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Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Intercalated BSc in Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics

The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry offers internal and external MB BS students, who have completed year 2, 3 or 4 of their programme, the opportunity to intercalate for one academic year and gain a BSc in Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics.  This course is based upon the final year (level 6) of the existing BSc degree programme run by the IWilliam Harvey Research Institute (WHRI). 

Many doctors act as Chief Investigators on clinical trials during their careers. Alongside learning about molecular aspects of pharmacology and cutting-edge research into potential new drugs and therapeutics, the intercalated BSc programme (iBSc) in Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics offers an enhanced focus on the process of drug development and regulatory approval in comparison to other Pharmacology degrees. This course therefore offers useful, end-to-end insight into how new drugs come into clinical use, and a better understanding of how clinicians contribute to this, that will be of practical benefit for career development.   

Moreover, this degree is delivered by a member of the prestigious Russell Group of Universities. Being embedded within a high-quality research environment will provide students with an appreciation of the scientific foundations of clinical medicine, thereby informing subsequent career-related decisions. Students are encouraged to think critically, enhancing their practical research skills and in-depth understanding of the scientific basis of pharmacology and the clinical trials industry.


Students will be expected to complete a laboratory-based research project at WHRI that will promote the development of higher critical and analytical skills. WHRI is the largest pharmacological research institute in UK, conducting world-class research in cardiovascular, inflammatory and endocrine diseases with the aim of discovering new mechanisms, validating targets and leading therapeutic innovation with translation into patient care. Students will study in-depth pharmacology-specific modules, covering topics such a Drug Design, Translational Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics, Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs. They will undertake a literature review based around classic papers and current topics in pharmacology which is designed to develop skills of critical analysis in reading scientific papers and to promote the ability to present data clearly and accurately.

In addition, students will choose one elective module from at least four choices to further their knowledge in a specific area of relevance to pharmacology and innovative therapeutics.. Elective modules offered include, stem cells and regenerative medicine, advanced immunology, cancer biology and the molecular basis of personalised medicine.

Summary of content 

Students studying for the BSc programme will complete four 15-credit taught modules, a 45-credit research project and one 15-credit elective module. An indicative list of modules is shown below. Specific guidance on the selection of optional modules that match research projects will be provided to students by tutors and the programme director.

Core Modules: (60 credits)

  • Drug Design
  • Translational Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics
  • Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs
  • Classic Papers and Current Topics in Pharmacology

Elective Module options may include:  (15 credits)

  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
  • Advanced Immunology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Molecular Basis of Personalist Medicine
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