Pharmaceutical Science MPharmSci (Hons)

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

Do you see yourself as a research scientist? Working at the cutting edge of discovering, designing and developing new drugs for clinical purposes? If so, this four-year course is ideal.

You'll explore the sources of medicine, how medicines work, how they can be formulated (such as via tablet, cream or inhaler), administered, analysed and tested.

The course shares its first two years with the Pharmaceutical Science BSc (Hons) programme and provides a wide understanding of all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry. In Year 3 you'll deepen your knowledge of natural product chemistry. You'll develop skills for testing and evaluating the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical products. In Year 4 you'll develop skills in experiment design, critical analysis, problem-solving and laboratory work.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
4 years full time B204 2024
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You'll gain extensive practical experience in new laboratories after a £6.8 million investment.
  • Modules on this course have been accredited by the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS)
  • You'll take advanced postgraduate-level modules in the manufacture and clinical trials of medicines and topics in drug design, discovery and development.

What you will study

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Years 1 and 2 are shared with the Pharmaceutical Science BSc(Hons) course.

Year 1 introduces biology, chemistry and physiology for pharmaceutical science.

Core modules

Introduction to Spectroscopy and Experimental Techniques

30 credits

This module provides an introduction to basic laboratory techniques and procedures such as weighing and volumetry, proceeding to descriptions of laboratory manipulations, elemental analysis and general practical knowledge. You will be introduced to spectroscopic techniques in terms of simple theory, as well as a practical introduction to the identification of simple organic compounds. These compounds will sometimes be synthesised in the course of the practical element of the module, which will also serve to demonstrate laboratory techniques of preparation and purification of these organic materials.

Academic Skills for Molecular Sciences

30 credits

This is a core module for all chemistry and pharmaceutical science programmes. The module aims to give you a thorough grounding in mathematics, statistics, key and transferable skills (e.g. exam strategy, effective use of calculators, library and referencing, avoiding plagiarism, problem-solving and personal development planning etc.) and IT skills.

Foundation Chemistry

30 credits

This module will refresh your foundation knowledge of the core chemistry concepts required for progress within the field of pharmaceutical science and biochemistry. It includes atomic and molecular structure within various bonding models, the principles of functional group interconversions and synthesis. You will also be introduced to the laws of kinetics and thermodynamics and apply them to simple chemical and pharmaceutical systems.

Bioscience 1

30 credits

This module will cover cell biology and microbiology, particularly with reference to human physiology and the pathological microorganisms affecting it. You will be introduced to the fundamental principles of the biochemical processes that occur within the cell, including prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell structure, basic tissue types, microbial entities and organisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.

You will progress from the subcellular level through to the cellular and then to tissues and a few selected organ systems; examining the mechanisms that maintain homeostatic balance.

Year 2 places emphasis on organic and medicinal chemistry and develops practical skills, especially in pharmaceutical analysis - important in relation to the actions and characterisation of drugs. Building on the pharmaceutical chemistry learned in Year 1, you will study the properties and formulation of pharmaceuticals. You will also study the effect of drugs in living systems and the principles of the immune system. There will be an introduction to micro-organisms in relation to human disease, their control and safe working practices. Year 2 features a focus on experimental pharmaceutical chemistry, developing skills for conducting independent laboratory investigations. There is also the opportunity to develop other transferable skills, important to your employability and career planning.

Core modules

Organic and Medicinal Chemistry

30 credits

You will expand your knowledge of both Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry subject areas and introduces important principles, reactions and mechanisms in organic chemical reactivity as well as basic mechanisms of drug action. You will develop your understanding of the methodology of organic synthesis following concepts introduced in Year 1, and study important organic chemistry topics such as carbanion reactivity of carbonyl compounds, the reactions of aromatic and heteroaromatic compounds, stereochemistry, asymmetric synthesis and retrosynthesis

It also introduces the specific reasons why a small amount of a drug molecule can exert a complex biological response. It uses examples from a range of medicinal areas in order to illustrate these key processes as well as giving an introduction on the ideas of drug design and the role this plays in the modern pharmaceutical industry. This module also gives you experience of using spectroscopic techniques for chemical structure elucidation.

Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics

30 credits

This module incorporates elements of pharmacology, toxicology, immunology and pharmaceutics (including formulation science). The module gives a grounding in the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion which underlies many of the toxicological and pharmacological effects of biological agents. You will explore how drug formulation affects the bioavailability of a drug and how the physiology of the human system affects these processes. You will explore recent developments in drug development involving antibodies as therapeutic agents, and the major factors involved in the effective and safe delivery of therapeutic agents to human populations. You will also examine the effects and response to environmental, chemical and microbial toxins.

Throughout the module, you will discuss the various types of dosage form design and explain the relevant physico-chemical principles involved in the choice of dosage form.

