University of Hertfordshire - BSc (Hons) Pharmacology

University of Hertfordshire

BSc (Hons) Pharmacology

Pharmacology covers all aspects of drugs and their uses as medicines. You’ll learn how new drugs are discovered and tested. You’ll understand why they are effective in treating disease. You’ll explore how they work at a whole body, tissue, and receptor protein level. Governments and companies spend billions of pounds on pharmacological research. The demand for well-trained pharmacology graduates is fierce. We’ll teach you what you need to know to be a highly sought-after employee in the industry.    

Your first year is about building a solid foundation in bioscience. You’ll study alongside students from other disciplines. You’ll obtain an initial grounding in chemistry, molecular biology and genetics, microbiology, and human physiology with pharmacology.  You’ll learn how to describe physiological processes in the body. This will be at cell, tissue, organ and organism level. Your theory will be backed up with extensive practical work to develop key laboratory skills.  

In your second year, you start specialising. You’ll start to look at the stages of drug development. You’ll learn the need for clinical trials. Explore the controversial issues around trialling human volunteers. You’ll uncover how medication keeps us in good health and how they save lives. You’ll learn how pain relief drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin work in the body. Understand the process of chemotherapy for cancers.  You’ll hear amazing success stories as well as the limitations of existing therapies.    

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.  

In your final year you’ll find that you have grown to love certain topics that you just need to delve deeper into.  You’ll learn how to find new targets for drug development. How could you treat Alzheimer’s Disease? What role do our genes play in determining safe dosages of medicines for each of us? Then, you can select from all modules to focus your project on. You could look at important disorders such as diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease. Or maybe you could look at the toxicity of Novel Psychoactive Substances. It’s totally up to you. Just know, from hypothesis to conclusion, we are with you all the way.   

You have 20 hours of contact time, with lectures and workshops taking up about 6-10 hours per week, while the remaining time is devoted to practical work. Throughout your degree, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. This will include exams, literature reviews, portfolios, lab reports, practical's and presentations. Coursework assessments are generally 50-100% per module. 

Entry Requirements

UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC

BBC-BBB: Including 2 science GCE A Levels (or equivalent) one of which must be a grade C in either biology or chemistry (acceptable A levels are Human Biology, Psychology, Geography, Maths, Physics,  ICT and Sports Studies). Pass required in A level science practical.

DMM-DDM: Extended Diploma in Applied Science (depending on optional units studied) with DMM profile.

GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language, 4/C in Mathematics and 4/C in Double Science or two Single Science grades at 4/C.

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

Our Biosciences graduates are highly sought after by employers in the industry due to the reputation of our teaching, the vocational element to our degrees and the fact that many of our students already have a year's work experience when they graduate which they gain in the sandwich year. Graduates can find employment in the pharmaceutical, food and drink, agrochemical and biotechnology industries as well as in industrial, academic and charity funded research. Some graduates also go on to work in health care and environment agencies. First salaries range from £12,000 to £22,000 pa.

Typical job titles of recent graduates:

  • Trainee Biomedical Scientist,,
  • Clinical Trials Associate,
  • Drug Safety Coordinator,
  • Medical Representative,
  • Lab Scientist,
  • Microbiologist,
  • Research Assistant,
  • Tissue Culture Technologist,
  • Donor Transplant Assistant.

Typical employers of recent graduates:

  • Pfizer,
  • Denfleet Pharma Ltd,
  • Health Protection Agency,
  • GlaxoSmithKline,
  • AstraZeneca,
  • NHS Trusts
  • Lark Technology.

Our graduates can find employment in the pharmaceutical or clinical industries as well as in industrial, academic and charity-funded research. Some graduates go on to work in pharmaceutical sales, drug regulation, scientific communication or education.

Course Details

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.      

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will have up to 7 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year and the modules you will study each year will depend on how they fit together on the timetable.  For some modules there are several sessions run for each workshop and practical.  As a part-time student you will be able to choose the slots that fit best with when you are at the University for other teaching sessions. 

Year 1

Human physiology with pharmacology
Practical and transferable skills
Molecular biology and genetics
Core biochemistry
Cell and microbiology

Optional modules
Chemistry for biologists
Molecular structure and reactivity

Year 2

Bioscience research methods
Principles of immunology
Biology of disease
Genes and genomes
Cell and molecular biology
Biochemistry for pharmacology

Optional modules
Bioscience work experience

Year 3

Applied and integrated pharmacological science
Neurobiology and disease
Translation of science into medicine
Therapeutic pharmacology

Optional modules
Year abroad: bioscience
Sandwich placement; bioscience

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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