Pharmacology and Physiology with Integrated Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code B210


We may still have full-time vacancies available for this course.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental principles of the scientific discipline of pharmacology and how these fundamental principles can be applied to the understanding of drug actions in the various physiological systems of the body.


This programme offers an initial foundation year, which includes a taught course that is work related, takes account of prior learning and gives you the opportunity to develop and embed key academic and employability skills.

It also teaches a comprehensive understanding of how the scientific discipline of pharmacology is integral to the drug discovery and development process. You gain a detailed understanding of the variety of technical approaches and research strategies which underpin pharmacology and drug discovery. Use it as a progression route to MSc or PhD study, or employment in the bioscience/pharmaceutical industry. Teaching is by research-active experts in pharmacology, physiology and related scientific disciplines and you have the opportunity produce a substantial research project in an academic or industrial laboratory.

This is a four-year programme where completion of an initial foundation year guarantees you entry on to the BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology. You also have the option to choose a four-year programme incorporating an industrial placement on the BSc (Hons) Pharmacology and Physiology with a Year in Industry.


When you are applying for the Pharmacology and Physiology with an Integrated Foundation Year degree, please apply to the Medway School of Pharmacy, UCAS institution code name MEDSP, institution code M62.


For fees, please refer to the Medway School of Pharmacy website.

Independent rankings

Pharmacology and Pharmacy at Kent scored 92.6 out of 100 in The Complete University Guide 2019.

In the National Student Survey 2018, 87% of final-year Pharmacy students who completed the survey, were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Of Pharmacy and Pharmacology students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, 100% were in professional work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Teaching Excellence Framework

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Programme structure

Foundation Stage

  • Scientific Writing & Communication (15 credits)
  • Mathematics for Life Sciences (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Chemistry (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Biology (15 credits)
  • Basic Laboratory Skills (15 credits)
  • Drugs & Diseases (15 credits)
  • Biochemistry (15 credits)
  • Introduction to Pharmacology (15 credits)

Stage 1

  • Physiology and Pharmacology (30 credits)
  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry (30 credits)
  • Medicinal Products (30 credits)
  • Basic Laboratory Skills (15 credits)
  • Analytical Techniques in Pharmacology (15 credits)

Stage 2

  • Pharmacokinetics (15 credits; core)
  • Cardiovascular Respiratory and Renal Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Immunopharmacology and Microbiology (15 credits; core)
  • Endocrine and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Research Methods in Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Neuropharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Introduction to Toxicology (15 credits; elective)
  • Introduction to Biopharmaceuticals and Gene Therapy (15 credits; elective)

Stage 3

  • Receptor Mechanisms and Molecular Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Professional Skills in Pharmacology (15 credits; core)
  • Drug Discovery and Development (15 credits; core)
  • Pharmacology Physiology Project (30 credits; core)
  • Advanced Neuropharmacology (15 credits; elective)
  • Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (15 credits; elective)

Foundation year

Your foundation year gives you the skills you need to undertake undergraduate study.

Year in industry

If you take a year in industry you usually work in an industrial laboratory research environment.

The placement normally takes place between your third and final year. During your placement, you have the opportunity to put into practice skills you have acquired during your foundation year and the following two years of the programme, as well as acquire new skills that enhance your future employability. It is your responsibility to secure your placement, however, we offer support throughout the application process. You  maintain contact with your personal tutor during your year in industry.

Placements are normally in a pharmaceutical/drug discovery company or government research institute. Your placement can be in the UK or abroad.

Teaching and assessment


The programme will be taught as a 4-year full-time programme, or a 5-year full-time programme combined with a year in industry placement. It is intended that this programme will involve a combination of (i) formal lecture-based learning, (ii) laboratory practicals to complement material taught in lectures and to emphasise key principals with practical demonstrations, and (iii) seminar-based question and answer sessions to facilitate in-depth understanding of key concepts. In addition to timetabled direct contact learning sessions, there will also be a variety of self-learning components including managed student centred learning (MSCL) exercises and the availability of computer aided learning (CAL) software to further solidify student understanding.


