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Medical Pharmacology

Entry requirements

A level


Including Chemistry and one other STEM subject (including Psychology, but not Geography).

Should be in a relevant, science-related subject.

We recognise the EPQ as an excellent indicator of success. If you are predicted a grade B or above in the EPQ, you will receive an offer with a one grade reduction, to include your EPQ with a grade B.

GCSE/National 4/National 5

GCSEs: GCSE profiles will need to include a minimum of 5 passes at Grade A-C, Including English/Welsh Language and Mathematics.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)


BTEC should be in a relevant, science-related subject.

UCAS Tariff


We've calculated how many Ucas points you'll need for this course.

About this course

Course option


Full-time | 2022



Pharmacology is the science of drugs, their actions on living systems and their effects on health and disease. Through work force and skills gap analyses, Pharmacology has been identified as a critical undergraduate degree, required to treat the current patient population and develop the medicines of the future. Our BSc Medical Pharmacology programme aims to deliver an outstanding course that bridges medicine and science by ensuring that graduates develop the core knowledge, practical and employability skills to prepare them for work at the highest levels of science, medicine and the pharmaceutical and biomedical science industries. In addition to subject knowledge in pharmacology and medical science, students will, according to their interest, be provided with an enhanced understanding of academic research, medical practice, or research innovation and entrepreneurship. They will be able to communicate research to a range of audiences: colleagues in healthcare, academia, and industry, as well as the public. These skills will enable students to enter a rapidly evolving employment environment in which the motivation and skills for life-long learning are essential.

Because Medical Pharmacology is a cross-cutting discipline, our programme covers a broad range of topics that underpin medicine and pharmacology including toxicology, drug development, neuroscience, genetics, reproductive biology, physiology, immunology, biochemistry, endocrinology and cardiovascular physiology. These topics will be explored in lectures, tutorials, and workshops. Team-work and professional communication skills will also be emphasised. Following a grounding in fundamental medical science, toxicology, and core practical skills in the first year, in the second year, students will tackle more complex subjects such as Biostatistics, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, The Cardiovascular System, Pharmacogenomics, and Immunology. In their second year, students can choose to focus on one of three ‘Employability Strands’: Medical Research; Enterprise and Innovation or Medical Science in Practice (minimum 60% year 1 average required). The third year then exposes students to more specialised fields such as Advanced Pharmacology, Human Biology and the Environment, Reproductive Biology, Nanotoxicology, and Drug Development and Regulation. During their final year, students will further develop independent research skills relevant to their chosen Employability Strand through completion of their own 'capstone’ dissertation project. This project requires that they draw from knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the course.

Our BSc Medical Pharmacology is included in the 'Pathways to Medicine' programme whereby students are guaranteed an interview for Graduate Entry Medicine MB BCh at Swansea University provided they have chosen the Medical Sciences in Practice Employability Strand (60% average in year 1), performed satisfactorily, and have met the minimum entry criteria at the time they apply to Graduate Entry Medicine.

**We guarantee that you will be made a conditional offer for a course at Swansea University. Subject requirements will apply. Please come along to our next Open Day or get in touch for further information.**


Please see the course website for detail.

Module selection options may change, but below is the course structure in place in place for the 2018/19 cohort.

Level 4: Year 1: The Fundamentals

During the first year, students are introduced to the 'fundamentals' of medical and life sciences, and will develop a range of academic, practical and transferable skills. Modules include:

• Chemistry of life
• Organic Chemistry I
• Organic Chemistry II
• Evolution & molecular genetics
• Skills for Medical Sciences
• Microbiology
• Human physiology I
• Human physiology II
• The Dose Makes the Poison: Intro to Toxicology

Level 5: Year 2: Systems and Specialisations

The second year will enable the student to build on the core knowledge, practical skills and competencies by tackling a range of more complex topics. Modules include:

• Human Immunology
• Communicating Medical Sciences
• Intro to Pharmacology: Dynamics & Kinetics
• Metabolic Regulation: Enzymes and Signal Transduction
• The Cardiovascular System
• Genes on Drugs: Pharmacogenomics
• Biostatistics
• Neuroscience
• Antimicrobial Resistance

Plus ONE Employability Strand specific module:

• Doctors, Patients, and the Goals of Medicine
• Contemporary Themes and Techniques in Medical Sciences
• Entrepreneurship

Level 6: Year 3: Being a Medical Pharmacologist

The third year provides opportunities for the student to consolidate further develop and apply the core knowledge, practical skills and competencies gained throughout their studies. Students will study Advanced Pharmacology, and will also be exposed to a range of related specialised fields.

Modules include:

• Being a Medical Scientist
• Advances in Pharmacology
• Drug Development and Regulation
• Human Biology and the Environment
• Capstone Project (40 credits)

Plus ONE module choice

• Nanotoxicology
• Reproductive Biology
• From Bench to Bedside: Intro to Clinical Trials
• The Sweet Sickness: Advances in Diabetes and Related Disorders
• Cancer Pharmacology

Through the capstone project (40 credits) students will experience being a pharmacology researcher who:

1. researches the scientific literature
2. identifies an important scientific question
3. develops a hypothesis
4. identifies and uses the correct methods to test their hypothesis
5. gathers data and analyses it appropriately
6. draws appropriate conclusions
7. places their findings into context within the field
8. communicates all of the above effectively, in both oral and written form

The goal of the project is do science and integrate into a research team and to experience all of the successes, and challenges, that this involves. The projects may be lab-based, data-based or education-focused, depending upon student interest/staff resources.

Assessment methods

Students will be assessed in a variety of ways including, practical write-ups, multiple choice examinations, oral and visual presentations, podcasts, essays, reports, group journal clubs, mock grant proposals and a capstone project.

The Uni

Course location:

Singleton Park Campus


Swansea University Medical School

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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.


How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.


Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
First year drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Subjects allied to medicine

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Nursing and midwifery professionals
Health professionals
Therapy professionals

As only a relatively small number of students study pharmacology or toxicology, these statistics refer most closely to the graduate prospects of pharmacy graduates, so bear that in mind when you review them. Only a handful of students take first degrees in pure toxicology every year — the subject is more popular at Masters level. Pharmacology is a degree that tends to lead to jobs in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, and outcomes are improving again after a difficult time in the last few years. Jobs in pharmacology are often very specialist and so it’s no surprise that pharmacologists are amongst the most likely of all students to go on to a doctorate — if you want a job in research, start thinking about a PhD. As for pharmacy, unemployment rates are below 1% and 95% of pharmacy graduates had jobs as pharmacists (mostly in retail pharmacists) six months after they left their courses - employment rates have gone up significantly in the last couple of years.

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the criteria they expect applicants to satisfy; some may be compulsory, others may be preferable.

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This is what the university has told Ucas about the course. Use it to get a quick idea about what makes it unique compared to similar courses, elsewhere.

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Course location and department:

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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF):

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), for undergraduate students only.

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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