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Study pharmacology in the UK

An in-depth guide to studying pharmacology in the UK as an international student

What do pharmacology experts in UK say?

  • Dr Helen Hull

    Dr Helen Hull

    University of Portsmouth, Faculty of Science and Health Programme Lead (Pharmacy and Pharmacology)
    Dr Helen Hull says

    UK Pharmacy courses provide students with knowledge and understanding of the chemistry and pharmacology of medicines as well as the biology, pathology and diagnosis of disease. Students learn how medicines are formulated and manufactured to be effective and how medicines are absorbed in the body and eliminated. Students also learn how to communicate effectively with patients so that patients always receive the best possible care and can use their medicines effectively.

    All MPharm courses provide students with individual learning opportunities that include carrying out a research project or dissertation, usually in the final year. Students are also encouraged to make good use of their time outside the classroom through volunteering in the community, taking additional work internships and involvement in sports and student societies.

    Each MPharm is quality assured by its own University and also the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), the independent regulator of the profession of pharmacy in the UK. The GPhC accreditation provides assurance that every graduate of every UK MPharm degree meets educational standards. For these reasons the quality of UK MPharm degrees and graduates is recognised globally.

    The UK is a great place to study pharmacy. The UK continues to be world-leading in research, innovation and development of medicines, optimising health care and use of medicines. This knowledge and innovation is concentrated in UK universities, and you will be taught by leading academics.

    The UK is a multicultural, diverse and open society that is welcoming to international students. Studying in the UK will give you the opportunity to experience its rich culture.

    The UK pharmacy degree is called the MPharm, which is 4 years of University study. There is no UK equivalent of BPharm: in the UK the 4 years of study qualifies students with a Masters degree (MPharm), without graduating with a batchelor's degree first.

    In order to be registered as a pharmacist in the UK and to be allowed to practice, home students must obtain an MPharm degree and also undertake 52 weeks supervised pre-registration training in clinical practice, before taking a national registration exam set by the GPhC.

    Pharmacists are experts in medicines and their use, and their work regularly crosses over with careers in healthcare. Pharmacists typically work as community pharmacists in independent or chain stores on the high street, or as hospital pharmacists. They can also work in doctor's surgeries, for pharmaceutical companies or in academia in university departments.

    Pharmacy is a very rewarding career,they are the experts in medicines and use their knowledge to help educate patients and other healthcare professionals on their safe and effective use.

  • Dr James Brown

    Dr James Brown

    University of Portsmouth, Faculty of Science and Health AH(GEEP) Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
    Dr James Brown says

    The UK has been at the forefront of drug discovery and development for over a century and was one of the first countries in the world to offer a BSc (Hons) Pharmacology degree. You will be taught by globally renowned pharmacology researchers and educators who are passionate about the development of treatments for diseases ranging from Alzheimer's disease to cancer and emerging bacterial and viral infections. Pharmacology is an integral part of any medical, veterinary and life science degree but the UK is one of a limited number of countries that allow you to specialise in this subject at undergraduate level.

    In many other countries, pharmacology is often limited to postgraduate study, requiring you to have studied for a related course before enrolment. In the UK we deliver a comprehensive program covering all the major aspects of pharmacology such as medicinal chemistry, anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pathology and therapeutics in the first year of the program. In the latter years you will cover how drugs interact with the body (pharmacodynamics) and what the body does to the drugs (pharmacokinetics) to understand how drug treatments work.

    In the final stage of the course you will look at new drug targets for diseases we are currently unable to treat. Some pharmacology degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology meaning they have been externally assessed to make sure you receive up-to-date knowledge in the right learning, support and teaching environments.

    You will be able to take your knowledge of pharmacology and utilise this to develop a coherent drug discovery process applicable to diseases that are prevalent in any country. There are global differences affecting how well drugs work in certain populations, through your knowledge of this, you will be able to advise about the direction of travel required to best meet the needs of any country and it's citizens. Global health is of paramount importance to everyone and pharmacology graduates will be ideally placed to help shape the future of global drug treatments.

    Many of our graduates work within clinical research helping run, support and coordinate the drug development process, either within the NHS or pharmaceutical sector. Others provide support in drug safety and regulatory affairs as part of the approval process for new medicines.

    Others decide to continue their studies for a research degree (PhD or MRes) to specialise further and develop their research skills before entering either academic research within universities or the pharmaceutical industry. Our graduates are equipped to work within either clinical or laboratory based research in both the public and private sectors but additionally, some become medical writers or become secondary school teachers.

Top pharmacology programs in the UK

What are the top pharmacology undergraduate programs in the UK?

Bachelor's in pharmacology in the UK

  • false

    Pharmacology - BSc (Hons) University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    20,950 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacology
  • false

    Pharmacy - Integrated BPharm (Hons)/MPharm University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,600 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacy
  • false

    Pharmacology - BSc (Hons) University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    17,600 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacology
  • false

    Pharmacy - Integrated BPharm (Hons)/MPharm Ulster University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,480 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacy
  • false

    Pharmacology - BSc (Hons) Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,845 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacology
See all bachelor's degrees in pharmacology in the UK

Pathway in pharmacology in the UK

  • false

    Pharmacology Pathway - UGP Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,845 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacology Pathway
See all undergraduate pathways in pharmacology in the UK

What are the top pharmacology graduate programs in the UK?

Master's in pharmacology in the UK

  • false

    Pharmacy 5-year (integrated pre-registration format) - MPharm University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    5 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,260 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacy 5-year (integrated pre-registration format)
  • false

    Pharmacy - Integrated BPharm (Hons)/MPharm University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,600 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacy
  • false

    Pharmacy and Biomedical Science - MPhil University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,800 GBP
    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Pharmacy and Biomedical Science
  • false

    Pharmacy - Integrated BPharm (Hons)/MPharm Ulster University, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Master's
    Duration
    3 years
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    14,480 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Pharmacy
  • false

    Pharmacology and Drug Development - MSc University of Hull, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    21,640 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Pharmacology and Drug Development
See all master's degrees in pharmacology in the UK

Doctorate in pharmacology in the UK

  • false

    Pharmacy and Biomedical Science - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    17,600 GBP
    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Pharmacy and Biomedical Science
  • false

    Pharmacy and Biomedical Science - DMed University of Portsmouth, UK
    • Part-time

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,800 GBP
    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about Pharmacy and Biomedical Science
  • false

    Professional Doctorate in Pharmacy - PharmD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    7,150 GBP
    Start date
    October
    Show program overview about Professional Doctorate in Pharmacy
See all doctorates in pharmacology in the UK