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Undergraduate study
pharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical scientists

Pharmaceutical Science (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

Pharmaceutical science takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying medicines. This course gives you a strong base in chemistry, biochemistry and biological science, preparing you for work in the pharmaceutical industry.


F154 BSc/PSciFY

Course routes:


Course overview

Work placement

You develop an understanding of the physicochemical and biological principles that underpin the design, function, synthesis, analysis and delivery of pharmaceutical substances. You also develop the technical, practical and professional skills that employers value, and have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment for laboratory training.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

You study at Teesside University’s main Middlesbrough campus, and have the opportunity to gain valuable experience at the new National Horizons Centre at the University’s Darlington campus which is home to a range of state-of-the-art facilities. This £22m purpose-built biosciences research, education and training facility is a focal point for the growing regional biosciences community.

Study this course and you may be eligible for the Professor Leni Oglesby Transformation Scholarship or Cleveland Scientific Institution Scholarship.

Download pdf Order prospectus


Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Big Data

What is big data? How is it made and how do we make sense of it? Discover how data is created, consider the ethical implications of using it and begin your journey accessing it. You explore its use in society and the role it plays in community relationships, from uncovering criminal networks and tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology. You understand how search engines collate and store the data needed to make predictions, enhance decision making, or to better understand society’s needs. You learn the impact big data has and the challenges it presents.

This is a 20-credit module.

Chemical Science and the Environment

Chemistry is the study of the structure, properties and reactivity of elements and compounds and plays a key role in physical, life and applied sciences. You are introduced to the fundamental concepts of the application of chemistry. You examine the structure of the atom, the periodic table, chemical bonding and chemical reactivity. Learn about environmental science, biogeochemistry, pollution, green chemistry and climate change.

This is a 20-credit module.

Experimental Methods for Life Science

Explore your academic interests in a practical setting, learning how to work safely and properly document your work. If you’re interested in biology, you investigate the basics of microscopy and the handling of microorganisms. If your preference is food sciences, you begin to look at the safe handling of food. And if you’re interested in chemistry, you begin to use volumetric glassware and investigate acid-base titrations.

This is a 20-credit module.

Global Grand Challenges

Team up with your coursemates to find out how science can help address some of the biggest issues facing society today. You explore health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments, and learning for the 21st century.

This is a 20-credit module.

Life on Earth

You explore the diversity of life on earth and the concept of evolution. You discuss Darwin’s theory to demonstrate relationships between species, the principles of taxonomy and speciation, and how they relate to the evolutionary tree.

Physiological processes, cellular organisation, homeostasis, metabolism, growth, reproduction, response to stimuli and adaptation - these are the hallmarks of living organisms and equip diverse species to survive and thrive. You complete an in-depth analysis of a number of organisms to examine and compare the strategies they use to thrive and appreciate how evolution has led to divergent life forms. You normally take part in a field visit to a local site to examine biodiversity and the natural world.

This is a 20-credit module.

Life Science

You focus on life sciences from a human perspective, while developing an understanding of human biology to explore the role of different but interconnected life science disciplines in modern life. You consider the major human body systems (cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, endocrine, nervous, digestive, skeletal and reproductive) to appreciate how this knowledge is relevant to issues in health, disease and modern society.

This is a 20-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

Study the key principles of biochemistry, including the structure of the atom, chemical bonding and the forces that operate between molecules, chemical reactions and biological pathways. Investigate the chemistry of carbon and why this element is capable of forming the complex three-dimensional molecules that make life possible. Crucial groups of biological molecules are studied in detail, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

This is a 20-credit module.

Cell Biology

At a cellular level, you develop your understanding of biological processes. You explore the common features and immense diversity of form and function displayed by cells of organisms. You examine eukaryotic cell architecture and function with a molecular and mammalian focus and learn about cell division, the cell cycle, genetic organisation of cells, DNA replication and gene expression.

This is a 20-credit module.

Chemical and Biological Reactivity

Develop your understanding of kinetics and thermodynamics and learn how they apply to biochemical reactions.? You are introduced to the Michaelis-Menten equation and explore how biomolecule adenosine triphosphate acts as a store and source of energy in living organisms.? You are also introduced to the chemistry behind metal transition, discover their role in proteins and how metal-based drugs are used to treat cancer.? The relevance of reactivity in society’s response to global and sustainability issues is also studied.

