BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology

(Includes International Foundation Year option for overseas students)

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The BSc (Hons) Pharmacology and Physiology programme is taught as a classic full-time three-year programme or a four year programme incorporating an industrial placement 'sandwich year'.

This programme offers:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles of the scientific discipline of pharmacology and how these fundamental principles can be applied to the understanding of drug actions in the various physiological systems of the body.
  • A comprehensive understanding of how the scientific discipline of pharmacology is integral to the drug discovery and development process.
  • A detailed understanding of the variety of technical approaches and research strategies which underpin pharmacology and drug discovery.
  • A progression route to MSc or PhD study, or employment in the bioscience/pharmaceutical industry.
  • Teaching by research active experts in pharmacology, physiology and related scientific disciplines.
  • A substantial research project in an academic or industrial laboratory.


The programme is taught as a 3-year full-time programme, or a 4-year full-time programme combined with an industry sandwich year placement. This programme involves a combination of (i) formal lecture-based learning, (ii) laboratory practicals to complement material taught in lectures and to emphasise key principles with practical demonstrations, and (iii) seminar-based question and answer sessions to facilitate in-depth understanding of key concepts. In addition to time-tabled direct contact learning sessions, there are also a variety of self-learning components including managed student centred learning (MSCL) exercises and the availability of computer aided learning (CAL) software to further solidify student understanding. Throughout the programme there is a strong emphasis on both laboratory research, and employability.


Formal summative assessment assessed against the learning outcomes via written examination, coursework assignments, written assignments, problem solving, presentations, laboratory participation and performance and a final year research project report.

More Information

The video below from the British Pharmacological Society provides an introduction to the science of pharmacology.

General Information

Award: BSc, BSc (Hons)
Length: 3 years full time, or 4 years combined with a sandwich year in industry
Places: ~30-50
Location: Medway School of Pharmacy, Chatham Maritime, Kent
Fees: £9,250 for home / EU students, or £16,974 for overseas students
UCAS code: 2W3R

Yearly fee increases

For students continuing on their courses, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated. Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased by an amount up to the permitted increase.

Other Costs

New students will be subject to a number of small mandatory costs at the start of their course of around £50 in total.

  • We ask that all students purchase lab coats, safety glasses and a notebook at a cost price of £18.
  • Our students use an 'audience-response' device to enable them to participate at lectures and workshops for which we charge a £35 refundable deposit.


For enquires please contact the Programme Leader, Dr Stephen Kelley (e-mail; tel +44 (0)1634 202 957)

Stage 1

Physiology and Pharmacology (30 credits)
Cell Biology and Biochemistry (30 credits)
Medicinal Products (30 credits)
Basic Laboratory Skills (15 credits)
Analytical Techniques in Pharmacology (15 credits)

Stage 2

Pharmacokinetics (15 credits; core)
Cardiovascular Respiratory and Renal Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Immunopharmacology and Microbiology (15 credits; core)
Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Research Methods in Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Neuropharmacology (15 credits; core)

Introduction to Toxicology (15 credits; elective)
Introduction to Biopharmaceuticals and Gene Therapy (15 credits; elective)

Stage 3

Receptor Mechanisms and Molecular Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Professional Skills in Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
Drug Discovery and Development (15 credits; core)
Pharmacology Physiology Project (30 credits; core)

Advanced Neuropharmacology (15 credits; elective)
Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (15 credits; elective)

Stage 2 and Stage 3 module marks contribute to the degree classification in the ratio 30% Stage 2 : 70% Stage 3. For students who undertake the sandwich year placement, Stage 2 and Stage 3 module marks contribute to the degree classification in the ratio 30% Stage 2 : 10% Sandwich Year: 60% Stage 3.To be eligible for an honours degree in Pharmacology and Physiology students must obtain 360 credits of which at least 210 credits are at level I or above including at least 90 credits at level H. A degree without honours will be awarded where students achieve 300 credits with at least 150 credits at level I or above including at least 60 credits at level H.

Entry Criteria

The following are the typical routes of entry into the BSc (Hons) in Physiology and Pharmacology programme, but note that every application will be considered on an individual basis, and no particular route is preferred above the others:

School/College leavers who have reached 17 years on admission taking A/AS Levels

Normally a minimum of 120 points, BB at A2 level

A levels Biology and Chemistry preferred, plus GCSE Maths and English Language grade 4 or above.

