Why Herts?
  • Over 95% of students said that they were satisfied with the learning resources on the course (NSS 2019)

About the course

Pharmaceutical scientists play a vital role in the development of new medicines – from the initial discovery chemistry through to formulation development, manufacture, clinical testing and beyond. This course has been developed in collaboration with local and national biotech and pharmaceutical companies to ensure that its content stays relevant and it gives you up-to-date skills. Modules give you a fundamental understanding of chemistry, biochemistry, biology and pharmacology, before building your specialist knowledge in drug design, formulation development and clinical testing. At the same time you’ll develop the essential capabilities employers want to see in their graduate employees.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science

Why choose this course?

First year 
You will study modules introducing you to the fundamentals of pharmaceutical chemistry and analytical chemistry, biology and biochemistry, as well as a human physiology and pharmacology. You will learn to use a range of experimental techniques and analytical tools in practice as well as in theory. You will develop strong data evaluation and presentation skills.

Second year
You will study analytical chemistry at an advanced level, dosage form design and manufacture, methods in drug design, formulation development and a more specialist pharmacology module. This will give you the scientific knowledge, laboratory and analytical skills to undertake a work placement year in any stage of the pharmaceutical drug development pipeline with one of our overseas partners.

Work placement/study abroad
We strongly recommend that our students undertake a supervised work placement; recent placements have been based in government and charity-funded research institutions, healthcare companies, agrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, environmental agencies and the NHS.

Alternatively, you can choose to spend the year studying at one of our partner universities.

Final year
In your final year you will spend one entire semester carrying out an independent extended research project, enabling you to develop and hone the laboratory, research and documentation skills sought by employers.  You will also study modules in pharmaceutical industry practice; simulating real life industry scenarios, and the translation of laboratory science into clinical trials and marketed products, as well as being able to specialise in a core discipline including medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical formulation development or pharmacology.

Find out about our Pharmaceutical Science staff here

Course details


This BSc Pharmaceutical Science course has been designed with the input from potential employers such as the pharmaceutical industry and regulatory bodies to provide students with highly marketable knowledge and skills for a variety of different career options.

We teach scientific principles through practical, laboratory-based elements to open up lab-based employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector. Students will also learn about key concepts underpinning pharmaceutical research from the point of first discovery of a potential drug through to the manufacture of a new medicine, and the regulations associated with this process.  This knowledge enables and supports office-based career opportunities such as marketing, quality assurance/regulation, or potentially in pharmaceutical sales. More general professional development skills are embedded within our modules to help students to develop their communication and IT skills expected by many employers.

While the course is principally designed to produce graduates for the pharmaceutical industry and related agencies, many of the skills are transferable to related sectors such as the food and drink, cosmetics, agrochemical and biotechnology industries as well as industrial, academic and charity funded research.

What job can I get?

Graduates of the course will be fully equipped to enter the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors in a variety of disciplines, including formulation science, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry and regulatory affairs. The course will also provide a platform for postgraduate study for those students interested in pursuing higher degrees such as MSc and PhD.

Work Placement

All our students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement or study overseas in Europe or North America during their 3rd year.

Work placement

We strongly recommend that our students undertake a supervised work placement; recent placements have been based in Government and charity-funded research institutions, healthcare companies, agrochemical, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, environmental agencies and the NHS.

You can also choose to gain an extra qualification – the Licentiateship of the City and Guilds Institute. This will greatly enhance your employability and your performance in your final year. Work placements are usually paid. Current employers are listed below:

  • GlaxoSmithKline: Data Management - Uxbridge,
  • Guy's Hospital: Drug Research Unit - London,
  • Imperial College: Toxicology Unit, Faculty of Medicine - London,
  • Medical Research Council - Mill Hill,
  • Medifix Adhesive Products - Luton,

Study abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme. Find out more about Study abroad opportunities


  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Human Physiology with Pharmacology 30 Credits Compulsory
    Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry 30 Credits Compulsory
    Foundations of Pharmaceutical Chemistry 30 Credits Compulsory
    Biology and Biochemistry 30 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Dosage, Form, Design and Manufacture 30 Credits Compulsory
    Pharmacology 30 Credits Compulsory
    Advanced Analytical Techniques and Quality Assurance 30 Credits Compulsory
    Methods in Drug Design 30 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Applied and Integrated Pharmacological Science 15 Credits Compulsory
    Project 60 Credits Compulsory
    Pharmaceutical Industry Practice 15 Credits Compulsory
    Year Abroad: Bioscience 0 Credits Optional
    Sandwich Placement; Bioscience 0 Credits Optional
    Topics in Medicine Design 30 Credits Optional
    Advances in Pharmaceutical Formulation and Drug Delivery 30 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Additional costs include:

    • £30 deposit for a chemistry locker – refundable
    • £5 for 2 lab books – non-refundable
    • £35 deposit for EVS system – refundable after year 4 of study
    • For those students who wear a hijab or head cover there is a laboratory flame-proof Hijab or other head cover for £10 – non-refundable

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS pointsA LevelBTEC
    104BCC: Including grade C or above in Chemistry.DMM

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    25/09/201925/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
    28/09/201927/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    26/09/201926/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    25/09/202025/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    28/09/202027/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    26/09/202026/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    25/09/202125/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    28/09/202127/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    26/09/202126/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students