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Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc

Learn about the course below
September 2024
3 years full-time
4 years full-time including foundation year
6 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Neville Hall

A degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences will provide you with a broad understanding of the drug development process. You will learn key concepts in chemistry and biology related to pharmaceutical sciences and explore areas such as, pharmacology, toxicology, drug design, delivery, and manufacturing, as well as regulatory affairs related to drug development.

Why study Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc with us?

You should study this degree if you are interested in learning how medicines are developed and how they interact with the body. This degree will prepare you for a career in the pharmaceutical industry where you can contribute to the development of new drugs and make an impact on people’s lives.

You will have the opportunity to:

  • be taught by academic staff with strong links and long experience in the pharmaceutical industry
  • apply knowledge to practice in our newly renovated dedicated chemical and pharmaceutical laboratories
  • attend visiting lectures from industrial experts delivering workshops on drug development case studies and clinical trials
  • develop business acumen and innovative thinking through a dedicated module in science innovation
  • apply for summer research studentships available from the relevant professional bodies

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What will you study?

Pharmaceutical Sciences is a multidisciplinary degree bringing together knowledge from the following core sciences:


  • Chemical principles of drug-target interactions
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of drug binding
  • Analytical techniques in pharmaceutical analysis
  • Computational techniques in drug design


  • The process of drug discovery
  • The science of drug formulation and delivery
  • Pharmaceutical product development
  • Interactions of drugs with the body


  • Normal and abnormal physiological processes and their relation to disease
  • Diagnostic techniques
  • You will also learn about science innovation whilst studying BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences.

What skills will you gain?

  • You will learn to perform a wide range of chemical and biological laboratory techniques competently, and in accordance with health and safety guidelines
  • You will gain computational and analytical skills valued by employers in the industry
  • You will learn to think innovatively and develop a business acumen
  • Year 1

    • Fundamentals of Chemistry (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that will underpin your studies. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts using examples from health to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory skills and learn to analyse and interpret experimental results and relate to theoretical concepts.

    • Introduction to Biochemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the biomolecules of life, including structure and function. This leads to an overview of molecular processes involved in disease and associated targets for therapeutic drugs.

    • Human Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology required to underpin your future learning. The unifying theme of homeostasis is used to show how a healthy structure and function are maintained and how failures of homeostasis can result in disease.

    • Cell Biology and Genetics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the cell as the basic functional unit of life investigating the structure and function of cell components and introducing the cell cycle and the biology of disease. Concepts of evolution and the principles of inheritance are explained at the molecular level.

    • Professional Development for Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide a number of key skills used widely by chemists and pharmaceutical scientists such as mathematics, communication and employability skills. The mathematics component of this module will give you the basic mathematical techniques needed to support your studies. In addition to providing the necessary tools to solving quantitative problems in chemistry, it also helps you better understand chemical concepts such as, how and why reactions happen. The communication and employability skills component will aim to develop communicational, organisational and interpersonal skills and promote career awareness in the field of the chemical and pharmaceutical sciences.

  • Year 2

    • Pharmaceutical Chemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction into pharmaceutical chemistry. It examines the essential biochemistry on which understanding of medicinal chemistry is built and discusses strategies involved in developing an effective drug.

    • Pharmacology and Toxicology (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores pharmacology, from a physiological systems and regulation, cellular and molecular perspective, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of drug action, clinical application, toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

    • Pharmaceutics (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of medicines design, synthesis and utilisation of some classes of pharmaceuticals. The first part of the module focuses on understanding drug discovery processes and the essential concepts involved in the development of pharmaceutical products. The second part of the module focuses on the study of some of the most important classes of pharmaceuticals.

    • Pharmaceutical Product Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with comprehensive knowledge of the principal concepts involved in pharmaceutical product design and development. The first part of the module focuses on the traditional techniques that are used to analyse, separate, and characterise pharmaceutical compounds. The second part of the module focuses on investigating the main aspects of formulating and manufacturing an active principle ingredient (API). The legislation concerning the production, delivery and control of medicinal products produced by industries will also be explored.

