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Guide to studying Pharmacology & Pharmacy

Of all the subjects on offer at UK universities today, few have more modern applications than the study and research of new medicinal drugs.

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  1. What's Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

  2. Why study Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

  3. What jobs can you get with a Pharmacology & Pharmacy degree?

  4. What do graduates do and earn?
  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any human-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 the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Why study Pharmacology & Pharmacy?

This subject area could lead to a career that's at the forefront of medical research. Evaluating new generation antibiotics, solving the problems of drug toxicity, finding the best way to treat diseases – pharmacologists are pioneers.

During your degree, you'll have the chance to undertake project work with an individual focus. You can turn your attention to working on drugs for particular ailments that interest you, such as Alzheimer's and autism.

Read our six reasons to study Pharmacology & Pharmacy for more information on why you might choose this subject area.

Packets of antimicrobial pills

What jobs can you get as a Pharmacology & Pharmacy graduate?

A Pharmacology & Pharmacy degree opens the door for many professional opportunities, as there is a growing need for medical research into drugs and medicine.

Particular job roles include 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.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Pharmacology & Pharmacy have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Pharmacology & Pharmacy students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need?

Pharmacology & Pharmacy courses tend to require high A Level grades (or equivalent) in Biology and Chemistry.

However, it depends on the institution. Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in.

What degrees can you study?

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

How will you be assessed?

You'll be assessed in most courses by a mixture of coursework and written examinations. Design-based work can be assessed through presentations, team 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 when thinking about what to do for your future career or further study.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

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

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