The pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest employers of scientists in the UK. This Pharmaceutical Science degree will prepare you for a career in this industry. There’s a whole range of careers for pharmaceutical scientists, from discovering the next potent anti-viral compound to worldwide marketing, or from quality control to the legal world of regulatory affairs. It’s a global industry that’s ever-changing to meet new challenges in healthcare and medicine, as well as developments in research and production.
Our Pharmaceutical Science course content has a strong grounding in the chemical and biological sciences, complemented by industry-specific topics such as pharmaceutical regulation and quality assurance. To enhance your career potential, there is an emphasis on practical experience of techniques used in the pharmaceutical industry.
You’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of topics relevant to the field of pharmaceuticals, their design, development, quality control, and manufacture. In the first year, you will study a variety of modules which will provide you with a strong grounding in chemistry that will prove invaluable during the rest of your degree and working life. To begin to understand the biological action of drugs and their impact, you will also be introduced to fundamental human biology and biochemistry. All of these modules involve practical work and you will gain hands-on experience using equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratories. You would also be taught mathematics to enable you to understand the relevance of mathematics and statistics in the field of chemical and pharmaceutical science.
The second year of the Pharmaceutical Science course focuses on chemical synthesis, drug design, drug action and chemical analysis. In your third year you will continue to develop your knowledge and skills in chemical synthesis and analysis, quality control and quality assurance regulatory affairs, advanced drug design and use of molecular modelling. You would also work on a research project (in-house or industry based) that would involve working with complex and specialised instruments.
The Pharmaceutical Science degree is taught through a varied combination of techniques including lectures, practicals, workshops, tutorials and e-learning. Employers regularly comment on our graduates’ excellent analytical skills, enhanced by hands-on experience of industry-standard instrumentation. Our students benefit from regular input from professionals who are working in the industry. This degree continues to evolve in partnership with industry to ensure graduates are highly valued by employers. You’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of topics relevant to the field of pharmaceuticals, their design, development, quality control, and manufacture.
Assessments are generally tailored to the learning outcomes of each module. While exams will play a significant role, you can also expect to be assessed using a range of techniques such as report writing, general coursework, oral presentations, on-line tests, and portfolios.
Our Pharmaceutical Science facilities are on a par with those found in industry. Students make full use of the laboratories during their studies and gain hands-on experience using the extensive chemical equipment. We have dedicated organic, inorganic and physical chemistry laboratories, as well as several instrumentation laboratories.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
BCC - CDD to include Chemistry and normally one other Science, but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include Chemistry and normally one other Science, but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject to include Chemistry modules (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include Chemistry and one other Science at Higher Level grade 5 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Maths or Science Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes to include Chemistry modules (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes to include Chemistry modules (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested grade(s)
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||
Students are strongly encourged to equip themselves with a suitable cotton laboratory coat suitable for working in a chemical laboratory, and a pair of personal protective laboratory goggles. Students who are successful in securing an industry-based project may be required to purchase additional personal protective equipment as specified by the specific organisation or company for the place of project conduct. There is a potential cost involved in binding both third year and fourth year project dissertations.
Students gain access to specialist laboratory equipment and facilities to conduct their practical work and in years 3 and 4 to conduct a major research project. All consumables agreed by the project supervisor as required for the projects are included within the tuition fee for this course. A PRINCE2 foundation course and training materials costs are also included within the normal tuition fees for the MSci. Please note that students who successfuly secure a placement in industry to complete their major research project would be expected to pay for their own travelling costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accomodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement. Students are provided with reading lists but are not expected to buy any books, instead students are actively encouraged to make use of the extensive learning resources of the University. Many books are available as ebooks. The course uses the many computing facilities of the Glyntaff campus (students are not expected to buy their own computer but having a personal PC will help with their studies).
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
The BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science degree provides you with the scientific background and industry knowledge that will make you highly marketable to employers in the pharmaceutical sector. Being one of the largest employers of scientists in the UK, jobs for scientists within the sector are quite varied. You could work in research and development, but scientists may also find themselves in roles that may range from a purely lab-based position, to marketing, patent filing, quality assurance/regulation, or even as a sales representative.
The Pharmaceutical Science degree could also lead to careers in other chemical-related industries (e.g., materials, adhesives, paints, inks, fine chemicals etc) or enable you to pursue further studies in a related field.
As a USW Pharmaceutical Science student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.