Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDPHARFY - BSc (Hons) Pharmacology (including foundation year)

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science, Preparatory Diploma, Preparatory Certificate
Total credits for course 480
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Part-time 6 YEARS 8 YEARS
Full-time 4 YEARS 8 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The Pharmacology pathway is intended to integrate the fundamentals of the chemical and biological sciences to produce graduates who have a sound understanding of how therapeutic agents mediate their effects, and who have the ability to assess and interpret the action of drugs on biological systems. The material will be delivered by a range of mechanisms designed to allow the student to maximise the use of their preferred learning style (traditional lecture (face-to-face and recorded), tutorial sessions, guided independent learning, use of IT-based material such as computer simulations, and peer-assisted sessions).

Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Online progress tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Exams in several modules are delivered as online exams.

Feedback will be delivered online and through provision of tutorial questions and answer sessions and other formative exercises.

Practical skills exercises at each level are used to monitor proficiency at experimental work. Assessment of Data handling skills are embedded in practical reports, problem solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations.

The Science Centre provides an excellent facility in which to carry out the level 6 project module, providing the setting for the measurement of experimental and other practical skills. Project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam or poster, designed to allow the student to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding.

Students have access to the Learning Centre. It provides specific group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive and regularly reviewed range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. In addition, there ‘all access’ areas on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge in Benwell Road and the newly fitted interactive teaching spaces in the Roding building. These areas come with comfortable seating and IT facilities.

This four-year course includes a Foundation Year (level three) which introduces you to the fundamentals of science, enabling you to study Pharmacology at level four. It makes no assumptions about prior scientific study. You will gain a solid grounding in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and numeracy relevant to these subject areas. Practical sessions in the Science Centre will help you gain proficiency at experimental work, and are delivered within PR3001 (Scientific Studies). The project module teaches you how to conduct research into a topic relating to Pharmacology and to report your findings accordingly, thus providing you with fundamental subject-specific knowledge and relevant skills.

The course is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in pharmacology, and is therefore designed principally (but not exclusively) for students who have pharmacologically-related postgraduate study in mind.

Course aims

The predominant aim of the course is to equip students with the knowledge and skills which will prepare them for employment or future study in the field of pharmacology. They will gain a sound grasp of the fundamentals of chemistry and biology, which in turn will enable them to study the action of drugs on biological systems and understand the role of drugs in the treatment of disease. Students will develop the intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data. Alongside this, students will develop an awareness of the ethical implications of modern scientific work, and enhance skills of self-evaluation and analysis to enhance career development.

Course learning outcomes

The QAA Subject Benchmark for Biomedical Sciences (2019), and the British Pharmacological Society’s Undergraduate Core Curriculum have been used as reference points for each learning outcome.

By the end of the course the student is expected to have developed:

1) An appreciation of the fundamental concepts and principles of underpinning pharmacological science.
2) An appreciation of sources of drugs, their nature, use and place in treatment of disease and in society, together with pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles
3) An ability to devise working hypotheses and test these within specified constraints
4) A capacity to undertake self-reflection and demonstrate the skills of self-management, self-presentation and decision making
5) Competence at communicating concepts, principles and information effectively by oral, written and visual means with clarity and confidence
6) An ability to process and interpret data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative analyses
7) Recognition of personal responsibility whether working individually or as a member of a team and respect the ethical standards and professional codes of conduct established within the scientific community
8) Proficiency at collection and analysis of data with due regard to validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and reproducibility
9) An ability to devise and execute an independent project in a responsible, safe and ethical manner, and interpret and contextualise the findings within the contemporary understanding of pharmacology
10) The capability to relate the outcome of an experiment to the theory encountered in the lecture courses
11) Confidence, resilience, ambition and creativity, and students will act as inclusive, collaborative and socially responsible practitioners/professionals in their discipline
12) An appreciation of fundamental concepts in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, numeracy, and laboratory skills

Principle QAA benchmark statements

The QAA Subject Benchmark for Biomedical Sciences (2019)

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem-solving exercises, in-class tests, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation. The choice of assessment instrument chosen to test the specified learning outcomes and to support students’ different learning styles. These methods are aligned with the School assessment strategy and the assessment is the responsibility of the academic staff delivering the module. Assessment is part of the learning process and confirms the outcomes of the learning process. It also provides formative feedback on curriculum design and delivery and, via the ongoing iterative process of module monitoring, makes a significant contribution to the continued development and improvement of the courses that links in with the School learning and teaching strategy. In light of this a variety of assessment methods will be used (see syllabi) including unseen written examinations, individual and group assignments.

Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem-solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.

Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops. Laboratory and computer-based investigations, poster and oral presentations and a level 6 project giving students the opportunity to show the knowledge understanding and skills they have developed.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes the option to take either a 15 credit Work Placement module at level 6 or a 30 credit Sandwich Placement module between level 5 and level 6. Students are not allowed to register for both these modules.

Course specific regulations

Level 3: September entry (all core):
Year 1: PR3002, PR3003
Year 2: PR3001, PR3051, PR3P50
February entry (all core):
Year 1: PR3002, PR3003
Year 2: PR3001, PR3051, PR3P50
Level 4, year 1 (all modules are core): CY4070, CY4051, CY4080, BE4052
Level 4, year 2 (all modules are core): BE4053, BE4058, BE4055, BE4059
Level 5, year 3 (all modules are core): CY5051, BE5058, CY5062, BE5059
Level 5, year 4 (all modules are core): CY5073, BE5060, CY5083, BE5061
Level 6, year 5 (all modules are core): BE6057, CY6051, BE6058, CY6065
Level 6, year 6: Core: CY6P01 or BC6P01.
Option (default): BC6051, BC6052
Other options:BE6056, CY6073, BC6055, CY6061, CY6083

The course conforms to both framework and University Academic Regulations.

Modules required for interim awards

The cores for the award of BSc (Hons) are listed in the course structure. For intermediate awards, any combination of modules from the course specification would be appropriate.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme, students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Undergraduate Skills which constitute much of the substance of personal development planning. Students will undertake to produce their personal development plan (PDP) during their undergraduate career or in the workplace. PDP can include other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life.

PDP is designed to allow students to articulate the skills developed during their undergraduate career and encourages them to critically reflect on their learning experience, to set new personal and academic goals and evaluate progress made in achieving those goals. PDP activities will be specifically incorporated into core modules on the course to ensure all students undertake reflective practices throughout their course of study.

Progress with undergraduate skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. This process assists students in developing as independent learners, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This will be of benefit throughout their future career. One module at each level will be used to specifically develop employability and reflective activities. At level 4 this is CY4080 – Laboratory Techniques with Data Handling and at level 5, CY5062 – Spectroscopic Methods. At level 6, CY6P01/BC6P01 – the Research Project module is used – which requires research of the topic, planning and executing practical activities, analysis of results and re-evaluation of the direction of the work provides an appropriate forum to emphasise the importance of reflection and of the skills (both transferable and subject-specific) gained during the course.

The option exists for students to undertake an additional 30 credit module CY6W04 Sandwich Placement module to enhance employability. This would normally be undertaken between level 5 and 6, this would extend the period of study to four years. For part-time students in appropriate employment they can complete the module over an extended period during their degree rather than take a year out. Students also have the option to take the 15 credit CY6W54 – Work Placement module which requires a shorter placement.

Students at all levels will take part in tutorials designed to facilitate discussion on what has been learnt in order that reflective learning will contribute to identifying objectives, success criteria, and action plans that can be included in PDPs.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

British Pharmacological Society’s Undergraduate Core Curriculum

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Pharmacology graduates are typically employed in the pharmaceutical industry or in university laboratories; graduates also often undertake further study at postgraduate level. Other possible career paths include journalism, marketing, finance and teaching.

Career opportunities

There are many career paths available to you as a pharmacology graduate. You could become an Analytical Chemist, Biomedical Scientist, pharmacologist, medical chemist, Toxicologist or a research scientist in medicine or the life sciences.

You could also choose to boost your earning potential by studying a postgraduate degree.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least one A level (or a minimum of 32 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Subsidiary/National/BTEC Extended Diploma)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent)

Applicants who meet the UCAS points criteria but who obtained a grade D/grade 3 in English and/or Maths at GCSE may be offered a University test in these areas.

Other applicants may have Level 3 qualifications such as A level, BTEC Extended Diploma or Access to Higher education qualifications with high UCAS points and grades, but not in the relevant subject areas (biology and chemistry) which are required to study for BSc programmes in the School of Human Sciences.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 17 Jul 2019 Last validation date 17 Jul 2019  
JACS codes
Route code PHARFY

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 03 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PR3001 Scientific Studies Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI AM
PR3002 Biology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
PR3003 Chemistry Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
PR3051 Biochemistry Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
          NORTH SUM WED PM
PR3P50 Foundation Year Project (CPS) Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM

Stage 1 Level 03 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PR3001 Scientific Studies Core 30        
PR3002 Biology Core 30        
PR3003 Chemistry Core 30        
PR3051 Biochemistry Core 15 NORTH SUM WED PM
PR3P50 Foundation Year Project (CPS) Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM

Stage 2 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BE4052 Biochemistry for Life Sciences Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
BE4053 Cell Biology (for Life Sciences) Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
BE4055 Fundamentals of Molecular Biology (for Life Sci... Core 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BE4058 Anatomy and Physiology Sem 1 (for Life Sciences) Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
BE4059 Anatomy and Physiology Sem 2 (for Life Sciences) Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
CY4051 General Chemistry Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
CY4070 Introduction to Laboratory Skills Core 15 NORTH AUT THU PM
CY4080 Laboratory Techniques with Data Handling Core 15 NORTH SPR THU PM

Stage 3 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BE5058 Metabolism Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
BE5059 Microbiology Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
BE5060 Molecular Biology Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
BE5061 Human Immunity Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
CY5051 Quantitative Analysis Core 15 NORTH AUT WED PM
CY5062 Spectroscopic Methods Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
CY5073 Principles of Pharmacodynamics Core 15 NORTH AUT TUE AM
CY5083 Principles of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug D... Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM

Stage 4 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BE6057 Toxicology Core 15 NORTH AUT THU PM
BE6058 Biochemical Pathology Core 15        
CY6051 Systems Pharmacology Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
CY6065 Neuropharmacology Core 15 NORTH SPR MON AM
BC6P01 Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
CY6P01 Research Project Alt Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
BC6051 Systems Pathology Option 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
BC6052 Virology Option 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BC6055 Medical Genetics Option 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BE6056 Bioinformatics & Molecular Modelling Option 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM
BE6W67 Work Placement (for Life Sciences) Option 15        
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Option 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
CY6073 Formulation and Quality Assurance of Solutions,... Option 15        
CY6083 Formulations and Quality Assurance of Solids an... Option 15        
CY6W04 Sandwich Placement Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR NA