Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Pharmaceutical Science

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




With placement


Three year

Six year

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

Medical breakthroughs such as the Human Genome Project have made it possible to identify the genes associated with many cancers and inherited disorders. With our BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science degree course, you can join the next generation of scientists applying new knowledge to create new treatments and interventions. 

Accredited, industry-focused learning

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, the course is designed for students looking for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. With is combination research-focused learning and laboratory-based delivery, the course is recommended if you want a career in research, teaching and related professional fields such as animal health, food science, cosmetic science, in medical laboratories, technical sales, patent law and scientific journalism.

Discover cutting-edge science 

Pharmaceutical science is at the cutting-edge of research and is an exceptionally versatile scientific discipline with opportunities in the field continuing to grow and develop. In the NSS 2020 survey, 100% of our surveyed Pharmaceutical Science students agreed that the course provided them with opportunities to explore idea or concepts in depth [University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data].

You will:
  • Have the opportunity to gain real-world experience through a placement year
  • Develop skills to meet the challenges created by the completion of the Human Genome Project
  • Apply scientific knowledge to design drugs that improve the quality of people's lives

options available


students accepted

Course accreditations
Royal Society of Biology accreditation logo

This is for you if...


You have a strong interest in how medicines work, are designed and manufactured


You are highly skilled and motivated in biological and chemical sciences


You want a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries

Course details

All about the course


Science students

BSc Pharmaceutical Science is delivered full-time over three years via a programme of practice-focused modules. An elective industry placement year is available between years two and three.  If you choose part-time study, you will follow two to four modules from each year of study, leading to a maximum six-year duration. The industry placement is not available for part-time students.

Aligned with industry best-practice, the course is carefully-designed to balance academic study with the application of professional laboratory skills and competencies, mirroring the skillset needed to succeed in the scientific community. 

  • During year one, you will be introduced to the basic concepts of pharmaceutical science through a range of theoretical and practical modules
  • As you progress to year two, you will broaden your focus, increasing knowledge depth and specialisation in genomics, drug discovery and pharmacology
  • In your final year, you will take further core and optional modules, and complete your degree with a supervised research project in a subject of your choice
Industry Placements

On this course, you'll have the option to take an industry placement year between years two and three. Although you'll be responsible for securing your placement, a tutor will support you, monitor your progress and assess your final placement report.

Recent Pharmaceutical Science students have been offered placements at Pfizer in Kent, the Transplant Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute. 

Year one

Biological Chemistry

The Biological Chemistry module introduces the basics of molecular structure and spectroscopy, structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.


This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development. It looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

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.

Introductory Biochemistry

The aim of this module is to introduce principles of biochemistry. You will study biochemical pathways and organelles, relevant to cell biology.

Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Skills

This module is designed to allow you to develop basic laboratory skills and techniques that underpin fundamental biochemical investigations.

Cell Biology

This module will look at the multidisciplinary nature of cell biology and the basic structure of cells, focusing on animal cells. It will help you develop a theoretical knowledge of the fundamental physiological and biochemical functions carried out by cells.

Year two

Clinical and Molecular Genetics

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.       

Chemical and Biochemical Research Skills

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.

Drug Discovery and Medicinal Chemistry

The aim of this module is to introduce the general principles of drug discovery and modes of action of drugs.


This module aims to introduce you to the general principles of pharmacological active ingredients and their effect upon the major organs. You will develop an understanding of techniques applicable to research in the field of pharmacology.

Human Systems Physiology

The aim of this module is to provide a reflective, systems-led approach to understanding the functions of human physiological structures. You will develop awareness and understanding of the multidisciplinary aspects of taking human physiological measurements with a clinical emphasis. This module will illustrate the adaptations of human organ structures to perform their functions within changing environments and physical activity.   

Genomics and Proteomics

This module provides an appreciation of topics in molecular biology with an emphasis on genomics, proteomics and their underlying structural aspects.

Year three

Research Project and Professional Skills

An opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of pharmaceutical science. The module also focuses upon key professional skills aimed at improving employability.

Biochemistry of Drugs and Disease

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.

Applied Pharmacology

This module will enhance your understanding of pharmaceutical analysis and other aspects of drug development including pre-clinical and clinical trials.

