This Pharmacology degree explores the fascinating ways in which drugs act on the body. You will learn how medicines act to cure or relieve a number of diseases as well as how drugs of abuse produce their effects on the body.
You will study pharmacology in depth, including the current topics and innovations in the sector. You will also study aspects of normal physiology as well as changes that occur in the body as a result of disease processes. This will enable you to understand the interactions between the body and drugs.
Why choose this course?
100% of our students said that they were satisfied with our BSc (Hons) Pharmacology course (National Student Survey 2017).
Our staff have expertise in the fields of physiology, pharmacology and neuroscience. They are actively engaged in research into the mechanisms involved in the consequences of:
- ischaemic heart disease
- placental pharmacology
- behavioural pharmacology in memory and learning
- signaling pathways
- receptor pharmacology.
This is a highly applied course in which practical work plays a major role. You will develop the scientific skills that industry employers are looking for.
- You will have the option to undertake a 12-month paid work placement in your third year. This is facilitated by a dedicated placement office and the School's excellent links with industry.
- The course has been designed to comply with the British Pharmacological Society guidelines for BSc (Hons) Pharmacology.
What our students say
The study of drugs has always appealed to me. When I heard about the Pharmacology course here I just knew I had to do it. Being able to gain first-hand experience in labs is a huge strength, which allows us to put theory into practice. I am now able to design my own experiments, use the laboratory equipment with precision, write lab reports, work independently and with other colleagues, and ultimately gain a fundamental science knowledge.
It's pretty exciting studying Pharmacology at NTU. Every day is a surprise, you always learn new things and new skills. The staff are amazing and very helpful.
Dexter Mwashita, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, Year Two
What you'll study
Who will teach me?
The biosciences team is, at once, widely interdisciplinary and strongly cohesive. This environment prepares our students well for careers in industry and academia and we continue to develop and welcome collaborations from universities and commercial organisations.
Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.
You will have the option to undertake a years' work placement in industry as well as a practical research project, in an area of pharmacology which is of most interest to you. You will be assessed throughout the year and will be required to write a reflective report and diary which also gets assessed at the end of your placement.
On completion of a successful placement, you will be eligible to receive a Diploma in Professional Practice.
Because of our ambitious research agenda and ongoing activities, students can expect to approach problems with the latest methods, including those used in industry.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- enhance your communication skills
- enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- boost your career prospects
Find out more about the ULP.
Introduction to Biochemistry
Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.
Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.
Practical Techniques for Biology
Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.
Genetics and Immunology
Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and interactions involved.
Introduces the physiology of human organ systems (respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine and muscular) and examines the process of homeostasis.
Introduction to Pharmacology
Considers the principles of how drugs work, including factors that affect the magnitude of the response to drugs, specificity of drug action, drug interactions and side effects of drugs.
Drugs of Addiction and Abuse
Develop an understanding of the use of drugs for non-medical purposes, including effects other than those desired by the users. It also introduces the legislation controlling the use of substances.
Considers disordered cellular and tissue physiology resulting from disease and drugs that can treat those diseases. You'll develop an understanding of health and common illnesses.
You'll look at the processes involved in maintaining normal physiology in renal, cardiovascular and nervous systems and how the same processes are affected by disease.
Chemotherapy of Cancer and Infections
Explore the concept of selective toxicity as applicable to the treatment of cancer and infections. You'll also consider the action of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal drugs.
Antibody and DNA Technology
Introduces extraction, purification, probing, manipulation, amplification and sequencing of DNA and RNA and the expression of genetic sequences.
One module from:
Explore the functions of the different brain regions and neuronal cell types, and relate these to higher brain activities and neuronal function.
Develops concepts of physiological control systems and demonstrates the link between changes in cellular and systemic function.
This is your optional work placement year.
Learn about drug development and the mode of action of selected drug types. You'll also look at diseases of the human endocrine system and the advances in cellular and molecular techniques.
Current Topics in Pharmacology
Study recent advances and developments in pharmacology and the research techniques used to study molecular pharmacology.
Considers sources, types and mechanisms of action of selected natural and synthetic toxic chemicals. It also covers how toxicity can be assessed.
Project / Dissertation
You have the option of either completing a 40 credit point project / dissertation,
If your interests lie in a career in teaching or scientific journalism,you can take Communicating Science and Technology (which includes school placements) and a short dissertation.
One module from:
Current Topics in Neuroscience
Discusses current hot topics in molecular and cellular neuroscience, including learning and memory, stem cells, and the molecular basis of certain human neurological and psychiatric illnesses.
Current Topics in Physiology
Discuss advances in molecular, cellular and organ physiology and gain an appreciation of the research techniques used to study Physiology.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Careers and employability
Your career development
Our graduates usually seek research and development positions in the pharmaceutical and related industries including universities and hospitals.
They also work in non-laboratory based activities such as:
- clinical trials
- regulatory affairs
Many of our graduates also choose to study further on our Masters-level courses, MPhil and PhD research degrees.
Recent graduates are now working in the following roles:
- Boots - formulation scientist
- Convance - experimental officer
- GlaxoSmithKline - assay development scientist
- ITH Pharma - technical assistant.
Graduate salaries range from £16,000 - £30,000 per year.
Excellent placement opportunities
After the second year, you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement in industry, including overseas options. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. Many students impress their employers on placement and are offered jobs at the end of their course.
Recent Pharmacology and Bioscience students have secured placements in the following companies:
- Scott Bader
- British American Tobacco
- National Institute Medical Research
- Glenfield Hospital.
My studies greatly helped with my placement and vice versa. The experience I gained throughout the year has helped a great deal with my final year project.
Joanna Shaw, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology
Placement company - Pfizer