Pharmaceutical Science
BSc (Hons)

Industrial Placement
Part-time study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Pharmaceutical Science at Salford


A specialised degree course for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries


4 year Royal Society of Biology accredited option, with research-lead placement year


Study biological and chemical aspects of drugs and disease

Course Summary

This course is designed for students looking for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It is also suitable if you are aiming for a career in research, teaching, and many other professions in which biology and biochemistry are important components - these include animal health, food science, cosmetic science, medical laboratories, technical sales, patent law and scientific journalism.

The BSc Pharmaceutical Science and BSc Biochemistry programmes with 1 year placement are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Accreditation is dependent upon successful completion of this placement.

Ian Nesbitt,

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry graduate

“All the modules in biochemistry are really interesting and at the cutting-edge of research. The University has a great reputation in drug design and cancer research.

The course has given me a great insight into various aspects of cell biology, cell signalling pathways that regulate biological systems, metabolism and bio-informatical analysis of genomes. I am particularly interested in genetics and developmental biology.

The lecturers are very approachable and knowledgeable in their field; this has enabled me to get as much out of the course as possible.

One of the highlights of being at Salford has been mixing with a good diversity of students and as a mature student; Salford allows me to fulfil ambitions I have only dreamed about.”

Course Details

Completion of the Human Genome Project means that it is now possible to identify the genes associated with many cancers and inherited disorders. This presents many challenges. At Salford, we are training a new generation of pharmaceutical scientists to meet these new challenges and to apply scientific knowledge in order to design drugs to improve the quality of people's lives.

Course Structure

Year 1 introduces the basic concepts of pharmaceutical science and includes both theoretical and practical modules.

Year 2 builds on Year 1, increasing in depth and specialisation.

In year 3 you will take three core modules and one optional module and complete your degree with a supervised research project in a subject of your choice.

If you are studying part-time you select two to four modules from each year of study, completing the rest of the modules for the year in the following year. This leads to a maximum six-year duration for a part-time degree. If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.

Neither pre-requisite nor co-requisite modules are required at any stage. The credit rating of all modules is 20 unless otherwise stated.

Year 1

The Biological Chemistry module introduces the basics of molecular structure and spectroscopy, structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.apparatus in the performance of basic techniques, and to develop practical laboratory skills relevant to biology and chemistry.
This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development, and looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics, and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.
The aim of this module is to introduce organic chemistry through structure and mechanism. You will study organic reactions of key functional groups such as alkenes, carbonyl and aromatic compounds.
This module introduces the basics of molecular structure and spectroscopy, structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
This module focuses on the basic principles involved in the build-up of molecules from atoms: the formation, properties and importance of bio-organic molecules, the diverse nature of micro-organisms, their structure, function and importance.
In this module you will learn by observation, investigation, comparison and engagement, and develop practical learning and presentation methods which can be applied generically during year 1 and beyond. You will also gain an appreciation of Personal Development Planning and effective data handling, calculation and numerical skills.

Year 2

The aim of this module is to introduce basic concepts in molecular biology, to explain the control of gene expression in pro- and eukaryotes and how dysfunction in these processes can lead to human genetic disorders. You will also develop an understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge in the application of clinical laboratory techniques used for diagnosis.
The aim of this module is to help you understand how to conduct scientific research from basic principles including: critical searching, citation and evaluation of research-based literature, data interpretation, analysis and presentation, report writing and communication.
The aim of this module is to build upon topics covered in the Organic Chemistry I module. You will study organic reactions in more detail and develop practical skills in organic chemistry. This module will also prepare you for Year 3 projects and taught modules.
This module provides an appreciation of topics in molecular biology with an emphasis on genomics, proteomics and their underlying structural aspects.
The aim of this module is to introduce the general principles of pharmaceutical sciences (such as drug discovery and drug modes of action) and to present the application of these principles in the context of drug classes used to combat particular types of diseases.
This module introduces the subject of molecular characterisation and looks at the principles of spectroscopic analysis using ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy.

Year 3

This module offers the opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of pharmaceutical sciences. The module also focuses on key professional skills, aimed at improving employability.
This module introduces the concept of retrosynthetic analysis; develops an appreciation of the synthetic aspects of drug design and examines modern methods for drug synthesis.
Through this module you will develop an understanding of the physical and chemical principles underlying biological activity of selected chemotherapeutic agents and other drugs. You will investigate currently active research areas and present a coherent analysis of up to date knowledge.
This module focuses on key areas of the scientific industry such as marketing, health and safety and legal issues. External contributions from industry experts will enhance your learning on this module. It is aimed at improving your skills and enhancing your employability.

Choose one from:

This module will introduce you to historical and current developments in cancer biology. You will examine critical signaling pathways that govern neoplastic transformation and how some of these pathways hold promise as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.
In this module you will study more advanced topics in organic chemistry such as concepts and rules governing pericyclic reactions and designing stereoselective routes to chiral molecules.In this module you will study more advanced topics in organic chemistry such as concepts and rules governing pericyclic reactions and designing stereoselective routes to chiral molecules.
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of selected human physiological systems including the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and the methodology used to monitor and assess cardiovascular and respiratory function.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSEs Mathematics and English at grade C or above
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 96 - 112 points including Biology and Chemistry
GCE A level 96 - 112 points including Biology and Chemistry
BTEC National Diploma MMM - DMM in a science subject and must include a Chemistry component
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 96 - 112 points from Higher Level including a science
Irish Leaving Certificate 96 - 112 points from Higher Level including a science
International Baccalaureate 28 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in how medicines work and are designed and manufactured. You should also be highly-skilled and motivated in biological and chemical sciences.


You will learn through a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Small group tutorials
  • Research projects
  • Guided reading
  • Industrial site visits


Your assessment is based on a combination of exams and coursework throughout. This is about 60% exams and 40% coursework. Continuous assessment includes the dissertation, laboratory reports, field notebooks, essays, data response and presentations.


This degree is ideal if you are interested in a career in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries as well as clinical or other biomedical areas such as analytical biochemistry.

Career Prospects

This degree is ideal if you are interested in a career in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries as well as clinical or other biomedical areas such as analytical biochemistry.

It will also equip you for a career in research, teaching, and many other professions such as animal science, food science, cosmetic science, medical labs, technical and medical sales, patent law and scientific journalism.

Alumni Profile

Rebecca Scholes-2010 graduate

Rebecca joined the pharmaceutical Science course via the Foundation Year and went on to be awarded a first class degree. She carried out a 12-month placement at the Kidscan laboratories here at Salford, in the area of cancer research.

She now has a graduate job in the assay development department at Qiagen Manchester.

Links with Industry

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which we will help to arrange, between years 2 and 3 of the full-time course, making a four-year course overall. In many cases this can be a salaried position with a major company or have financial support linked to a public health laboratory or hospital (such as the Respiratory Physiology Unit at the Royal Aintree Hospital in Liverpool). In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Placement Opportunities

Recent Pharmaceutical Science students have been offered placements at Pfizer in Kent, Patterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester and the Transplant Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital. You will arrange your placement with our support.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees for entry in 2017-18 will be published as soon as possible.

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.



We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories. State-of-the-art instrumentation includes MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.