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The William Harvey Research Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

iBSc Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics (Intercalated)

Programme overview 

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.

The William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI) is a world-leading Pharmacological Centre with a vibrant, multidisciplinary scientific environment devoted to therapeutic innovation in cardiovascular, inflammatory and endocrine diseases.  We are the largest pharmacology institute in the UK and we provide a high-quality learning environment informed by high-quality research which we hope will enhance your future careers in medicine and make you better prescribers in your clinical practice.

We have a proven track record teaching intercalated degrees for the past 23 years. Research Centres within the WHRI 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.

This intercalated BSc degree in Pharmacology will: 

  • Enhance the final year MBBS studies and FY1/2 years in the area of pharmacology and therapeutics.
  • Give an excellent springboard for applications to Foundation Schools.
  • Appreciate the mechanisms of common inflammatory, autoimmune diseases with particular reference to those with cardiovascular and musculoskeletal implications.
  • Discuss the molecular basis of pharmacology and common drug modalities associated with cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases.
  • Explain novel chemical and biologic agents being developed for the treatment of such diseases.
  • Provide an ethical framework for the pursuit of clinical and laboratory research and for therapeutic intervention.
  • Achieve proficiency in basic laboratory skills and safety.

Students studying for the BMedSci programme will complete four compulsory modules (15 credits each), one elective module (15 credits) and a research project (45 credits), a total up to 120 credits. Specific guidance on the selection of elective modules will be provided to students by tutors and the programme director.

The compulsory modules are:

  • Drug Design for Pharmacologists (Semester 1)
  • Translational Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics (Semester 1)
  • Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs (Semester 2)
  • Classic Papers and Current Topics in Pharmacology (Semester 2)

In addition, students will complete one elective module from:

  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine (Semester 1)
  • Cancer Biology (Semester 2)
  • Molecular Basis of Personalised Medicine (Semester 2)
  • Biomarkers in Neuroscience (Semester 2)

This final phase of the course is the Research project which 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 around 8 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. 

All medical students who take their knowledge of pharmacology and prescribing seriously and who are excited by research into the better use of current drugs and the development of new therapies, especially for intractable and life-threatening diseases.  Students should have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate study in medicine. Although clinical experience is not essential for completion of the degree, students who have completed clinical rotations say that their experience in clinical practice does enhance their learning and research experience in their intercalated year.

For information on English language requirements, visit QMUL international

The team behind the intercalated BSc programme has many years of experience in teaching and learning and international-quality research.

Our academic staff have considerable experience in undergraduate and postgraduate education. We also run a 3 year BSc degree in Pharmacology and MSc courses in Clinical Drug Development, Health Care Research, Forensic Medicine, Sports & Exercise Medicine, Critical Care, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Clinical Endocrinology and Genomic Medicine.  Also, over 120 students are registered for PhD or MRes degrees within the WHRI.

Thus all students experience a top-quality research environment. iBSc students are encouraged to make the most of this by interacting with all of our clinicians and research teams in order to promote and enhance their own future careers as medical professionals, teachers and researchers.

Dr Sadani Cooray, Programme Director BSc and iBSc Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics / Senior Lecturer in Molecular Pharmacology

Prof Nick Goulding, Programme Tutor for the iBSc Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics / Professor of Pharmacology and Medical Education

Dr David Gould, Programme Tutor for the iBSc Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics / Senior Researcher

Dr Peter King, Academic Advisor iBSc Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics / Reader in Endocrinology

Prof Carol Shoulders, Module Lead Classic Papers and Current Topics in Pharmacology / Professor of Lipidology

Prof Ken Suzuki, Module Lead Translational Pharmacology & Innovative therapeutics / Professor of Translational Cardiovascular Therapeutics

Prof Michele Bombardieri, Module Lead Translational Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics / Professor in Immuno-Rheumatology

Dr Patricia McGettigan, Module Lead Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs / Reader in Clinical Pharmacology and Medical Education

How to apply

Visit the programme page for further information on how to apply.

Apply now





To get in touch with any questions please contact:

Dr Sadani Cooray, Programme Director

Bijal Tailor, Programme Administrator