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Hi

I am going uni next year and I can't decide whether to do a pharmacology degree or a pharmacy degree. If anyone has studied pharmacology or has a job in pharmacology please let me know about your experiences.
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14hasm
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Hey!

I'm a third year pharmacology student at University of Hertfordshire so hopefully I can help

I would say the main difference between pharmacology and pharmacy is the fact that pharmacology is mainly lab-based whilst pharmacy is more obviously that you work in mainly a pharmacist or is more patient-centred.

From my experience, pharmacology is actually a great degree. Because it is a life science along with biomedical sciences and biochemistry etc. everyone in first year are all in the same cohort and everyone pretty much has the same lectures (but it differs with each university, but I believe most universities do this). I'm sure you know but they do this so everyone is at the same page because there are so many people with different educational backgrounds. Our first year results didn't count but it is still important to do well in them because if you are thinking of doing a placement year, employers are highly likely to look at those results. The lectures tend to focus on biochemistry, biology and also some mathematical concepts with also the basic introductions to pharmacology.

Then in second year, your lectures, seminars and workshops become a little bit more specialised in the sense that you will start to learn MORE about pharmacology in itself and therefore you are more likely to have lectures with slightly fewer people. In this year, you kind of revise the introductory pharmacology topics from first year and develop your knowledge on drugs and medicine in different parts of the body.
This year becomes definitely more interesting because you are sort of applying the knowledge from first-year into second year and developing it. Also, in this year you are introduced to the pharmacology practicals and the best things about it is that they are so engaging because they are actually a lot different to the ones that you see in first year. For example, you use organ baths, perform micro-dissections on tissue, use high-tech software. All of this gives you a lot of experience. However, in second year your workload increases a bit more because they expect more from you - so it is a slight jump.

On the other hand, in second year you can also choose to do a placement where you are able to build your skills. This really looks good on your CV because some employers look over this fondly because the placement can offer an extremely valuable experience.

In third year, this is where the biggest jump comes in. I would say that the content in this year is an extension of that in second year and it is important to understand second year material thoroughly. In third year, you understand more about how the drug discovery process works, what animal models are used, etc. You start looking into the therapeutic aspects of pharmacology and therefore you delve a little bit more on disease pathologies and how to develop a drug that will have an effect on that certain pathology. Finally, you then have your project! I'm sure you are aware of this but you get your own supervisor and together you develop a project title and how you are gonna carry it out. Usually, the project is where you carry the most marks

Sorry this was so long! I hope it helps and good luck
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