technician, Colour match technologist (development/production)

Issuing Authority:

Cogent –