Guide to Studying Pharmacology & Pharmacy

What is Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

  • Pharmacology (Pharma from "drug" in modern Greek) is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous substance.
  • Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing the drugs studied and produced by pharmacologists. It links health with chemical sciences to ensure safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Why study Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

  • Pharmacologists are very much in demand. In an age of higher demands for an improved quality of life, there are higher demands for drugs both to fight illness and to aid lifestyles.
  • You will be at the forefront of medical research. Evaluating new generation antibiotics, solving the problems of drug toxicity, finding the best way to treat diseases - pharmacologists can be pioneers.
  • Pharmacology students who want to gain more experience also have the opportunity to take a year out. Most courses offer fully paid chances to work in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • You will be working alongside those who are at the forefront of the industry they teach - pharmacology and pharmacy tutors are more often than not senior in that industry. 
  • Later work tends to allow more project work and individual focus. You can turn your attention to working on drugs for particular ailments that interest you, such as alzheimer's and autism.

Coursework, assessment and exams

  • Students are assessed in most courses by a mixture of coursework and written examinations. Design based work is assessed by presentations, as well as working in a team on projects and group assignments.
  • Many students undertake a pharmacology or pharmacy research project in their final year, including experimental laboratory research. This is particularly useful in helping to decide on one's future career or further study.

What degree can I get? 

  • BSc Pharmacology
  • MPharm Pharmacy
  • MSc Research in Pharmacology
  • BSc Pharmacology and Biosciences

What qualifications do I need?

  • Courses tend to require high A level grades or equivalent, however it is dependent on the institution.
  • Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you are interested in.

Use our Course Chooser to search through Pharmacology & Pharmacy courses.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  • There is an exciting range of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level.
  • Examples include straight MSc Pharmacology or MPharm Pharmacy, which are also typically available in four-year courses. Also available are Specialist Healthcare, Analytical Science, and Applied Drug Discovery.

Graduate job prospects



*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.

What are the job opportunities?

  • Pharmacology & Pharmacy degrees are producing a supply for an ever increasing demand - in an increasingly negative job market for graduates, there is an increased need for medical research into drugs and medicine.
  • Particular job areas include as an analytical chemist, clinical researcher, pharmacologist, pharmacist, teacher or lecturer, medical sales representative, science journalist, or toxicologist.
  • Several professional organisations offer specialised positions for Pharmacology & Pharmacy graduates, such as the NHS.