BSc/BSc (Hons) Applied Pharmacology

What is applied pharmacology?

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.

About the Course

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.

Course Structure

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.

Entry Requirements

Scottish Higher: BBB

A Level: BB

Irish Leaving Certificate: 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

You may be requested to be immunised against Hepatitis B.

IELTS of 6.0 with no element lower than 5.5.


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

NB The modules listed here are correct at time of the printing of our Undergraduate Prospectus 2018 (Feb 2017) but may differ slightly to those offered in 2018. Please check the website for any updates.


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 www.bps.ac.uk.

Quick Facts

Learning and Teaching

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.

>>Click for more information on 'Learning, Teaching and Assessment'

Study Abroad

It is possible to study for a period of time at a university overseas.

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.

Associate Student Places

You can study this course as an associate student completing the first year at West Lothian College.

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Undergraduate).

Special Information for EU Applicants The Scottish Government has confirmed that undergraduate EU students enrolling in the 2017/8 and 2018/9 academic years will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland for the duration of their course. Those assessed as eligible will remain so for the duration of their course. You must apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding. For guidance on eligibility and funding please visit the SAAS website.


Course Overview

3/4 years
Start Date
September 2018
QMU Campus
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Subject Area
Fees & Funding
B210/ BSc/AP

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