This is a 20-credit module.

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

By examining molecules, including carbon and hydrogen, you are introduced to the world of organic chemistry. You learn about the principles of chemical reactivity and the mechanisms needed to understand how and why simple molecules, as well as macromolecules, react in a certain way. You learn the key concepts in synthetic organic chemistry to develop control over structure and reactivity, with no limit on what molecules you can synthesise. You consider the importance of organic chemistry in global and sustainability issues through case study examples.?

This is a 20-credit module.

Structure and Bonding

Examine key foundation concepts in chemistry including the structure of atoms and molecules, how these can be probed using spectroscopic methods, and how chemical bonding can be described. Topics include atomic structure, quantum mechanics, chemical bonding, spectroscopy (UV, NMR, IR), inorganic chemistry (metals and main group) and an introduction to symmetry. You focus on the importance of chemistry in global and sustainability issues through case study examples.

This is a 20-credit module.

Synthetic Laboratory Skills

You develop your core skills as a chemical scientist, from basic lab manipulations, separations and purifications to the synthesis and analysis of biomolecules and pharmaceuticals. You also become familiar with a range of lab and data skills that underpin your practical work throughout your degree.

This is a 20-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

Bioreactors and Fermentation

You are introduced to the concept of bioreactions and fermentation kinetics. You explore the principles of developing a microbial fermentation process and examine considerations such as choice of feedstock, media preparation and optimisation. You study different types of fermentation processes, discuss bioreactor designs and learn how to apply molecular biology to the fermentation industry.

This is a 20-credit module.

Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry

Gain an understanding of the human metabolism, endocrinology and clinical biochemistry. Examine metabolism, the chemical processes that occurs in living organisms, in the context of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, cellular respiration and metabolism of drugs. Discuss endocrinology and review the mechanisms underpinning hormone action, the roles of second messengers and endocrine system disorders. Enzyme kinetics and enzyme regulation is a significant topic. Explore the methods used for collecting, measuring and analysing clinical samples in the biomedical lab. Learn the principles and applications of clinical biochemistry investigations used in screening, diagnosing, treating and monitoring disease.

This is a 20-credit module.

Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics

You study a range of modern molecular biology concepts and techniques. And you address general molecular biology and experimental techniques, key to the discipline for applications such as the production of recombinant proteins, DNA sequencing and functional gene measurement. The new age of molecular biology is underpinned by gene/genome sequencing, sequence analysis and sequence manipulation. You gain a thorough introduction to the principles of sequence analysis and how these techniques have revolutionised all areas of molecular biology. Particular attention is paid to the technique of polymerasechain reaction (PVR). And you examine informatics concepts, with a focus on visualising and analysing DNA sequence data, as well as basic molecular data analysis. A series of lab sessions introduce the basic techniques that lie at the heart of modern molecular biology such as DNA purification, PCR, restriction digestion, nucleic acid analysis through agarose gels, and sequencing - these are key to industrial biotechnology as well as research science.

This is a 20-credit module.

Organic Chemistry

You build on your prior knowledge of organic chemistry and learn the concept of retrosynthetic analysis, the art of synthesising any molecule however complex it is. You also learn strategies to control regio- and chemoselectivity, and consider more advanced areas of organic chemistry including pericyclic reactions and heterocyclic chemistry. You are introduced to organometallic chemistry that expands the range of chemical transformation beyond classical chemistry.?And you focus on the importance of organic chemistry in global and sustainability issues through case studies.

This is a 20-credit module.

Structural and Molecular Biochemistry

Through a range of case studies, you explore the relationship between macromolecular structure and function. You deepen your knowledge and understanding of protein-protein interactions, allosteric regulation and cell signalling in the context of complex cellular machinery. Important modern motifs such as zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR gene editing, and the diseases of protein misfolding are considered.

This is a 20-credit module.

Structure Determination

All research, analytical and industrial labs require a range of techniques that allow you to determine and predict the chemical structure of molecules and biomolecules. You examine the most significant molecular structure determination techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, UV-visible and infrared spectroscopies, elemental analysis and crystallography.

This is a 20-credit module.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Expand your knowledge of organic chemistry, focusing on advanced synthetic methodologies involving the chemistry of enoid reagents (carbenes, nitrenes and ylides). You study, in-depth, various organometallic transformations, and the applications of them combined in designing asymmetric syntheses. Contemplate different modern strategies of chemical synthesis such as combinatorial and parallel synthesis.

