PDF version of Pharmacology BSc


Admissions Tutor

Dr Guy Moss

Admissions Administrator

Ms Heather Beasley

Email: biosciences-admissions@ucl.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7169

Fees and Funding

UK & EU Fee

£9,000 (2013/14)

Overseas Fee

£19,500 (2013/14)

General Funding Notes

Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance

Key Facts

Research Assessment Exercise

70% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
(What is the RAE?)

Departmental website

Division of Biosciences

More Information

Prospectus subject entry


Prospectus faculty entry

Life Sciences

Pharmacology BSc

UCAS Code: B210

The subject of pharmacology is immensely broad and covers areas of physiology, biochemistry and toxicology. This flexible three-year programme offers a thorough grounding in the subject, and students have the option of transferring to the MSci at the end of year two.

Entry Requirements

A Levels

Grades AAA-AAB
Subjects Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
AS Levels A pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 36-38
Subjects A total of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5.

Other Qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here

International Qualifications

International Qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Selected country's equivalent grades will appear here

University Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The University Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree Summary

Degree Benefits

  • Pharmacology at UCL offers you an excellent academic environment. We are internationally renowned in the discipline, having been credited with numerous major discoveries.
  • It is our aim to combine excellence in research with high-quality pharmacology teaching. We have particular expertise in the application of molecular biology and electrophysiology to pharmacological problems.
  • In your final year, you will have the opportunity to join a research team to carry out your own experimental research project.
  • We offer state-of-the-art modern facilities, and are located adjacent to the Medical Research Council's Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, allowing for collaborative scientific ventures.

The subject of pharmacology is immensely broad and covers areas of physiology, biochemistry and toxicology. As a result, some of your courses will be taken with other Life Sciences students and will draw on expertise across the faculty.

In the first year, all courses are compulsory, giving you a sound knowledge of the discipline, and enabling you to identify your own strengths and interests. Year two is mainly compulsory, but by the final year you have only one compulsory course, leaving you free to choose from a wide range of specialist options.

Many students undertake a nine-week pharmacology research project in their final year, including experimental laboratory research. You may find this particularly helpful in making choices about your future career, and whether you would like to pursue postgraduate study.

You may also consider a 'sandwich' year in your programme, taken between years two and three, spending your time in the pharmaceutical industry or another pharmacology-related area. You may arrange this yourself, but contacts between our staff and colleagues in industry also open up many opportunities.

Your Learning

Teaching is mainly conducted through lectures and laboratory classes together with regular small-group tutorials involving in-depth discussion of topics being studied. Courses in the first two years run concurrently; lectures and tutorials are usually held in the morning with practical classes in the afternoons. Final-year courses run consecutively; each course is taken full-time for a set period.


You will be expected to submit coursework (e.g. essays and practical write-ups) as part of your assessment, and will also take written examinations at the end of each year.

Degree Structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Cellular And Molecular Biology
Chemistry For Biology Students
An Introduction to Mechanisms of Drug Action
Mammalian Physiology
Plus either:
Introduction To Statistical Methods And Computing
Statistical Methods And Computing

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Experimental Pharmacology
General and Systematic Pharmacology
Immunity To Infection
Structure And Function Of Nervous Systems
Plus either:
Further Topics In Biochemistry
General Biochemistry

If you select the course 'Further Topics in Biochemistry' you will be able to choose 0.5 credits of optional courses.

Optional courses

Options may include:

Animal And Human Physiology - Maintenance And Regulatory Mechanisms
Chemistry of Biologically Important Molecules
Cellular Neurophysiology
Developmental Neurobiology
History of Medicine - Madness in Society
Internet and New Media
Management Information and Control
Medical Microbiology
Modern Languages
Science In The Mass Media

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Molecular Pharmacology
Plus either:
Laboratory Research Project (1.5 credits)
Library Research Project (1.0 credits)

Optional courses

You will select either 2.5 or 2.0 credits of optional courses, depending on which research project you choose. Options may include:

Drug Design And Development
Receptor Mechanisms
Synaptic Pharmacology: The Synapse, A Major Site Of Disease And Drug Action

Further details available on degree page of subject website:

Your Career

This programme not only provides detailed knowledge of the subject, but also trains you in planning, executing and analysing scientific projects and in quantitative and analytical skills, equipping you with a versatility that will be very attractive to many employers.

Pharmacology brings together different aspects of biomedical sciences, opening up many fields of employment. If you are interested in laboratory research, you could progress to a postgraduate research degree (PhD) leading to opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, governing research institutes, hospital laboratories, forensic science or university-based research.

Your scientific training may also be used in careers outside the laboratory, such as scientific publication and health administration (for example, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA)).


First career destinations of recent graduates (2009-2011) of this programme include:

  • Assistant Scientist, AkzoNobel (2011)
  • Data Manager, Institute of Cancer Research (2011)
  • Full-time student, MSc in Analytical Toxicology at King's College London (2011)
  • Tax Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010)
  • Full-time Student, PhD in Chronic Pain Mechanisms at King's College London (2009)

Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:


Your Application

We will read your UCAS application to ascertain whether you meet, or are expected to meet, our academic entry requirements, and also to find out why you are interested in pharmacology.

How to Apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


Initial selection will be based on information provided in your UCAS application. After your application has been assessed, all qualified or potentially qualified candidates will be asked to complete an on-line questionnaire. A final decision will then be made as to whether to make an offer.

Candidates who receive an offer (either conditional or unconditional) will be invited to attend an Open Day at UCL. Attendance at the Open Day is optional and its purpose is to provide you with information about UCL and the Pharmacology degree programmes. You will also have the opportunity to meet staff and current undergraduate students.

We offer the flexibility of a three-year Pharmacology BSc or a more in-depth four-year Pharmacology MSci programme. We recommend you apply for the MSci initially, as this keeps more options open.

Page last modified on 19 mar 14 15:02