BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science
Our Chemistry subject area is Top in Wales Guardian League Table 2023
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.
The content of our pharmaceutical science course has a strong grounding in the chemical and biological sciences, complemented by industry-specific topics such as pharmaceutical regulation and quality assurance.
You’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of topics relevant to the field of pharmaceuticals, their design, development, quality control, and manufacture. To enhance your career potential, there is an emphasis on practical experience of techniques used in the pharmaceutical industry.
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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.
Year One: Pharmaceutical Science Degree
- Genetics and Evolution
- Molecules, membranes and cells
- Organic Chemistry
- Physical Chemistry
- Fundamental Inorganic Chemistry
- Your Skills, Your Future
Year Two: Pharmaceutical Science Degree
- Cellular Pathology and Disease Processes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Synthetic Organic Chemistry
- Heterocyclic Chemistry and an Introduction to Drug Design
- Quality control and Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Year Three: Pharmaceutical Science Degree
- Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology
- Advanced Analytical Chemistry
- Professional Practice, Employability and Major Project
- Advanced Organic Chemistry
- Advanced Drug Design and an Introduction to Formulation Science
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 Pharmaceutical Science 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.
Students have the option of a summer placement/or a year long placement at a pharmaceutical company.
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.
- Dr Rehana Karim, Pharmaceutical Science course leader
- Dr Paul Jones
- Dr Suzanna Kean
- Dr Ryszard Babecki
- Dr Natasha Galea
- Dr Andrew Graham
- Dr Gareth Owen
- James Cruwys
- Dr Julian Smith
- Dr Peter Miedziak
- Professor Alan Guwy
- Professor Richard Dinsdale
- Dr Christian Laycock
- Dr Emma Hayhurst
- Darren Evans
- Dr Lewis Fall
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2023. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. Entry criteria for September 2024 is changing and will be published on ucas.com from 8th May 2023. Entry criteria for September 2024 will be updated on our website from the end of October 2023.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on it’s a student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC - CDD to include Chemistry and normally one other Science, but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
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).
Typical Science Requirements
Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested grade(s)
Typical BTEC Offer
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).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Science and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
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.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
Students are encouraged to equip themselves with a suitable cotton laboratory coat, suitable for working in a chemical laboratory, and a pair of personal protective laboratory goggles, although the School does provide these items. Students who are successful in securing an industry-based project may, in a small number of cases, be required to purchase additional personal protective equipment as specified by the specific organisation or company.
Placements are not obligatory for students studying on the BSc Pharmaceutical Science programme. If students are successful in securing an industrial placement, arrangements can be made to transfer to the Sandwich programme for BSc Pharmaceutical Science. Students who successfully secure a placement in industry would be expected to pay their own travel costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will vary and some students may need to pay for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science Travel Bursary
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science offers a travel bursary of £500 which is available to all students undertaking an undergraduate sandwich degree. Find out more.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK 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.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
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.
Employers regularly comment on our graduates’ excellent analytical skills, enhanced by hands-on experience of industry-standard instrumentation. 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.
Our Careers and Employability Service
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.