This is a 20-credit module.

Biologics and Health Product Development

What are the real-world challenges associated with the launch of a healthcare product? Study the process from initial research and development through to developing a product for market. Understand nutrition, medical, biotechnology and healthcare sector ventures. Develop your entrepreneurship skills and learn how to carry out and implement effective market research, and develop a business plan.

This is a 20-credit module.


What is the role of a biologist in upstream and downstream aspects of bioprocessing? Upstream processing focuses on molecular and cell biology techniques including production organisms, recombinant DNA technologies and synthetic biology. You examine fermentation strategies and consider manufacturing, sustainability and cost. Downstream processing focusses on separation and purification strategies. You develop an understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of the industry including engineering, chemistry, economic and the regulatory aspects of bioprocessing.

This is a 20-credit module.

Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Advanced chemistry knowledge is combined in the context of biology applications. You develop a strong understanding of the concepts of drug molecules and drug targets, and the process and strategies of drug development. You appreciate the journey to bring a molecule from the lab bench to the pharmaceutical market, exploring clinical trials and approval processes with a focus on certain classes of drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs.

This is a 20-credit module.

Science Research Project

You complete an in-depth, independent investigation into a specialist aspect of your field of study. You bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous study, including analysing and critically evaluating data and a critical reflection on the potential risks, and moral and ethical issues. You are supported by a research supervisor who helps you develop and complete your research project.

This is a 40-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

This course aims to produce graduates who are competent in a range of knowledge, understanding, experience and skills appropriate to pharmaceutical science. The learning and teaching strategy encourages a progressive acquisition of subject knowledge and skills by moving from study methods that have a greater degree of support and assistance towards more independence and self-direction.

Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment (VLE) site.

You learn through a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars and workshops (including oral presentations and poster sessions)
  • laboratory work
  • computer laboratory-based sessions (simulations, structure drawing etc)
  • group projects
  • research projects

How you are assessed

The programme assessment strategy tests your subject knowledge, independent thought and skills acquisition, and provides the sort of information that will be useful to employers. It is robust, equitable and manageable, and incorporates both formative and summative assessments.

You may be assessed through:

  • formal exams, including 'unseen' exams
  • laboratory and/or fieldwork skills and reports
  • computer-based assessments
  • problem-solving exercises
  • data interpretation exercises
  • critical analysis of case studies
  • oral presentations and technical interviews
  • essays, literature surveys, evaluations and summaries
  • collaborative project work
  • preparation and display of posters
  • planning, conduct and reporting of project work
  • reflective statements or diaries
  • peer assessment.

You are presented with an assessment schedule with details of the submission deadlines for summative assessments.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Any Level 3 subject is acceptable for entry to this course.

Normally entry qualifications can be accumulated from:
• any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to Higher Education courses)
• High School Certificate or Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education

English language and mathematics requirements
Normally, evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4 is required. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

Applicant Days
If you receive an offer to study with us you may be invited to attend one of our Applicant Days. This is a great opportunity to learn more about studying at Teesside by exploring our campus, seeing our excellent facilities, meeting staff and students, and finding out more about your course.

The Applicant Day provides you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. Even if you have attended an Open Day we encourage you to attend the Applicant Day - we are confident you will find your visit a useful experience.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Summer University modules.

Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

The UK is home to some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and continues to develop best-selling prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical scientists work in areas such as research, product development, quality assurance and analytical science, marketing and sales within the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and elsewhere. Many pharmaceutical scientists work in laboratories, hospitals and educational establishments. As well as working directly within the industry, pharmaceutical science graduates are well qualified for careers in teaching, forensic science, environmental protection, and health and safety assurance.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

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Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: F154 BSc/PSciFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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    National Horizons Centre

    The NHC is a £22m research, teaching and training facility which addresses the growth needs of the bio-based industries set to transform the UK economy, including biologics, industrial biotechnology and bio-pharmaceuticals.

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    Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Paul Croney OBE, and Professor Mark Simpson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) receiving a tour of BIOS.. Link to View the pictures. Teesside University launches bid to further expand health, medical and clinical provision
    Ambitious plans to support the region’s healthcare needs have been unveiled at an event showcasing Teesside University’s new £36.9m BIOS facility.

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Telephone: 01642 738801

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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