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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

Pharmaceutical science is the study of the formulation, development and manufacture of new drugs. Pharmaceutical scientists have the power to transform patients' lives by developing new treatments for diseases.

This new and already popular course will take you inside this complex and ever-expanding field of discovery.

Pharmaceutical science encompasses chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and physiology. It looks at how different drugs act on the human body and how their healing effects can be safely used.

We'll introduce you to a diverse selection of subjects to help you gain an insight into the development, design, delivery and use of new drugs. This thorough background will ensure that a wide range of career choices will be open to you when you graduate.

You'll be entitled to become a student member of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS), the professional body for pharmaceutical sciences in the UK.

This course offers the opportunity of year-long work placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you'll spend your third year working in the pharmaceutical industry, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge.

The first year of this course is shared with other biosciences degrees at UEL, giving you maximum flexibility if you decide to transfer to a different course for years two and three.

Our foundation year is perfect if you want to study for a degree in pharmaceutical science but you don't have the standard qualifications, if you're not sure if this is the right degree for you or you're coming from an extended break in education.

What makes this course different

Students in class

Foundation Year

Find out more about our flexible Bioscience and Health Foundation pathways

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Placement

Optional placement year available

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1st

We are 1st in London amongst all universities, and 4th amongst modern universities in the United Kingdom for student satisfaction with teaching on the course. A fantastic seal of approval from our own students. (NSS, 2018)

Students in bioscience lab

£2.4m investment in facilities

You'll work in our recently refurbished bioscience teaching laboratory. The lab is proving a major resource and will have a great impact on your student experience.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical chemistry, including the design and synthesis of new drug molecules. You'll explore pharmacognosy (drug substances from natural origins), pharmaceutics (turning a new chemical entity or old drugs into a medication that can be used safely) and pharmacology (the effect of drugs on humans).

As with all our bioscience students, your first year will be spent developing knowledge in four key areas – essential chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology and anatomy and physiology.

Your second year is a chance to broaden your knowledge of pharmaceutical science by learning about the biology of disease, the way drugs are made, manufactured and delivered and how drugs work once they're in the human body.

In your final year, you'll specialise in areas such as natural sources of drugs and the way drugs are designed and developed and how they are analysed using sophisticated instruments. 

You'll also be working with one of our academic staff during your research towards the completion of your key individual project, which is usually lab-based.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Essential Skills for Higher Education (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to enable you to develop the range of essential skills required to complete your academic studies successfully and to enhance your employment prospects. You will develop your skills in academic reading and writing, gathering and evaluating information, and critical thinking. You will perform various individual and group activities, including presentations on topics relevant to your degree studies, enhancing your social awareness and team work skills as well as core communication skills.

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    Essential Maths & ICT

    This module will provide you with fundamental knowledge and practical skills in basic maths, data presentation, and the IT skills. The development of these essential skills will help you to successfully complete further academic studies and enhance your employment prospects. Topics of study will include working with numbers, practical applied maths, basic statistics, data presentation and applied IT skills training in Microsoft office.

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    Human Biology

    Within this module you will develop an understanding of the basic anatomical structures in the human body and physiological principles and processes underpinning their function. You will explore key areas such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and musculoskeletal system and the coordination of these systems in the maintenance of bodily homeostasis and human health.

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    Career & Professional Skills (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to develop your life and professional skills, enhance your employment prospects and progression, as well as the academic and subject specific skills which are required for further study. You will actively seek and engage with various digital platforms (e.g., Lynda, LinkedIn), University services and external institutions that will offer you opportunities, to explore, evaluate, learn and participate in activities that enhance your professional skills and reflect on how to plan your career. Academic staff in the various degree programmes and career coaches at UEL will advise and support you on professional skills, career prospects and developments.

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    Introduction to the Study of Cells

    The module aims to provide you with a basic introduction to how different biological and biochemical processes function within cells. You will study the structure and biochemistry of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell metabolism, cell division as well as the principles of genetic variation. After completing this module you will have gained a suitable foundation for further studies in the biological and chemical sciences.

