Life and Health Sciences Sector Profile

 

The life and health sciences sector is one of Northern Ireland's (NI) most important sectors. The sector combines all elements of Science and Technology that contribute to the discovery and development of products for the healthcare and wellbeing of humans and animals. Key fields in the life and health sciences sector include biology, biomedical, pharmacy, audiology and optometry.

Jobs in the sector

The life and health science sector in NI employs around 4,000 people, many of which are high value jobs. Employment levels in the sector have increased rapidly in recent years. Some examples of jobs in the life and health science sector are provided below.

Anatomist
Analytical chemist
Biochemist
Bioinformatics programmer
Bioinformatics analyst
Biologist
Biomedical engineer
Biophysicist
Chemical engineer
Chemical laboratory technician
Chemical process technician
Clean room operative
Clinical chemist
Clinical engineer
Clinical technician
Clinical test developer
Clinical trials assistant
Computational biologists
Dietitian
E-health software developer

E-health engineer
Epidemiologist Ecologist
Field trials officer
Forensic scientist
Geneticist
Immunologist
Instrument technician
Laboratory technician
Medical device designer
Medical device engineer
Medical illustrator
Medical physicist
Medical product tester
Measurement control technician
Microbiologist
Mycologist
Nanotechnology researcher
Nutritionist
Pathologist
Pharmacologist

Physiologist
Polymer chemist
Polymer technician
Remote sensor operative
Remote drug delivery operator
Robotics technician
Telehealth developer
Science writer
Sensor designer
Sterile services technician
Validation technician
Micro biologist
Packaging designer
Plant breeder/geneticist
Polymer Chemist
Process development technologist
Quality assurance tester
Savoury flavourists
Soil scientist
Supply chain manager

Who are the employers?

There are over 60 businesses in Northern Ireland who are in the life and health sciences sector. These include medical companies, scientific research companies and laboratories. Examples include:

Randox LaboratoriesHSC Innovations
Almac
lmac Diagnostics
Fusion Antibodies
Gambro
MDS Pharma Services
Norbrook

Perfecseal
Warner Chilcott
BootRooms.com
ST&D Ltd
James Leckey Design
Blue Scope Medical Technologies
Diabetica

Tomcat Systems
Health Tek
Quality Healthcare at Home
Universities
Hospitals

Studying in the sector

There are many health and life science related courses available both at further and higher education levels. Some examples are:

Courses available

Biomedical science
Children, families and community health
Chemical engineering
Clinical chemistry
Clinical physiology
Clinical technology
Cosmetic science

Criminology
Dental technology
Dentistry
Forensic sciences
Health and social care
Health Studies
Genetics

Medicine
Nursing
Pharmacy
Plant Science
Psychology
Sociology
Speech and Language Therapy

At school

Many of the subjects studied at school can set you on the right path for a career in life and health sciences sector, for example, Science and Technology and Mathematics.

For further and higher education courses visit:

Queens University

University of Ulster

Future of the sector

The future of the life and health sciences sector looks very promising, especially in Northern Ireland as it is globally recognised for its expertise in the sector. Experts in the industry have identified six key future market opportunities in the life and health sciences sector:

  • Stratified medicine
  • Connected Health/Telemedicine
  • Meeting the needs of an ageing population
  • Management of chronic diseases
  • Prevention of disease and ill health
  • Dealing wth new infectious diseases/viruses

Global issues and trends

  • More people getting diseases
  • More new diseases/viruses
  • Resistance of today's antibiotics
  • Globalisation
  • Innovation (incl. technology) and scientific progress
  • Ageing population