Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Pharmaceutical Sciences - BSc (Hons) Degree

Pharmaceutical Sciences – BSc (Hons) Degree


Key Facts

UCAS Code: B202

Place of Study: 
Llandaff Campus

Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences 

Course Length:
3 Years full-time (with option for a ‘sandwich-year’ placement between 2nd year and final year)

Course Overview

​This degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences focuses on meeting the important societal need for appropriately qualified graduates in the pharmaceutical/life sciences sector. The course will be delivered in collaboration with our numerous contacts within the pharmaceutical sector, and will combine emphasis on the roles that the pharmaceutical sector contributes within society, with a series of fundamental science-based modules in pharmacology, toxicology, molecular biology, human anatomy and physiology, cell biology and genetics, infection and immunity, and biochemistry. 

Nutraceuticals Pathway

To capitalise on Cardiff Met’s particular strengths in the use of natural food products in a pharmaceutical setting, a ‘nutraceuticals’ option pathway is available on this degree.

Emphasis will be placed on the practical study of drug design, and the therapeutic and toxic effects of drugs on human tissues and systems. In practical sessions (based both in our bespoke pharmaceutical sciences laboratory, and in our general teaching laboratories), you will develop your competence with regard to relevant laboratory-based techniques, and your understanding of the use of these techniques to explore themes relevant to the pharmaceutical sector. 

You will also have the opportunity to study the research and development, manufacture, governance, and commercial activities of the pharmaceutical industry. External speakers will provide first-hand insights of the activities of, and career opportunities within, the pharmaceutical sector. Importantly, during a placement year (between the second and final years of your programme), you will gain valuable industrial experience by applying your knowledge/understanding of pharmaceutical science to a professional setting. This will allow you to develop your portfolio of relevant skills, competencies and expertise, and hence enhance your employability profile.

In addition to vocational graduate-level career prospects within the pharmaceutical industry, opportunities for further study are excellent and include other health-related higher degrees at Cardiff Met (at MSc, MRes and PhD level).

This programme is subject to validation for September 2020 entry and the information provided may be subject to change. All new programmes at the University must undergo validation, the purpose of which is to ensure that the proposed programme is aligned to the University's Mission and its content reflects appropriate levels of academic standards and quality.

Course Content

Year One 

Includes stand-alone modules introducing Pharmaceutical Science-related themes such as Drug Discovery & Design, and Personal & Professional Development in the Pharmaceutical Sector, alongside underpinning foundations in ‘general’ Life Science covering such topics as Laboratory Skills, Data Analysis, Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Genetics; Immunology, and Microbiology 

Year Two 

Modules extend Pharmaceutical Science-related themes introduced in Year One, focusing on themes such as: 

• Advanced Pharmacology
• Methods in Identification/Isolation of Bioactive Substances 
• Regulation and Governance in the Pharmaceutical Sector 
Alongside topics such as Pharmacology, Toxicology, Molecular Biology, and Analytical, Research & Diagnostic Methods

A Nutraceuticals option pathway will be introduced in Year Two via a 20-credit option module focusing on Phytochemistry, and the Extraction/Analysis of Natural Products.

Placement Year 

A placement will take place between the 2nd and final year; either short [1-3 months], or long ‘sandwich year’): departmental collaborations with numerous stakeholders/partners within the Welsh/UK/International pharmaceutical sector (via Cardiff Met’s membership of the MediWales Life Science network/direct contact with individual partners) will be an important advantage with regard to offering/ facilitating placement experiences to BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science students. 

Final Year 

All students will undertake a ‘capstone experience’ Pharmaceutical science-related Research Project. 

In addition, modules that deliver cutting-edge, entrepreneurial, and innovative Pharmaceutically-related themes will focus on the areas of: 

• Contemporary Topics in Pharmaceutical Sciences 
• Translational Research & Development in Pharmaceutical Sciences 
• Pharmacogenetics and Personalised Medicine 
• Business Opportunities in Pharmaceutical Sciences (This will include input from Cardiff Met entrepreneurship unit and Cardiff School of Management). 

For those following the Nutraceuticals option pathway, modules will cover areas such as Pharmacognosy and Business Opportunities in Nutraceuticals and have input from Cardiff Met Food Industry Centre and Cardiff Met entrepreneurship unit.

Learning & Teaching

A range of learning and teaching methods (including lectures, tutorials, workshops, group tasks, and a significant number of laboratory-based practical sessions) are employed throughout the programme; together, these comprise approximately 14 hours contact time per week. As well as undertaking practical teaching in our large multi-purpose teaching laboratories, students will also utilise bespoke industry-standard laboratory space to undertake pharmaceutical science-focused practical activities. 

