Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

Intercalated BMedSci in Clinical & Molecular Pharmacology

Please note, the BMedSci in Clinical & Molecular Pharmacology is currently being redesigned and will not run under current format in 2019/20. Further updates will be provided ahead of the January application period.

This pathway through the BMedSci programme provides students with the opportunity to specialise in pharmacology and therapeutics at degree level as an adjunct to their medical studies and a preparation for a potential future career in academic medicine.  Most graduates find the course greatly enhances their understanding of drugs and prescribing.

The field of clinical therapeutics is becoming increasingly scientific, molecular and mechanistic in approach with new therapies based upon strategic intervention in well-defined biological pathways. Practitioners and researchers therefore require increasingly specialist knowledge in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and chemistry.

This one year intercalated degree will provide a framework of expertise in this discipline and practical experience in clinical and basic science laboratory research. Students are able to choose an exciting research project working with international leaders in cardiovascular, clinical pharmacology and inflammation research. 

As a result of their project, significant numbers of our students are able to publish in research journals and present their work at scientific and medical conferences.

 Pharmacology and therapeutics is an exciting multidisciplinary field devoted to understanding the actions of current drugs and therapeutics and developing new treatments for acute and chronic medical conditions. It enables medical students to become more informed prescribers.

Research Centres within the William Harvey Research Institute have an international reputation in the field of molecular therapeutics, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular disease and inflammation and you will be encouraged to become fully integrated members of their respective research teams.

Structure and Timing

Summary for 2018/19 with unit values and approx. dates

Students studying for the BMedSci programme will complete a 45-credit core module, a 30-credit taught option module which the students can choose and a 45-credit intercalated research project. Specific guidance on the selection of option modules that match research projects will be provided to students by tutors and the programme director.

Core Module: Mid-September to Mid December 2018 (45 credits)

 In the core module, BMedSci students will focus on developing key concepts and research methods and analysis for understanding understanding the clinical application of pharmacology and molecular mechanisms in disease.

Students will study the following topics:

  • Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • Cardiac bioimaging
  • Bioanalytical principles and techniques
  • Cutting edge technologies used in medical research such as confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and mass spectrometry
  • Mechanisms of drug action – receptor targeting, drug design and development, clinical trials
  • Prescribing skills
  • Commonly prescribed drugs for inflammatory diseases, cancer, rheumatic diseases, endocrine disorders, hypertension, asthma, infections / HIV and psychiatric disorders
  • Bioinformatics
  • Statistics for research
  • Molecular Biology - principles and techniques such as DNA structure and function, protein prediction, modelling and analysis, human genomics, polymerase chain reaction and sequencing
  • Immunology - innate and adaptive immune responses and disease tolerance, autoimmunity, allergy
  • Ethics and Law applied to Medical Research

Option Module:  Beginning of January – Beginning of February 2019 (30 credits)

Options include clinical and vascular pharmacology, inflammation science, immunology, medical genetics, neuroendocrinology or forensic medicine.

These are 4 week taught courses run by Research Centres within the William Harvey where students will gain an insight into the world of cutting-edge research in preparation for their own research project.

Project module:  Beginning of February – End of May 2019 (45 credits)

This is the final phase of the course that allows students to experience the world of medical research for themselves. The project will normally be a piece of original research, closely mentored and supervised by experts in the field. It is expected to occupy at least 12 weeks duration. Students become an integral part of an existing research team and many have the opportunity to publish their work or present at a national or international scientific conference. The results of the project will be presented as a written report not exceeding 6000 words and an oral presentation. The report is assessed and marked by internal examiners and reviewed by external examiners.


Core Module:

Practical write-ups (six practicals over 10 weeks in the autumn) 24% of the core mark

One integrative assignment written as a magazine article (16%)

A three hour examination in December 2018 comprising 12 SAQs and 2 essays (60%)

Option Module:

One integrative assignment (25%)

One three hour examination in May 2019 – comprising a choice of three essays from a list of six. (75%)

Research Module:

Research dissertation of up to 6000 words (80%) – submission in May 2019

Viva voce examination of 20mins (20%)