Chemistry with Pharmacology is a major–minor degree programme, which has a 98% student satisfaction rating for Chemistry. The chemistry component comprises two thirds of the course in the first three years, with pharmacology making up the remaining third. You study just Chemistry in your fourth and final year. 120 credits of taught material are delivered each year, in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
In Years 1–3, you will take 60 credits of core chemistry courses, 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 each year. This aspect of the course is taught by staff from the University’s Medical School. The remaining 20 credits in each year comprise modules 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.
You study just Chemistry in your fourth and final year. There is significant flexibility in this year, as you choose 40 credits of taught modules from a range of courses pitched at the cutting edge of the chemical sciences. A major research project makes up the remaining 80 credits. For many, your final-year project is the most exciting and enjoyable part of your degree and often influences the career pathway you choose to follow after graduating.
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 20% 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, and 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 40% to overall degree mark)
In addition to modules in core chemistry, you will choose from a range of specialist modules in the pharmacology component of the course, including molecular and integrative pharmacology and drug discovery. A research project in some aspect of pharmacology also forms part of this year.
Fourth year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
You focus on just Chemistry in this, your final, year, choosing from a range of courses that reflect the state-of-the-art of the discipline. Modules covering metals in medicine, carbohydrate chemistry, and drug design are particularly popular choices for students on our Chemistry with Pharmacology degree programme. The breadth of available modules, however, also allows us to showcase the cutting-edge research interests of the School, which will ensure that you graduate, aware of the latest challenges in this rapidly advancing subject.
In addition to 40 credits of taught modules, you will join one of the School’s research groups, and become a member of the Research School as you undertake a major research project (worth the remaining 80 credits). You will work closely with your project supervisor to tailor your project to your particular interests and ensure you develop those research skills that you feel will be most beneficial to you after completing your degree. Many students enjoy their research project so much that they choose to go on to study for a PhD after graduation.
Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course and 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 MSci course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our Chemistry with Pharmacology BSc programme (F1B2), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (MSci or BSc) 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.
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 courses in Chemistry (60 credits in Years 1–3) 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 are 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 Years 1–3 include 40 credits of Pharmacology modules. The remaining 20 credits include optional chemistry modules, mathematics courses, laboratory modules, and courses which focus on IT and communications skills and enhancing employability.
In Year 4, you study just Chemistry and choose 40 credits of taught material from a wide selection of courses pitched at the cutting edge of the subject. A major research project accounts for the remaining 80 credits.
Detailed module descriptions are located on the course breakdown page on the School of Chemistry website.
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB
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 are not accepted.
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: 6,6,5 at Higher Level, including Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level, with a minimum of 32 points overall. An additional science subject at Higher Level is advantageous but not essential. A minimum of 5 at Standard Level English and 4 at Standard Level Mathematics is required for those students who do not have a minimum of grade C in English at GCSE and of grade B in Mathematics 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.
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