A Medical and Pharmacological Sciences degree is one for the curious! It can help you understand the normal functions of the human body, how diseases develop and how they can be treated.
Have you a passion for science or are you interested in exploring human diseases and the drugs used to treat them?
Following British Pharmacological Society (BPS) guidelines, this course is designed to give you a solid foundation in areas of biology that support an understanding of pharmacology.
You will study human biology at all levels – from molecules and cells to whole body systems.
This broad-based science degree will suit students who wish to pursue careers in integrative medical and pharmacological science or are interested in focusing on drug development.
It was designed in response to the growing demand for a new breed of scientist who can apply basic science knowledge and skills to speed up the critical task of translating basic laboratory medical research into commercially-ready medical technology and drugs that can be used to diagnose and treat patients. This emerging area of science is known as ‘translational medicine’.
We apply pharmacology and physiology to topics including diagnosis, understanding and treatment of disease, classical clinical trial design and health outcomes, supported by our excellent laboratory facilities. Core subject areas include: human biology in health and disease, clinical physiology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenomics, drug development, bioinformatics, numeracy, statistics and computing, and a wide range of instrumentation and analytical techniques.
Why choose this course?
Our experienced teaching team have worked within cardiovascular and respiratory pharmacology, clinical toxicology, NHS pathology laboratories. Staff will bring their professional and research expertise into their teaching through the use of contemporary clinical case studies as the basis for problem based learning activities.
We have excellent links with domestic and international pharmaceutical companies who enhance our course through guest lectures and site visits. Many also offer professional placements, with opportunities to spend a year in industry in the UK or overseas; past students have worked at John Radcliffe Hospital and companies like Binding Site, Astra Zenica and Pfizer as far afield as Canada, Spain and the Netherlands. We also offer sponsored summer studentships in a variety of areas, including anticancer, cardiovascular, antimicrobial drug discovery, toxicology, and projects in schools to enhance your employability.
There is a focus on developing laboratory and other scientific skills, so laboratory sessions form a substantial component of the learning experience, enabling you to learn key experimental techniques and the chance to develop essential experimental, data handling and reporting skills required in biological and other careers. Other scientific skills, such as literature researching, information technology, bioinformatics, data processing and the use of statistics are integrated within the course.
Our practical approach has resulted in high levels of student satisfaction – 97% for the quality of teaching in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016 – and 100% of students felt staff are good at explaining things.
International experience opportunities
Medical research takes place in higher education institutions, research institutes, hospitals and industry throughout the world. This international perspective is reflected in a number of modules on the course, which deal with issues of global importance, such as drug discovery and development from natural products; malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and wormy infections (helminths).
The School of Life Sciences offers participation in a range of annual cultural exchange trips to Africa, Europe and the USA. For example, our ‘DASH to Africa’ (Department of Applied Science & Health) expedition helps to raise awareness of genetic albinism and enables students to undertake voluntary work within the African community. Students are expected to demonstrate entrepreneurship by organising fundraising activities to cover half the costs of the excursion and additional costs may apply.
The course provides the opportunity for online collaboration with overseas institutions on a joint problem-based learning assignment. For example, previous students have joined others from University of Seville investigating the prevalence and approach to managing neurodegenerative disorders and the differing policies with regard to legal highs within the UK and Spain. Our sandwich degree option also allows a year’s work placement or study, which can be taken abroad.
This course is specifically designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required for a career in a range of sectors in a variety of roles in companies and organisations in both the UK and abroad. In addition to discipline specific theory and practical laboratory competence, you will also develop transferrable skills in digital fluency, numeracy, communication and teamwork.