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Pharmacology Master of Biology

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): B211 (full-time); B212 (sandwich)
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Four years FT or five years FT with a placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Discovering new medicines: More effective drugs: Safer treatments. Sounds impressive? It’s exactly what we’ll train you for at NTU. Not only will you develop advanced knowledge of clinical pharmacology and science communication skills but we’ll prepare you for the world of research by giving you time to really get to know your way around a pharmacology lab.

Coupled with an extensive research project in your final year, supported by cutting-edge pharmacological techniques, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when you graduate.

This exciting four-year MBiol course combines course material and content from undergraduate and postgraduate levels, giving you a Masters-level qualification.

You might also be interested in BSc (Hons) Pharmacology.

Why study MBiol (Hons) Pharmacology at NTU?

Take your studies to Masters level
An MBiol qualification gives you an extra year to develop and expand your pharmacology knowledge up to Masters level. You’ll study Masters level modules in your final year and spend time building your research experience by working on your extended year-long project alongside our bioscience researchers.  It’s ideal preparation if you’d like to continue with your studies with a PhD.

Develop your portfolio
While at NTU you’ll create a skills portfolio in which you’ll showcase evidence of techniques and skills you’ve mastered. This portfolio allows you to document the development of your skills throughout your degree. They are a valuable tool when you graduate too, as they can be used to show future employers you are ready to work in a professional pharmacology environment.

Professional accreditation
The Royal Society of Biology have granted this course advanced accreditation. Accreditations are a seal of approval from professional bodies and our assurance to you that your course is relevant and valued by industry. Advanced accreditation goes one step further to develop graduates that have substantial practical research experience and to support the UK’s excellence in biosciences innovation.

Take a work placement
Placements tell future employers you know how to do it as well as why. Our industry connections as well as the support you'll get from our Employability team all add up to a valuable work placement experience.

In Year Three, you’ll be encouraged to take a year-long placement overseas, or in the UK. Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including Neuro-Bio, GlaxoSmithKline and Replimune. They secured varied roles such as Drug Discover and Biomarker Intern, Regulatory Affairs Intern and Assay Development Scientist.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Research informed teaching
Our research is tackling real-world issues – and the people working on this research will be teaching you. During your final year research project you’ll get to work closely with a research-active member of staff. Your project will focus on a specific area within their research, so you’ll gain valuable experience. For example, Dr Zahraa Al-Ahmady, has been working using nanoparticles to deliver vital drugs to the brains of stroke patients.

During your final year research project you’ll get to work closely with a research-active member of staff. Your project will focus on a specific area within their research, so you’ll be working on real-world problems and gaining valuable experience at the same time.

Get industry experience
Through group work and the Introduction to Pharmacology module, you’ll start designing your own experiments and trying things out. Developing problem solving skills by testing and learning are valuable graduate level skills and we make sure you get this experience right from the start of your degree. The course has been designed to comply with the British Pharmacological Society guidelines so you’ll be developing the right skills and learning the theory needed to work in the pharmaceutical industry or in pharmacology research.

We’ve also embedded employability skills in your degree course, so you are not only learning theory and skills, but you know where to find your dream job and how to apply for it.

Community and support
With support from your lecturers, personal tutors and technical staff, you can be sure we'll be here for you during your studies. Alongside your lectures and lab classes you’ll also have tutorial sessions. These are a chance to regularly meet in small groups with your personal tutor and discuss the topics you are studying.  Got any feedback on your course? Then you’ll be able to attend meetings with your course leader and other students on your course. We love to hear your feedback and how we can make improvements.

There’s support from your peers too. Our mentoring scheme gives you support from other students on your course. Whether you need help with your studies or university life in general, they’ve been there and can give you a students’ perspective.

Meet our staff
Whether your interest is working in research or in industry we have experienced teaching and technical staff who have close links with the pharmaceutical industry. This means you are learning the most relevant theory and techniques and their contacts help you find great placement opportunities and guest speakers.

We also bring in guest lecturers (many of which are NTU Pharmacology graduates) to provide an industry perspective. They’ll be teaching you the latest thinking in pharmacology.

In your final year you’ll work on an individual research project. You’ll work closely with a member of staff and your project will be linked to their research area. This means you’ll be getting a real experience of research in practice which will look great on your CV.

  • We consistently rank highly in the annual National Student Survey for student satisfaction in biosciences. We are very proud to currently be second in the UK (NSS 2021).

