The 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.

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The BSc (Hons) in Clinical Pharmacology is a modular, three-year degree course. Each academic year comprises 120 credits. The tables below give 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.

Year 1 modules

Module title Overview of Content Credit Value
Fundamentals of Science

This module will give you a good introduction to the human biology that you need to understand to learn pharmacology. You will share some teaching on this module with the Biomedical Science BSc course, which will be a good way to meet other students

The topics in year 1 are:

  • Fundamentals of the living cell
  • Fundamentals of physiology
  • Fundamentals of pathology
45 Credits
Introduction to pharmacokinetics Pharmacokinetics is the science of how the body handles drugs. You will learn how drugs are given and absorbed into the body, how they are cleared from the body by the liver and kidney and how the concentration of drugs in the body relates to their effect 15 Credits
Introduction to pharmacodynamics Pharmacodynamics is the science of how drugs exert their effects on the body. You will learn about drug targets such as receptors, enzymes and transporters and learn about how commonly used drugs work in the treatment of disease. 15 Credits
Introduction to drug development Drugs are discovered and tested in the laboratory, given to humans for the first time, then tested in clinical trials before they are licensed to use in healthcare. You will learn the theory behind these processes and the practical skills needed to do research studies in humans. 15 Credits
Introduction to drugs in healthcare Over 1 billion prescriptions for drugs are dispensed in England every year. You will learn about the prescribing process and through healthcare visits will observe practitioners prescribing medicines. You will develop communication skills and talk to patients about their drugs. 15 Credits
Introduction to statistics A good understanding of statistics is essential to be able to do research and understand the results of other researchers. You will be introduced to statistical theory step by step and be taught to use computerised statistical packages to perform your own data analysis. 15 Credits


Assessment: In year 1 you will do weekly quizzes to test your knowledge and collect evidence of your skills development using a portfolio. You will need to complete all the tasks and show evidence of good progress to progress to year 2.

Year 2 Modules

Module title Overview of content Credit Value
Fundamentals of science

The topic in year 2 is:

  • Fundamentals of genomics

10 Credits

Pharmacokinetics In year 2 this module will focus on factors that change how the body handles drugs. Topics will include: age and size; pregnancy and breastfeeding; disease; genetics; and interactions with other drugs. You will learn about how pharmacokinetics affect dosing of drugs and how monitoring patients can be used to adjust drug doses. Patient case studies and practical exercises will be used to build your skills in this field.

20 Credits

Pharmacodynamics In year 2 this module will focus on drugs used to treat common diseases, including heart disease, infection, pain, dementia and ‘hot topics’, development of novel therapies and new treatment modalities including gene therapy and biologicals 20 Credits
Clinical trials and drug development In year 2 you will learn about different types of clinical trials and the processes need to deliver them. You will build your skills portfolio through writing scientific documents, doing clinical skills (e.g. taking blood, measuring blood pressure, doing basic life support) and reading scientific papers. 30 Credits
Drugs in healthcare In year 2 you will learn about the processes required to get a drug to market and how data about drugs is processed and used to decide how to treat patients in healthcare 20 Credits
Introduction to statistics In year 2 you will build your skills in data analysis and learn how to interpret statistical reports in scientific papers. 20 Credits


Assessment: In year 2 you will continue to collect evidence of your skills development using your portfolio. You will be assessed on your written work and presentation skills through the year. You will do exams, including written exams and a practical assessment, which will contribute marks to your final degree.

Year 3 modules

In year 3 you will be able to choose modules to a total of 120 credits based on the interests and career aspirations you have developed in years 1 and 2. All modules will be shared with students from the Biomedical Sciences BSc and with students studying medicine who are taking a year out to complete a BSc (intercalated, iBSc). Options include:

Module title Overview of Content Credit Value
Research project You will spend 2 days a week for 12 weeks doing a research project. This will include developing a proposal, collecting and analysing data and writing a dissertation. 45 credits
One or two advanced clinical pharmacology modules
Advanced pharmacokinetics In this advanced module you 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. 30 Credits
Advanced clinical trials and drug development In this advanced module you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills in clinical trials and drug development. You 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. 30 Credits
Advanced drugs in healthcare In this advanced module you 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. You will learn how to pull lots of research studies together (systematic review) and how to interpret data from these big reviews (metaanalysis). 30 Credits

One to three optional modules e.g. from:

Note: The modules listed here are indicative and run during different semesters. The actual modules available to students when they enrol, may be subject to change.
Human Medical Genetics You will be able to choose from these modules developed for the Biomedical Science (BSc) students and medical students doing an intercalated BSc (iBSc) to advance your understanding of drugs, disease, healthcare and ethics. 15 Credits
Medical Ethics and Law (non-science) 15 Credits
The Role of Bioscience & Medicine in Contemporary Society (non-science) 15 Credits
Neuroscience of Sensation & Perception 15 Credits
Therapeutics: Protein to Patient 15 Credits
Pharmacology & Physiology of Drugs of Abuse 15 Credits
Big Data in Biomedicine 15 Credits
Cloning, Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine 15 Credits
Personalised Medicine 15 Credits
Global Governance for Health (non-science) 15 Credits
Novel Therapeutic Targets for Cardiovascular Disease 15 Credits
Cardiovascular & Respiratory Diseases 30 Credits
Science of Reproduction 30 Credits
Development and Disease 30 Credits
The Biology of Cancer 30 Credits
Immunity and Infection 30 Credits
Clinical Applications of Genomics in Rare Disease and Cancer 30 Credits


Assessment: In year 3 you will continue to collect evidence of your skills development using your portfolio. You will be assessed on your written work and presentation skills throughout the year. You will do written exams for each module. Your research project dissertation will be marked by 2 separate examiners who will also use an oral examination to assess your contribution to the project and your understanding of the results. Your year 2 and 3 assessments will contribute to your final degree mark.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 May 2018 15:35