Study ›  Undergraduate courses

Pharmacology

Apply for this course

Ready to apply? You can apply for this course online now using the UCAS website. The deadline for UK students to apply for this course is 25 January 2023.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2023.

Add choice to your UCAS application

Use these details to apply for this course through UCAS:

  • University name: University of Liverpool
  • Course: Pharmacology B212
  • Location: Main site
  • Start date: 25 September 2023

Get a prospectus or course leaflet

Change country or region

We’re showing entry requirements and other information for applicants with qualifications from: United Kingdom.

Commonly selected...

Change to the United Kingdom

More countries and regions...


Not on the list?

If your country or region isn’t listed here, please contact us with any questions about studying with us.

Master of Biological Science

Master of Biological Science (MBiolSci) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate taught programme in biological science.

Course overview

Pharmacology is an exciting branch of experimental science in which you'll study how chemical substances interact with our bodies.

Introduction

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how medicines are taken for granted. Faced with a new disease, it is only through the development of vaccines and medicines we are now finding our way out of the pandemic. The study of pharmacology underpins how medicines are developed. You will learn about the development of new medicines and how they work in the fight against disease.

You will be studying in the UK’s largest Pharmacology department which has won the prestigious 2017 Queens Anniversary Prize in recognition of its work to improve the safety and effectiveness of medicines. You will be taught by leading academics in our £30m teaching facilities. You can enrol on our Deferred Choice Programme (C130) before you decide to specialise or retain broader research interests. Ours is a rewarding programme and you’ll have excellent academic and pastoral support.

The MBiolSci is a four-year programme, in which students first follow the three-year BSc in Pharmacology and then continue into a fourth year, subject to performance.

 

 

What you'll learn

You’ll study a range of modules in

  • Classical pharmacology
  • Physiology and cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular toxicology
  • Cancer pharmacology
  • Ability to evaluate and interpret the subject knowledge to solve problems
  • Research and communication skills
  • Analysis and interpretation of real-world data
  • How to access and critically evaluate scientific literature

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

In this first year, you’ll gain an understanding of the fundamental cellular, genetic and evolutionary mechanisms and be introduced to the interactions of drugs and other chemicals on biological processes. You will develop knowledge of pharmacology and physiology along with the experimental skills and analytical techniques needed to apply, evaluate and interpret this knowledge in these disciplines.

 

Compulsory modules

BIOCHEMICAL METHODS (LIFE122)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 2

This course introduces widely used laboratory concepts and practical techniques that are relevant to academic research, industry and medical applications.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR THE LIFE SCIENCES I (LIFE109)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module will develop in students the essential numerical, presentational, research and study skills needed to become successful learners. These skills will form the foundations for future skills, training and development, enabling them to successfully plan, execute, analyse and report on research projects. These skills will also enhance their employability prospects and career pathways. The module will consist of lectures, tutorials and workshops. Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises to enable them evaluate their understanding of the module content. The module will be assessed through completion of assessments which contribute to a portfolio.

EVOLUTION (LIFE103)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module describes the evolutionary processes that have resulted in the generation of the diverse life forms that populate the planet.

This includes the theory of evolution by natural selection, and the genetic processes that result in gene evolution and diversity.

Selected scenarios and case studies will apply evolutionary concepts, showing the fundamental importance of evolution to a broad range of the life sciences.

The module is split into two parts: the first part (A) is the same for all students, the second part (B) contains a number of parallel strands tailored to students interest.

Students will be advised by their programme director which strand to follow. 

The lectures will be supplemented with a variety of on-line resources.

Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.

The module will be assessed by continuous assessments.

EXPERIMENTAL SKILLS IN CURRENT BIOLOGY (LIFE107)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This is the first practical module that students will take in the School of Life Sciences. The skills that students acquire will be needed for other practical modules that they will take in semester 2 Year 1, and during Year 2 and will prepare them for their year 3 research project and for their subsequent career.
This module is designed to teach the basic multidisciplinary skills required in the biological sciences.

