MSci Pharmacology

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Key facts

  • UCAS Code: B211
  • 1st in the UK for Pharmacology & Pharmacy (Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023) / 3rd for Pharmacology & Pharmacy (Complete University Guide 2024)

  • Integrated Masters: research-led fifth year

  • Flexible degree: flexibility to change to other Biomolecular Science courses throughout your studies

Study with us

  • our courses are underpinned by our strong research base, links with industry, the NHS and international partners
  • study how drugs and other chemicals affect the functions of the body
  • our MSci programmes are appropriate if you are interested in an academic or research-related career
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Why this course?

This MSci is a five-year Masters degree with entry into either Year 1 with Highers or Year 2 with Advanced Highers or A Levels.

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs and other chemicals affect the body in health and disease. This area explores the development of new and improved medicines and the treatment of disease.

This degree is for those who want to specialise in a single biomedical sciences option at Masters level. The course is particularly relevant if you want to pursue an academic or research-related career.

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What you'll study

Year 1

In Year 1, you’ll study modules in Cells & their Molecules, Organisms & Disease, and Bio-organic Chemistry. These are all underpinned by the Being a Biomolecular Scientist module which begins with basic laboratory skills, statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics.

You also choose 20 credits of elective subjects from across the University.

Year 2

In Year 2, you’ll gain an introduction to each of the four disciplines: Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology and Pharmacology again supported by the Being a Biomolecular Scientist module which develops various skills gained in Year 1.

Years 3 & 4

You will specialise in the area in which you plan to graduate.

Year 5

You’ll specialise in one subject. A significant part of the year involves carrying out a research project.

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Course content

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 1 - 40 credits

This module aims to give you:

  • the foundation practical skills required for a biological biochemistry
  • the foundation practical skills based around 'health and the body'
  • foundation presentation skills

Semester 1

Cells & their Molecules - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide you with Foundation level knowledge relating to basic functions of cells
  • set out the principles of biological action and function that you will encounter through all four years
  • expose you to the basic suite of teaching, learning and assessment paradigms used throughout your degree with a particular focus on oral communication and presentation

Semester 2

Organisms & Disease - 20 credits

From this module, you will gain:

  • foundation-level knowledge relating to basic evolution, species diversity, development, homeostasis, and infectious disease
  • the principles of biological action and function that you will encounter through all four years
  • knowledge about methods of teaching, learning and assessment used throughout the degree, with particular focus on teamwork and finding, citing and using information

Bio-Organic Chemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • understand nucleotide/nucleic acid molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of nucleic acid chemical and biological potential
  • learn about amino acid/protein molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of protein chemical and biological potential
  • study monosaccharide/polysaccharide molecular structure, stereochemistry and conformation as the foundation of carbohydrate chemical and biological potential
  • understand the chemistry, stereochemistry and biological roles of polyketide/polyisoprene natural products and their biosynthetic origins

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 2 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to give you the fundamental:

  • practical skills required for a biochemist
  • practical skills required for an immunologist
  • practical skills required for a microbiologist
  • practical skills required for a pharmacologist
  • skills in presentation and teamwork

Semester 1

Introduction to Biochemistry - 20 credits

The aims of this module are for you:

  • to understand gene structure and function and the regulation of gene expression
  • to understand how human genetic variation arises and its uses in medicine and forensics
  • to understand the basic structure and function of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates
  • to appreciate the key metabolic pathways in the absorptive and post-absorptive states
  • to understand the pathways involved in cell growth and cell death

Introduction to Immunology - 20 credits

By studying this module, you'll be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • how immune cells recognise antigens
  • key concepts in induction of acquired immunity
  • effector mechanism of the immune system
  • helpful immune responses
  • harmful immune responses

Semester 2

Introduction to Microbiology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to help you to:

  • understand the fundamental taxonomic grouping and evolutionary relationships of microbes
  • appreciate physiological, structural and molecular differences between different microorganisms
  • understand the role and control of microorganisms in disease
  • learn how organisms adapt to hostile environments and appreciate the biotechnological exploitation of extremophiles

Introduction to Pharmacology - 20 credits

This module aims to develop your understanding of:

  • systems biology and homeostasis
  • the somatic, autonomic and central nervous systems
  • the cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • the hepatic and renal systems
  • the endocrine and reproductive systems

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 3 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are to:

  • give you generic practical skills in biomolecular science
  • further develop your practical skills in specific biomedical biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, histopathology and serology that align with the module choices of the degree programme
  • enhance your report writing and presentation skills

Semester 2

Fundamental Pharmacology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to develop you understanding of:

  • how drugs act at receptors and how these actions can be quantified
  • the major cell signalling mechanisms in cells
  • the properties and distribution of adrenoceptors and therapeutic uses of related drugs
  • the properties and functions of eicosanoids and autacoids and therapeutic uses of related drugs
  • the properties and distribution of GABA and glutamate receptors and therapeutic uses of related drugs

Biomedical Pharmacology - 20 Credits

The aims of this module are to develop your understanding of:

  • cardiovascular pathophysiology
  • respiratory disease
  • chronic inflammatory diseases
  • liver and kidney dysfunction
  • haematopoietic-linked diseases

Semester 1 & 2

Being a Biomolecular Scientist 4 - 40 credits

The aims of this module are:

  • to give you the opportunity to carry out original research
  • to provide you with the skills to critically interpret data and develop conclusions or hypotheses based upon your findings
  • to provide you with the skills to analyse and present your data
  • to provide knowledge in a key area that is relevant to your career aspirations.

Semester 1

Advanced Pharmacology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to help you develop an understanding of:

  • advanced topics in pharmacology
  • P2X and P2Y receptors as novel therapeutic targets
  • models of stroke and therapeutic targets
  • optogenetics
  • the roles of sphingosine 1-phosphate in cancer
  • the study of leukocytes in angioplasty

Semester 2

Clinical Pharmacology - 20 credits

The aims of this module are to develop your understanding of:

  • neurodegenerative disorders and the common themes of protein aggregation and inflammation in the brain
  • the pharmacological control of global activity within the nervous system: epilepsy, anaesthesia and analgesia, use of sedatives and hypnotics
  • psychiatric disorders
  • drug dependence
  • endocrine disease and oral contraceptives

In addition to the modules above, you’ll also choose one module from the Biochemistry, Immunology or Microbiology Year 4 curriculum.

Semester 1 & 2

Pharmacology Project and Thesis - 80 credits

After completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • devise a hypothesis and plan and execute a research project, using advanced practical techniques to answer this hypothesis.
  • write a thesis which includes a critical summary of current knowledge, describes the experimental and/or research techniques used, presents the findings in a clear and concise manner and discusses the significance of the findings in relation to present knowledge.
  • prepare and deliver a PowerPoint presentation that describes the research project

Research Topics in Pharmacology - 20 credits

After completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • read and critically evaluate primary literature in Pharmacology
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current research approaches and techniques in Pharmacology
  • summarize and present research data to an audience

Learning & teaching

You’ll gain knowledge and understanding through lectures, including review-type lectures, practical classes, tutorials and computer-aided learning.

To allow you to prepare, class hand-outs are available in advance from Myplace. Hand-outs will also be supported by tasks such as essays, tutorial workshop presentations.

Quantitative skills are taught by the Department of Maths & Statistics, the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry as well as the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences.

Most laboratory classes, including the chemistry classes in Year 1, include number, numeracy and statistical skills that are used in the institute. Communication skills are taught throughout the course. Information retrieval, interpretation and research skills are gained through project work which also develops team-working skills.

Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed by written examinations, essays, presentations and computer-aided learning (CAL) exercises and quizzes, available on Myplace.

Competence is assessed through practical tests, practical write-ups, project reports and CAL exercises and quizzes.

Communication skills are assessed through essays and oral presentations.

Project work is assessed from project reports and oral presentations.

There’s an individual research project in the final year of the course where you’ll demonstrate research skills, problem-solving and a research approach.

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MSci Pharmacology entry requirements

Entry requirements for our MSci Pharmacology degree are as follows.

Required subjects are shown in brackets.

Highers

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: AAAB/AABBC

(Chemistry B, Biology/Human Biology B, Maths and English National 5 B)

Minimum entry requirements**:

AABB /AABCC

(Biology B, Chemistry B, Maths and English National 5 B)

Advanced Highers

Year 2 entry: AB

(Chemistry B, Biology/Human Biology B, plus Year 1 above)

A Levels

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: BBB

(Chemistry and Biology, GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B)

Year 2 entry: ABB

(Chemistry and Biology, GCSE Maths 6/B, GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B)

International Baccalaureate

Standard entry requirements*:

Year 1 entry: 30

(Chemistry HL5, Biology HL5 . Maths SL5 and English SL5)

Year 2 entry: 32

(Chemistry and Biology, one at HL6, the other at HL5. Maths SL5 and English SL5)

HNC/HND

Year 1 entry: HNC, Graded Unit A/HND, Graded Units BB
Year 2 entry: HND, Graded Units AB 
Year 3 entry: HND, Graded Units AA

International students

View the entry requirements for your country.

Deferred entry

Accepted

*Standard entry requirements

Offers are made in accordance with specified entry requirements although admission to undergraduate programmes is considered on a competitive basis and entry requirements stated are normally the minimum level required for entry.

Whilst offers are made primarily on the basis of an applicant meeting or exceeding the stated entry criteria, admission to the University is granted on the basis of merit, and the potential to succeed. As such, a range of information is considered in determining suitability.

In exceptional cases, where an applicant does not meet the competitive entry standard, evidence may be sought in the personal statement or reference to account for performance which was affected by exceptional circumstances, and which in the view of the judgement of the selector would give confidence that the applicant is capable of completing the programme of study successfully.

**Minimum entry requirements

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

Contextual Admissions for Widening Access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background.

Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential, and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

University preparation programme for international students

We offer international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Business and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre. ​

Upon successful completion, you can progress to your chosen degree at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £1,820

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland are subject to confirmation by the Scottish Funding Council. Scottish undergraduate students undertaking an exchange for a semester/year will continue to pay their normal tuition fees at Strathclyde and will not be charged fees by the overseas institution.

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,250

Assuming no change in fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2024/25, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and integrated Masters programmes), MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.

International

£25,250

Additional costs

Lab coats and safety goggles: 

  • approximately £25

Visa & immigration:

  • International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information
University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

Fees for students who meet the relevant residence requirements in Scotland, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales:

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

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Careers

You could be involved in the development of drugs, food processing, protecting the environment, fighting disease or even slowing down the ageing process.

Our graduates find jobs in the pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical industries, hospitals and public service laboratories, environmental centres, analytical and forensic science labs, universities, the scientific civil service and teaching at all levels.

A pharmacology degree offers prospects for research careers in academia, industry, the scientific civil service and hospitals. You can work in the product management side of the industry or in areas such as marketing and medical information, acting as the link between pharmaceutical companies and doctors and patients.

The transferable skills you gain from this course will not only prepare you for a career in science but also in areas such as finance, management, marketing, sales, business and media.

How much will I earn?

As a newly qualified Pharmacologist, your starting salary will be between £25,000 and £28,000 a year.

With experience, you can expect to earn between £35,000 and £80,000.*

*Information is intended only as a guide and based on NHS pay grades.

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Apply

Start date:

Pharmacology (1 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Pharmacology (1 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now

Start date:

Pharmacology (2 year entry)

Start date: Sep 2024

Pharmacology (2 year entry)

full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

UCAS Applications

Apply through UCAS if you are a UK applicant. International applicants may apply through UCAS if they are applying to more than one UK University.

Apply now

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Dr RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel

Telephone: +44(0)141 548 5968

Email: sipbs-biomed@strath.ac.uk

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