Choose one from

Advances in Pathophysiology

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of selected human physiological systems including the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and the methodology used to monitor and assess cardiovascular and respiratory function.


This module encourages an awareness of the importance of biotechnology in industry and develops your knowledge of a variety of biochemical processes in a range of important industrial applications.

Science and Industry

This module focuses upon 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 employability after graduation.


Frontiers in Medicine Design

Introducing you to the latest technologies and techniques used in modern medicine design, a major component of this module will focus on computational techniques used in the drug development process, with computer lab classes providing you with experience using industry-standard software. You will also learn about the latest developments in 'wet' laboratory techniques that are assisting in the development of treatments for conditions such as HIV.  

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.

What will I be doing?


There are a variety of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment are combined to fit with the intended learning outcomes and level of study, including:

  • Extended projects
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Group activities
  • Contributions from industrial partners and experts
  • Poster presentations
  • Lectures
  • Small group tutorials


Assessment throughout the course is by a combination of different forms of coursework and examination with coursework accounting for around 65% throughout the course. Assessment types include:

  • Research projects
  • Laboratory reports
  • Essays
  • Data analysis
  • Presentations
  • Literature reviews
  • Exams (both closed and open book)

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our degree courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers and industry leaders. 

Driven by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the knowledge and skills to become unstoppable in your career.



You will experience a modern learning environment, enriched with accessible lecture theatres and AV-equipped classrooms, computing suites and multimedia libraries, with access to industry journals, databases, and simulation software. 

As a pharmaceutical science student, you will have access to our state-of-the-art, integrated teaching laboratory known as the Bodmer Lab. The Bodmer Lab is a specialist, purpose-built facility and ensures our students benefit from the latest technologies to support their learning and remain on the cutting edge of innovation and discovery.


Employment and stats

What about after uni?


This course will provide you with specialist and transferable skills which are highly regarded by employers from different sectors, including Contract Research Organisations (CROs), small and large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The transferable skills you will develop can be applied in research, development, quality assurance, within the government, and assisting on legal cases.

This degree is ideal if you want a career in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industries, as well as clinical or other biomedical areas, such as analytical biochemistry.  Recent course graduates have secured roles working with the NHS in hospitals and laboratories, at research institutes working on clinical trials, and on graduate schemes with large pharmaceutical companies.


You might find you want to learn more about science through further study. We offer a range of science-focused postgraduate courses where you can build specialist knowledge and take your subject interest even further. Salford graduates and alumni also receive a significant fees discount. 

MSc Drug Design and Discovery

MSc Biotechnology

MSc Biomedical Science


A taste of what you could become

an analytical chemist

a clinical research associate

a forensic scientist

a pharmacologist

a toxicologist

And more...

Career Links


Between years two and three of this course we encourage students to complete a placement year, which is arranged with our support. Recent Pharmaceutical Science students have been offered placements at Pfizer in Kent, the Transplant Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. If you choose to do a placement year after the second year of the degree then your degree will have 'Advanced Degree Accreditation' by the Royal Society of Biology find out more here


What you need to know


We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in how modern medicines work, from their initial design to final manufacture. You will be motivated to study biological and chemical sciences with an interest in developing advanced laboratory skills.


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


This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. If you choose to include a placement year as part of your studies, your degree will have 'Advanced Degree Accreditation'

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.


Standard entry requirements


English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

104 - 112 UCAS points

A level

104 - 112 UCAS points including Biology and a chemical discipline. A Pass in the practical element of Science A levels must be achieved.

BTEC National Diploma

DMM in a suitable science subject

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Possible entry to year 3

Foundation Degree

Possible entry to year 3

Scottish Highers

104 - 112 UCAS points including a science

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level including a science

International Baccalaureate

30 points including grade 4 in Higher Level Biology and Chemistry

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Part-time 2021/22 Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Additional costs

All field trips are funded by the school but you may need to consider additional costs such as food and spending money. 

International field trips that are part of core modules are also funded by the school but you will need to pay towards international field trips that are part of optional modules (although these are subsidised by the school) and you will be made aware of these costs before selecting the module. 

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID F151

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.