Pharmacology student in aseptic suite
Mode of Study
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2019


Do you want to be at the forefront of pharmacological science, working in an industry that makes a positive impact to our society? Whether you want to develop and test new drugs or work on marketing strategies for the next advancement in medicine, this is the course for you.

We’ve been teaching this BSc (Hons) Pharmacology degree course for more than 40 years. You’ll graduate with the skills you need to get started in the ever-evolving pharmacology industry.

Accredited by:

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, which means your qualification is recognised in the industry. This gives you an edge over those who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

You can also apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology when you complete the course. This gives you membership benefits including access to professional networks and conferences.

95% Graduates in work or further study (Unistats data on DLHE, 2017)

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Use our pharmacology, chemistry and microbiology laboratories
  • Explore new techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, such as DNA drugs, and investigate areas like how cells communicate with each other
  • Use our specialist facilities, which include live cell imaging, spectroscopy equipment, chromatography instruments, molecular modelling facilities, chemical synthesis facilities, and confocal, electron and fluorescence microscopes

You can also:

  • Join one of our internationally-recognised research groups
  • Apply to the Erasmus+ exchange scheme, which involves a summer research placement at a European university

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work. You’ll be able to start a career in all areas of the pharmaceutical industry, including:

  • drug development and testing
  • medical writing
  • marketing and sales
  • regulatory affairs

Roles you could do include:

  • clinical trial assistant/administrator
  • pharmacovigilance officer
  • R&D scientist/technician
  • secondary school teacher (with additional training)
  • regulatory executive
  • operations scientist
  • research associate

You can also continue your studies at postgraduate level, or set up a business with help and support from the University.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

The responsiveness of the professors to any questions is very helpful and their support has prepared me for a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Alexander Mortimer, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Pharmacology degree course

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Neuroscience and Pharmacology
  • Cells to Systems
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Key Skills
  • Introduction to Formulation
  • Laboratory Skills and Analytical Techniques

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Biomedical Toolbox
  • Immunology,Inflammatory Diseases and Infective Organisms
  • Neuroscience, Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology
  • Pharmacokinetics and Data Analysis
  • Respiratory, Renal and Cardiovascular Pharmacology

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • PCOL, Enzymes and Metabolism
  • Business for Biosciences
  • Institution-wide Language Programme

Core units in this year include:

  • Antimicrobial and Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cellular and Molecular Drug Targets
  • Drug Development and Clinical Pharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Laboratory Based Work Experience
  • 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.

Izzy's story
"It offered everything I wanted in a University..."

Izzy took her BSc (Hons) Pharmacology degree studies abroad through our ERASMUS+ programme, find out what else she loves about University of Portsmouth.

Sophie's story
"I love studying Pharmacology at Portsmouth..."

Sophie is President of our Pharmaceutical society, and wants to eventually complete a PhD in the field. Find out why Sophie is thriving at the University of Portsmouth.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical laboratory work
  • guided reading

All of the units you'll take are fully supported by online lecture and study materials, and our academic staff will share their expertise in practice and research.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • diagnostic tests
  • written assignments
  • oral and poster presentations
  • online tests
  • group-based assessments

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 40% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 37% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 55% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 37% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 50% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 47% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • BBB-CCC from A levels, or equivalent, to include Biology or Chemistry, plus a second pure Science subject or Mathematics. Applied Science not accepted. For A levels which include a separate science practical component, a pass is desirable and may strengthen an application.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

You’ll get free safety equipment at the start of the course. However, you may have to pay a small amount to replace lost or damaged equipment.

If you take optional work-based learning units, you’ll need to pay for travel to and from placements.


How to apply

You need to apply for this course through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B210
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

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

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

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.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.