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Fees and Funding

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

Overview

Our passion for pharmacology and our reputation for excellence stretches back to the distant days when the University of East London was called the West Ham Technical Institute.

After half a century of studying drugs and how their application affects the prevention and treatment of disease, we're now celebrating the landmark 50th anniversary of our pharmacology teaching and research at UEL.

Not only are we sure we've never been better, but we think our future's never been more exciting.

A new, revamped course will equip you for a rewarding future in what our prize-winning, internationally recognised lecturers believe is the most fascinating of the biosciences.

We'll give you a thorough introduction to every area of pharmacology through our diverse and flexible approach. You'll also leave with a thorough understanding of areas such as molecular biology, physiology, microbiology, genetics and toxicology.

You'll be in the lab learning pharmacological techniques that will back up your lectures and demonstrate how medicines work.

You'll be involved in groundbreaking research projects and have access to excellent work opportunities. This could be in the form of an optional placement year or a shorter summer placement at a major organisation such as the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) or in our own labs working with our internationally recognised researchers.

Our foundation year is perfect if you want to study for a degree in pharmacology 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.

Don't just take our work for it, take a look at our video of some of our former students .

Also, if you want to find out more about Pharmacology, have a look at the British Pharmacological Society videos .

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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Students outside O2 arena

Placement

Optional placement year available

Gold trophy image

1st in London

For overall student satisfaction (CUG, 2018)

Students in lab

Industry Experts

You'll learn from innovative teachers who have just been awarded a prestigious prize for their excellence in teaching from the British Pharmacological Society (BPS).

View of lab inside

£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

We've made this an up-to-date yet still classical pharmacology course, and one which employers will recognise for the quality of the graduates it delivers.

As with our other bioscience degrees, the first year provides a solid, general background in biochemistry, human anatomy, cell biology and genetics. This uniform approach means you can still transfer to another degree course at the start of your second year should you wish.

Second-year students learn the fundamental pharmacological concepts, drug discovery and development as well as advanced biochemistry and disease processes. In your third year, you'll examine pharmacological treatment for diseases of the nervous system and other organ systems as well as toxicology.

One of the strengths of BSc Pharmacology at the University of East London is the emphasis we place on emerging therapeutic strategies and research opportunities. It means you can undertake a fascinating and significant lab-based research project in your final year.

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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    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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    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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    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.

    Optional Modules
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    Optional Short 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.

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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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    Essential Chemistry

    This module aims to enable you to consolidate and develop a knowledge and understanding of the basic principles underpinning the chemistry of biological molecules and the basic analytical techniques that are encountered in bioscience.

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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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    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 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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    Fundamentals in Microbiology

    Within this module you will learn about the structure, physiology, biochemistry, identification, classification and control of microorganisms, including the roles of normal flora found associated with humans. You will also develop basic practical skills required for the safe handling, identification and quantification of different microbes.

    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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    Physiological Regulation

    Within this module you will enhance knowledge of structure and function of physiological systems building their on their fundamental understanding of the cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive and endocrine systems. You will also develop theoretical knowledge and obtain practical experience in of monitoring physiological function and dysfunction including analysing and interpreting human physiological data.

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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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    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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    Cellular Biochemistry

    Within this module you will build on your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental biochemical, metabolic pathways and processes in found within cells and organisms. This will include the investigation of protein structure and function and enzyme activity and control. You will learn and practice purification techniques for macromolecules. You will also examine theoretical and practical aspects of enzymes function and enzymology. Important exemplars in metabolic pathways such as the TCA and ETC will be discussed in detail and their roles in cellular energy production and human health and disease explored.

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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.

    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.

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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.

  • Core Modules
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    Neuropsychopharmacology & Emerging Therapeutics

    In this module you will develop in depth knowledge and understanding of aspects of the central neuropharmacology and principles of psychopharmacology related to existing and emerging themes that include mechanisms of addiction and novel therapeutics. This module will also provide you with the understanding of how drugs affect the peripheral (autonomic and voluntary) and central nervous systems in the prevention and treatment of diseases that include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety and depression.

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    Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Pharmacology

    This module will provide you with an in-depth understanding of current and novel pharmacological strategies and in-development interventions used for the treatment of cardiovascular, pulmonary and renal conditions. You will review conditions such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure and angina, haemostasis, thrombosis, COPD and asthma, critically evaluating the use of current therapeutics in their treatment and the prospect for clinical application of novel next generation therapies.