    • Research Methods and Statistics (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work, with the focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills include analytical techniques appropriate to individual programme requirements.

    • Science Innovation (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide you with an insight into the translation of science into real-world solutions and the factors affecting innovation, and knowledge production and transfer. It also aims to give students an understanding of factors influencing the adoption of an innovation and the role played by stakeholders such, as companies, consumers, research institutions and governments in the wider innovation system.

  • Year 3

    • Drug Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to provide you with knowledge of all the key processes involved in bringing a drug to the market and the associated challenges. The first part of the module focuses on the science and technology involved in the discovery process i.e. from identifying a medical need to the discovery of a drug candidate and the second part of the module focuses on the steps required to turn the drug candidate into a product on the market. This module is supported by external speakers covering specialist topics such as, preclinical and human clinical trials, economics of drug discovery, regulatory controls and manufacturing processes.

    • Neuropharmacology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to provide the students with an understanding of the action of drugs on the nervous system and when drugs are used. It also provides an appreciation of steps required to develop a new drug.

    • Computer Drug Design (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce students to the computational approaches to drug design frequently used in the pharmaceutical industry. It is designed to help students gain experience in computational tools used in drug discovery how to interpret results from such experiments with an eye for providing insight to optimising biologically active molecules. This is a practical module comprising weekly workshops where students can learn and practice various methods of computational drug discovery tools.

    • Advanced Bioanalytical Techniques (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to examine advanced bioanalytical techniques that are used in biomedical research, for the analysis of products for improving disease understanding and for the analysis of disease biomarkers. It also provides a detailed understanding of the principles, theory and practice of bioanalytical techniques, including safety, instrumentation, sample preparation techniques together with analysis and interpretation of analytical data.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module builds on the skills you acquired when undertaking the research methods module in year 2, and from the knowledge gained throughout the programme to date. Further development of analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style is promoted. You will be enabled to pursue areas of individual interest within the area of pharmaceutical and chemical sciences and will have the opportunity of gaining increased theoretical and practical knowledge in your chosen specialist field.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

How is the Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc taught?

This programme is delivered in a blended learning format comprising of 75% on campus sessions (this includes all practical laboratory sessions, computer workshops as well as most lectures and seminars) and 25% online sessions delivered via a number of learning platforms e.g. Kaltura Newrow, Adobe Connect or Zoom. Learning may be supplemented by pre-recorded lectures and virtual laboratories where students can access the information at any point. In addition to the guided teaching hours, students are expected to conduct independent study such as, engaging with lectures, preparing for seminars and practical workshops, completing assignments and revising.


The Pharmaceutical Science degree is assessed by a combination of examinations and coursework designed to appropriately address all learning outcomes. Examples of assessment methods are as follows:

  • Written unseen and part seen examinations and in class tests
  • Oral presentations
  • Lab reports
  • Lab portfolios
  • Coursework
  • Research project report and thesis defence
  1. Entry requirements
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc support your career?

Studying BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences provides skills for a wide variety of roles within a range of sectors including the following:

Pharmaceutical Industry

  • Preclinical and clinical studies
  • Drug formulation
  • Quality control and assurance


  • Pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and related disciplines
  • Pursue industrial PhD in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company

Non-laboratory careers

  • Regulatory affairs
  • Project management
  • Technology transfer
  • Science publications
  • Research officers
  • Science education

Prof Ajit Shah

Dr Shah's research interests involve the development of platforms for metabolomics and applications of analytical techniques for measuring molecules in biological matrices. Professor Shah has over 20 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry during which he held various positions in GlaxoSmithKline as a Senior Scientist within Drug Discovery and received a number of awards including an exceptional science award for his work in the area of Neuroscience.

Dr Cristina Russo

Dr Russo became a lecturer at Middlesex University in February 2020 after completing a PhD and post-doc at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research is focused on drug absorption and metabolism, as well as biomarker discovery using proteomics strategies. It involves using a variety of analytical techniques, with a particular emphasis on the MALDI-MS technique, including imaging. She currently teaches undergraduate students topics in analytical and pharmaceutical science.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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