Master of Biology

Pharmacology

Students in science lab
  • UCAS code(s): B211 / B212
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 4 / 5 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

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

Why choose this course?

If you have drive and ambition to progress into a professional scientific career in industry or academia or onto a PhD, then this course is ideal for you. It provides tailored knowledge, technical skills and research expertise to help you stand out in the jobs market. During this course you will:

  • develop the practical skills employers are looking for with a project in your third year and a year-long project in your final year
  • work with our internationally renowned experts – they will supervise and review your research projects
  • get a Masters-level qualification – your research project will be assessed and moderated using Masters-level criteria and your final year modules will be of Masters level.
  • be work-ready – you have the option of a 12-month work placement in the third year, which can build upon your practical experience and is often paid.

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

What you'll study

The course begins by giving you an understanding of how pharmacology and physical principles are integrated in, and used to investigate broad living processes from cells to organisms. The course is designed to give you a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the action of drugs on the body.

Major concepts include the pharmacology of cells, tissues and organ systems and a study of substances that are used for medicinal reasons, as well as those that are used for pleasure and illicitly. You'll study the key aspects of drug action both in practical and theoretical concepts and outcomes are used when considering the positive and negative effects of pharmaceutical products.

  • Year One

    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.

  • Year Two

    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.

    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.

  • Year Three

    Placement year (optional)

    You have the opportunity to take a work placement during your third year. The below modules would be Year Four for placement students.

    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.

    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.

  • Final year

    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.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Students are assessed in a variety of ways including:

  • essays
  • case study reports
  • verbal presentation
  • class tests
  • exams.

You will also present a written dissertation and give a verbal and poster presentation of your project work.

Assessment methods

Year 1 - coursework (41%), written (49%) and practical (10%)

Year 2 - coursework (60%), written (25%) and practical (15%)

Year 3 - coursework (58%), written (40%) and practical (2%)

Year 4 - coursework (100%)

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

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (29%) and independent study (71%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (26%) and independent study (74%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (33%) and independent study (67%)

Year 4 - lectures/seminars/workshops (15%) and independent study (85%)

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

After Year Two, you have the opportunity to undertake a one years' work placement in industry, including overseas options. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice.

You will be assessed throughout the year and will be required to write a reflective report and diary. On completion of a successful placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award – the Placement Diploma in Professional Practice, an excellent addition to your CV.

Recent Pharmacology and Bioscience students have secured placements in the following companies:

  • Agrisearch
  • Scott Bader
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • British American Tobacco
  • National Institute Medical Research
  • Intertek
  • RSPB
  • Glenfield Hospital.

Entry requirements

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

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.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

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

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

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

What do the course fees cover?

All mandatory costs for the course are covered in the course fee. In addition, most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. A good supply of these essential textbooks are available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

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.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £50.

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

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Science and Technology course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 8351