It aims to develop careful working practices, experimental design and interpretation of results. Skills acquired in this module will be both utilised and enhanced by the co-requisite module LIFE 109 (communication and study skills and quantitative skills).

The way in which LIFE 107 is taught and assessed is designed to place emphasis on encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning . Demonstrators and academic staff will be on hand to answer questions or show students how to use lab equipment.

Resources will be available online via VITAL and include a weekly Blog, technical manual, module handbook, lab instruction manual and weekly lectures.
The module will be taught in weekly practical classes and it will be assessed through continuous assessment (assessment 1-2) and a final exam (assessment 3).

GRAND CHALLENGES IN BIOLOGY (LIFE105)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

​This module introduces students to how grand challenges (scientific and societal) are addressed in universities and in particular at the University of Liverpool. Students will be introduced to four major topics (Infections and Global Health, Ageing, Food Security, Personalised Medicines) by experts in the respective fields. Emphasis will be placed on students understanding concepts and assembling information rather than memorizing facts. The material will be delivered based on the concept of a scientific conference with plenary talks and parallel sessions presented by the lecturers, and (in light of Covid-19 driven procedures at scientific meetings) a video session driven by student input. Assessment of lecture material and associated readings will be by continuous assessment.

INTRODUCTION TO PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY (LIFE106)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

MOLECULES AND CELLS (LIFE101)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module describes the detailed composition of cells and the processes by which they obtain and generate energy, grow, replicate and eventually die.
The lectures will be supplemented with on-line resources and illustrated with some of the latest research methods that are used to study cell structure and function.
Students will be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.
The module will be assessed by both continuous assessments and by a final examination.

Optional modules

ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY (LIFE112)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module studies the body plans of the major groups of animals and explores the relationship between body form and function.

It also discusses the evlolutionary origins of these basic body plans and how these have been modified to adapt to particular habitats.

The module will be taught through a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous material. The former consists of pre-recorded videos and other online learning material, the latter consists of scheduled interactive online sessions. Students will also be given guided reading, and regular formative assessment exercises will enable students to evaluate their understanding of the module.

The module will be assessed through continuous assessment.

BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (LIFE102)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will provide the foundation for future studies on the molecular basis of life and disease. It covers basic biochemistry and immunity and how these fields can provide a molecular explanation for life and disease. The module will encourage confidence, teamwork and communication through active learning in lectures and workshops centred around authentic assessments.

MICROBIOLOGY (LIFE110)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY: EMBRYOLOGY AND MECHANISMS OF DEVELOPMENT (LIFE114)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

​Developmental biology is the study of how multicellular organisms are transformed from a single fertilised cell to the adult form and eventually die.

In this module we will explore the developmental biology toolkit, especially the key cellular behaviours that underpin development. 

Next we will explain how the developing organism progresses from a group of identical cells through the formation of the first distinct cell types to the laying down of the fundamental body plan through the process of gastrulation. 

Finally we examine how the major organs of the body arise from the three layered embryo formed at gastrulation.  Along the way we will introduce stem cells and investigate their role in development, encounter the germ line and gametogenesis, appreciate the connections between development and evolution and hence the value of studying more primitive organisms to understand human development.  

The module will be taught by a combination of lectures and workshops and will be assessed by open book online tests and a final examination.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Global Opportunities

University of Liverpool students can choose from an exciting range of study placements at partner universities worldwide. Choose to spend a year at XJTLU in China or a year or semester at an institution of your choice.

What's available on this course?

Year in China

Immerse yourself in Chinese culture on an optional additional year at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University in stunning Suzhou.

  • Learn Chinese
  • Study in a bustling world heritage city
  • Improve employment prospects
  • Study Chinese culture
  • 30 minutes from Shanghai
  • Learn new skills

Read more about Year at XJTLU, China

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Study as a Bachelor's degree

This course is also available as a three year BSc (Hons) programme.