Analytical Science

30 credits

This module introduces you to the applications of analytical science within analytical biochemistry, clinical chemistry, forensic analysis and the pharmaceutical sciences. It allows you to build your knowledge, practical skills and interpretation skills whilst implementing the analytical process model using scenario-based learning. You will learn the principles of the stages within the analytical process model, including understanding sampling methods, sample preparation, errors and statistics and data recording in analytical science. This module will enable you to select and optimise appropriate analytical methods to solve problems in biomedical, forensic and pharmaceutical cases.

Practical and Research Skills in Pharmaceutical Science

30 credits

This module deals with new laboratory techniques to enable development of practical skills and data interpretation through a range of experiments that encompass organic synthesis, drug formulation and pharmacology/immunology. You will gain the skills and explore methodologies to partake in a research programme, such as literature searching, data analysis and producing a short critical analysis of a research article. You will learn how to use appropriate computer-aided resources to complete assignments, draw chemical structures; to retrieve information from databases and analysis of data and/or research paper.

Year 3 shares some modules with our Pharmaceutical Science BSc(Hons) degree, including a module that deepens your knowledge base in natural product chemistry, and another that develops and enhances your analytical skills, crucial for the testing and evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceutical products.

Core modules

Organic and Natural Product Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for Chemistry and M. Pharm. Sci degree courses, and is optional for the BSc. Pharm. Sci. Degree course. The module builds upon and develops further, topics introduced in the earlier level 5 module CH5002, for example, stereoselective synthesis and retrosynthetic analysis. In addition, new topics are introduced such as pharmacognosy, combinatorial chemistry, photochemistry, free radical chemistry and pericyclic reactions. The lectures and associated workshops will encourage the development of problem solving and team working skills, in order to prepare you for your future careers. These skills will be practised during laboratory-based exercises, where you will participate in group "mini-projects" which will be assessed using a range of methodologies that include oral presentations, report writing and poster presentations.

Drug Development

30 credits

You will learn about the pharmacology involved in the treatment of various disease types and details the synthetic chemistry behind the development of drug molecules and evaluates the structure activity effects from pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic perspectives. The module also outlines the process for intellectual property protection and exploitation, toxicological events that might affect the body and the body's immunological response to toxic insult or disease. You will gain a sound knowledge of the mode of action of a range of modern drugs against a number of disease states. You will critically evaluate the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of changes to the structure of certain drugs and suggest appropriate synthetic methodology to accomplish this. You will be able to describe a range of toxins and their effects on the body and how the body may respond. You will learn the process for patent protection and the steps involved in bringing a drug from bench to bedside.

Topics in Pharmaceutical Science

30 credits

This module introduces various aspects of chemical and pharmaceutical industry pertinent to your future career and aims to cover a wide range of topics covering Drug Delivery, Polymers and Biomaterials, patents, intellectual property, health and safety, and legislation. Your learning in this module is reinforced by workshops to develop your communication, teamwork and independent learning skills.

Optional modules

Advanced Analytical Science

30 credits

This is a core module of MPharmSci (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science and MChem (Hons) Chemistry and an option for BSc (Hons) Chemistry  and BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science students. It takes forward the themes of spectroscopy that were introduced in the previous modules and develops a more rigorous theoretical footing and advanced applications. In parallel to this, analytical themes are introduced covering radiochemical analysis, electroanalysis and thermal analysis.

In Year 4, you will spend half your time working on your research project, enhancing your skills in experiment design, critical analysis, problem solving and laboratory work. Your project also provides an opportunity to display initiative and creativity. In addition, you will take advanced masters-level modules in the manufacture and clinical trials of medicines and topics in drug design, discovery and development.

Core modules

Research Project

60 credits

During your project module, you will gain the necessary conceptual and practical skills to conduct your research. You will also develop your communications skills to disseminate of the outcomes of your results and findings. Where possible, research should be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Topics in Drug Design, Discovery and Development

30 credits

You will explore the synthetic chemistry behind the development of drug molecules and evaluates quantitatively the structure activity effects from pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic perspectives.

You will learn about advanced experimental techniques in spectroscopy, and chromatography will be discussed in the context of drug discovery and development. You will also cover intellectual property protection and risks of exploitation.

Manufacture and Clinical Trials of Medicines

30 credits

This module introduces you to the different phases and types of clinical trials and the associated legal, regulatory and ethical issues. This includes statistical data analyses and how to manage and review clinical trial data in relation to evidence-based medicine. The technology and application of the manufacture of various medicine formulations are discussed and the place of biotechnological products introduced. The module also covers elements of medicines regulation with particular reference to the UK and European Union. Regulations are dealt with both within a general framework and specific areas including manufacturing, dealing with specialist products, regulation in clinical use, and licensing.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2024

  • 112-128 UCAS points from a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • A-levels to include minimum grade C in A-level Chemistry and one other science subject (second science can be Biology, Physics or Mathematics). General Studies and Critical Thinking not accepted.

