Chemistry with Pharmacology is a major–minor degree programme, which has a 96% student satisfaction rating. The chemistry component comprises two thirds of the course, with pharmacology making up the remaining third. 120 credits of taught material are delivered each year, in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits. You take 60 credits of core chemistry courses each year, covering the fundamental aspects of the subject. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows you to develop your practical skills and techniques, but also to consolidate the associated theory from your lectures. You will also take 40 credits of pharmacology. This aspect of the course is taught by staff from the University’s Medical School. The remaining 20 credits in each year comprise modules that are designed to support these core courses and include optional chemistry courses, mathematics courses and modules focusing on developing IT and communications skills and enhancing employability.
In Year 1, you will take core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, all of which include an extensive laboratory work programme. The pharmacology component in Year 1 includes an introduction to pharmacology, along with modules on physiology and cell biology.
Those of you who do not have A-level maths – don’t worry! We provide an introductory maths course in Semester 1, which will bring you up to speed with the common mathematical techniques needed for chemistry. Those of you who do have A-level maths at grade B or higher take an IT/transferable skills course instead. In Semester 2, everyone comes together to take Numerical Methods. In this more advanced course, you will begin to apply your mathematical skills to chemical problems. Both maths courses are delivered by staff from Chemistry, which ensures you are equipped with those skills you need to tackle the more physical and theoretical aspects of our courses.
Second year (contributes 25% to overall degree mark)
In Year 2, you will build on material from your first year as we employ a mix of lectures and practicals to develop further your understanding of the fundamental aspects of chemistry. In addition to these core courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, you will take pharmacology modules in systems pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics, as well as a particularly popular module entitled “Good Brain–Bad Brain”, which focuses on the workings of the brain, its molecules and cells, and considers how these may become altered in neurological and psychiatric disease states.
Third year (contributes 75% to overall degree mark)
In addition to modules in core chemistry, you will choose from a range of specialist modules in pharmacology, including molecular and integrative pharmacology and drug discovery. You will also undertake a research project in some aspect of pharmacology.
Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course from the outset and will ensure that you are equipped with the ICT, presentation, team-working and problem-solving skills, which are seen as crucial by employers.
BSc or MSci? The first two years of this BSc course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our Chemistry with Pharmacology MSci programme (F1BG), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (BSc or MSci) until the end of Year 2. MSci study is dependent upon performance: you will need a 60% mark in Year 2 in order to remain on the MSci programme.
Why study this course
Chemists at Birmingham adopt a broad, multi-disciplinary outlook to their subject, which is vital if we are to solve the problems of the 21st Century in healthcare, medicine, sustainability and the environment. Birmingham has a leading research rating and is committed to excellence in teaching: your lecturers are not only experts in their fields but also passionate about their subject and committed to inspiring you!
If you can see yourself pursuing a career in the life sciences or pharmaceutical industry, our Chemistry with Pharmacology degree programme may be for you. In addition to studying the fundamentals of chemistry, learning how therapeutic agents are used in medicine, in particular their effects and mode of action on the body (pharmacology), will equip you with interdisciplinary expertise in two core aspects of the drug discovery process.
Read more about why you should study Chemistry at Birmingham.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
Core chemistry courses (60 credits in each year) are taken by all students enrolled on both single honours and major–minor degree programmes and cover those fundamentals of the subject that we deem essential. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows you to develop your practical skills and techniques, but also to consolidate the associated theory from your lectures.
The remaining 60 credits in each year include 40 credits of Pharmacology modules. The remaining 20 credits include optional chemistry modules, mathematics courses, laboratory modules, and courses which focus on developing IT and communications skills and enhancing employability.
Detailed module descriptions are located on the course breakdown page on the School of Chemistry website.
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: ABB
Required subjects and grades: Chemistry; a minimum grade B in Biology at A level or, if not taking the subject at this level, at AS level is required; one (or more) from Physics, Mathematics, and Further Mathematics is highly desirable but not essential.
General Studies: and Critical Thinking: not accepted. However, a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of our offer.
The decision to remain on (for MSci-registered students) or transfer to (an option for BSc-registered students) an MSci programme is made at the end of Year 2, and is based on your Year 2 mark.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: Typical offer 34–35 points including Chemistry at HL. One or more additional science subjects at HL is advantageous. A minimum of 5 in SL English and 4 in SL Maths is required for those students who do not have a minimum of grade C in English at GCSE and of grade B in Maths at GCSE.
Learn more about international entry requirements.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
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