View Pharmacology BSc (Hons)

Your experience

Day-to-day teaching takes place in state of the art facilities in one of the largest Life Sciences schools in the UK meaning you can choose modules from across the entire spectrum of health and life sciences complemented also by links with the schools of dentistry, veterinary and tropical medicine. You’ll also have access to a wealth of renowned museums, libraries and galleries.

 

Virtual tour

Careers and employability

We also offer support for making career choices right from the beginning. In your first year you will have the opportunity to consider potential career pathways within and outside the field of pharmacology.

Employability is embedded into the Pharmacology BSc (Hons) programme and can be the necessary stepping stone into a successful career in many life science sectors in clinical trials, manufacturing, regulatory affairs, intellectual property and scientific writing.

 

4 in 5 life sciences students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Common employers of pharmacology graduates include:

  • Pharmaceutical, environmental and biotech industries
  • Civil Service
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Universities

Preparing you for future success

At Liverpool, our goal is to support you to build your intellectual, social, and cultural capital so that you graduate as a socially-conscious global citizen who is prepared for future success. We achieve this by:

  • Embedding employability within your , through the modules you take and the opportunities to gain real-world experience offered by many of our courses.
  • Providing you with opportunities to gain experience and develop connections with people and organisations, including student and graduate employers as well as our global alumni.
  • Providing you with the latest tools and skills to thrive in a competitive world, including access to Handshake, a platform which allows you to create your personalised job shortlist and apply with ease.
  • Supporting you through our peer-to-peer led Careers Studio, where our career coaches provide you with tailored advice and support.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and student finance.

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the costs associated with placements or internships, and the optional field course in Uganda.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This includes the costs associated with placements or internships, and the optional field course in Uganda.

Students should expect to cover the following costs.

Costs associated with placements/internships

Students in Life Sciences who have chosen international placements/internships will need to pay for their visa (if applicable), travel, accommodation, and meals.

There may also be costs associated with travel to interviews for placements/internships. These will vary, and some other extra costs may also be incurred. If students are spending a full year in industry, their employers may pay transport costs. School and University bursaries may be available to help with the cost of these opportunities.

Students might choose to pay for additional optional vaccinations in addition to the compulsory ones that the School pays for.

Tropical ecology field course
Students who elect to take the optional tropical ecology field course in Uganda are required to make a financial contribution that covers their own costs (travel, meals, visa, accommodation, and entry to national parks). In 2020-21, the student contribution was £1,500. A limited number of funded places are available.

Students might choose to pay for additional optional vaccinations in addition to the compulsory ones that the School pays for.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.

Scholarships and bursaries you can apply for from the United Kingdom

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

Typical A level offer AAB

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB with A in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to complete a foundation year which would allow you to progress to this course.

Available foundation years:

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
Subject requirements

Chemistry A level plus a second science, preferably Biology, at A level.

For applicants from England: Where a science has been taken at A level (Chemistry, Biology or Physics), a pass in the Science practical of each subject will be required.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

D*DD in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, to include Distinction in Units 1 and 5 (Principles and Applications of Science I and II).

For previous BTEC (QCF) qualification:

D*DD in Applied Science with a selection of preferred units in Biology and Chemistry, with at least 120 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

Please note alternative BTEC subjects are not acceptable for this programme.

BTEC Applied Science unit requirements

View the BTEC Applied Science unit requirements.

International Baccalaureate

34 points, including 6 in Higher Level Chemistry, and 5 in another Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H3
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

Not accepted without Advanced Highers at grades ABB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at grade B as equivalent to a third non-science A level at grade B.
Access 45 Level 3 credits in graded units in a relevant Diploma, including 30 at Distinction and a further 15 with at least Merit. 15 Distinctions are required in each of Chemistry and Biology. GCSE Mathematics and English grade C/4 also required.
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our entry requirements. Completing your Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, means you're guaranteed a place on your chosen course.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Pharmacology MBiolSci

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.