This programme is intended for students who want to pursue careers or further study in pharmacology or related disciplines. It offers an additional year on top of the Pharmacology BSc in which to undertake your own major, cutting-edge research project, alongside advanced modules.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 4 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 6 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 31 (2018 entry)*
- Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
- 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
- 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.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics
A,A,A - A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher to A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics, at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA-AAB. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
Pharmacology at UCL offers you an outstanding academic environment. We are internationally renowned in the discipline and are recognised for numerous major discoveries.
We combine excellence in pharmacology research with high-quality pharmacology teaching. We have particular expertise in areas such as neuropharmacology and immunopharmacology.
In your final year, you will have the opportunity to join a world-leading research group, working side-by-side with some of the most outstanding scientists in the field and carrying 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 projects.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences.
- 82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules 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).
The subject of pharmacology is immensely broad and covers the areas of physiology, chemistry, neuroscience, biochemistry and genetics. As a result, some of your modules will be taken with other Life Sciences students and will draw on expertise from across the faculty.
In the first year, all modules are compulsory, giving you a sound knowledge of the discipline and enabling you to identify your own strengths and interests. Year two is mainly comprised of compulsory modules, but by the third year you will take only one compulsory module, leaving you free to choose from a wide range of specialist options.
MSci students also undertake a literature-based research project in their third year, whilst in year four, a compulsory, laboratory-based research project accounts for 50% of the year's work. 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 apply for a 'sandwich' year in your programme, taken between years two and three, spending your time in the pharmaceutical industry or another pharmacology-related area. These are offered on a competitive basis, but contacts between our staff and colleagues in industry also open up many opportunities.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
An Introduction to Mechanisms of Drug Action
Cells and Development
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Chemistry for Biology Students
All first year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
General and Systematic Pharmacology
Immunity to Infection
Structure and Function of the Nervous Systems
Options may include:
Animal and Human Physiology - Maintenance and Regulatory Mechanisms
Management Information and Control
Science in the Mass Media
Core or compulsory module(s)
Library Research Project (1.0 credits)
You will select 2.5 credits of optional modules. Options may include:
Drug Design And Development
Synaptic Pharmacology: The Synapse, a Major Site Of Disease and Drug Action
Core or compulsory module(s)
Extended Research Project
You will be able to select advanced modules from a wide range of options.
Teaching is mainly conducted through lectures and laboratory classes together with regular small-group tutorials involving in-depth discussion of topics being studied. Modules run concurrently; lectures and tutorials are usually held in the morning with practical classes in the afternoons.
You will be expected to submit coursework (e.g. essays and practical write-ups) and make oral presentations as part of your assessment. You will also take written examinations at the end of each year.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Pharmacology MSci.
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. This will equip 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 (e.g., the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA)).
First destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:
- Recruitment Consultant, Independent Clinical Services (ICS)
- Financial Analyst, HSBC
- Pharmacy Assistant, Sainsbury's
- Full-time student, 4-year PhD in Clinical Neuroscience at UCL
- Full-time student, PhD in Neuroscience at Aix-Marseille Université
Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
“What I like most about the programme is that you gain a broad bioscience background in the first year, which then becomes more focused by the third and fourth years. In addition, there are many different styles of teaching, from lectures to tutorials to workshops, as well as labs that allow you to put the theory learned into practice. You are taught by experts in the field.”Nikita Patel - Pharmacology MSci (Third Year)
“The department has a high standard of teaching throughout and, in later years, offers a lot of freedom to tailor module choices to one's interests and branch out into other disciplines. Numerous scientific talks and other events take place at UCL and other places around London, including the British Pharmacological Society's annual meeting (which students can attend for free).”Thomas Black - Pharmacology MSci (Fourth Year)
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for 2018 entry will appear here as soon as they are available.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £21,960 (2017/18)
The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
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.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
Selection will be based on information provided in your UCAS application.
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. If in doubt, we recommend you apply for the MSci initially, as this may keep more options open.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.