Pharmacology and Physiology - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code 2W3R


This new BSc (Hons) Pharmacology and Physiology programme is taught as a classic full-time three-year programme or a four-year programme incorporating an industrial placement.



This programme will offer:

  • 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.
  • A comprehensive understanding of how the scientific discipline of pharmacology is integral to the drug discovery and development process.
  • A detailed understanding of the variety of technical approaches and research strategies which underpin pharmacology and drug discovery.
  • A progression route to MSc or PhD study, or employment in the bioscience/pharmaceutical industry.
  • Teaching by research active experts in pharmacology, physiology and related scientific disciplines.
  • A substantial research project in an academic or industrial laboratory.


When you are applying for the BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology degree, please apply to the Medway School of Pharmacy, UCAS institution code name MEDSP, institution code M62.


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

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, 90% of Pharmacy and Pharmacology students at Kent were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Pharmacology and Pharmacy at Kent was ranked 6th in The Times Good University Guide 2017.

Pharmacology and Pharmacy students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (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

Stage 1

  • Introduction to Physiology and Pharmacology (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Biosciences (30 credits)
  • Medicines Design and Manufacture (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)

Year in industry

Industry-based laboratory work experience will be open to students completing the year in industry which will entail working in an industrial laboratory research environment.

The principal laboratory activities will take place in an industrial laboratory. The placement will normally begin following the second year. During their placement, students will have the opportunity to put into practice skills they have acquired during their first two years of the programme, as well as acquire new skills that would enhance their future employability. The School will support the students in the application process to attain their placement for those students who have elected to undertake the the year in industry option. However it is the responsibility of the student to secure the placement. Students will maintain contact with their personal tutors during their year in industry.

Placements will normally be in a pharmaceutical/drug discovery company or government research institute. Students may work in the UK or abroad for their placement.

Teaching and assessment


The programme will be taught as a three-year full-time programme, or a four-year full-time programme including 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 principles 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.

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 appreciation of 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 eg developing the independent learner; developing the ability to work effectively in a team.


There are a variety of career paths and opportunities available to pharmacology graduates.  The scientific skills learnt within a pharmacology degree make graduates attractive to a wide range of employers. Pharmacology, with its long association with the pharmaceutical industry, can help to prepare graduates for jobs within pharmaceutical and drug discovery companies. Pharmacology graduates have played a significant role in the pharmaceutical industry and have been integral to drug discovery and development. 

The year in industry, following the second year of the BSc, will further hone the skills gained in the first two years of study and help students 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 continue their studies by taking an MSc, MRes or a PhD.  The pharmacology degree can also 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 placement in an industrial/pharmaceutical laboratory.

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

BBB preferably including Biology and Chemistry and C in Mathematics

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 (eg 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.

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.


See the Medway School of Pharmacy website for details of funding opportunities. 

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact