The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

B210 BSc Pharmacology (3 years)

Explore the science of how drugs can treat disease in humans and animals with Southampton’s BSc Pharmacology.

Our three-year degree is ideal preparation for careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, research and forensic science.

Introducing your course

Better treatment for diseases such as cancer, AIDS, depression, malaria and heart failure are just some of the recent advances in pharmacology. You could be part of future drug development with the skills gained on this course.

You will gain an in-depth understanding of major pharmacological concepts and principles, from the discovery and production of new drugs, to how existing drugs can be improved. Our multi-million pound Life-Sciences building will provide the ideal setting for you to hone your laboratory and research skills.

Students have the option of working in the pharmaceutical industry for a year and in your final year you will complete an individual research project alongside our expert staff who are working at the cutting edge of pharmacological research.

BSc Pharamcology


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

Pharmacology is the science of how drugs work. Evaluating new generation antibiotics, solving the problems of drug toxicity, finding out how drugs can best be used in the treatment of disease in humans and animals – these are all challenges faced by pharmacologists in an age of higher demands for an improved quality of life.

Our pharmacology degree programme has a strong emphasis on the molecular aspects of how pharmacological agents work, with particular interests in neuroscience and neuropharmacology. Through core topics, you will be introduced to the major concepts and principles of pharmacology in years one and two, and in year three you will complete a research project in your area of choice.

BSc Pharmacology students who want to gain more experience also have the opportunity to take a year out working in the pharmaceutical industry.

As a leading pharmacology university our teaching staff are actively involved in pharmacological research into brain damage and recovery, developmental biology, oncology, the development of new antibiotics and the mechanisms underlying alcoholism.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key Facts

The National Student Survey 2016 (NSS)

  • 100% of BSc Pharmacology students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course
  • 100% of BSc Pharmacology students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating
  • 100% of BSc Pharmacology students agreed that the course is well organised and is running smoothly
  • 100% of BSc Pharmacology students agreed that my communication skills have improved
Thumbnail photo of Monika Kudelska

“It has definitely been a good three years; probably the best three years of my life! After graduation, I’m starting a PhD course here at the University of Southampton. My ambition is to stay at the university and teach. I have met so many great researchers and outstanding lecturers at the same time and they have been and they still are inspiring and so I think in the future, I hope that could be me.”

Monika Kudelska - Pharmacology, 2015

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGrades A*- C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for this pharmacology degree course will be assessed at interview. International students whose first language is not English must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS
A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB. For pharmacology degrees, chemistry must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. A level science subjects considered include biology, environmental studies, geography, geology, human biology, mathematics, physics, psychology

Applicants only offering A Level Chemistry will be considered on a case by case basis. 

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level including two higher level science subjects to include 6 points in Chemistry at higher level.
Other applicants:

Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications and international applicants should first refer to the general entry requirements.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Science Foundation Year

Science Foundation Year

Don't have the right qualifications to meet our entry requirements? You could still get a place by doing a foundation year.

Find out more


Typical course content

To be able to take certain optional modules in Years 2 or 3 of this pharmacology degree, you may need to have passed specified modules previously.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternationalChannel Islands
BSc Pharmacology2018Part-time£4,625£10,160£4,625
BSc Pharmacology2018Full-time£9,250£20,320£9,250
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submitted on line. In the majority of cases, though, students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. Students entering year 1 2015/16 will be given a printing allowance of £3 per 7.5 ECTS BIOL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts. Practical handouts and module guides will be provided by the university. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here:£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All materials required for laboratory work are provided. Where necessary, suitable specialist safety equipment will be provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense. The Students Union Shop stock these items.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
PlacementsStudents who choose to go on an industrial placement at the end of Part 2 can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
OtherParking costs: There may be a requirement to undertake work at Southampton General Hospital (SGH), for example during a final year research project. Students may need to cover costs for transport to travel to SGH or for car parking.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

With a BSc Pharmacology degree you could be expected to find work in the following areas:

  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
  • Post-graduate research training
  • Scientific officer in medical laboratories
  • Teaching
  • Forensic science
  • Legal profession
  • Business Management

Learning & Assessment

The academic year

On BSc Pharmacology eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts one third towards the degree and the third year counts two thirds.

The tutorial system

Every BSc Pharmacology student  is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in the subjects that they teach. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly relevant for your final year.

In the third year of your pharmacology degree you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our laboratories, in which you will make new discoveries alongside other researchers. You will use up-to-date equipment and gain important experimental skills.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader: Dr P.T. Williamson 

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study21%23%20%
Independent study79%77%80%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment71%74%73%
Practical exam assessment6%0%8%
Coursework assessment23%26%19%

Study Locations

The Life Sciences Building

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

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