Second year undergraduates in a chemistry lab session, Chemistry building, University Park. November 5th 2021.

Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc

University Park Campus, Nottingham, UK

Course overview

Learn about the discovery and design of medicines at a world top 10 university for pharmacy and pharmacology*. Prepare for a career where you can develop new drugs and medicines to transform people's lives.

You'll use case studies throughout the first two years. The case studies bring together the core sciences that make up pharmaceutical sciences:

Chemistry

  • drug design and discovery using organic chemistry
  • analytical chemistry to study the structure and purity of drug molecules

Pharmaceutics

  • the science of designing and formulating medicines
  • understand the properties of drugs and medicines through physical chemistry

* QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 and 2022.

Indicative modules

Mandatory

Year 1

Cardiovascular and Haematology

Mandatory

Year 1

Drug Structure

Mandatory

Year 1

The Science of Medicines

Mandatory

Year 1

Biopharmaceutics

Mandatory

Year 1

Endocrine and Metabolism

Mandatory

Year 1

Synthesis of Simple Drugs

Mandatory

Year 2

Advanced Drug Delivery

Mandatory

Year 2

Infection and Immunity

Mandatory

Year 2

Synthesis of Complex Drugs

Mandatory

Year 2

Drug Design

Mandatory

Year 2

Oncology

Mandatory

Year 2

Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Mandatory

Year 3

Science and Industry

Mandatory

Year 3

Biologics

Mandatory

Year 3

Natural Products

Mandatory

Year 3

Pharmaceutical Research Project

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About modules

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer, but is not intended to be construed or relied on as a definitive list of what might be available in any given year. This content was last updated on Wednesday 4 October 2023.

You will broaden and deepen your knowledge of pharmaceutical science using a wide variety of different methods of study. Pharmaceutical science has become a collaborative discipline, and our degree programme takes this into account with core modules focusing on drug discovery, bioscience and pharmaceutics. As well as more traditional individual study methods, where you work on challenging problems, you will also collaborate with other students in group activities.

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem classes
  • Online activities

In years 1 and 2, you will be assessed by a combination of written and electronic exams (70%) and coursework (30%). In year 3, about 50% of the assessments will be exams, and 50% coursework (depending on your optional modules). 

You will be given a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how your work is assessed. Your work will be marked in a timely manner and you will receive regular feedback. The pass mark for each module is 40%.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained for your second and subsequent years of study. Year two is worth 33% with year three worth 67%.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Lab reports
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam

As a guide, one credit equals approximately 10 hours of work. You will spend around 35% of your time in lectures, 25% in laboratories and 25% in workshops. The remaining time will be spent in tutorials, doing original research and completing e-learning activities. There is also time needed for independent study. Core modules are typically delivered by professors, assistant professors or associate professors. Occasionally, guest speakers from industry contribute to teaching. Some (lab) classes may be supported by PhD students or research staff.

The knowledge and skills that you'll gain from this course can lead to roles working in:

  • drug discovery
  • medicines regulation
  • medical affairs
  • drug formulation
  • manufacturing
  • patenting and licencing
  • analytical testing

As you will study elements of chemistry, biosciences and pharmaceutics it means you will be able to explore jobs in any of these areas.

Other opportunities to help your employability

The Nottingham Internship Scheme provides a range of work experience opportunities and internships throughout the year.

The Nottingham Advantage Award is our free scheme to boost your employability. There are over 200 extracurricular activities to choose from.

Average starting salary and career progression

94.30% of undergraduates from the School of Pharmacy secured employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £32,808.

HESA Graduate Outcomes (2017-2021 cohorts). The Graduate Outcomes % is calculated using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Hello, I'm Tanishka. I started my course in September 2020. Some of my favourite modules are: cardiovascular and haematology; infection and immunity; and synthesis of complex drugs, because these are the ones in which I performed my best. There are also study groups which you can join that can help you in your first year. Practical classes are my forever favourite where I already feel like a scientist (decked up in a lab coat and playing with the equipment). "

Tanishka

Pharmaceutical Sciences student

Open Day June 2022