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  • Pharmacology BSc (Hons)

Pharmacology BSc (Hons)

Why choose this course?

This course explores how drugs interact with living systems to treat and prevent disease and also how medicines are discovered and tested. The emphasis throughout is mainly on biological, rather than chemical processes, and includes the option to undertake a year in a work experience placement or studying abroad. 

Professional recognition 

This course meets the core curriculum requirements set out by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) - the professional association for pharmacologists and one of the leading pharmacological societies in the world.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time B210 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year B211 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year B212 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019
2020
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course meets the core curriculum requirements set out by the British Pharmacology Society (BPS), the professional association for pharmacologists.
  • You may study pharmacology on its own or in combination with business.  
  • You can also get a career head start through a year's work experience placement or spend time studying abroad.

What you will study

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Year 1 offers essential understanding of how the human body works, providing knowledge to underpin the study of pharmacology. You will gain a comprehensive overview of physiology from cellular to organ-system level, as well as chemistry, genetics and molecular biology. The Scientific and Laboratory Skills module trains you in a number of practical laboratory techniques. 

Core modules

Genes, Cells and Tissues

30 credits

This module is a core module taken by students studying Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science, Forensic Science, and Pharmacology. The module introduces students to basic cell biology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, molecular, organismal and population genetics, germ layers and basic tissue types in the human body, and to a variety of microorganisms. Core information is provided in lectures and supported by material on Canvas. Laboratory practicals give students the opportunity to learn a selection of current techniques used to study cells, tissues, chromosomes and microbes. The module provides a solid foundation for subsequent modules at levels 5 and 6 that expand knowledge in cell biology, anatomy, physiology, genetics and microbiology.

The Biochemical Foundations of Life

30 credits

This is a core module taken by students studying Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science, Forensic Biology, Forensic Science, Medical Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology. The module is intended to give you an understanding of how basic chemical elements are bonded to form complex biomolecules in living systems. The module will then elaborate on the role that structure of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids plays in defining their properties and function along with describing some of the laboratory techniques used in their investigation. The module will also introduce the importance of energy transformations in living organisms. The module provides an essential introduction to level 5 and 6 modules that develop further knowledge in biochemical principles. Core material is delivered through lectures and problem solving workshops supported by laboratory practicals and subsequent data analysis.

Scientific and Laboratory Skills

30 credits

This first year module is a core module for all Bioscience and Forensic Science programmes, and provides a firm foundation in general scientific and laboratory skills that students require to successfully complete their programmes of study.  Students are introduced to the nature of studying in higher education, the need for effective time management and planning of work, the appropriate use of information sources, and to sources of information relating to careers in the biosciences.  Scientific analytical and lab/practical skills are developed, together with essential mathematics and statistical skills for life scientists.  A significant component of the module consists of the development of basic research skills such as practical skills in the laboratory, the principles of experimental design and the statistical analysis of data.

Human Physiology

30 credits

This is a core module taken by students studying BSc Biomedical Science, Nutrition, Medical Biochemistry, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Pharmacology, and Forensic Biology.

The module introduces students to fundamental physiological concepts which underpin the coordinated functioning of the human body, including homeostasis, cellular communication and movement of molecules through body compartments. The main physiological systems of the body are then covered, including the nervous, muscle, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and digestive systems. Core material is delivered through lectures, problem solving exercises and directed reading. Laboratory practicals provide experience of selected techniques, experimental design and data analysis used in physiological experimental work.

Year 2 introduces pharmacology as a distinct subject, including the action of drugs at their target sites and the actions of the body on drugs once they have been administered. The Systems Pharmacology module covers drugs acting on the major organ systems of the body, including the cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory and endocrine systems. Further coverage of immunology, microbiology and molecular biology enables you to study relevant disease and its treatment. A module in Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods prepares you to undertake an independent research project in year 3.