Course accreditation

  • RSBlogo

What you’ll study

You’ll learn how medicines as diverse as aspirin and penicillin work to cure or relieve common illnesses and diseases such as diabetes, cancer, asthma and Alzheimer’s Disease. This will be put into context by comparing it to the normal physiology of the human body. Drugs of abuse, both legal (e.g. alcohol) and illegal (e.g. cocaine and amphetamines) and their effects are studied and you’ll also consider the legislation in place to control these substances. All material studied on this course is designed to comply with the British Pharmacological Society guidelines.

In your final year you’ll take a Masters level module, Science Communication. This takes your knowledge and skills to the next level and are part of the MBiol qualification.

In your final year you’ll focus on a substantial research project will run for the whole year. You choose the subject of your project and the length of the project really lets you develop your knowledge in a specialist area and work closely with a member of staff who is an expert in the subject. It is ideal if you have ambition to progress into a professional scientific career in industry or onto a PhD.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

Living Systems

Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.

Practical Techniques for Biology

Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.

Genetics and Immunology

Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and
interactions involved.

Introduction to Biochemistry

Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.

Human Physiology

Introduces the physiology of human organ systems (respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, urinary, endocrine and muscular) and examines the process of homeostasis.

Introduction to Pharmacology

Considers the principles of how drugs work, including factors that affect the magnitude of the response to drugs, specificity of drug
action, drug interactions and side effects of drugs.

Bioinformatics and Biomathematics

Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of bioinformatics using web-based resources, database structures and Bayesian and maximum likelihood theories.

Pathophysiology

You’ll look at the processes involved in maintaining normal physiology in renal, cardiovascular and nervous systems and how the same processes are affected by disease.

Pathopharmacology

Considers disordered cellular and tissue physiology resulting from disease and drugs that can treat those diseases. You’ll
develop an understanding of health and common illnesses.

Experimental Design

Gain an underpinning in research skills relevant to the independent study required for an undergraduate project. Formulate a
research question, search literature, practice experimental design and practice data collection and statistical analysis.

Drugs of Addiction and Abuse

Develop an understanding of the use of drugs for non-medical purposes, including effects other than those desired by the
users. It also introduces the legislation controlling the use of substances.

Choose one of two options:

Neuroscience or Physiology

Explore the functions of the different brain regions and neuronal cell types, or develop concepts of physiological control systems and the link between changes in cellular and systemic function.

Optional placement year

Optional year-long work placement.  If you are not taking a placement, you will progress directly to your final year in year three.

Core modules

Honours Project

Learn practical research techniques, including a review of scientific writing and critical appraisals of published work, as well
as oral presentations and plagiarism.

Toxicology

Considers sources, types and mechanisms of action of selected natural and synthetic toxic chemicals. It also covers how toxicity can be assessed.

Clinical Pharmacology

Learn about drug development and the mode of action of selected drug types. You’ll also look at diseases of the human endocrine system and the advances in cellular and molecular techniques.

Current Topics in Pharmacology

Study recent advances and developments in pharmacology and the research techniques used to study molecular pharmacology.

Choose one of two options:

Current Topics in Neuroscience

With reference to new research techniques and equipment, discuss current hot topics in molecular and cellular neuroscience,
including learning and memory, stem cells, and the molecular basis of human neurological and psychiatric illnesses.

Current Topics in Physiology

Discuss advances in molecular, cellular and organ physiology and gain an appreciation of the research techniques used to study
processes such as signaling, hormonal regulation and cardio-protection.

The below modules would be Year Five for placement students.

Science Communication

Prepare for engagement in medical and science writing, education and policy making, where communicating knowledge
to national and international audiences is key.

MBiol Research Project

This substantial independent research project runs for the whole of your final year giving you the opportunity to explore and
expand your research skills in an area that interests you.

How you’re taught

You will typically study six modules every year for your first three years. Each module involves substantial amounts of practical work, in addition to around 20 one-hour lectures. You will also take part in regular seminars and tutorials to support you with your studies. In your final year you will focus on your research project alongside one module, Communicating Science. You’ll regularly meet with your project supervisor (or supervisors if your project covers multiple areas) to discuss ideas and your progress.

Hands-on learning
The course is very practical and you’ll be spending lots of time in our industry-standard laboratories. This is because we believe the amount of time you spend getting hands-on experience in a laboratory is very important to prepare you for the world of work.