Vocationally-related qualifications

We will consider applicants with Vocationally-related qualifications including VCE A level/VCE AS/VCE Double Award/BTEC on an individual basis.

Scottish Higher

BB at Advanced Higher with preference for Biology and/or Chemistry or one other pure science based subject and BB at Higher Level in two additional subjects; and relevant qualifications in English language and maths.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade H3 in five subjects (biology preferred) at Higher level. In addition we require grades 03 in both English and Maths at Ordinary level.

EU Students

International baccalaureate: offers normally in the range 26 to 30 points (12 to 14 at higher level, preferably in sciences (e.g. chemistry, biology, physics)

European baccalaureate: Applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

Mature and overseas students

The Medway School of Pharmacy welcomes students with vocational qualifications and/or relevant work experience, and will continue to judge each student on his/her individual merits.

We also welcome those applicants who have successfully complete ACCESS courses in an appropriate subject (e.g. science).

Overseas applicants with qualifications obtained in their home country will be judged on merit on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions Tutor in consultation with the admissions tutor and/or admissions manager. ILETS at grade 6.5 overall.

UCAS Application code: 2W3R

For any enquires, admissions or otherwise, please contact Pharmacy Admissions

International Foundation Programme

Those applicants from overseas who (i) may not have the qualifications, or (ii) appropriate level of English language, may apply for entry on the International Foundation Programme. Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University and the subject-specific requirements defined by the Medway School of Pharmacy. General minimum requirements are that students must be at least 17 years old on admission (- there is no upper age limit to study) and have five GCSE passes, including English or Use of English and GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalents). More than this is required, but decisions as to what further evidence of suitability is necessary are made on a case by case basis. Direct enquiries at the application stage are therefore strongly recommended. This degree programme is aimed at those with an insufficient knowledge of Biology and/or Chemistry to enter Stage 1 of a degree but who can display a general interest in or aptitude for pharmacology and/or physiology. Applications are particularly welcome from those who have never studied these subjects or are mature applicants with no recent history of study.

Please refer to the Medway School of Pharmacy and the General Requirements sections in the University prospectus for full details, and in particular regarding entry via Curriculum 2000, Access/Foundation programmes, BTEC, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate, University degree, Scottish qualifications and VCE A level (AGNVQ).  Please also consult the prospectus for additional information for mature applicants and for international applicants, and for details regarding the accreditation of prior learning.

On successful completion of this programme students will automatically be considered for enrolment onto the BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology programme.

Please see the International Foundation Programme page or for any enquires.

What can you do with a pharmacology degree?

There are a variety of career paths and opportunities available to pharmacology graduates.  The scientific skills learnt within a pharmacology degree make graduates attractive to a wide range of employers. Pharmacology, with its long association with the pharmaceutical industry, can help to prepare graduates for jobs within pharmaceutical and drug discovery companies. Pharmacology graduates have played a significant role in the pharmaceutical industry and have been integral to drug discovery and development. The sandwich year in industry, following the second year of the BSc, will also serve to further hone the skills gained in the first two years and help students to develop new skills that will be attractive to potential employers. Outside of the academic or industrial lab, the skills that pharmacology graduates have are welcome in fields such as drug regulation, teaching, pharmaceutical  marketing, scientific writing and journalism.

Many students upon completing the BSc could continue into further education by studying for an MSc, MRes or a PhD.  The pharmacology degree can also be can be used to apply for graduate entry to study medicine or dentistry. However, the pharmacology degree is not a qualification to be a pharmacist, which would require a pharmacy degree (MPharm).

Sandwich Year (optional)

The BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology will also have sandwich year option which will involve placement in an industrial or academic research laboratory. The placement will normally begin following the second year. During your placement, you will have the opportunity to put into practice skills you have acquired during your first two years of the programme, as well as acquire new skills that would enhance your future employability. Industrial or academic placements can be competitive to obtain, and it is the student’s responsibility to apply and secure a placement if this option is chosen. However, the experience that you gain from a placement will make you a very competitive candidate for jobs after graduation.

Tel: +44 (0) 1634 202935
Fax: +44 (0) 1634 883927

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Last Updated 21/01/2019