Alternatively, BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Chemistry) only must have merits in the following units:

  • Unit 1 : "Principles and Applications in Science 1"
  • Unit 5: "Principles and Applications in Science 2"
  • Unit 13: "Applications of Inorganic Chemistry"
  • Unit 14: "Applications of Organic Chemistry"

T-Level:

  • Merit in T-Level Science: including a minimum of a B in the Core component and a merit in the Occupational Specialism which must be either in laboratory sciences or metrology sciences.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects at grade C/4 or above, including Mathematics and English Language.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in a relevant Science subject (Applied Science or Chemistry) which has been passed with 112 UCAS points including 15 L3 credits in Chemistry with minimum of 9 L3 credits at Distinction and 6 L3 credits at Merit; 15 L3 credits in Biology at minimum of Merit grade.

Applications from those that have undertaken a Science foundation year will also be considered.

International

We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops, tutorials and practical classes.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 375 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 825 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 386 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 724 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 345 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 851 hours

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 45%
  • Exams: 55%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 21%
  • Practical: 15%
  • Exams: 64%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 57%
  • Practical: 7%
  • Exams: 36%

Year 4

Coursework: 48%
Practical exam: 22%
Written exam 30%

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 5 students and lecture sizes are normally 5­-130­.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

What our students say

I decided to study Pharmaceutical Science because it tied in with my A-level subjects. I visited Kingston for an open day and liked the University – it felt right.   

"On the course I have really enjoyed a lot of the lab work and the chemistry. I have found the lecturers very good. They are approachable and always very helpful whenever I go to them with a problem. 

"Outside of the course, the nightlife in Kingston is great. There are many places to go out and it's easy to get into London as well.  The University also offers lots of opportunities for extra activities.  I did salsa dancing in the first year, for example. This year I am in a rock climbing group - we went to Snowdonia recently and it was brilliant, really good fun.

Abeeda Cash – Pharmaceutical Science MPharmSci

Who teaches this course

This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry.

The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry offers an outstanding and diverse portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences, and sport science and nutrition.

We've invested heavily in the development of new facilities including laboratories for teaching and research to provide students with access to ultra-modern equipment in a wide range of teaching facilities.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Facilities

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories;
  • specialist equipment, such as:
    • gas and liquid chromatography;
    • electron and confocal microscopy;
    • a range of spectrometers, including mass spectrometers, infrared spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers;
    • nuclear science equipment;
    • thermal analysis;
    • x-ray diffractometers; and
    • electrochemical analysis;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance.

Course fees and funding

2024/25 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2024/25 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2024/25): £17,800
Year 2 (2025/26): £18,500
Year 3 (2026/27): £19,200
Year 4 (2027/28): £20,100

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* The fees shown above apply for Year 1 of the degree from 2024/25 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*
Foundation Year: £9,250
International

Year 1 (2023/24): £15,800
Year 2 (2024/25): £16,200
Year 3 (2025/26): £16,600
Year 4 (2026/27): £17,000

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full-time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full-time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks; this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each campus. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases, written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year.

After you graduate

Pharmaceutical science is a growth area with good job prospects. Graduates work in areas such as research, development, regulatory affairs and pharmaceutical analysis. They also frequently progress to study PhDs.

Examples of graduate destinations

Types of jobs

  • Research scientist
  • PhD student
  • Drug safety associate
  • Strategic alliance manager
  • Research assistant
  • Quality control analyst
  • Clinical trial project manager
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Optical assistant/dispenser
  • Marketing research
  • Medical publisher

Employers

  • Parallel Drug Imports
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Braun Medical
  • St George's Hospital
  • EH Lilly
  • NHS
  • King Opticians
  • Alcontrol Lab
  • Nemaura Pharma Ltd
  • Quotient BioResearch
  • Syngenta
  • Medtrack

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements
  • working or studying abroad
  • volunteering
  • peer mentoring roles
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni.

What our graduates say

I started at Kingston on the Foundation degree in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences having received disappointing A-Level results. This course prepared me brilliantly for my chosen undergraduate course. After completion of my foundation degree I entered the second year of study of the masters in pharmaceutical science. In my three years on this degree I developed a breadth and depth of knowledge that has opened so many different possibilities for my future. During the course the lecturers and support staff were willing to share their experience and passion for their subjects in a way that only further fuelled my determination to succeed. I graduated in 2017 with a first-class degree classification and now having taken some time to decide which path to follow I am going through the steps to secure a PhD project in medicinal chemistry with the hope to continue my academic path and one day become a lecturer myself.

Stephanie Blondell

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.