Core modules

Molecular Biology of the Cell

30 credits

This is a core module taken by student in the fields of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Genetics and Molecular Biology route), Pharmacology, and is an option module taken by Biomedical Science and Biological Sciences (General route)

The module builds on topics covered in LS4001 (Genes, Cells and Tissues) and explores more advanced concepts in cell and molecular biology. The module provides insight into the structure and function of cells, and takes an integrated approach to looking at how cells respond to changes in their environment - from receptor interactions and intracellular signalling pathways through to the regulation of gene expression and changes in cellular processes.

Formal lectures are supported by laboratory classes, tutorials, workshops, independent study and further resources available on Canvas. The module also includes opportunities to develop both data-handling and written skills.

Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods

30 credits

This is a core module for students studying Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology. It aims to develop the scientific, academic and research skills that were introduced at level 4, and to relate applications of these skills to study and research in pharmacology. Research methods and employability skills are taught within the context of pharmacological research and associated industries.  You will be introduced to the basic concepts of pharmacodynamics (how drugs take their effect at given targets) and drug disposition/pharmacokinetics (the effect the body has on administered drugs), whilst considering the factors which influence such parameters and thus lead to individual variability in drug response. The module goes on to discuss the principles of toxicology, how drugs are discovered and developed, and the role of pharmaceutical sector / regulatory bodies in this process.

Infection and Immunity

30 credits

This is a core module for Biomedical Science, Biological Sciences (Medical Biology), Medical Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology, and an option for Biological Sciences (Human Biology). It is a pre-requisite for the level 6 modules LS6003 (Chemotherapy of Infectious and Neoplastic Disease) and LS6006 (Clinical Immunology and Medical Microbiology).

This module provides an opportunity to learn more about the structure and function of microbiological agents in health and disease and the immunological responses raised as a consequence by the human body. Through the lectures a number of microbiological processes will be examined along with methods of controlling the organisms responsible in the laboratory environment as well as within a patient. Students will also become familiar with the different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. The module also introduces some of the molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the human immune system.

System Pharmacology LS5010

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for all Pharmacology students. The module complements concepts delivered in Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods (LS5003) and applies them to a number of physiological system disorders. The main feature of this module is, in each case, to study and discuss the disease pathophysiology and the types of drugs used in therapy of such disorders, alongside a rationale for their usage and any associated side effects.

Year 3 provides further in-depth study of pharmacology - drugs used to treat cancer and infectious diseases; drugs acting on the brain and peripheral nervous system, such as antidepressants and analgesics; novel drugs used to treat degenerative brain diseases; and the mechanisms of action of drug abuse. You will be able to investigate emerging new techniques in pharmacology, as well as having the option to study bioinformatics and molecular genetics. The wider impact of pharmacology on society is considered, and key skills needed to communicate with both specialists and the public are developed. Your independent project enables you to gain experience of conducting research in a particular area of interest. This may take the form of an experimental laboratory investigation, or use of surveys or questionnaires to assess individuals understanding of, or attitudes towards an aspect of pharmacology. It may involve reviewing a particular topic with the aim of producing a literature review of current research in that area.

Core modules

Current Concepts in Biomolecular Science

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Environmental Biology; Medical Biology; Genetics and Molecular Biology), Medical Biochemistry, and Pharmacology.

The main features of this module are to provide you with insights into the scientific basis of recent technological advances in biomolecular science through selected examples of contemporary scientific research and their impact on society. It will built on key knowledge consolidated at levels 5 and 6 to demonstrate the application of theory to current research, developments in bioindustry and the effect of advancements on society. The scientific areas selected are designed to stimulate topical debate and are blended as a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practicals. The interaction of science and the media, public engagement, and how these can guide scientific policy will also be discussed together with the challenges facing today's bioindustry including the role of intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise. Employability and enterprise are embedded to develop your scientific and professional skills.

