Technician Scientist Degree Apprenticeship - UCB - Foundation Degree (Level 5)

Cogent SSC (Employer)

Cogent Ssc Limited (Training Provider)

Annual wage £17,000.00
37.5 hours per week Monday to Friday (Times to be confirmed)
39 months (duration)
5 September 2021(start date)
Technician Scientist (apprenticeship standard)
23 April 2021 (application closing date)
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Job Description

We are looking for a student to join the Downstream Process Sciences Department at UCB. You will work with the team to develop the downstream process to purify antibodies to the required standards for therapeutic application. You will receive training in all the required techniques, including analytical methods in order to perform the role.



You will help to enable the laboratory to function effectively whilst adhering to correct procedures and health and safety guidelines.

You will be responsible for undertaking laboratory-based tasks, which include sampling, testing, measuring as well as recording and analysing results.


Tasks typically involves:

  • Performing experiments in order to produce data to support scientific investigations
  • Carrying out tasks accurately and following strict methodologies to carry out analyses
  • Recording all laboratory work to the agreed standards
  • Ensuring the laboratory is well-stocked and resourced
  • Helping interpret and present results in collaboration with other colleagues
  • Keeping up to date with technical developments, especially those which can save time and improve reliability
  • Following and ensuring strict safety procedures and safety checks


UCB’s UK site is located Slough, Berkshire where it houses the immunology research hub and the head office for the UK commercial organisation. There are three buildings on the Slough site, housing around 600 staff.


  • UCB was founded in 1928 and was originally a chemicals manufacturer with a separate pharmaceuticals division
  • In 2004, UCB acquired Celltech, the UK’s leading biotechnology company, which brought expertise in antibody-based drug discovery to the company
  • Schwarz Pharma was acquired in 2007, bringing its own portfolio of neurology and urology products

The research hub in Belgium concentrates on CNS therapies while the UK research focus is on immunology. Here, UCB is researching drugs for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and osteoporosis. The site is renowned for its capabilities in antibody-based drug discovery and early development.

UCB now focuses on severe diseases within immunology and CNS.

UCB is active in a number of therapy areas including epilepsy, movement disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and allergy.

UCB is a top five investor in UK pharmaceutical R&D*, investing over £230 million in 2010.

Globally UCB invests more than 20% of its sales revenue into R&D.

In the UK, UCB's R&D, Commercial and Corporate functions are located in Slough, Berkshire.

UCB employs around 600 staff in the UK, of whom about 400 are engaged in research and development activities.

The company supplies over 40 UK-approved medicines.

Future Prospects

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship you will be eligible to apply for other positions within the business. The training will expose the apprentice to a wide range of skills and competencies which would make them well placed for further study or suitable for many job opportunities in the life sciences sector.

Reality Check

  • Please ensure that you currently live within or can relocate to a commutable distance of the site
  • The individual will be working within a laboratory environment and must therefore adhere to site dress code procedures and personal hygiene standards during testing activities (e.g. correct use of PPE such as laboratory coats and glasses, and removal of all jewellery and make-up upon entry into controlled clean room areas)
  • The individual will be required to handle hazardous materials (e.g. chemicals, microorganisms) and so must adhere to the relevant procedures
  • The work pattern involves day and shift working dependent upon the needs of the business

Apprentices are paid for their normal working hours and training that's part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week). For more information please visit:

Skills Required

  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Good ability to multitask
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good numerical and IT skills

Qualities Required

  • Attention to detail
  • Teamworker and considerate to members of the team and wider organisation
  • Highly motivated and drive to develop oneself
  • Demonstrates reliability and integrity
  • Enthusiasm

Qualifications Required

You must have gained a minimum of 80 UCAS points from a minimum of 2 A-level subjects including either Chemistry or Biology (or equivalent, e.g. BTEC) and an additional Science or Maths.

Also, 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) grade A*-C (4-9) including Maths, English and Science.

Training Provided

  • Training to be provided will be a mixture of on-site training, e-learning and block release with the University of Kent
  • FdSc Applied Bioscience (Foundation Degree) with potential to progress to BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Bioscience
  • Training to be part of contracted hours making up the working week
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About the employer

Cogent Skills has charitable status, and is a not-for-profit organisation. We work alongside the leadership of sector employers to raise skills levels.

This page contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. The information provider is the Education and Skills Funding Agency.