BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science

Do you want to gain real, hands-on experience of what it takes to work in pharmaceutical science? The highly practical BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science degree will give you the opportunity to work in our purpose-built, state-of-the-art laboratories, with industry-standard equipment.

Our Pharmaceutical Science degree has a strong basis in the chemical and biological sciences, and you’ll study subjects in the broad areas of fundamental chemistry, analytical chemistry and spectroscopy, biochemistry, and drug design, delivery and regulation. Throughout the Pharmaceutical Science course you’ll also gain an excellent knowledge of the industry and develop the skills that employers value most highly, making you well placed to compete for graduate positions in this fascinating industry.

Study Mode 2017 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Pontypridd
Study Mode 2018 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Pontypridd

In the first year, you will study a variety of modules which will provide you with a strong grounding in chemistry that will prove invaluable during the rest of your degree and working life. To begin to understand the biological action of drugs and their impact, you will also be introduced to fundamental human biology and biochemistry. All of these modules involve practical work and you will gain hands-on experience using equipment in our state-of-the-art laboratories. You would also be taught mathematics to enable you to understand the relevance of mathematics and statistics in the field of chemical and pharmaceutical science.

The second year focuses on chemical synthesis, drug design, drug action and chemical analysis. In your third year you will continue to develop your knowledge and skills in chemical synthesis and analysis, quality control and quality assurance regulatory affairs, advanced drug design and use of molecular modelling. You would also work on a research project (in-house or industry based) that would involve working with complex and specialised instruments.

Year One

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Fundamental Inorganic Chemistry
  • Key Skills for Chemical and Forensic Scientists
  • Mathematics Workshop for Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Microorganisms and the Dynamic Cell
  • Biological Chemistry

Year Two

  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Heterocyclic Chemistry and Intro to Drug Design
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Metabolism and Biochemistry

Year Three

  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • Professional Practice, Employability and Project for Pharmaceutical Science
  • Advanced Drug Design and an Introduction to Formulation Science
  • Quality Control and Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology


You will be taught through a varied combination of techniques including lectures, practicals, workshops, tutorials and e-learning. For those modules specific to the pharmaceutical industry you will be taught by highly qualified scientists currently working in or having had experience of the industry itself. We put an emphasis on gaining hands on, industry valued skills and you will find yourself conducting experimental work in groups as small as three students working alongside the lecturer.


Assessments are generally tailored to the learning outcomes of each module. While exams will play a significant role, you can also expect to be assessed using a range of techniques such as report writing, general coursework, oral presentations, on-line tests, and portfolios.

Institution Code


Dr Rehana Karim, course leader

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC to include Chemistry and normally one other Science, but to exclude General Studies

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BC at A Level to include Chemistry and normally one other Science, but to exclude General Studies

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject to include Chemistry modules

Typical IB Offer

29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include Chemistry and one other Science at Higher Level grade 5

Typical Access to HE Offer

Maths or Science Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 15 Passes to include Chemistry modules

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: £9000
  • Full-time International: £11900

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment)
Students are strongly encourged to equip themselves with a suitable cotton laboratory coat suitable for working in a chemical laboratory, and a pair of personal protective laboratory goggles. Students who are successful in securing an industry-based project may be required to purchase additional personal protective equipment as specified by the specific organisation or company for the place of project conduct. There is a potential cost involved in binding both third year and fourth year project dissertations.
Students gain access to specialist laboratory equipment and facilities to conduct their practical work and in years 3 and 4 to conduct a major research project. All consumables agreed by the project supervisor as required for the projects are included within the tuition fee for this course. A PRINCE2 foundation course and training materials costs are also included within the normal tuition fees for the MSci. Please note that students who successfuly secure a placement in industry to complete their major research project would be expected to pay for their own travelling costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accomodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement. Students are provided with reading lists but are not expected to buy any books, instead students are actively encouraged to make use of the extensive learning resources of the University. Many books are available as ebooks. The course uses the many computing facilities of the Glyntaff campus (students are not expected to buy their own computer but having a personal PC will help with their studies).

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

The BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science degree provides you with the scientific background and industry knowledge that will make you highly marketable to employers in the pharmaceutical sector. Being one of the largest employers of scientists in the UK, jobs for scientists within the sector are quite varied. While approx. 48% are employed just in research and development, scientists may also find themselves in roles that may range from a purely lab-based position, to marketing, patent filing, quality assurance/regulation, or even as a sales representative.

The degree could also lead to careers in other chemical-related industries (e.g., materials, adhesives, paints, inks, fine chemicals etc) or enable you to pursue further studies (e.g., a PhD or MSc) in a related field.

Please note that this degree does not lead to qualification as a professional pharmacist.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.