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    Immunopharmacology & Chemotherapeutics

    This module will provide you with an understanding of current and novel pharmacological strategies and in-development interventions used for the treatment of immune-mediated, inflammatory, gastrointestinal conditions. Cancer and microbial chemotherapy will also be covered along with immunosuppressive therapy.

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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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    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.

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    New Frontiers in Pharmacology

    The field of pharmacology and pharmacological/pharmaceutical research has gone through some major advances and innovations. In this module, you will be introduced to the most recent, cutting-edge and pioneering developments in the field such as artificial intelligence, big data, personalised medicines and genetic modification.

    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

Our course is demanding but enjoyment is always at its heart. "We've massively improved and increased our labs and brought in innovative teaching and problem-based learning," says Dr Michael Seed, a Reader in Pharmacology.

"Our students sent us a card last year saying 'thank-you so much for looking after us and making pharmacology so much fun'. The whole idea is fun!"

Dr Seed and course leader Dr Samir Ayoub (Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and himself a former pharmacology student at UEL) are brilliant as well as entertaining. The BPS recognised this by awarding them the 2014 Rang Prize for excellence in pharmacological teaching. They're both active in pharmacology research.

They want you to be as enthused about the subject as they are and you'll have the opportunity to work with them on key research projects.

For instance, Dr Seed and a colleague submitted a case report to the British Medical Journal for a simple drug which has been dramatically helping sufferers of Loin Pain Haematuria Syndrome, a condition often said to cause the worst pain known to humankind. His UEL students have been helping his research into this dreadful condition. We want you to become integrated in the pharmacology world and encourage you to join the BPS. You'll help out, be a delegate and sometimes even present your work at BPS conferences.

You'll also hear from distinguished guest lecturers organised by our student Pharmacological Society. Recent speakers include Professor Humphrey Rang FRS, President of the BPS and author of our core textbook Pharmacology, and Professor David Nutt, the controversial former government 'drugs czar' who told us, "Pharmacology is the queen of bioscience." We agree.

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: 180 Hours - Taught Sessions, 60 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: 188 Hours - Taught Sessions, 52 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 - 58% Portfolio/Coursework, 42% Laboratory/Practical/ICT
  • Year 2 - 35% Portfolio/Coursework 32% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 25% Laboratory/Practical/ICT, 8% Group Project/Presentation
  • Year 3 - 57% Portfolio/Coursework, 28% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 10% Case Study/PBL, 5% Group Project/Presentation

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.

Dr Samir Ayoub

Dr Ayoub is a member of the Pharmacology programme and modules leadership, helping to widen participation in pharmacology within further education.

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.

My journey at UEL has been an exciting and dynamic learning experience for me. The ex-cellent support and expertise of the lecturers has enhanced my knowledge, building up a strong scientific background. The work placement opportunities provided by UEL add to the experience, helping to put theory into practice. My pharmacovigilance placement with MHRA was a very good way of using my pharmacology knowledge in real life.

Veronica Franklin

Pharmacology, BSc (Hons)

Dockland Campus

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We are one of the very few universities in London to offer on-campus accommodation. Our stunning waterfront Halls of Residence is convenient, secure and comfortable - and living on campus is a great way to make friends.

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Pharmacology

#bethenext video showing UEL pharmacology students graduating and talking about their experience.

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YOUR FUTURE CAREER

For years, we've been helping produce successful career pharmacologists. Thirty years ago, Dr Paul Mitchell studied here. Now he's Director of Studies for Natural Sciences at the University of Bath - and we use one of his practicals on our course.

Our course is geared towards thinking about your future, especially with its work placements and other opportunities for work experience.

The story of Suman Gurung gives an idea of how our course can kick-start your career. He was one of 13 of our students over the past two years awarded a BPS bursary worth £2,000 to attend an intensive, one-week residential research techniques course.

Suman's excellent final-year stem cell research project, conducted with course leader Dr Ayoub, helped earn him first-class honours degree. He then landed a job at a cosmetics company working on stem cell therapies for baldness.

And he's far from the only one. Hilda Bellony had her research work presented at the BPS meeting and is now a healthcare scientist at Imperial College Hospital aiming for an MSc and then to become a clinical scientist. Veronica Franklin's placement with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has led to a permanent job with them.

Our  annual career conferences have been a source of inspiration, encouragement and valuable information and advice for pharmacology students. These events include talks by alumni pharmacology students, employers and recruitment agencies.

Your degree will leave you well placed to take up a research post, maybe at a university or in a research institute, to enter the exciting field of drug discovery. You'll also be able to apply for medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine as a graduate.

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