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BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Learn practical laboratory skills in our modern Science Building
Learn practical laboratory skills in our modern Science Building
Gain valuable insight into drug discovery with our industry links
Gain valuable insight into drug discovery with our industry links
Course designed with input from biotech & pharmaceutical companies
Course designed with input from biotech & pharmaceutical companies

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

Want to get hands-on? You’re in the right place. Because at Hertfordshire, that’s exactly what you’ll do. We teach pharmaceutical science in small, supportive groups, based in real labs, equipped with outstanding industry technology. Every step of the way you’ll build the skills today’s employers really need. We know, because we asked them. In fact, we designed our entire course in collaboration with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. 

Our inventive, inspiring teaching team has an outstanding reputation and a strong research ethos, pouring their internationally acclaimed discoveries straight into your learning. So, whether you want to design new drugs, bring brilliant discoveries into the real world or champion patient safety, you’ll be studying as part of a vibrant, supportive scientific community. 

In your first couple of years you can take advantage of peer-to-peer mentoring from final-year students, and throughout the course you’ll get the chance to go to eye-opening events and gain career insights from visiting experts and inspiring alumni. Fancy some phenomenal transferrable skills? You’ll get those too – from making presentations and working with others, to brilliantly managing your time. 

What are the facilities like? 

Outstanding. This course is based in our modern, fully-equipped science building, where you’ll get hands-on in specialist labs and suites dedicated to making medicines including working in pharmacology, cell biology, synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, formulation development and sterile manufacturing. 

We continually invest in industry-standard equipment and you’ll also have access to the latest software, clinical journals, dedicated learning spaces and the University’s 24/7 Learning Resource Centres. 

Like to pave the way for powerful new treatments? Want to help patients lead better lives? We’ve got everything you need right here at Herts.  

What's the course about?

Your first year gives you a solid grounding in pharmaceutical science. You’ll find your feet in the lab and the library – learning experimental techniques, getting to grips with powerful data and analytical tools. Together, we’ll explore human physiology and biology, biology and biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and the fundamentals of analytical chemistry. Together, these subjects will help you understand how to make medicines, how they work in the body and how to ensure they’re safe. 

In your second year, you’ll put that learning into practice. It’s your chance to explore drug discovery and formulation, make medicines and natural products and design advanced treatments using artificial intelligence. You’ll also study lab practices, how to make sure drugs are safe and viable, and how they metabolise in people’s bodies. 

By the end of the year, you’ll have the scientific know-how, lab skills and analytical abilities to secure a powerful placement year. This option is a great way to pack your CV with practical experience and insights before coming back for your final year with us.  

Study abroad/work placement option: Recent students have taken placements in research institutions, healthcare companies, agrochemical organisations, environmental agencies, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Like to join them? We’ll help you find a great opportunity. Want to study abroad instead? We can open exciting doors, all over the world, with recent students going to the US, Mexico and Spain.  

You’ll spend the first 12 weeks of your final year in the lab full time, working on a real-life research problem that will help you hone your lab and research skills. Finally, you’ll spend your last semester studying a simulated regulatory science module, examining how medicines are translated from the laboratory to the clinic and specialising in either medicine design or formulation development.  

Find out about our Pharmaceutical Science staff

Your main campus is College Lane  

This is where the creative arts, science and health related subject are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in the pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. You can take the free shuttle bus to our other campus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.    

Alumni Stories

Nikunj Thakrar

Meet Nikunj Thakrar who has built a successful career as a Pharmacist since graduating in 2009. He currently works for Tesco as a Pharmacy Manager and has returned to the University as a visiting lecturer.

Current job rolePharmacy Manager
Year of graduation2009
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science

Nikunj Thakrar

University experience

Nikunj has been working at Tesco since he was a pre-reg Pharmacist and has worked his way up to the position he is now in. He speaks highly of the University, crediting us with helping him succeed in his career. Through the University's resources, facilities and exceptional Pharmacy degree, Nikunj had the opportunity to train three pharmacists as a pre-reg tutor. This hands-on practical experience helped him when entering employment and gave him tangible skills to take into his career.

He says, 'The University had, and still has, a massive impact on how my career has progressed. The teaching, support and resources were excellent and helped me  develop into the pharmacist I am today. I count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success.'

Real world skills

Nikunj's experience and career demonstrates how the University gives students the skills to succeed, delivering fully skilled, work ready graduates to the professional world, equipped with unique experience and knowledge. Nikunj says, 'I feel that the preparation we were given for the real world was extremely useful in helping me settle as a pharmacist. We spent a lot of time in the mock pharmacy and dispensing suites which were the closest thing to an actual pharmacy. And although daunting, OSCE examinations were an extremely effective way of mimicking real-life scenarios a pharmacist may encounter, ultimately testing our knowledge.'

Aspirations for the future

As a visting lecturer, the University recognised Nikunj's talent and was able to facilitate his passion for the subject. He is continually developing new skills that he can incorporate into his professional role, in addition to help nurture the pharmacists of tomorrow. He encourages prospective pharmacists to gain experience alongside their degree as it will be invaluable when qualified. He adds, 'Set yourself goals to work towards and never lose sight of them.'

Looking ahead to the future, Nikunj says, 'I am currently very happy with my roles at Tesco and the University of Hertfordshire. However, in the future, I plan on helping out with more central and operational projects within the company and to increase my time spent in academia.'

I made great friends on my degree and through the Students' Union, and I've now got friends around the world, because of the wider Alumni community.

Alumni Stories

Chika Madubuko

Meet Chika Madubuko who has used her business knowledge to help others. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care, Africa's pioneer AI-Powered, home-care platform that connects the elderly to a vetted caregiver.

Current job roleCEO of Greymate Care
Year of graduation2014
Course of studyMSc Biotechnology

Chika Madubuko

University life and experience

Chika initially decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire based on our impressive Learning Resource Centre’s ranking and our close proximity to London. As an international student, these factors were extremely important to ensure she had the tools and support to succeed in her course.

Her course, MSc Biotechnology, enabled Chika to push herself and provide a comprehensive and practical approach to the industry she wanted to pursue a career in.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real life scenarios as case studies.’

Similarly, Chika goes on to add that the composition of the modules on her course was completely different to other universities as the variety on offer ‘covered all areas within the sector.’ She firmly believes that as a University of Hertfordshire alumna, she has ‘the best recipe for success’ and ‘the world is [her] oyster.’.

The future

Since graduating in 2014, Chika’s career has spanned across three continents and several multinational companies. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care in Africa but has set her sights even higher. In the future, she would like to become a renowned business mogul and take the world by storm.

In June 2020 we were delighted to announce Chika as our AInternational Alumnus/Alumna of the year for 2020.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real-life scenarios as case studies.’

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.