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BSc/BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology

UCAS Code: B210 BSc/AP

Duration: 3/4 years

  • Introduction
  • Course facts
  • Modules
  • Entry Requirements
  • Careers/Case Studies

Applied pharmacology is the study of how drugs and medications affect how our body works. Drugs can be used to both maintain a healthy lifestyle and treat or cure disease.

This course will provide you with the skills to work in a variety of areas related to the pharmaceutical industry and the broader area
of research.

In the first two years, you will gain a grounding in the core areas of the biological sciences. During this time you will study a range of modules and there is a significant practical element where you will develop laboratory skills, such as pipetting, microscopy, blood pressure recording and respiratory performance.

In Year Three, you will begin to focus on a range of specific areas of pharmacology, such as the effects of drugs on the brain, treatments for cancer, and the use of drugs to treat arthritis. Within some of the modules, there is an opportunity to select areas which are of personal interest with the hope of allowing you to determine the area in which you want to focus your career.

In Year Four, the majority of your time will be spent on your honours research project which will involve you carrying out a personal experimental research project. This will enhance the skills and knowledge that will be required in the workplace. In addition to this, further modules will enhance your understanding and critical evaluation of pharmacology.

Most modules involve student-centred learning, as well as tutor-led lectures, tutorials, labs and workshops.

The modules listed here are correct as of April 2016, but may differ slightly to those offered in 2017. We will add any updates to this page if necessary.

You can opt to study for an honours degree over four years or an ordinary degree over three years. You will complete a range of modules each year as outlined.

- Significant elements of the first two years of this course are shared with our BSc/ BSc (Hons) Human Biology, BSc/ BSc (Hons) Nutrition, and BSc/ BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Food Science courses – this means that you have the opportunity to change your degree any time up to the end of Year Two.
- Aside from just focusing on drugs, this course uniquely integrates a focus on nutritional factors which also impact on individual’s health.
- In Year One, you will attend QMU approximately 11-15 hours per week to participate in a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory practical classes. The attendance will reduce slightly in later years where there is more independent learning.

Professional Registration: This course does not offer any professional registration, but undergraduate students can apply for membership of the British Pharmacological Society which will keep you up to date with developments in the area.

Year One: Biochemistry/ Developmental Biology and Ageing/ Genetics/ Cell Biology and Human Physiology/ Integrating Module 1/ Introduction to Neuroscience/ Introduction to Nutrition/ Key Investigative Skills 1/ Microbiology

Year Two: Immunology/ Integrating Module 2/ Key Investigative Skills 2/ Laboratory Investigative Procedures/ Medical Microbiology/ Molecular Biology/ Nutrition: Energy and Macronutrients/ Pharmacology/ Professional Development in Scientific Analysis/ Systems Biology

Year Three: Clinical Sciences/ Dissertation (choice of topic)/ Drug Abuse and Addiction/ Integrating Module 3/ Molecular Pharmacology/ Advanced Neuroscience/ Professional Module/ Scientific Enquiry and Evaluation

Year Four: Advanced Medical Microbiology and Immunology/ Advanced Molecular Pharmacology/ Current Issues in Cancer/ Current Issues in Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease/ Current Issues in Health/ Honours Project (research)/ Performance Enhancing Drugs/ Research Communication/ Research Process

Scottish Higher: BBB

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: Pre 2017: BBB
2017 onwards: H2, H2, H3

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

Required Subjects: Chem or Biol and preferably one other science (may include Maths or Home Economics) at Higher/A Level or equivalent AND Chem, Biol Maths and Eng at S/Int2/N5/GCSE level.

Mature/Access: SWAP Access to Science or Biological Sciences. We welcome applications from mature students with relevant qualifications in biology and chemistry and /or experience.

Advanced Entry: Year 2 - HNC Biological Sciences/ HNC Applied Science with B in the graded unit/ Year 3–HND Applied Biological Sciences with CB in the graded unit.

Health Requirements: Students may be required to be immunised against Hepatitis B for honours projects involving tissue materials

Other: You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B.

International: IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5.

There is a wide variety of career options in areas such as: pharmaceutical companies - research and development; toxicology (the study of the safety aspects of medicines); university laboratories - research and teaching; hospital work as a clinical pharmacologist involved in trials; sales and marketing of pharmaceuticals; and medical information and publishing. Further information on careers can be found on the British Pharmacological Society's website at

Suzanne Zaremba, BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology

When I left school, I briefly went to the University of Edinburgh to study mathematics, but it wasn’t for me. Aside from the wrong choice of course, I was keen to experience a more campus like feel with smaller class sizes, so I took some time out to consider my options. A few of my friends had studied at QMU and had told me about the benefits of studying in a smaller institution; as classes sizes weren’t so big, you got to know everyone, including staff, very early on in the course.

I have always had a keen interest in science and how the human body functions in both healthy and diseased states, which is what drew my attention to the biological science degrees at QMU.

Across the four years, I received a great deal of support throughout my undergraduate degree, particularly from my Personal Academic Tutor. The staff were always very approachable and willing to help with any problems. I received excellent support from my supervisors during my final year honours project - support that I feel helped me to achieve a First Class Honours degree. I particularly enjoyed the third year of course, when I studied modules covering aspects of drug abuse and addiction and neuropharmacology. I learned a great deal about the structure and functions of the brain, how disease states arise and ultimately how they can be treated by pharmacological interventions.

As the end of my degree approached, I started to think about what I wanted to do when I graduated. As part of my honours project, I researched the effects of a food supplement upon the vascular system. It was during this time that I became interested in nutrition and the concept of functional foods. With this in mind, I decided to study for a postgraduate degree at QMU in Public Health Nutrition. As I had enjoyed laboratory work and undertaking research projects for my undergraduate and postgraduate courses, I decided that a PhD was the next step for me. I wanted to develop my existing skills as well as learning new skills to allow me to be a fully independent researcher in the area of nutrition research. QMU was offering studentships for various topics of research so I applied and was successful in getting a place. Between finishing my masters degree and starting my PhD, I gained hands-on experience working as a research assistant for QMU’s Knowledge Exchange Programme. In this position I got the chance to further develop my laboratory skills in addition to learning new techniques such as antioxidant analysis and cognitive function testing. I would definitely recommend QMU as a place to study (and work!). Classes were a comfortable size and lecturers were very supportive and encouraging. There’s always a very friendly atmosphere around campus and the small community-like feeling ensures you’re not lost in the crowd.

for further information, contact:
+44 (0)131 474 0000

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