UCL Division of Biosciences


BSc Physiology and Pharmacology (second year entry only)

Physiology and Pharmacology study how living organisms work and how chemical compounds, endogenous and exogenous, interact with them to affect their function.

They are the basic sciences underlying modern medicine and research aimed at understanding human health and disease.

Degree features

  • After completing the first year of BSc Biomedical Sciences, it is possible to transfer on to the BSc Physiology and Pharmacology specialist degree. Please see our Biomedical Sciences page for further information on year one study.
  • In the third year our teaching is research-led and students will supplement their studies by reading original research papers and reviews published in the scientific literature. All final year students must undertake a laboratory or library research project in physiology or pharmacology.  Please see the course outline below for further information on study in years two and three.
  • If you are currently a first year UCL Biomedical Sciences student and would like further information on the BSc Physiology and Pharmacology degree please contact:

Programme Tutor: Dr Paola Vergani, p.vergani@ucl.ac.uk, 0207 679 7666     
Programme Administrator: Anushka Magan, a.magan@ucl.ac.uk, 0203 108 1034

Modules for year two

Compulsory Modules

  • General And Systematic Pharmacology
  • Structure and Function of the Nervous System
  • Introduction to Statistical Methods and Computing


  • Fundamentals of Molecular Biology PLUS either:
  • Essential Protein Structure and Function or
  • Essential Molecular Biology


  • Experimental Pharmacology or
  • Practical Pharmacology

Plus a choice of optional modules from a wide range.

  • Animal and Human Physiology
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Writing and Presenting Bioscience
  • Cellular Neurophysiology
  • The Principles of Cellular Control
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Immunology
  • Infection

Modules for year three

Core Modules

  • Molecular Pharmacology


  • Cell Signalling in Health and Disease

One project choosing from:

  • Library Research Project in Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Research Project in Pharmacology
  • Literature Research Project in Physiology
  • Laboratory Research Project in Physiology

Plus optional modules from the following:

(PHOL and PHAR taught units must add up to 1 course unit or more)


Pharmacology third year modules

  • Neuropharmacology (1 cu)
  • Neuropharmacology (0.5 cu)
  • Receptor Mechanisms (0.5 cu)
  • Immunopharmacology (1 cu)
  • Immunopharmacology (0.5 cu)
  • Drug Design and Development (0.5 cu) 
  • Psychopharmacology (0.5 cu)
  • Synaptic Pharmacology: The Synapse - a major site for disease and drug action

Physiology third year modules

  • Respiration in Health and Disease (0.5 cu)
  • Heart and Circulation (1 cu)
  • Cellular Basis of Brain Function (1 cu)
  • Autonomic and Central Control of Cardiorespiratory Function (0.5cu)
  • Cell Polarity and Disease (1 cu)

Other NPP third year modules

  • Advanced Molecular Cell Biology (0.5 cu)
  • Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Disease (0.5 cu)
  • Neurobiology of Neurodegenerative Disease (1 cu)
  • Clocks, Sleep and Biological Time (0.5 cu)
  • Pain (0.5cu)
  • Neural Basis of Learning and Motivation (0.5 cu)
  • Control of Movement (0.5 cu)
  • Neural Computation (0.5 cu)
  • Visual Neuroscience (0.5 cu)

Modules in other departments

  • Cancer Biology (0.5 cu)
  • Genes to Disease (0.5 cu)
  • Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease (0.5 cu)
  • Biology of Aging (0.5 cu)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience (0.5cu)
  • Human Learning and Memory (0.5cu)