You’ll get to use our industry-standard equipment, such as our ECG monitors, PCR machines and fluorescence microscopes, right from the very start of your course. You’ll get to know how a professional lab works and how to follow laboratory processes and protocols used in industry – all valuable skills to have before you graduate.

We have a focus on using digital skills to support you in your practical sessions. For example, you might do an online simulation of the experiment you are going to perform in the lab. This will get you familiar with the techniques and protocols so you can be confident and really make the most of your time in our labs. We give you access to a wide range of other e-learning resources too including ebooks, videos and instructional resources we’ve filmed in our own labs. These can help you develop your lab skills even further outside of the lab environment.

Contact hours

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (23%) and independent study (77%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (22%) and independent study (78%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (22%) and independent study (78%)

Year 4 - lectures/seminars/workshops (17%) and independent study (83%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Staff Profiles

Christian Thode

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Christian Thode is a Senior Lecturer in pharmacology, neuroscience, physiology and molecular biology. Dr Thode's scientific research activities are concerned with the mechanisms that underlie the processes of learning and…

Richard Hulse

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Dr Richard Hulse is a sensory neurophysiologist whom investigates how the sensory nervous system regulates pain perception in health and disease. He contributes to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching across neuroscience,

Rebecca Dumbell

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Dr Rebecca Dumbell is a researcher, chartered scientist, senior lecturer in biosciences at Nottingham Trent University. Her research expertise is in the neuroendocrine regulation of appetite, growth, energy balance and

Chris Lloyd Mills

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Chris Lloyd Mills

Zahraa Al-Ahmady

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Dr Zahraa Al-Ahmady is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University and a Researcher focusing on the development of advanced drug delivery systems for neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.

How you’re assessed

Year 1 - coursework (42%), written (50%) and practical (8%)

Year 2 - coursework (59%), written (33%) and practical (8%)

Year 3 - coursework (55%), written (40%) and practical (5%)

Year 4 - coursework (90%), written (0%) and practical (10%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Careers and employability

Your career development

As well as the Masters-level practical laboratory skills, this course will equip you with transferable skills in critical analysis and understanding, qualities and attributes necessary for a wide range of careers in industry, commerce, teaching, and research.

Our graduates usually seek research and development positions in the pharmaceutical and related industries including universities and hospitals. They also work in non-laboratory based activities such as:

  • clinical trials
  • regulatory affairs
  • marketing.

Recent graduates are now working in the following roles:

  • Boots – formulation scientist
  • Convance – experimental officer
  • GlaxoSmithKline – assay development scientist
  • ITH Pharma – technical assistant.

Many of our graduates also choose to study further on an MPhil or PhD research degree.

Excellent placement opportunities

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your second year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including Neuro-Bio, GlaxoSmithKline and Replimune. They secured varied roles such as Drug Discover and Biomarker Intern, Regulatory Affairs Intern and Assay Development Scientist.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Where will I study?

Teaching events are held across Clifton Campus, and include interactive workshops in spaces specifically designed for collaborative, hands-on learning.

We have the stimulating and creative environment needed to equip students with the knowledge and transferable skills to put them ahead of the graduate crowd. We provide first class facilities that enhance the quality of our education and push the boundaries of our research, these include:

Rosalind Franklin building

You will have access to some of the best laboratory facilities for Bioscience and Chemistry in the UK. The large teaching laboratory can house up to 200 students all studying at the same time. You'll be hands-on in the lab from your very first day with us, using the pioneering IT facilities and equipment to ensure that our you get practical experience employers are looking for.

Natural Sciences Research Facility

The Natural Sciences Research Facility supports and enhances the School’s research in Physics, Biosciences, Chemistry, Imaging, Materials and Sport.

Entry requirements

136 UCAS Tariff points

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – AAB, including Biology grade A and Chemistry, Physics or Maths grade B; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD, including relevant Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths modules; or
  • 136 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade A equivalent in Biology and grade B equivalent in Chemistry, Physics or Maths; and
  • GCSEs – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – AAB, including Biology grade A and Chemistry, Physics or Maths grade B; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD, including relevant Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths modules; or
  • 136 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade A equivalent in Biology and grade B equivalent in Chemistry, Physics or Maths; and
  • GCSEs – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Field trips
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course.  If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for poster preparation in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 -£30.

Laboratory lockers
A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5).

Tuition fees 

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government. See our fees for 2022 entry.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Field trips
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course.  If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for poster preparation in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 -£30.

Laboratory lockers
A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5).

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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