Pharmacology & Pharmacy
- Studying: 9%
- Employed in graduate job: 62%
- Employed in non-graduate job: 6%
- Unemployed: 3%
- Average graduate salary: £20,236
- Average non-graduate salary: £15,222
Degrees in pharmacology and pharmacy provide a solid grounding in scientific knowledge as well as an understanding of medications, their sources, chemical properties, biological effects and therapeutic uses. A pharmacology degree also explores drug interactions in biological systems, the formulation and operation of clinical trials as well as drug regulation and the marketing of pharmaceuticals, while a pharmacy degree enables you to develop many skills and abilities specific to the role of a pharmacist. In addition to scientific knowledge, both degrees also help students acquire valuable transferable skills. Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
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A 2010 HESA survey of 2009 graduates indicates that six months after graduation, one third of pharmacology graduates were in employment in the UK or overseas. Of those, 11% found jobs in scientific research, analysis or development, 7% were in health and associate professions, 9% had gone into commercial, industrial and public sector management, and 16% were in other technical or professional roles.
Meanwhile, a 2011 HESA survey of 2010 graduates indicates that six months after graduation, 70% of pharmacy graduates were in full-time paid employment. A further 22% were combining work and study. This means that over 90% of students who graduated in 2010 went straight into employment. Of these, 97% took positions in the health sector.
Where are the jobs?
The majority of community pharmacists in the UK work in large retail chains or independent pharmacies of various sizes. Others are employed by small or medium-sized chain stores, GP surgeries or health centres. Around 6,000 pharmacists work in UK hospitals. The majority of hospital pharmacists work for hospitals within the National Health Service (NHS) .
Common employers of pharmacology graduates include:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- The National Health Service (NHS)
- Department of Health (DH)
- Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
Jobs directly related to your degree
Depending on whether you choose to study a degree in pharmacology or pharmacy, you will be qualified to work in positions such as:
- Research scientist (medical)
- Research scientist (life sciences)
- Clinical research associate
- Analytical chemist
- Forensic scientist
- Biomedical scientist
- Community pharmacist
- Hospital pharmacist
Jobs where your degree would be useful
The skills and knowledge you acquire studying pharmacology and pharmacy will also prepare you for a range of careers including:
- Science writer
- Medical sales representative
- Clinical biochemist
- Higher education lecturer
- Secondary school teacher
- Product/process development scientist
- Regulatory affairs officer
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it's not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
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