The pharmaceutical industry in the UK has a greater impact on the UK economy than any other high-tech industry. Employing 73,000 people, of whom around 27,000 are directly involved in research and development (R&D), 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. The BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree is designed to create students who are the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists, able to work in all stages of the drug development process as part of a multi-disciplinary research team.
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.
“My time studying the BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences was enriching both personally and professionally. The small group teaching and early exposure to the lab setting allowed me to build a strong scientific foundation from day one. The staff could not have been more supportive over the three years, taking time to respond to any questions and also providing advice based on their own experience. I had the opportunity to undertake a summer studentship within the School of Pharmacy between my first and second years – this gave me the chance to apply some of my own knowledge to active research and make a contribution. This would not have been possible without the guidance of the lecturers and other teaching staff. I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying the BSc and couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone considering a career in science. It has given me a great basis for further study and I use knowledge I gained from it on a daily basis.” - (Marcus Graham, BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate 2018)
|Introduction||The degree has an engaging and dynamic curriculum that deals with the underpinning science of the drug development process, including physical, chemical and biological concepts. Students will encounter innovative and flexible teaching methods and will be provided with a range of work-related learning opportunities (including placement) to equip them with the skills required by employers in industry.|
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 has been developed in consultation with pharmaceutical industry representatives and involves a broad syllabus covering the design, evaluation, production, and testing of medicines.
|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||The second year introduces formulation and drug-delivery, medicinal chemistry and analytical techniques. Building upon the knowledge and skills from first year, modules cover key concepts and processes which are fundamental to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Practical elements help to cement this theoretical knowledge, preparing students for placement* and their Level 3 research project.|
*In the sandwich programme, the third year will be spent on a work placement in the pharmaceutical 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 deals with advanced formulation of small molecules and biosimilars, along with the pharmaceutical analysis of complex systems. During their research project, students are brought into contact with cutting-edge pharmaceutical research conducted by our world-leading academics. Importantly, 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.|
The course is structured to spiral upwards in complexity, so that concepts introduced early are picked up again in later modules with greater complexity, in various aspects of pharmaceutical sciences. The integration of chemistry, biology and material science makes this course unique and gives our graduates a holistic view of pharmaceutical science; a highly desirable quality in those seeking a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
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 Sciences 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
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
|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.
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, which is considered by the Selector for the Pharmaceutical Sciences 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 Sciences 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 Sciences 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.
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.
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 Sciences 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
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 Sciences 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 School of Pharmacy have introduced a range of activities to support successful employability post degree. These include visits to local pharmaceutical industries, employability workshops, courses in writing CVs and job applications, psychometric tests and interview preparation techniques.
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 and become more aware of the global pharmaceutical community and their connection to it.
The prospects of employment for a graduate with a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences degree in the UK are high. Graduates can pursue careers in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. 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
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
A number of local employers and professional bodies sponsor prizes on an annual basis for the best students in their level and module.
Teva NI Ltd. Prize for Distinction in Physicochemical Principles for Formulation
QUB Foundation Award Prize for Distinction in Level 1 Studies
ProAxsis Ltd. Prize for Distinction in Industrial Pharmaceutics
Teva NI Ltd. Prize for Distinction in Medicinal Substances
Assoc of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (NI) Prize for Distinction in L3 Studies
Assoc of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (NI) Prize for Best Research Project
Almac Group Prize for Distinction in QA and Pharmaceutical Analysis
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)||£4,275|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU *||£4,275|
Tuition fees for 2020-21 have not been set. Those quoted above are for students commencing study in 2019-20. These will be subject to an increase for students commencing study in 2020-21.
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
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 Sciences 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).
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 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/
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.
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