The MSci Pharmaceutical Science degree allows you to combine bachelors and masters-level modules into one integrated package, designed to provide you with extensive career opportunities as a scientist within the pharmaceutical industry. There is a strong emphasis on employability and industry engagement.
The first three years have a strong basis in the chemical and biological sciences which underpin the industry, with specialisms in Quality Control (QC), a major area of employment, and formulation science. Year four will allow further scope to study these specialisms, broadening and strengthening your employment prospects and providing a more unique graduate.
You will study for a PRINCE2 Foundation qualification in project management, which is valued by employers of pharmaceutical scientists. You will also conduct a major laboratory research project in a current area of pharmaceutical science, working in relation to industry where possible. Many of the higher level modules are delivered by experts in this field including QPs (Qualified Persons) who have extensive training in all aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing and batch certification. You will also learn from a number of guest lecturers who work as pharmaceutical scientists with companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline and Penn Pharma and others within the South Wales Pharma Cluster.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
In your first year, you can expect to undertake a number of modules that will cover all facets of fundamental chemistry to provide you with a strong grounding 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 will be underpinned by a practical component, such that even from this early stage you will be gaining hands-on experience using equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratories.
The second and third years will continually challenge you to expand your theoretical knowledge and practical skills. In year 4, modules are taught through the block-mode approach, meaning study is more intensive, and is focussed upon one module at one time. This allows you to conduct longer, more involved research projects to gain greater exposure to complex and specialised techniques. The research project is usually undertaken in January.
You will be taught through a varied combination of modes including lectures, practicals, workshops, tutorials and e-learning. For those modules specific to the pharmaceutical industry you will be taught by experts and QPs currently working in or having had experience of the industry itself. We put an emphasis on gaining hands on, industry valued skills and you will find yourself taking practicals in groups as small as three students working alongside the lecturer.
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.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
BBC to include Chemistry and normally one other Science but to exclude General Studies
Grade C and BB at A Level to include Chemistry and normally one other Science but to exclude General Studies.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject to include Chemistry modules
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 30 overall including a score of 5 in Chemistry and one other Science subject at Higher Level. You will also need to obtain a score of 5 or above in English at standard level.
Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes to include Chemistry modules
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.
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.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.
This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.
International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.
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.
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.
Students who successfully secure a placement in industry to complete their project would be expected to pay their own travel 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 accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.
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 MSci Pharmaceutical Science course provides you with the theoretical knowledge and specialised technical skills 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.
Potential careers include working in research and development in a purely lab-based position, to marketing, patent filing, quality assurance/regulation, or even as a sales representative. This 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 (e.g., a PhD) in a related field. Please note that this degree does not lead to qualification as a professional pharmacist.
You could also progress to a PhD or research degree.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.