Project (Bioscience)

30 credits

This is a core module in the Biosciences field for a number of BSc (Honours) programmes. The project module forms a very important part of the degree programme and probably constitutes the largest piece of independent work a student is likely to undertake during his/her undergraduate studies. There are several types of projects that may be offered to students: a laboratory or field-based project, data projects involving acquisition of data and information from surveys, questionnaires, computer simulations or bioinformatics, or a systematic review of research literature that includes the collection, comparison and original presentation of reported research data. The end point is the same in all cases; review and critical evaluation of qualitative and quantitative information and data to address a hypothesis or research question, and the production of a written report.

Optional modules

Chemotherapy of Infectious and Neoplastic Diseases

30 credits

This is a core module for Pharmacology and an option for other Life Science degree courses, namely Biological Sciences (Medical Biology route) and Biochemistry.

This module provides an opportunity to learn about the various chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of both infectious and neoplastic disease. Treatments for infectious diseases will cover drugs that have actions on bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, while the neoplastic disease therapy will include a range of different cancers, including both solid and blood cancers. The lectures will focus on the mode of action, side effects and mechanisms of resistance of both antimicrobials and anti-cancer drugs.

Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Biochemistry and Biological Sciences (Genetics & Molecular Biology route), and may be taken as an option by Forensic Biology and Pharmacology students.

This module introduces you to the processes involved in maintaining genome stability, causing genome variability and controlling the coding potential of the genome. Mutation, recombination and transposition, and the interplay between them, are examined as causes of genome instability. The impact of genome instability/change upon gene expression, and its control, links these two main themes of the module. The module also introduces you to bioinformatics and sequence analysis. The use of sequence databases and analysis tools permits the analysis of gene/genome variability, along with the patterns of variability and conservation of sequences. This strand of the module gives an introduction to an area of increasing importance in many areas of bioscience research, including molecular diagnostics and drug development.

Core factual material is provided via lectures, including demonstrations of the databases and analysis tools in the case of the bioinformatics elements, with additional resources being placed on Canvas. Over 50% of the teaching time in the module is spent on computer and laboratory practical work.

Brain and Behaviour

30 credits

This module is a core module for Biological Sciences (Human Biology route), and an optional module for Pharmacology and Biological Sciences (Genetics and Molecular Biology route). This research-driven module will provide a thorough background in the fields of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and introduce a range of current topics in neuroscience, selected from such areas as cellular and molecular neurobiology, sensory and motor systems, cognitive neuroscience and degenerative neuropathologies. You will experience current research techniques and learn to critically evaluate and discuss different ways of studying the brain.

Foundation year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • A Levels to include Biology or Chemistry with a minimum of a grade C. General Studies not accepted.

Alternatively, BTEC Extended Diploma in appropriate Science subject with grades DMM.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in a relevant Science subject which has been passed with 112 UCAS points including 39 level 3 credits in Chemistry and Biology units with a minimum of 24 credits at Merit grade
Applications from those that have undertaken a Science foundation year will also be considered.

International

We welcome applications from International Applicants. 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. 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, tutorials and practical laboratory work. There is an emphasis on problem-based/case-based learning as the course progresses.

Assessment is by exams and also a variety of different forms of coursework, including oral presentations, reports, essays and poster presentations.

Guided independent study

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 exams. 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 who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 5%
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams

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 teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. 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 50 students and lecture sizes are normally 50-325.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course

The course is taught at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

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.
Facilities

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

 * If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for home and EU students will be £9,250 in 2019/20. The fees shown above apply for year 1 of the degree from 2018/19 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU 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.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which 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, 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.

Text books

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, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

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 residences.

Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

Course combinations

  • Pharmacology with Business
      • Type of combination: Pharmacology major field
      • UCAS code: BFN1
      • Course duration: 4 years including foundation year
      • Year of entry: 2019 and 2020
  • Pharmacology with Business
      • Type of combination: Pharmacology major field
      • UCAS code: B2NC
      • Course duration: 4 years including sandwich year
      • Year of entry: 2019 and 2020
  • Pharmacology with Business
      • Type of combination: Pharmacology major field
      • UCAS code: B2N1
      • Course duration: 3 years full time
      • Year of entry: 2019 and 2020

      This course is also available for part-time attendance (course duration six years), please apply direct to the University

After you graduate

Careers and progression

Kingston University pharmacology graduates work in a variety of roles in the pharmaceutical industry. These include drug discovery and development, clinical trials, toxicity and safety testing, and medical sales and marketing. Suitably qualified graduates can use their degree to enter medicine, dentistry or veterinary science. Many progress to further study, and to a research career either in academia or industry. Graduates also work in teaching, medical writing, patents or regulatory affairs.

Studying pharmacology at Kingston provides you with both specific scientific knowledge and general transferable skills that will significantly enhance your employability.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

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; and
  • 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. Here are some courses that might interest you:

Accreditation

This course meets the core curriculum requirements set out by the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) - the professional association for pharmacologists and one of the leading pharmacological societies in the world.

What our graduates say

I chose to study this course because I have always been fascinated by how drugs interact within our bodies - complexities of the organs, how they reach the target site of pain, metabolism within the body, excretion and beyond. Pharmacology is a diverse area which goes beyond the bodily system but also encompasses the laws and regulations for companies who market the medicines to testing these molecules from the lab to clinical trials (animals and in humans) all the way to post marketing surveillance.

It is an astonishing world which brings together science, businesses, laws and communication from HCP to everyday patients. Business is one essential environment which we connect with daily so studying this felt like a natural mesh combing science with this subject area.

Rebekah Adebanjo – Pharmacology with Business BSc(Hons) Graduated 2017

During my time at Kingston University I studied pharmacology. I originally chose this course with the intention of transferring to pharmacy after my first year, however I decided to stick with pharmacology as it had a wider scope for career opportunities. Throughout the course, I appreciated the variety of subjects and therapeutic areas covered and the support that the lecturers provided was second to none. I never felt there was any pressure placed on me while studying at Kingston however, I was always provided with the resources I required and encouraged to achieve my goals.

Kingston had a great work play balance and offered a great range of extra-curricular activities. I took part in the Bright Ideas Entrepreneur Competition, was a member of the rowing club and represented the university as a student ambassador. Since graduating in 2016 I have completed an MPhil in Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge and am now training to be a life science consultant.

Katie Cudmore – Pharmacology BSc(Hons) Graduated 2016

Links with business and industry

How we work with industry partners

St George's, University of London

Links with St George's, University of London mean that some classes may be able to use its specialist facilities and staff expertise.

Industry placement

This course offers the chance to do an industrial work placement.

Work placement year

How you can work in industry during your course

Placements:

  • provide work experience that is relevant to your course and future career;
  • improve your chances of graduating with a higher grade degree;
  • enhance your CV;
  • lead to a graduate job;
  • enable you to earn a year's salary whilst studying (the vast majority of placements are paid); and
  • help you to select your final-year project.

"To be successful, tomorrow's leaders will need to be far more rounded individuals than ever before. They will collaborate in pursuit of shared goals. They will guide, challenge and support...They will have an appetite for change and a hunger for continuous improvement, and they will have an ethos of learning and development..." Jeremy Darroch, Former Chief Executive, Sky.

"Doing a placement year effectively gives you one foot in the door of a future job and to stand out from the crowd... as well as enhancing my CV... and future interviews. It's a great motivator to be successful in my studies as it only serves to open even more doors and gain more skills." Placement student at Jagex Games Studios Ltd.

  • 81% placement students and 34% non-placement students got a first or 2.1 (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • 100% of placement students during 2008 recommend doing a placement (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • Many employers offer a graduate job to their successful placement students.

There is a lot of support available for students looking to secure a placement (eg a jobs board with placement vacancies, help with writing CVs and mock interviews). Getting a placement and passing the placement year are ultimately the student's responsibility.