Formal summative assessment assessed against the learning outcomes via written examination, coursework assignments, written assignments, problem solving, presentations, laboratory participation and performance and a final-year research project report.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Learning outcomes

Intellectual skills

  • Ability to formulate research questions and design appropriate experiments in order to attempt to answer these questions.
  • Ability to analyse and interpret research data obtained from a variety of technical approaches used in pharmacology and related scientific disciplines.
  • Ability to place results obtained from complex experiments in context, both in terms of unanalysed data and the wider scientific literature.
  • Ability to work in a self-directed manner and demonstrate originality in tackling and solving problems.
  • Ability to critically appraise proposed experimental strategies used to evaluate drug action in the context of molecular interactions up to in vivo and human clinical trials.
  • Recognition of the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.

Subject-specific skills

  • Training in basic laboratory skills and plate-based reading technology.
  • Training in in vitro and in vivo pharmacological preparations in relation to drug action within various physiological systems.
  • Detailed training in molecular biological, enzymological and electrophysiological techniques relevant to pharmacology and related scientific disciplines.
  • Training in safety studies and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models and techniques as they are required by, and relate to pharmacology.

Transferable skills

  • Problem-solving skills relating to experimental data.
  • Written and verbal communication skills.
  • Numeracy and statistical skills.
  • Information Technology skills.
  • Time management and organisational skills.
  • Study skills, for example: developing the independent learner; developing the ability to work effectively in a team.


The scientific skills gained within a pharmacology degree make graduates attractive to a wide range of employers, which means there are a wide variety of career paths and opportunities open to pharmacology graduates. 

Pharmacology graduates play a significant role in the pharmaceutical industry and have been integral to drug discovery and development. The year in industry further hones the skills gained in your studies and helps you to develop new skills that will be attractive to potential employers. 

Outside of the academic or industrial lab, the skills that pharmacology graduates have are welcome in fields such as drug regulation, teaching, pharmaceutical  marketing, scientific writing and journalism.

Many students upon completing the BSc could continue into further education by studying for an MSc, MRes or a PhD.  The pharmacology degree can also be can be used to apply for graduate entry to study medicine or dentistry. However, the pharmacology degree is not a qualification to be a pharmacist, which would require a pharmacy degree (MPharm).

Entry requirements

  • You should have good aptitude and enthusiasm for science and scientific discovery.
  • You should be numerate and confident with mathematics.
  • You should have a willingness to develop the practical and intellectual skills needed to gain a full appreciation of the scientific discipline of pharmacology.
  • You should wish to obtain advanced scientific/laboratory training relevant to the scientific discipline of pharmacology or related scientific disciplines.
  • You may wish to undertake a research project or a placement in an industrial/pharmaceutical laboratory.

Clearing entry

Typical entry requirements for 2019 entry courses remain published on the UCAS course search website and apply to applications received during the main UCAS application cycle. These provide a rough guide to our likely entry requirements for Clearing and Adjustment applicants.

However during Clearing (after 5 July), our entry requirements change in real time to reflect the supply and demand of remaining course vacancies and so may be higher or lower than those published on UCAS as typical entry grades.

Our Clearing vacancy list will be updated regularly as courses move in and out of Clearing, so please check regularly to see if we have any places available. You can submit an application via our online Clearing application form as soon as your full results are known. See our Clearing website for more details on how Clearing works at Kent.

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

DDD preferably including Biology and Chemistry


Mathematics and English Language grade C

Access to HE Diploma

The Medway School of Pharmacy welcomes students with vocational qualifications and/or relevant work experience, and will continue to judge each student on his/her individual merits.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

26-30 points overall with 14 points at Higher level, preferably in sciences (e.g. chemistry, biology, physics)

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.


General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.