The Pharmaceutical Industry in the UK has a greater impact on the UK economy than any other high-tech industry. Employing 73,000 people, the pharmaceutical industry offers graduates a chance to play an important role in the development of new medicines with employment opportunities existing at all stages of the drug development process. Graduates may find themselves involved in early drug discovery processes, preclinical work, clinical trials or approval and launch of a new medicine.
Students choosing the BSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology will be taught by world-leading experts in their field who work closely with the Pharmaceutical and related industries. They will be confronted by innovative and flexible teaching methods and will be provided a range of work-related learning (including placement) opportunities to equip them with the essential skills required by employers.
The engaging and dynamic curriculum allows you to understand the fundamental science underpinning the discovery of new therapeutic compounds and their translation into marketed drug products.
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Degree highlights
The School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast is consistently ranked as one of the top UK Schools of Pharmacy by the Times Good University Guide and we are recognised for our excellence in teaching and our international reputation in research.
- Graduates may be involved in any aspect of drug product development and the School of Pharmacy has world-leading academics that are fully engaged with leading industrial partners tackling global health problems.
- Academics teaching on our BSc degree programmes are leading subject experts and work with major multinational pharmaceutical companies. These include GSK, Eli Lilly, Teva, Astra Zeneca, Reckitt Benckiser, Almac, Capsugel, and many others.
World Class Facilities
- The McClay Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Sciences provides extensive state-of-the-art facilities for research, supported by well-equipped pharmaceutical engineering, analytical, molecular biology, advanced microscopy, tissue culture and microbiology laboratories.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The BSc degrees in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology are taught by world leading academics. Research within the School is both fundamental and applied and is supported by a broad range of funders including government, charitable and multi-national industry sources.
During your course of study, you will develop breadth and depth in the skills, knowledge and experiences required for success in your future career. Both degree programmes have been developed in consultation with industry and involve a broad syllabus covering the design, evaluation, production, and testing of medicines.
All students take five modules: The first module provides an introduction to pharmaceutical microbiology, including aspects of disinfection and sterilisation, with a second module providing an introduction to the principles of physical and analytical chemistry which are of importance to pharmaceutical systems. The third module addresses the mathematical and statistical skills that are needed by pharmaceutical scientists to work effectively in the industrial sector, and other related areas.
A chemistry module covers important aspects of organic and bio-organic chemistry, including structure determination, chemical reactivity and the chemical mechanisms involved in making molecules.
Finally, a physiology module covers the principles of general physiology and histology as well as an introduction to systematic pathophysiology.
This year provides further development and understanding of the basic/fundamental sciences related to pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical biotechnology.
Two modules, are studied; the first covers the basic principles of drug action and the second is concerned with medicinal substances and the analytical methods used to determine the relationships between structure and function of drug molecules.
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology students undertake a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology module (20 CATS) and a Pharmaceutical Formulation module (20 CATS).
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology provides students with a comprehensive understanding of major human metabolic processes. They will also gain detailed understanding of innate and adaptive immunity whilst Pharmaceutical Formulation is concerned with formulation of pharmaceutical drug products.
The final year of each of these degree programmes builds upon the knowledge gained and skills developed in the first two years, and provides further specialisation in key areas, allowing graduates to work successfully within the industrial sector.
Modules studied in the final year cover the following areas which include the design of large and small molecules, advanced delivery systems for these active ingredients, and their associated pharmaceutical analysis. Those specialising in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology study biological approaches to disease treatment and prevention and applied biotechnology and regulatory affairs.
Students also carry out a research project in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
13 (hours maximum)
|Medium Group Teaching|
14 (hours maximum)
10 hours practicals 4 hours workshops
25 (hours maximum)
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
The Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree programme, provides a range of learning experiences, which enable our students to engage with world-leading research experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in the pharmaceutical and related industries.
During their degree programme students will make use of advanced pharmaceutical equipment, develop knowledge of innovative drug delivery technologies and have access to a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Students will also have the opportunity to engage in a range of work-related learning opportunities and may opt for a placement period within the industry. This will help students build knowledge, understanding and operation of industrial processes and develop an ability to work independently and in a multidisciplinary team.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
E-Learning technologies, lectures, personal tutor, practicals, self-directed study, seminars/tutorials, supervised projects, and work placements.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. The majority of modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction
As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers.
As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work.
Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including: formal written comments, face to face comments, placement employer comments or references, online or emailed feedback, pre-submission advice, feedback and outcomes from practical classes, and others.
A level requirements
BBB including Biology and Chemistry + GCSE Mathematics grade C
BBB including Biology and at least one from Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
BBB including Chemistry and at least one from Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Biology grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Pharmacy. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree, these are not the deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer is made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
School Leavers taking A-level Qualifications
For admission to the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree performance at GCSE and AS-level is taken into account when deciding whether or not to make conditional offers. Where candidates do not cash-in AS-level examinations results at the end of year 13 (Year 12 England and Wales), it is helpful if the equivalent grades are given in the academic reference, since this will speed up the decision-making process.
For entry last year offers were initially made to those who achieved 6 Bs at GCSE. This is the initial threshold which may be relaxed once we have received all of our applications. The final threshold is not usually determined until late in the application cycle (February-March), so there may be a delay in processing candidates who have less than 6 Bs at GCSE. The final threshold varies from year to year depending on competition for places.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not acceptable. However, performance in these subjects may be taken into account in tie-break situations after the publication of A-level results in August.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
Repeat A-level Applicants
The offer for repeat candidates may be one A-level grade higher than the normal asking grades. Grades from the previous year can be held. Please note that only two attempts at admission are allowed.
Visiting the School of Pharmacy
In addition to the general University Open Days held in September students made an offer will be invited to a UCAS Visit Day, which are usually held in February-April. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- English for University Study: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a BSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology degree at Queen‘s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.
Placements provide an opportunity to supplement formal University education with invaluable industrial experience and present an opportunity to form strong links with potential employers. Moreover, this will help students develop vital skills, improve their employability and ultimately help them become more aware of the global pharmaceutical community and their connection to it. The School of Pharmacy have also introduced a range of other activities to support successful employability post degree. These include industrial visits to local pharmaceutical industries, employability workshops, writing CVs and job applications, psychometric tests and interview preparation techniques.
The prospects of employment for a graduate with a BSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (Sandwich) degree in the UK are high. Graduates can pursue careers in the Pharmaceutical and Medical devices industry. Opportunities also exist in areas relating to Research and Development, Manufacturing and supply, commercial or support functions. Further information may be found at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry careers website: careers.abpi.org.uk
Graduates can choose from a wide range of Master’s programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics for study at PhD level (PhD); see www.qub.ac.uk/pha for further information.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2018-19 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2018-19 will be based on 2017-18 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,030|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,030|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology costs
Year 1 students are required to buy a laboratory coat at a cost of £10. Students on placement year are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year. Students who take optional short placements are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs of around £20 to £100 per week.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
* information shown is for 2017-18 and should be used as a guide until 2018-19 scholarships are confirmed.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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