Made up for science career

Jenny Allen, Shona Bisset and Sabrina Baharin.

Published on 09 July 2019

Seven students who signed up to the Cosmetic Science degree at Sunderland will now begin their careers in the science-led industry, focusing on how the skin and body works and producing innovative and improved products that respond to environmental and lifestyle changes.

A further four students from the first intake will graduate next summer after embarking on a placement year.

The degree was designed by Dr Kalliopi Dodou based on her research expertise on skin and dermatological formulations and was launched in September 2016. The syllabus of the degree is unique in the UK and involves a wide range of industrial cosmetic scientists as guest lecturers.    It’s the first of its kind to be created in the UK.

Dr Kalliopi Dodou, Associate Professor in Pharmaceutics at the University of Sunderland and Course Leader for the degree, said: "When I designed the Cosmetic Science course, my aim was to create a multidisciplinary and research-informed syllabus that will enable our students to be employable straight after graduation without requiring further training. I’m delighted that we have our first cohort graduating this week, they have all worked incredibly hard and have all successfully secured full time jobs across the UK.

“The Cosmetic Science programme is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge for a successful and innovative career in the cosmetic, fragrance and personal care industry.

"The optional placement year, after completion of undergraduates’ second year of studies, provides the opportunity to work in the cosmetic industry during the degree, and it is highly encouraged by our industrial collaborators. Our students have accepted placement offers from companies in the UK including; Orean Personal Care, the Soil Association, Laleham Health & Beauty, Delphic HSE etc, but also abroad, Lubrizol in Singapore.”

The course is recognised globally as one of the main undergraduate  Cosmetic Science degrees ( and has also attracted the attention of the national media.

Career opportunities include the research and development of cosmetic and personal care formulations and raw materials, perfumery, product manufacturing, quality control, and regulation.

One of those students already working in industry is Paige Fern. After taking up a placement opportunity with Newcastle based-Bria Organics in her final year, Paige impressed so much with her scientific knowledge and ability to learn on-the-job business skills that she was offered a full-time position before she’s even finished her course.

The 24-year-old, from Tynemouth, developed her knowledge of the cosmetics industry over the course of her degree. Paige became involved in all aspects of the business at Bria, which supplies balms and creams globally, made from natural and organic ingredients, to treat various skin conditions, from eczema to psoriasis.

“I’m delighted to have secured a job with Bria while I was still finishing my degree, it’s great to combine all the practical experience with the theory,” says Paige, who is the first in her family to graduate from university.

Industry feedback about the new degree has been positive; with many organisations pointing to the fact that graduates will not need any extra training to begin working, showing its strong employability potential.

For more information about Cosmetic Science click here.