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Pharmacology BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): B210 (full-time); 350U (with placement)
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time / four years with placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Just like pharmacologists in the workplace, the practical approaches you’ll be learning with us focus on the science of drugs and how they impact living systems and combat disease.

You’ll get a deep understanding of the drug discovery process, through industry guest lectures, including our very own NTU pharmacology alumni, and through practical classes that mirror assays performed in the pharmaceutical industry. As well as giving you loads of practical experience, you’ll get an extra qualification recognised by industry and backed by the UK Government to address the shortage of pharmacological expertise.

You might also be interested in MBiol (Hons) Pharmacology, a four-year course that takes your microbiology studies to Masters level.

Why study BSc (Hons) Pharmacology at NTU?

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 accredited this course. Accreditation is a seal of approval from professional bodies and our assurance to you that your degree is relevant and valued by industry.

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 work closely with a member of staff, either on an aspect of their research or in their general area. You may be asked to help develop a new idea that can be incorporated into future research or help with our teaching. You’ll be working on real-world problems and gaining valuable experience at the same time.

Get industry experienceThrough 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.

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

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 members of your course to discuss the topics you are studying.

Got any feedback on your course? You’ll have lots opportunities to discuss your course, for example in your tutorial sessions, with your course leader and course reps and you even have the chance to feedback on every module you study with an end of module survey.  We love to hear your feedback and how we can make improvements. Following your feedback, we have recently added Professional Skills modules which are specific to the area of biosciences you are studying. We’ve also increased our support for your coursework assignments too, through drop-in sessions accessible when you need them most.

There’s support from your peers too. Our mentoring schemes 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. Find out more about the support you’ll receive at NTU.

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.

Satisfied students
You can be sure you’ll be joining a high-quality course. But don’t just take our word for it - 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).

Second in the UK for student satisfaction in Biosciences (NSS 2021)

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.

What our students say

The study of drugs has always appealed to me. When I heard about the Pharmacology course here I just knew I had to do it. Being able to gain first-hand experience in labs is a huge strength, which allows us to put theory into practice. I am now able to design my own experiments, use the laboratory equipment with precision, write lab reports, work independently and with other colleagues, and ultimately gain a fundamental science knowledge.

It's pretty exciting studying Pharmacology at NTU. Every day is a surprise, you always learn new things and new skills. The staff are amazing and very helpful.

Dexter Mwashita, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology

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.

Introduction to Biochemistry

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Chemotherapy of Cancer and Infections

Explore the concept of selective toxicity as applicable to the treatment of cancer and infections. You’ll also consider the action of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal drugs.

Antibody and DNA Technology

Introduces extraction, purification, probing, manipulation, amplification and sequencing of DNA and RNA and the expression of genetic sequences.

Professional Skills for Pharmacology

You’ll study, in detail the drug discovery process from identification and optimisation through to clinical development (trials) and regulatory approval. This will all be explored in the context of current trends in pharmacology such as genomics, ethics and immunotherapeutics.

One module from:

Neuroscience

Explore the functions of the different brain regions and neuronal cell types, and relate these to higher brain activities and neuronal function.

Physiology

Develops concepts of physiological control systems and demonstrates the link between changes in cellular and systemic function.

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

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.

Toxicology

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

Project / Dissertation

You have the option of either completing a 40 credit point project / dissertation,

OR

If your interests lie in a career in teaching or scientific journalism,you can take Communicating Science and Technology (which includes school placements) and a short dissertation.

One module from:

Current Topics in Neuroscience

Discusses current hot topics in molecular and cellular neuroscience, including learning and memory, stem cells, and the molecular basis of certain 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 Physiology.

How you’re taught

You will typically study six modules in Year One and Two. Each module involves substantial amounts of practical work, in addition to around 20 one-hour lectures. In your final year you’ll study five modules and a research project. You will also take part in regular seminars and tutorials to support you with your studies.

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.

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 (23%) and independent study (77%)

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

Staff Profiles

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 Tinsley

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Chris Tinsley

John Dickenson

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

John Dickenson

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 (50%) and written (50%)

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

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

Careers and employability

Your career development

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.

Many of our graduates also choose to study further on our Masters-level courses, MPhil and PhD research degrees.

Recent graduates are now working in the following roles:

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

Graduate salaries range from £16,000 - £30,000 per year.

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.

My studies greatly helped with my placement and vice versa. The experience I gained throughout the year has helped a great deal with my final year project.

Joanna Shaw, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology
Placement company – Pfizer

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

The Rosalind Franklin building provides some of the best laboratory teaching facilities for Bioscience and Chemistry in the UK. The large teaching laboratory space is equipped with modern IT facilities and equipment to ensure that our students get excellent training in practical laboratory techniques and modern analytical methods.

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Facility

This facility supports the School's extensive biomedical research activities.

Natural Sciences Research Facility

Natural Sciences Research Facility This facility supports and enhances the School's research in physics, biosciences, chemistry, imaging, materials and sport.

Across NTU, we have a range of first-class facilities that you would expect from a university with high quality teaching and world-leading research, including:

  • an £8m computing and informatics building
  • a British Olympic Association-approved environmental chamber
  • a crime scene house forensic-training facility
  • a host of sporting clubs and societies to get involved in.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

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

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you are an international student who does not meet the direct entry requirements for this course, you can prepare for it at Nottingham Trent International College. Their Foundation Certificate in Science and Engineering (life sciences) offers students a guaranteed progression route to this degree on successful completion to the required level.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

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 on telephone +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).

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

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 directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

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.

Good luck with your application!