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About this course
How do we develop the next generation of drugs for treating bacterial infection, AIDS, cancer, depression and heart failure? These are among the challenges being addressed by pharmacologists at Southampton. This degree will prepare you to make your own contribution to this important work.
Your studies will give you an in-depth understanding of the major pharmacological concepts and principles.
the interaction of drugs with humans and animals
how existing drugs can be improved or repurposed
In the first and second years, you'll have the opportunity to refine your practical skills in our state-of-the-art teaching labs. This will prepare you to work alongside our experts in pharmacology and undertake your individual research project in year 3.
As part of your degree you can also:
undertake a semester at a partner university abroad during year 2
Location and awarding body
Transfer between courses
Depending on your A levels and performance in year 1, you may have the opportunity to transfer to a related biological sciences degree at the end of your first year.
A-levels additional information
Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking. A level science subjects considered include Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Statistics, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required.
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Pass with overall score of 34 points, with 17 points required at Higher Level, including 5 and 6 points at Higher Level in Chemistry and one further science subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma additional information
Science subjects considered include Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology.Applications where Higher Level subjects have been studied without the full Diploma, will also be considered on a case by case basis.
D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma plus AA in A Level Chemistry and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC Diploma/BTEC Extended Diploma without two AA grades in A Level Chemistry and one further science subject.
BTEC additional information
Acceptable science subjects are Human Biology, Biology, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. Offers typically exclude General Studies and Critical Thinking.
A-levels with Extended Project Qualification
If you are taking an EPQ in addition to 3 A levels, you will receive the following offer in addition to the standard A-level offer:ABB including Chemistry and one further science subject, and grade A in the EPQ
A-levels contextual offer
International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) offer
BTEC (RQF) (reformed)
D in the BTEC Extended Certificate plus AA in A Level Chemistry and one further science subject. We do not accept the BTEC National Diploma/ BTEC National Extended Diploma without two AA grades in A Level Chemistry and one further science subject.
Access to HE Diploma
60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at Level 3 of which 45 credits must be at Distinction.
Access to HE Diploma additional information
A core science Access to HE Diploma must be studied.
Irish Leaving Certificate (first awarded 2017)
H1, H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 to include Chemistry and one further science subject.
Irish Leaving Certificate (first awarded 2016)
AAAABB to include Chemistry and one further science subject
Irish Leaving Certificate additional information
Acceptable science subjects considered include Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology. Applicants will be required to have achieved a pass in Mathematics and English at ILC Grade C or 04, the equivalent of GCSE grade C/grade 4.
Scottish Qualification offers
Offers will be based on exams being taken at the end of S6. Subjects taken and qualifications achieved in S5 will be reviewed. Careful consideration will be given to an individual’s academic achievement, taking in to account the context and circumstances of their pre-university education. Please see the University of Southampton’s Curriculum for Excellence Scotland Statement (PDF, 111.01 KB) for further information. Applicants are advised to contact their Faculty Admissions Office for more information.
Cambridge Pre-U additional information
D3, D3, M2 to include Chemistry and one further science subject. Science subjects considered include Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Psychology and Geography. Cambridge Pre-U's can be used in combination with other qualifications such as A Levels to achieve the equivalent of the typical offer, where D3 can be used in lieu of A Level grade A or grade M2 can be used in lieu of grade B.
AA from two A levels including Chemistry and one further science subject and B from the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
Welsh Baccalaureate additional information
A level science subjects considered include Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Maths, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Statistics, Geography and Geology. Where this offer is satisfied by including grades achieved in either Biology, Chemistry or Physics, a Pass in the practical science assessment is additionally required. General Studies, Critical Thinking are excluded for entry.
79%-85% overall to include grade 8in Chemistry and grade 8 in one further science subject. Acceptable science subjects considered include Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Geography and Geology.
English language requirements
All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.
Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components
IELTS score requirements
Non-academic entry requirements
This is a list of the international qualifications that are recognised by the University of Southampton. If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.
Science Foundation Year
If you don’t have the right qualifications for direct entry into this course, you may still be able to enrol by taking our Science Foundation Year.
This programme may suit you if:
you are studying for A levels in subjects other than those we normally ask for
you are a mature applicant with skills and experience from employment and can show recent study
you come from a part of the world where the education system is different from the British A level system
Contact us if you have a question about what qualifications you have or might need.