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    Chemistry of Life

    This module will provide you with a foundation in the theoretical and experimental aspects of chemistry that underpin many topics Chemistry and Biosciences. You will study basic principles of chemistry such as the periodic table, molecular structure and chemical bonding, organic and biological chemistry, nomenclature of carbon molecules and the structures and functions of the building blocks of life, environmental chemistry, pollutants and toxins on our environment and health.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Practice in Science (Mental Wealth)

    This module will introduce you to the different approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in a Higher Education setting focusing on core skills required for the bioscience and chemistry programs. This will support you in your ‘transition’ from school, college or the work place towards degree level study. The module will have at its core the key academic, employability and transferable skills of English for academic writing, ICT, numeracy in biological and chemical sciences, statistics, basic laboratory techniques, presentation, and personal development and study skills.

    In parallel themes in personal development such as the understanding of key attributes and topics in emotional, social, cognitive and physical intelligence that are important for careers in biosciences and chemistry professions related to a student’s program of study.

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    Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

    The module aims to enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of the synthesis, reaction, theoretical and practical techniques underpinning the fundamentals of organic chemistry. You will also develop an understanding of chemical chirality and its clinical significance in pharmaceuticals and other industrial applications.

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    Cell Biology

    Within this module you will develop a working knowledge, definitions concepts and practical skills that support the understanding of the structure and function of the dynamic cell. This includes topics in cell architecture, organelles, cell cycle, division, intra and extracellular signalling events, differentiation and specialisation of cells and the evolution of cell structures.

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    Fundamentals in Human Anatomy and Physiology

    This module will enable you to consolidate your competence in specified areas of human anatomy and physiology including the structure, function, neurological and hormonal control of the human body, its component parts and major systems (musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, renal, urogenital, nervous, endocrine) and their relationship to each other. You will also be introduced to basic laboratory techniques and methods of functional assessment for physiological processes in humans.

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    Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    This module will give students a working knowledge of the definitions, terms and concepts used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and some of the main processes that occur in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Areas of study will include chemical principles relevant to biological systems, the structure and function of biological molecules (RNA, DNA, proteins etc.), the processes underpinning cellular metabolism and its control. Students will develop and demonstrate their competence in a variety of practical laboratory techniques, focusing on enzyme catalysed reactions as well as develop an understanding of how these theoretical concepts and practical techniques overlap with other related disciplines.

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    Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry

    The module aims to enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of analytical, mathematical and quantification techniques underpinning all aspects of Chemistry.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 4 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Infection & Immunity

    This module will provide you with a basic understanding of selected topics in medical microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and disease prevention. In the first part of the module the microbes and the consequences of microbial infection on their hosts will be explored. In the second part the development, structure and mechanisms of action of the components of the immune system; innate, acquired immunity, immune effector functions and vaccines will be explored. Theoretical concepts are reinforced through laboratory practical sessions which will introduce you to diagnostic microbiological and basic immunological techniques and data analysis.

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    Fundamental & Experimental Pharmacology

    Within this module you will learn to communicate a body of factual information, and engender an understanding of such knowledge, as it pertains to modern pharmacology. You will cover topics in basic pharmacology, drug targets, neurotransmitters, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, autacoids. You will also develop competencies in a range of practical techniques relating to pharmacology in areas relating to the investigation of drug action and drug selectivity.

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    Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery

    Within this module you will gain an appreciation of dosage forms, their formulations, manufacturing and quality attributes. The module will also introduce you to the various processes required to turn a new chemical substance into a medication that can be used safely and effectively by patients. You will also obtain an in-depth knowledge of the methods that are used in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacturing of drugs and their quality control.

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    Research & Career Development - Mental Wealth

    This module is structured to offer you reflective, integrated components in which different scientific disciplines and specialities belonging to their and other programmes of study (such pathobiology, clinical laboratory practice, disease treatment, synthetic chemistry, drug design and manufacture, etc.) are discussed in a system-led approach to develop professional competencies required in carrying out independent laboratory work in a professional setting.