Work placements and industry links are essential components of the programme, and departmental collaborations with stakeholders/partners within the Welsh/UK/International pharmaceutical sector (via Cardiff Met’s membership of the MediWales Life Science network, and direct contact with individual partners) will enable offering and facilitating of valuable work-related placement experiences. 

The programme is sited within the Department of Biomedical Sciences, which comprises 25 members of academic staff, and hosts approximately 600 students studying on several Biomedical Science courses, and its curriculum is supported and informed by the research activities of departmental academic staff. Our research is focused into three main themes: Food, Nutrition and Health; Cardiovascular Health and Ageing; and Health and Risk Management. These each comprise specialist research groups that undertake research across the full spectrum of investigation, from molecular science to health and wellbeing. 

Our Moodle Virtual Learning Environment is used to provide students with key information relating to programme modules, careers advice information and administrative information relating to their programme of study.

All students are assigned a personal tutor when they first enrol, who will remain their tutor and provide pastoral support throughout their studies. Students produce a Personal Development Portfolio during year 1, and the personal tutorial system encourages students to continue to develop their interpersonal and reflective skills throughout their studies. We are proud of our ‘Open Door Policy’ which actively encourages students to contact staff for advice and guidance whenever they require it.


Assessment is designed to measure the extent to which the student is able to satisfy the intended learning outcome of each module. The learning outcomes are assessed within the programme’s modules through a variety of methods including: 

• examinations 
• essays, including literature reviews 
• practical based laboratory exercises 
• laboratory reports
• case studies 
• poster presentations 
• case study presentations 
• abstract writing and journal article reviews/critical evaluations 
• In the final year, an important component is the completion of a pharmaceutical science-related research project dissertation & poster, which it is envisaged will encompass research activities carried out whilst undertaking work-based placement activities. 

The assessment schedule for each of the taught modules will be supplied by the programme director at the beginning of the programme. Module leaders and their lecturing teams will supply the assessment titles and guidelines/criteria to undertake the assignments, and provide feedback to the students.

Employability & Careers

It is projected (see Business News Wales, 27/6/18) that Wales’s life sciences sector (of which the pharmaceutical industry is the biggest component) will jump from £23m in 2015 to £42m in 2027; thus, hundreds of extra jobs and tens of millions of pounds of growth will be added to the Welsh economy. 

BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences is a vocationally-focused programme, and its primary aims are for graduates to progress onto a career in the pharmaceutical sector, and to meet the important societal/sector need for appropriately qualified graduates in the growing pharmaceutical/life sciences sector. 

The pharmaceutical research activities of many of our research-active academics, and the availability of collaborators/stakeholders within the Welsh/UK/International pharmaceutical sector (both via the MediWales network, and via direct contact with existing partners), allow us to deliver innovative research/industry-informed ‘authentic learning’. Particular strengths at Cardiff Met in this regard include: 

• use of food products in a pharmaceutical setting (“nutraceuticals” – please note that, for those particularly interested in the ‘functional foods’ field, a 60-credit option pathway focusing on this theme is available); 
• exercise/sport-related applications of pharmaceutical products; 
• ageing/degenerative disease-related applications of pharmaceutical products); 
• the superior nature of our excellent laboratory facilities (including those within Cardiff Met’s Food Industry Centre). 

Finally, with regard to postgraduate study, existing opportunities within our department include MRes Health Science (Biomedical Sciences pathway), or MSc Biomedical Science, both of which would be attractive options for BSc Pharmaceutical Science graduates.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Five GCSE passes including English Language, Mathematics and Science* at grade C or above (grade 4 or above for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England), plus 112 points from at least two A levels (or equivalent).

Typical offers may include:

  • 112 points from at least 2 A levels to include grades CC in Chemistry and another Science, preferably Biology;  Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as the third subject
  • RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma/Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma DMM within Applied Science

  • 112 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades in Chemistry and another Science, preferably Biology. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4

  • 112 points from at least two Scottish Advanced Highers to include grades DD in Chemistry and another Science, preferably Biology

  • 112 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma within a Science subject     

*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE Mathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy. 

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search for entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here. 

Candidates who do not possess normal minimum entry qualification are interviewed and considered individually on the basis of their prior learning or working background. For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff. 

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website. 

Selection Procedure:
Selection is usually on the basis of a completed UCAS application and where relevant an interview. 

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3
If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL. 

Mature students
A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact:

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting