The Clinical Pharmacology degree will give you a fascinating insight into the world of medicines; how they work, how they are developed, and how they are used to treat patients in healthcare. You will receive academic and practical training so that when you complete the course you will be ready for work or further study in scientific research or healthcare.

 MG 5470 Copy

The BSc (Hons) in Clinical Pharmacology is a modular, three-year degree. Each academic year comprises 120 credits. The information below gives an indication of the modules you will study in each year of the course and an outline of how the course will be assessed. Note that this may be subject to change. You will study six main topics.

Course themes and objectives

Teaching throughout the three years of the degree will be based on six main themes. These are:

  • Fundamentals of science (FS): the human biology needed to understand and learn pharmacology

  • Pharmacokinetics (PK): how the body handles drugs

  • Pharmacodynamics (PD): how drugs exert their effects on the body

  • Drug development and clinical trials (DD): how drugs are discovered and developed as medicines

  • Drugs in healthcare (DiH): how information from clinical trials and drug development is used to guide the use of medicines for patients in clinical practice

  • Data and statistics (DaS): how to generate, handle, analyse and interpret research data relating to drugs

The curriculum and the teaching and learning strategy are designed to allow students to gain a broad and understanding of pharmacological principles whilst developing skills that will be imminently transferable to future employment. By the end of the course students will be confident giving verbal presentations, will be able to write clearly in a scientific style, will be able to explain complicated ideas simply to non-specialist audiences and be able to make a persuasive argument supported by evidence.

Students will be able to write a wide range of scientific documents and will have practical skills gained from diverse exercises. They will be able to collect data from human and laboratory experiments and enter it into a spreadsheet accurately and perform and report statistical analysis of that data. They will be able to do a critical review of different examples of scientific papers and understand the statistics reported in these papers. Throughout the course, students will collect evidence of competence in all these areas in a portfolio that they will be able to show to future employers.

We understand that experiential learning will be alien to most incoming students, and as such our course contains much reflexive practice and plenty of time for student directed study and contemplation.

Course structure

Year 1 has integrated learning involving all modules across both semesters.

Year 2 has integrated learning throughout the first semester (semester 3). This will be followed by study weeks and then exams. After this, students will complete a 4-week research project and 4 weeks of work experience.

Progression from year 1 and year 2 is dependent upon passing exams and course assessments, as well as sign off of a skills portfolio. Exit awards are available after successful completion of year 1 (Certificate in Clinical Pharmacology) and year 2 (Diploma in Clinical Pharmacology).

Year 3 has a modular structure involving a compulsory ‘hot topics in clinical pharmacology’ module and a literature-based research project. Students will choose additional modules to a total of 120 credits based on the interests and career aspirations they have developed in years 1 and 2.

Breakdown of year 3

In year 3, the course will be taught and assessed by modules. Modules are chunks of focussed learning. Each module is allocated a number of credits that relate to the amount of time to be spent teaching and learning on the module and the amount that that module counts to the overall mark for your degree. There are 120 credits for year 3.

Compulsory modules

  • Hot topics in clinical pharmacology (30 credits)

This module will look at latest advances in therapeutics through the lens of the clinical pharmacology themes studied in years 1 and 2.

  • Research project (15 credits)

Students will select a research topic relating to some aspect of pharmacology. They will use the scientific literature to establish what is already known on the subject. They will develop a research question or hypothesis based on their findings and will design a study to investigate their hypothesis. They will write this up as a funding proposal for assessment. Projects may focus on laboratory or clinical science as they relate to pharmacology. Students should select one laboratory-focussed and one clinical-focussed topics for their two research projects (years 2 and 3).

Choice of one or two advanced clinical pharmacology modules

  • Advanced pharmacokinetics (30 credits)

In this advanced module students will be taught basic computer techniques to ‘model’ pharmacokinetic processes from human data and learn to interpret these models. These techniques are used in drug development to help select the right dose of the drug.

  • Advanced drug development and clinical trials (30 credits)

In this advanced module students will develop more advanced knowledge and skills in clinical trials and drug development. They will learn about novel trial designs, trials using high risk drugs (e.g. for cancer), trials using novel therapies (e.g. nanomedicine, gene therapy) and how drugs are tested in children and pregnant women.

  • Advanced drugs in healthcare (30 credits)

In this advanced module students will learn more about how drugs are regulated and how organisations such as the national institute for healthcare excellence (NICE) and the medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) influence the use of medicines. Students will learn how to pull lots of research studies together (systematic review) and how to interpret data from these big reviews (metaanalysis).

Choice of one to three optional 15 credit modules from a list of 6 (15 credits each)



Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2019 15:49