For further information please contact the placements team by telephone 020 8417 2969 or email secplace@kingston.ac.uk.

Examples of placements

Placements can be with large multinational companies, international companies, local companies and small start ups; offering a diverse range of posts. Here are some examples of employers and roles:

Construction-based placement employers Construction-based placement roles 
RG Group
Multiplex
Costain
Willmott Dixon
Fluor
Assistant site manager
Assistant trades package manager
Assistant logistics manager
Health and safety officer
Construction engineer
Science-based placement employers  Science-based placement roles
Reckitt and Benckiser
GSK
Drug Control Centre
Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd
Various local and international hospitals
Bioanalytical sciences
Lab assistant
Pharmacy assistant
Sports coach
Engineering-based placement employers  Engineering-based placement roles
Airbus
BAM Nuttall
Nissan
Bosch
Wozair
Analysis of aircraft structure
Construction resources specialist
Site engineer assistant
Computing and IS-based placement employers Computing and IS-based placement roles
Disney
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
IBM
McKinsey
Intel
Database co-ordinator
Software developer
Website developer
App developer
Mathematics-based placement employersMathematics-based placement roles
Lloyds Banking Group
AXA
Allianz
PAU Education, Spain
Analyst
Investment solutions
Research analyst
Accounts assistant

Work placement case study

Rebekah Adebanjo: Drug safety intern at Celgene Ltd

  • Course: Pharmacology with Business BSc(Hons)
  • Placement role: Drug safety intern
  • Placement company: Celgene Ltd
  • Year: 2015/16

Why did you decide to do an industrial placement as part of your degree? 

I decided to do an industrial placement as part of my degree to be able to transfer the skills and knowledge I learned into the working environment. I chose a placement to also make myself more marketable and employable prior to graduating. 

I gained confidence in myself and my ability to work collaboratively and independently by forging relationships with senior colleagues and peers. You may be able to get paid whilst on placement - financial independence. 

What was the process for getting a placement and what support did you get from the University? 

I registered my name at the Kingston University Science Faculty Office and I also applied via independent websites. The office sent me job opportunities weekly and I filtered through the spreadsheets to see which jobs were applicable to me. The university looked at my CV, they assisted me with interview skills workshops and ensured I was assisted every step of the way. Once I got the placement role, I was assigned a tutor who came to see me twice during the placement and helped me with any concerns I had. 

What did your placement role involve? 

During my year in the pharmaceutical industry, I managed safety data within the central safety database covering both pre and post market activities, ensured compliance with internal case processing timelines, reporting all adverse drug reactions relating to company products and company sponsored clinical trials as per UK/EU requirements. I conducted quality cases without comprising on quantity as I exceeded my daily target. I prepared reports, handled adverse event follow up requests, initiated nullification processes whilst prioritising my case workload to ensure compliance with reporting requirements and liaised with healthcare professionals where appropriate. 

What was your typical day - any specific projects were you involved with? 

Within Risk Management, I liaised with affiliate offices to obtain safety information on products and their risk management activities. I contributed to the resource budgeting and forecasting for the upcoming year (2016) for the affiliate offices in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA). 

What key elements of your job involved what you had learned on your course? 

The two key modules I believe helped me the most were Systems Pharmacology and Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods. The Systems Pharmacology module covered drugs acting on the major organ systems of the body, including the cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory and endocrine systems, whilst the module in Pharmacological Principles and Research Methods assisted in researching and time management skills. 

How do you feel that your placement benefited your course? 

I feel I understand the use of pharmacology as a science and as a discipline within society too. 

What job will you be seeking when you graduate? 

I will be seeking to stay within the pharmaceutical industry - pharmacovigilance or the business side of pharma! 

What advice would you give to the students who are thinking of applying for placement? 

Get onto a placement if you can - whether it is a few weeks to a year! It's an invaluable experience where you can discover yourself but also the many career paths you may not have known before.

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).

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