Health & Medicine

Postgraduate courses in Pharmacology

The world of pharmacology is fascinating to many. What effect will one substance have on the body? What are the repercussions? What are the benefits?

There are so many questions we can ask but only pharmacologists can give us the answer! If you’re looking to add to your education and take on a postgraduate course in pharmacology then you’ve come to the right place. 

Any course is a challenge but without a challenge, we won’t get the best out of ourselves. Push yourself and be the best you can be in your career.

What is pharmacology?

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and medication and their effect on living systems. It is basically looking at drugs and how they work within the body. It deals with the chemicals and their effects. 

What do pharmacologists do?

The day to day duties of a pharmacologist may differ. As a pharmacologist you will typically work 9-5 but may need to be available outside those hours to keep an eye on experiments. There are different areas of pharmacology you can specialise in such as cardiovascular, veterinary and neuropharmacology among others. 

General duties may include: 

  • Carry out experiments 
  • Design new experiments 
  • Test hypotheses 
  • Carry out your own research 
  • Write reports and papers
  • Test drugs on cells
  • Carry out different trials of drugs 
  • Analyse and interpret data 
  • Study literature relevant to your area 
  • Attend meeting and conferences
  • Present findings to colleagues
  • Work in groups on studies


There are many courses to choose from in this area across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying both part-time or full time. Some courses may have restrictions or changes due to Covid-19. More detail on courses can be found on university websites or course overviews. Examples of courses include:

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Postgraduate courses in Pharmaceutical Sciences allows students to gain all the relevant skills and knowledge to understand the core areas of pharmaceutical sciences, both theoretical and practical. Many of these programmes are tailored to meet the demands of employers in the pharmaceutical industry and cover areas such as drug discovery, development, formulation and delivery, quality assurance and evaluation of drugs. 

Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Students who are successful in their application to courses in Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences will develop key aspects of the drug discovery journey from initial concept to clinical treatment. You develop both practical and professional skills in order to work successfully in the industry.

There are also courses available in Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industry Training, Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Molecular Analytical Science, to name a few.

Entry requirements 

Entry requirements may change from course to course and University to University so it is important to research your specific course to be sure you meet the criteria. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology or a relevant discipline is required. Some courses will look for a 2.1 degree while a 2.2 may suffice in others. More detailed course outlines can be found on University websites and course overviews. 

Typical employers

Typical employers of pharmacologists include: 

  • Universities – research and lecturing 
  • NHS
  • Research organisations and institutions 
  • The Medical Research Council 
  • Pharmaceutical companies


The salary of a pharmacologist can depend on the route you take in your career. For example, if you choose to continue on with your education and get a PhD, going forward in employment, you can earn between £30,000-£40,000. If you chose to become a lecturer in a university, you may earn around £55,000 a year. Otherwise, with time and experience guiding you into an industry role, you can earn anything between £35,000 to £80,000, depending on your exact role. Industry roles tend to pay more than academia. All figures are based on estimates. 

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements needed in this area include:

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Strong verbal skills
  • Ability to work well with others and individually
  • Attention to detail 
  • Organisation skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Inquisitive mind
  • Critical thinker
  • A desire to learn 

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