• Pharmacology Degree

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a Subject > University Courses > Pharmacology Degree



Pharmacology is the study of drugs to return the body from a pathophysiological state (diseased state) to a physiological state (healthy state) by the use of drugs. There are many fields in pharmacology such as the fundamental pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of drugs, to pharmacogenetics & pharmacogenomics, toxicology (toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics), immunology and therapeutics (and many more). All these topics will be explored within a normal 3 years BSc degree at university.

Job prospects are usually in the NHS after graduation, though many go on to study further for a PhD or transfer into Medicine Graduate programme (such as Cardiff Uni). Specifically in the NHS you will be referred to as an pharmacologist who's role would be studying and testing drugs to see their therapeutics side or toxicological effects, but also some get jobs in A&E helping doctors give drugs on arrival of high-risk patients. The role is vary varied depending on what you want to go into as a pharmacologist. Other employment may be in industry where you synthesis the specific drugs, or develop new and more efficient drugs for the population, though pharmacologists can also direct clinical studies on drugs to test them in order to see if they are safe for mass production.

Do not mix up pharmacology with pharmacy - two very different courses! Pharmacology is a science, while Pharmacy is a vocational course where you can go into business as well as other areas. With pharmacology, the intense study of the drug and its action is the main concern of a student/pharmacologist.

Course Structure


Academic Requirements

(Which year are these Admissions requirements from? ALWAYS check the University's own website!)

  • University of Aberdeen BBB (2015)
  • University of Bath: AAB (2015)
  • University of Bradford (postgraduate)
  • University of Bristol: AAB (2015)
  • Cardiff University : AAB (2015)
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • Coventry University
  • University of Dundee: AAB (2015)
  • University of East London (A Levels – including passes at A2 in at least 2 subjects, to include Grade B in A Level Biology/Chemistry) (2015)
  • University of Glasgow: AAB (2015)
  • University of Hertfordshire : 280 ucas points (2015)
  • Kings College London: AAB (2015)
  • Kingston University: 200-280 UCAS points
  • University of Leeds: AAA-BBB
  • University of Liverpool: ABB-BBB
  • London Metropolitan University
  • University of Manchester AAA-ABB
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Nottingham Trent University: C in Biology and a total of 280 points
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Southampton
  • University College London: AABe-BBBe

  • KEY: in italics = Universities that DO NOT offer pure pharmacology degrees

UCAS Form & Personal Statement

Course Structure

Cardiff University

BSc Medical Pharmacology: 3 years, with 10 reserved spaces to enter the 2nd year of medicine after graduation (subject to fulfilling the requirements set by the med school) 24 places max on the medical pharmacology course.

First Year

Common first year shared with Biomedical Sciences route in Cardiff School of Biosciences. Modules studied:

  • Structure and Function of Living Organisms (20 credit)
  • The Dynamic Cell (20 credits)
  • Principles of Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Biochemistry (20 credits)
  • Genetics and Evolution (20 credits)
  • Skills for Science (20 credits)

Second Year

2 different choices available: the medical route, which you need to do if you want to try and get a place on the cardiff MBBCh, or the science route. Medical route includes the human anatomy/dissection module, shared with 1st year medicine, and 'Health and Society'. Science route means 2 modules taught by the School of Biosciences (from a choice of several.) Other topics:

  • Research Techniques
  • In Vitro Pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular, endocrine and paracrine, CNS pharmacology
  • Practical Biochemistry

Third Year

Third year is the same for all students: 40 credits (1/3 of the final year) is based on a research project, chosen at the start of 1st term. Third year is shared with up to 8 medical students intercalating in pharmacology. No optional modules are available. Other topics studied include

  • Vascular Biology
  • Cytokine therapeutics
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacogenetics & Pharmacodynamics
  • Critical Analysis of the Literature

'Disclaimer: Always check with the school for more up to date information!'

Life as a Pharmacology Student

Interesting stuff to learn but hectic.

Graduate Destinations and Career Prospects

  • Graduate Medicine degrees
  • Further study: Masters/Doctorate
  • Teaching: PGCE
  • Pharmaceutical Industry: Pharmaceutical companies/contract research organisations

See Also

Try Learn together, TSR's study area

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