    This includes developing your understanding of different investigative techniques both within and outside of their programme of study, reading and interpreting scientific literature, generic research skills and understanding professional and regulatory benchmarks (ie ethics, governance) within the sector. You will also develop practical skills such as recording, evaluating and presenting results to different types of audiences. While development of sector specific scientific skills is the focus of this module, you will also in parallel develop key transferable skills which will help you thrive in a variety of other sectors.

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    Drug, Discovery, Development and Regulation

    This module will introduce you to the drug discovery and development process. You will become familiar with how research within academia and the pharmaceutical industry contribute to this multidisciplinary process. You will also be introduced to the regulatory processes involved in testing, licencing, market and surveillance for existing and new drugs.

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    Organic Mechanisms of Synthesis

    The module aims to enable you to develop an expertise in implementing the drug synthesis, reaction, theoretical and practical techniques underpinning the core principles of organic chemistry. This will include the rational for various protecting group strategies and consolidating disconnection approaches in the context of drug synthesis.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 5 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Optional Modules
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    Year Long Placement (Sandwich Year)

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It also enables you to apply knowledge and skills in the competent performance of tasks required by a scientist. Furthermore, it helps you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Natural Products and Discovery

    Within this module you will develop an in-depth understanding of the chemistry of natural products, the process involved in drug design and development using lead compounds derived from these sources. You will also evaluate the processes by which medicinal plants and other sources of natural products are cultivated, harvested, stored and processed including factors such as microbial contamination or adulteration and the impact of quality assurance for phytopharmaceuticals and complementary therapies. You will critically evaluate the chemistry, synthetic steps and challenges involved in manufacturing compounds originating from natural sources for research and commercial purposes.

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    Medicinal Chemistry

    This module aims to enable you to understand and critically evaluate the core principles of medicinal chemistry in relation to drug structure and biological activity, also to appreciate the process involved in rational drug design and development of drug products. Topics will include empirical and rational approaches to lead discovery, lead optimization, QSAR and toxicological prediction and testing. You will also gain hands on experience with different aspects of lead compound development from identification, synthesis to optimization.

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    Application of Analytical Techniques in Pharmaceutical Quality Control

    This module is industry-focused and will allow you to implement an integrated knowledge of spectrophotometric and chromatographic techniques for industry standard quality control of chemical precursors, raw materials for manufacturing processes and pharmaceutical products. After you complete the module you will be able to critically justify, adapt and apply analytical techniques currently used in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other related sectors. This will place you in a good position to successfully compete for jobs within this vibrant and expanding sector.

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    Research Project and Career Enhancement Portfolio (Mental Wealth)

    During this cap-stone module you will integrate and apply the knowledge and practical skills you have learned through their degree program in two activities. The first is the honours level independent research project (honours dissertation) focused on generation and interpretation data in a topic area centred within your program of study. The second is the development of a career enhancement portfolio where you will be able to assess and hone their key transferable skill sets in preparation for successfully achieving their desired post graduate destinations.

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    Biopharmaceuticals

    This module will provide you with a deep understanding of biopharmaceuticals and the key successes and challenges underlaying their development and use. Topics including lead development, validation, basic compound production, generic delivery barriers, formulation strategies (both clinically proven and emerging) will be covered with an emphasis on successful products that have been introduced into clinical use. Case studies encompassing the use of therapeutic peptides, antibodies, enzymes and other protein drugs, and vaccines will serve as a foundation for you to critically evaluate the challenges surrounding these medicines. You will gain hands on experience in the techniques used to manufacture and assess the quality of biopharmaceutical products.

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    Toxicology

    Within this module you will develop an in-depth understanding of key topics in toxicology as well as become familiar with a wide range of toxins and toxic compounds. These topics include the biochemical basis of toxicity, enzymes involved in drug metabolism, the various mechanisms underlying toxicity and the organs affected, mechanisms by which toxins can act to cause disease like cancer (carcinogenesis) and how the genetic background of an individual can influence the activity of a toxin (pharmacogenetics). You will also gain hands on experience in performing tests used to assess toxicity in clinical or research settings, gaining valuable experience in diagnostic and pharmacokinetic applications. Finally, this module will also offer you an opportunity to specialise, developing additional expertise in a discrete area within this discipline.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 6 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

One of the hallmarks of a University of East London course is the variety of ways in which you'll be invited to learn. It could be through lectures, presentations or practical lab sessions in our dedicated pharmaceutical science lab.

