Pharmacology MSci

London, Bloomsbury
Pharmacology MSci (2024)

This Pharmacology MSci 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer information

ABB more about contextual offers
Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Life and Health Sciences, Mathematics or Physics.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.
A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no higher level score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

34 more about contextual offers
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no higher level score below 5. For Mathematics, the programme will accept either 'Analysis and Approaches' or 'Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher). Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics, at Advanced Higher.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

In the first year, all modules are compulsory.  They cover chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, statistics and, of course, pharmacology.  The first year is thus designed to give you a solid foundation that prepares you for years two and three. Year two also mainly comprises compulsory modules but these are focused on pharmacology.  There is a major emphasis on laboratory practicals and experimental pharmacology and you will take one large module devoted entirely to this area. In addition to the compulsory elements, you will have a choice for one of your modules in your second year. By the third year you will take only one compulsory taught module (alongside a literature-based research project), leaving you free to fill the rest of your year with a wide range of specialist pharmacology options such as immunopharmacology and psychopharmacology.

As an MSci student you will undertake a literature-based research project in year three as this can act partly as a preparation for year four, when you will take a compulsory, laboratory-based research project that accounts for at least 50% of the year's work. You may find this laboratory project particularly helpful in making choices about your future career and whether you would like to pursue postgraduate study.

You may also consider applying to take a year out in industry.  This is usually taken between years three and four, spending your time in the pharmaceutical industry or another pharmacology-related area. These placements are not guaranteed because they are offered by industry on a competitive basis, but contacts between our staff and colleagues in industry often open up many opportunities.

What this course will give you

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 best 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, often allowing for collaborative final year projects.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in Pharmacology.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The first year of this degree gives you a broad foundation, starting with modules in biochemistry, chemistry, physiology, cell biology and statistics in year one, along with your first pharmacology module. In this first year, all modules are compulsory.

Year two is mainly comprised of compulsory modules too, including a very large module on general and systematic pharmacology as well as a major module in experimental pharmacology.

In your third year you have only one compulsory taught module in molecular pharmacology, leaving you free to pursue your interests by choosing from a wide range of specialist options. In this third year, you will also undertake a literature-based research project.

In your fourth year, a compulsory, laboratory-based research project accounts for at least 50% of the year's workload and will help you to make choices about your future career, including whether you would like to pursue postgraduate study and a career in research.  However, this fourth year also helps to equip you with a broad range of problem-solving skills that are likely to be widely applicable whatever career you choose.

It is also possible to apply for a Year in Industry degree, which allows you to spend time in the pharmaceutical industry or another pharmacology-related area for a year before completing your final year of the MSci degree.  Year in Industry places are offered on a competitive basis so cannot be guaranteed but we have good links with industry and our students are often successful when they apply.

Your learning

Teaching is mainly conducted through lectures and laboratory classes together with regular 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.

A module worth 15 credits will typically have a workload of 40 contact hours, which can include lectures, practical classes, workshops and tutorials. The exact combination of these will depend on the nature of the modules you take in each year. Information about individual modules can be found in the descriptions provided within the UCL module catalogue.

When you are not attending classes, you will have time for self-directed study which may include writing practical reports, analysing your data, preparing group projects, or simply making sure you understand the taught material. For every contact hour in a module, you will typically have 2-3 hours allocated for this type of work.


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.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

The MSci Pharmacology programme is relatively new so we are particularly proud of how well many of our alumni are already doing at the start of their careers.  Their occupations include Clinical Vascular Scientist at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, PhD student at the Institute of Cancer Research and Senior Finance Business Partner at Merck Group.


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. In addition, you will understand how to present your work effectively in both written and oral forms.  This will equip you with a versatility that will be very attractive to many employers.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,250
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2023/24 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2023/24 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

Students will need to purchase a lab coat.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.


Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme and 2023/24 entry.

Shephard-Phillips Scholarship

Deadline: 3 July 2023
Value: £15,210 per year (3 years)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

Next steps

Your application

A clear understanding of what the study of pharmacology involves and a keen interest in the subject.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

Candidates who receive an offer (either conditional or unconditional) will be invited to attend an Offer Holder's Open Day at UCL or online. Attendance is optional, but the open day will provide you with further information about UCL. This may include talks from staff about the programme and the department. It could also include a research presentation, tours of UCL and the department, and a visit to a laboratory facility.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.