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Course content

Pharmaceutical Science will appeal to those of you who want to understand how the human body functions at a molecular level and the science that we can use to manage human health.

Based in our state-of-the-art Science Centre, you will explore the biochemical and cellular make-up of the human body, investigate what happens when things go wrong through, for example disease or illness, and how these may be prevented or cured by the action of drugs.

Alongside this, you will build a clear understanding of drugs and medicines, their structures, discovery and development, their biological delivery and activity, and their testing, regulation, production and quality assurance by analytical methods.

The MSci course combines Bachelors-level and Masters-level study in one integrated programme, giving you the opportunity to undertake professional work experience or an extended research project. However, whichever degree you choose to complete, you’ll develop wide ranging specialist skills and an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical science and its industry.

If you would like to study this degree but your current qualifications do not meet our entry requirements for degree level study, our Pharmaceutical Science with a Foundation Year is available.

Course content

In Year 1, you’ll be introduced to the theoretical principles and practical techniques of pharmaceutical science and pharmacology. You’ll study the underpinning biology and chemistry and learn about the activity of drugs on the human body.

During Year 2, you’ll look more thoroughly at the analysis and quality assurance of drugs using a range of laboratory techniques and QA methodologies. Your understanding of the human body will extend to the molecular and cellular levels, giving you the depth of knowledge to understand the functions of a healthy body and when disease and illness strike.

Between years 2 and 3 you will take the sandwich placement year. By doing this, you’ll complete a one-year placement with a company within the pharmaceutical industry specifically or a wider scientific field. You might work in drug discovery, isolating and characterising new potential drugs, undertake laboratory or clinical trials, or be involved in full scale industrial drug production that will further develop your employability skills. You will be supported by an onsite placement supervisor and receive regular visits and support from your academic supervisor too.

In Year 3, your final year, you’ll follow the complete process – from the stages involved in identifying potential new drugs, synthesising them for laboratory and then clinical trials, and subsequently, how their approval and production for commercial markets. You will also undertake independent research in an area of your choice, designing your research to probe a current issue in pharmaceutical science.

As an MSci student, your fourth year will provide the opportunity to gain an even greater breadth and depth of specialist knowledge. You’ll also hone your professional skills by completing a work placement or research assistantship, where there may be the opportunity to work closely with a leading employer.

Year 1 (Core)
-Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science and Pharmacology
-Introduction to Scientific Practice
-Molecules to Cells
-Basic Chemical Principles
-Molecular Structure and Synthesis

Year 2 (Core)
-Drug Analysis and Quality Assurance
-Genetics and Cell Biology
-Human Biochemistry and Physiology
-Professional Practice and Placement

Year 3 (Core)
-Drug Testing, Trials and Legislation
-Pharmaceuticals Industry and Drug Production
-Independent Project
-Drug Design, Synthesis and Characterisation

Year 3 (Options)
-Clinical Immunology
-Medical Genetics

Year 4 (Core)
-Placement or Research Assistantship
-Advanced Research Methods
-Advanced Pharmaceutical Science

Year 4 (Options)
-Choice of one Year 3 option

Employment opportunities

Graduates can progress into a wide range of roles either within the pharmaceutical industry specifically or a wider scientific field. You might work in drug discovery, isolating and characterising new potential drugs, undertake laboratory or clinical trials, or be involved in full scale industrial drug production. Graduates with an in-depth scientific knowledge are also highly sought after to work in marketing, sales and business management in this and other scientific industries.

Our courses aim to provide you with the relevant knowledge, approach and skill set demanded of a practicing scientist. You will develop skills and knowledge to study a variety of topics relevant to your degree, and the acquisition of Graduate skills and attributes developed in core modules will allow you to find employment in a variety of laboratory based environments such as the biopharmaceutical industry, food processing and quality assurance, veterinary and agricultural laboratories.

Some graduates apply for Graduate Entry Programmes in various healthcare professions such as Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy and Nursing. A significant number of our graduates apply for postgraduate study. Those who aspire to a career in teaching progress to a PGCE, whereas graduates with an interest in a research choose to continue onto Masters and PhD programmes.

Graduates from science courses are increasingly sought after due to their skills in numeracy, IT, problem solving and abilities to analyse and evaluate. Consequently, many of the non-laboratory based industries such as regulatory affairs, scientific editing, technical sales and marketing, insurance and management preferentially employ graduate scientists. All students carry out a work placement in year 2. These are flexible so you can angle your experience towards your career aspirations. Your final year research project in a topic of your choice enables you to undertake a major piece of investigative work culminating in a professional style paper, suitable to present to prospective employers.

Visit the Pharmaceutical Science MSci page on the Staffordshire University website for more details!





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