Other ways to qualify
You might meet our criteria in other ways if you do not have the qualifications we need. Find out more about:
our Access to Southampton scheme for students living permanently in the UK (including residential summer school, application support and scholarship)
skills you might have gained through work or other life experiences (otherwise known as recognition of prior learning)
Find out more about our Admissions Policy.
This programme has a strong emphasis on the molecular aspects of how pharmacological agents work, with particular focus on neuroscience and neuropharmacology.
You’ll learn how drugs work, evaluate new-generation antibiotics, and look at ways to solve the problems of drug toxicity. You'll also explore how drugs can best be used in the treatment of disease in humans and animals.
You do not need to select your modules when you apply. Your academic tutor will help you to customise your course.
You’ll study a range of topics, giving you a solid grounding in the major concepts and principles of pharmacology.
This will include modules looking at the fundamentals of the structure and function of macromolecules, metabolism, cell biology and physiology.
Further modules will develop your skills in biological chemistry, evolution and biomolecular techniques.
There are 5 compulsory modules:
Pharmacology A and B
Immunology Infection and Inflammation
A wide range of optional modules will allow you to expand your interests in specific areas. These include:
Bioinformatics and DNA Technology
You'll develop your knowledge at the cutting edge of pharmacology. You'll complete an independent research project, choosing from a range of options. These include laboratory research, bioscience business, bioscience education and science communication.
You’ll develop expertise in areas of particular interest by choosing from a range of optional modules, including:
Support for your studies
How you’ll spend your study time
Your scheduled learning, teaching and independent study, year by year:
How we’ll assess you
We’ll assess you using:
- coursework, laboratory reports and essays
As a science graduate, you’ll have a wide variety of employment options. Some will directly use your scientific abilities, others will draw on the broader set of analytical skills gained throughout your course.
This degree will build your skills in gathering and interpreting information, as well as working within and leading teams.
Pharmacology graduates from Southampton find careers in areas such as:
the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
postgraduate research training
Careers services at Southampton
We are a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
work experience schemes
a wealth of volunteering opportunities
study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture and our dedicated start-up supporter, Futureworlds, is open to every student.
Work in industry
Previous placements include work at:
Royal Marsden (NHS)
You'll pay £9,250 in tuition fees for the academic year 2020 to 2021. This fee might change for further years of your course.
International student fees
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fees pay for the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
Find out how to:
printing and photocopying
- Placements (including Study Abroad Programmes)
- Computer discs or USB drives
- Field course clothing
- Equipment and Materials
- Software Licenses
See the full list of extra items and costs in the programme specificationPDF opens in a new window 2020 to 2021 (PDF, 339.8 KB).
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
Bursaries, scholarships and other funding
If you're a UK or EU student and your household income is under£25,000 a year, you may be able to get a University of Southampton bursary to help with your living costs. Find out about bursaries and other funding we offer at Southampton.
If you're a care leaver or estranged from your parents, you may be able to get a specific bursary.
Scholarships and grants
You may be able to get a scholarship or grant that's linked to your chosen subject area.
We award scholarships and grants for travel, academic excellence, or to students from underrepresented backgrounds.
Support during your course
The Student Services Centre offers support and advice on money to students. You may be able to access our Student Support fund and other sources of financial support during your course.
Funding for international students
The University offers a friendly, diverse and welcoming home for you while you study. You'll work, live and socialise with students from more than 130 countries.
Clubs, societies and facilities
Our sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, a gym with 140 fitness stations, squash courts, a bouldering wall, outdoor pitches and much more. There are over 80 sports clubs you could join, and activity classes including yoga and spin.
We have an internationally known theatre, concert hall, art gallery and cinema showing everything from mainstream blockbusters to international arthouse classics. You could perform at a gig, concert or show, take part in an exhibition or join a writers’ workshop. Find out more about arts and culture at Southampton.
Whatever your passion or community, you can find like-minded people at one of the Students’ Union clubs and societies. There are more than 200 to join, and social activities in every hall of residence.
Support while you study
We aim to help you deal with any problems you might come across, so you can make the most of your time at university. We offer support with:
mental health, learning difficulties and disability
money and accommodation
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- predicted grades
- academic reference
We aim to respond to you within 2 to 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.