With over 900 biotech companies in the UK employing nearly 26,000 people, pharmaceutical biotechnology is an increasingly important area for pharma. It provides the biotechnological tools and techniques to enable the discovery, development and evolution of novel therapeutics and innovative drug delivery systems. Indeed, many of the UK’s biotech companies originate from universities as ‘spin-outs’, focused on the development of cutting edge technologies and innovative products. The BSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is designed to create students who have broad analytical and practical experience focussed on recent developments in the field, as well as strong professional and inter-disciplinary skills to prepare them for careers within the sector.
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.
|Introduction||During your course of study, you will develop breadth and depth in the skills, knowledge and experiences required for success in your future career. The BSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology has been developed by a team of academic experts in consultation with industry and involves a broad syllabus founded on the principles underlying health and disease. It encompasses an understanding of therapeutic targets and the fundamental mechanisms and applications of biomolecules and novel drug delivery systems. It is the application of this knowledge which enables the discovery, development and manufacture of innovative products that have the potential to improve and extend life.|
|Level 1||The first year of the degree teaches students foundational knowledge and skills in chemistry, maths, physiology and microbiology. This helps students to make the transition from secondary education and prepares them for more complex concepts in levels 2 and 3.|
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.
|Level 2||This year provides further development and understanding of the basic/fundamental sciences related to pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical biotechnology. |
Students are introduced to medicinal chemistry, analytical techniques and formulation. Further knowledge and practical expertise is developed across several other key subjects, including biochemistry, immunology and molecular biology. This training prepares students both for their placement* and their Level 3 research project.
*In the sandwich programme, the third year will be spent on a work placement in industry, during which you will participate in a real-world project in the working environment for a minimum of 48 weeks.
|Level 3||The final year of the degree covers a range of areas in biotechnology, including therapeutic proteins and molecular and cellular engineering for the development of a range of biotherapeutics, nanomedicines and advanced delivery systems. Students will become familiar with recombinant DNA technology, microarrays, genomics and proteomics. Teaching will also focus on the development of biological approaches to disease treatment and prevention, such as gene therapy and stem cells, highlighting opportunities for precision medicine. In addition, students will develop an understanding of scale up and manufacturing processes, and other industry-relevant skills such as a knowledge of quality control and regulatory affairs.|
Students also carry out a research project in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology which provides the students with a valuable opportunity to work within one of our research laboratories.
School of Pharmacy
|Large Group Teaching||13 (hours maximum)|
Hours of lectures per week.
|Medium Group Teaching||14 (hours maximum)|
10 hours practicals 4 hours workshops (Hours quoted are per week.)
|Personal Study||25 (hours maximum)|
Hours quoted are per week.
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.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
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.
Students have access to large teaching laboratories
|A level requirements|
BBB including Biology and Chemistry + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
BBB including Biology and at least one from Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
BBB including Chemistry and at least one from Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Biology grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
|Irish leaving certificate requirements|
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Biology and Chemistry + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.
80% average with no less than 70% in any module including sufficient relevant Level 3 modules in Biology and Chemistry (normally two Chemistry and two Biology). GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or equivalent in Access Course.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma|
32 points overall including 6,5,5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and at least one of Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Biology grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
32 points overall including 6,5,5 at Higher Level including Biology and at least one of Chemistry (preferred), Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Chemistry grade C/4 or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC/4,4 + GCSE Mathematics grade C/4
Standard Level grade 4 would be acceptable in lieu of the GCSE requirement.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma|
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree, provided any subject requirements are also met.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below 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. 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 entry last year offers were initially made to those who achieved 6 B/6s at GCSE though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis. 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.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.
Repeat A-level Applicants
The offer for repeat applicants may be one A-level grade higher than the normal asking grades. Grades from the previous year can be held.
Higher National Certificate/Diploma
Those offering a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Diploma (HND) are considered individually on their own merits for entry to Stage 1. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits. For those offering a HND, at least at least half of first year units must be at Merit grade. Where offers are made students would be expected to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year. For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree of your choice 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.
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.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
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.
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
Employment after the Course
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, biotechnology and medical device industries. Opportunities also exist in areas relating to R&D, 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
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 and biotech companies, employability workshops, writing CVs and job applications, psychometric tests and interview preparation techniques.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
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.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,395|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£4,395|
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.
* The tuition fees that EU students starting courses at UK universities following the agreed transition period are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students
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.
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/.
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/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2020 from 1 September 2019.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2020 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2020) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2020. If you apply for 2020 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
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 name 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/
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
VAT registration number: GB 254 7995 11