You'll hear from fascinating guest speakers, including industry experts. And you could find yourself, as our previous students have, presenting your own research work at the London BioNat Network Research meeting in front of eminent scientists.

Our supportive, friendly staff are experts in all areas of the subject. They're led by Dr Mukhlesur Rahman, an internationally renowned expert in the field of drugs discoveries from medicinal plants. His research has been extensively published and he has lectured at major conferences in India and the United States.

Your third-year project will offer you exciting and stimulating research opportunities. Some of Dr Rahman's students are currently working on projects on medicinal plants, looking for a new compound that might work against the 'super bug' MRSA.

We're keen for you to see at first hand how the pharmaceutical industry works. So we have recently organised visits for our third-year students to the labs of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the science-led global healthcare giants.

We've also helped organise work placement opportunities for some of our students to work at Herbs in a Bottle - a pharmaceutical company that supplies herbal medicines.

"The way we've designed modular structures of the course, we aim our students to acquire the best possible intellectual and transferable skills for their life-long learning," says Dr Rahman.

"This will not only make them happy in securing a rewarding job but also develop their confidence in critical thinking and problem-solving in pharmaceutical sectors."

Each year you will spend up to 240 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: 175 Hours - Taught Sessions, 70 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning
  • Year 2: 185 Hours - Taught Sessions, 55 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning
  • Year 3: 183 Hours - Taught Sessions, 57 Hours - Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

We'll assess you with a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, research reports, group and seminar presentations and a final-year project. Most of the assessment in your first year is by coursework and we'll give you as much feedback as possible.

In your third year, you'll either take five core modules or undertake a work placement. We'll assess you accordingly.

  • Year 1 - 50% Portfolio/Coursework, 50% Laboratory/Practical/ICT
  • Year 2 - 33% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 33% Laboratory/Practical/ICT, 17% Portfolio/Coursework, 8.5% Group Project/Presentation, 8.5% Case Study/PBL
  • Year 3 - 42% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 33% Portfolio/Coursework, 25% Laboratory/Practical/ICT

You'll always receive detailed feedback outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 14 working days, although you will receive immediate feedback following many of our face to face assessments.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Barbara Pendry

Principal lecturer and Programme Leader Pharmaceutical Science.

See full profile

Dr Mukhlesur Rahman

Dr Mukhlesur Rahman is Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science and BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science and MSc Pharmaceutical Science programmes.

See full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

Every module consists of lectures with practical sessions. Students also get the chance to deal with professional equipment in UEL labs, which helps them get into professional life more easily after graduating. The work is always challenging and interesting.

Holly Siddique

Pharmaceutical Science, BSc (Hons)

Dockland Campus

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YOUR FUTURE CAREER

You'll find that your degree in pharmaceutical science will be an ideal entry point into a range of careers, giving you plenty of choice about the direction you take.

You could, for example, go on to work with a pharmaceutical company helping to develop new drugs and evaluating their effectiveness.

Pharmaceutical companies employ graduates to help advise customers on the technical aspects of the products they offer. Then there are chemical companies looking for graduates who understand how drugs are developed and have proven analytical skills.

If you'd rather pursue an academic or research-based career, you can build on your BSc with an MSc, MRes or PhD.

Outside the chemical industries, a degree in pharmaceutical science will open up teaching opportunities and careers in finance and accounting.

Whatever your next step, after the contacts you've made and the opportunities you've had to see the pharmaceutical industry up close during your course, you'll leave us perfectly prepared to pursue a rewarding career.

The statistics back this up. The latest figures show 81 per cent of UEL's bioscience graduates are in work within six months of finishing their degree. 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.