Pharmacology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

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Course summary

This is a Connected Degree Portsmouth is the only University in the UK with the flexibility to choose when to do an optional paid placement or self-employed year. Either take a placement in your third year, or finish your studies first and complete a placement in your fourth year. You can decide if and when to take a placement after you've started your course. Overview If you love performing experiments in high-tech labs and want to study alongside researchers who are doing important work to understand how diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimer's and Asthma can be treated, this BSc (Hons) Pharmacology degree is for you. Pharmacology is the study of drugs and how they affect living systems. Using specialist facilities, you'll deepen your chemistry and biology knowledge as you study how drugs – such as painkillers, antibiotics and even caffeine – alter the body. You'll set yourself for a fulfilling career working in an industry that improves the lives of millions of people. You could work in areas such as new drug development, medical writing, regulatory affairs and pharmaceutical marketing.

  • Explore the latest techniques and methods for diagnosing and treating diseases
  • Investigate how cells communicate with each other and why people's bodies respond differently to the same drugs
  • Look at how new medicines are developed, tested and launched
  • Enhance your CV on a laboratory-based work experience module and on a sandwich year in industry (subject to successful applications)
  • Have the opportunity to do summer research placement at one of our partner universities overseas
Accredited by: This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Careers and opportunities From the medicines in your bathroom cabinet to the drug combinations used to treat cancer, the work of pharmacologists plays a crucial role in society. So there's always demand for pharmacology graduates. What can you do with a pharmacology degree? With your degree in pharmacology, you could start a career in any part of the pharmaceutical industry, including:
  • drug development and testing
  • medical writing
  • marketing and sales
  • regulatory affairs
You could specialise in a particular area of pharmacology, such as:
  • cardiovascular pharmacology
  • psychopharmacology
  • neuropharmacology
  • animal pharmacology
Roles you could do include:
  • clinical trial assistant/administrator
  • pharmacovigilance officer
  • research and development scientist/technician
  • secondary school teacher (with additional training)
  • regulatory executive
  • operations scientist
  • research associate
You can also continue your studies at postgraduate level on a PhD, MRes or MSc programme. Graduate destinations Previous graduates have gone on to work for organisations including:
  • Bayer
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Hammersmith Medicines Research
  • PharmaTargeting – a research house
  • Reckitt – health, hygiene and nutrition products
  • Molecular Dimensions – a supplier of specialist lab equipment
Work experience and placement year To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, this course includes an optional sandwich year in industry and an optional lab-based work experience module (both subject to a successful applications). You could also do a summer research placement at a European university. Previous students have completed work placements at organisations including pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Catalent. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.


Year 1 Core modules in this year include:

  • Cells to Systems (20 credits)
  • Molecules to Medicines (20 credits)
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Principles of Neuroscience and Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Professional Skills for Drug Discovery (20 credits)
  • Scientific Skills for Pharmacologists (20 credits)
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules in this year include:
  • Applied Pharmacology of the Nervous and Endocrine Systems (20 credits)
  • Immunology, Infection and Inflammation (20 credits)
  • Laboratory Skills for Drug Discovery (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (20 credits)
  • Respiratory, Renal & Cardiovascular Pharmacology (20 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Business for Biosciences (20 credits)
  • Enzymes and Metabolism (20 credits)
Placement year Boost your employability by taking an industry-based work placement year with a relevant organisation. You’ll get to put everything you’ve learned so far into action in a real workplace, developing practical pharmacology skills. You'll reflect on your work experience and the skills you've gained, relating them to your future career goals and assess the academic and practical work completed during your placement through a high-quality report. You'll consider the positive and negative aspects of your placement, including any actions you've taken to overcome challenges and improve your professional performance. When you return, you'll be able to evaluate how work placement activities relate to your studies, readying you for future employment. This is a Connected Degree We're the only university that gives you the flexibility to choose when to take a work placement. Take it after your 2nd year, before returning to finish your studies. Or after your final year, connecting you into the workplace. If you're not sure if or when to take your placement, don't worry. You'll have plenty of time to settle into your studies and explore your options before making your choice. Year 3 Core modules in this year include:
  • Current Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (20 credits)
  • Drug Development & Clinical Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Neuropharmacology (20 credits)
  • Personalised Medicine and Cancer (20 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Project (40 credits)
  • Research Based Work Experience (40 credits)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through diagnostic tests, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, online tests, group-based assessments. You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Royal Society of Biology

How to apply

Application codes

Please select a course option – you will then see the application code you need to use to apply for the course.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your UCAS application.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

Student Outcomes

Operated by the Office for Students
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
International £19200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship Placement Year and Year abroad: UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 EU – £1,385 (including Transition Scholarship)| International (Non-EU) – £2,875. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation. For more information about fees, go to
Pharmacology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS