BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science (Top-up) - University of Portsmouth
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BSc (Hons)

Pharmaceutical Science (Top-up)

full time1yrs

Learn about the development and marketing of pharmaceutical products

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course provides students with the opportunity of topping up their existing qualifications to a full BSc (Hons) and thus maximise their chances of getting a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Use our modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning.
  • Opt to join one of our internationally-recognised research groups and complete a final-year project

What opportunities might it lead to?

Do you see yourself developing new drugs? Or perhaps selling to GPs and hospitals? Whichever area of the pharmaceutical industry interests you most, this course enables you to focus on an array of specialisms leading to numerous employment opportunities within the field.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Drug development within the pharmaceutical industry
  • Scientific writing and the media
  • Regulatory affairs
  • Pharmaceutical sales and marketing


Katrina Belavskis, Pharmacology student

I love how the practical sessions put the theory that is learnt in lectures into practice. This course has given me an excellent base to go into research after I have finished my degree.

Katrina Belavskis, Pharmacology student


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Structure & Teaching

Each student will complete a laboratory based final year project in one of our world-class research laboratories. In addition, you will learn about how new medicines are developed and the different ways drugs can be formulated to enhance their pharmacological activity.

Core units include:

  • Bioactives
  • Drug formulation and development
  • Formulation and quality assurance of pharmaceuticals
  • Protein modelling science
  • Pharmaceutical science project 

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical laboratory work and guided reading. Our academic staff have expertise in clinical practice as well as research, and we provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.

How are you assessed?

On this course there is a balance of formal examinations and coursework. You will be expected to complete coursework throughout the year, whereas exams take place at the end of the academic year. Here’s how we assess you:

  • written assignments
  • oral and poster presentations
  • group-based assessments

Tutor's view


Dr Sassan Hafizi
Health Sciences

The course offers excellent teaching and research facilities. One of the highlights of the course will undoubtedly be the pharmaceutical science project, where you will be able to use our well equipped laboratories to undertake a novel research project under the supervision of a dedicated research supervisor. In addition to this, you will also benefit from being exposed to theories and techniques at the forefront of pharmaceutical science.

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Facilities & Features


Due to the significant practical element of the course, you’ll be spending a lot of your time in our pharmacology, chemistry and microbiology laboratories. Using our advanced labs, you will be exploring new techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of disease such as DNA-drug and drug-protein interactions, as well as investigating novel therapeutic targets and cell signalling. This is one of our strongest areas of research and you’ll benefit from high-quality facilities to match.

Scientific Equipment

We have an outstanding array of microscopy facilities and excellent analytical instrumentation facilities in our labs, including:

  • confocal, electron and fluorescence microscopes
  • chemical synthesis facilities
  • live cell imaging
  • spectroscopy equipment
  • chromatography instruments
  • molecular modelling facilities

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

You will be issued with safety equipment and audience response handsets free of charge at the start of the programme (fees of £100 apply if not returned in good condition at the end of the course).


If you undertake optional Work-Based Learning units you will be required to pay for travel to and from placements. This will be in the region of £50.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

As a pharmaceutical scientist you may be involved in developing new drugs and formulations to maximise their therapeutic effects. You may be involved with registering new products, ensuring that regulatory requirements are met or could move into medical sales and the development of marketing strategies. There are many routes you can pursue within the pharmaceutical field or specifically in the pharmaceutical industry. Alternatively, there’s also the option to continue with postgraduate study or academic research.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • teaching
  • pharmaceutical research
  • drug development within the pharmaceutical industry
  • scientific writing and the media
  • regulatory affairs
  • pharmaceutical sales and marketing


Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484