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bscClinical pharmacology

St George University
United Kingdom, london
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Improving patient care through the safe and effective use of medicines, clinical pharmacologists are in high demand and have been described by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) as ‘one of four scientists that save the world every day’. Clinical pharmacologists are needed now more than ever before as we race to find new drugs and vaccines in the fight against Covid-19.

Our unique degree was developed with feedback from industry, including representatives from AstraZeneca, Syneos Health, Allergan, Niche Science and Technology, and the Experimental Medicine Expert Network, a group of clinical pharmacology scientists from a wide range of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and contract research organisations.

You will be taught by highly respected, leading experts in the field of clinical pharmacology, all of whom are active research scientists and/or front-line clinicians who maintain excellent links with industry.

Preparing you for future employment through a blend of knowledge, theory, skills development and practical experience, it offers a comprehensive study of the exciting, ever-changing field of applied clinical pharmacology, from the discovery of disease to development of drugs.

With early opportunities for all students to participate in research and work experience, teaching is linked to real-life practice at every stage to provide a broad understanding of the wide-ranging aspects of the design, testing, application and interaction of drugs.

You will deepen your knowledge of the human body and fundamentals of science through expert teaching and practical sessions. Drug-based learning scenarios provide real-life context and cases which demonstrate how the body handles drugs (pharmacokinetics) and how drugs exert their effects on the body (pharmacodynamics), for instance, how the effects of medication vary greatly depending on the patient’s age and physicality.

You will develop a wide range of skills applied in the development of new medicines, learning how to set up and interpret experiments, run clinical trials or handle, analyse and present data and findings. In November 2020, our students had an unprecedented opportunity to help run the University COVID testing centre. They were divided into two teams: an offsite team that managed the project; and an onsite team that ran the actual testing and processing of samples. Read more about their experience here.

You can find out more about the kind of content you can expect from the course by watching our recent taster lectures. Watch How clinical pharmacology is getting us out of this pandemic, Drug journey of a painkiller or Life-saving drugs: 24 hours in A&E (you will ned to register first at these links to be given access to the recorded lecture).

St George’s University of London is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical and health sciences education, training and research. We share our site with a major London teaching hospital which is both on the clinical frontline for a diverse local community and a centre of excellence for specialist conditions.

Programme structure

The curriculum is based around seven core modules. These modules run alongside each other throughout the course, allowing you to understand topics from different perspectives and reinforce your learning. Your knowledge and skills in these topics will develop progressively through the course.

Fundamentals of science: Understanding how the body works and what goes wrong in disease.
Pharmacokinetics: How the body handles drugs.
Pharmacodynamics: How drugs exert their effects on the body.
Drug development and clinical trials: How drugs are discovered and developed as medicines.
Drugs in healthcare: How information from clinical trials and drug development is used to guide the use of medicines for patients in clinical practice.
Data and statistics: How to collect, manage, analyse, present and interpret research data relating to drugs.
Skills portfolio: Developing clinical trials, laboratory, presentation and personal skills required to be successful in a work environment and demonstrate this to employers.
View all
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Life-saving drugs: 24 hours in A&E
In this Clinical Pharmacology taster lecture, you will become a virtual member of the A&E team dealing with two different patients.

All students will undertake six weeks of work experience with an employer e.g. from industry during the second year of the course. This will give you the opportunity to find out more about what it takes to be successful in the workplace and what you might want to do after this degree.

In 2021 and 2022, employers who offered work experience to our students include:

Pharmaceutical companies – Astra Zeneca, Roche, GSK, Takeda
Contract research organisations – LabCorp, Niche Pharmaceuticals, Richmond Pharmacology
Pharmacovigilance and regulatory affairs – Boyd Consultants
Research companies – HelloBio, Airfinity, Eurofins clinical diagnostics.
In addition to the guaranteed six weeks’ work experience, you will have the optional opportunity to apply for an external professional year. The application process for a professional year is to individual companies who advertise their opportunities and is competitive. If successful, you would undertake the professional year between Years 2 and 3. In 2021 and 2022 students were successful in gaining placement years with major companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Labcorp, Merck Sharp and Dohme and Sanofi.

The supervised, hands-on experience you get with both types of placements is an excellent way to consolidate your learning and makes you extremely attractive to employers on graduation. You will gain experience of working as part of a team, demonstrating professional behaviour. You will be supervised and mentored by experienced professionals and receive support from a University tutor.

Our course is unusual in offering ALL students work experience, as well as supporting the additional professional year in those who are interested.

Career opportunities

Industry-focused and with a view to getting you work-ready on graduation, our Clinical Pharmacology degree encompasses a broad spectrum of concepts and solutions – from understanding disease processes and identification of potential new drug targets to organising and running clinical trials, drug regulation and use in patients.

It has been purposefully designed with input from employers to ensure you develop the general and specialist skills they require, helping you stand out in the job market. Throughout the course you will develop transferrable skills, including oral and poster presentation, scientific writing, teamwork and peer observation, essential clinical and laboratory skills. Your competence in these will be recognised by accumulation of badges, which you can share – for example on a Linked In profile – to demonstrate your skills to employers.

Every step of your learning journey offers exciting employment possibilities, however, the six-week placement we provide every student in Year 2 provides particularly valuable workplace experience, making you highly attractive to employers. We work with dozens of small and large companies which span the full gamut of sector activities, including regulatory writing and clinical project management (e.g. Niche Pharmaceuticals), preclinical and clinical lab services (e.g. Charles River), regulatory affairs (e.g. DLRC) or medical communications (Chameleon).

Throughout the course, you will also learn about the culture and wide range of activities encompassed by Clinical Pharmacology from experts working in the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, academia and regulation. Recent external contributors to the course include: Dr David Carlisle (Clinical Pharmacologist, Roche Pharmaceuticals), Dr Edd Humphries (Senior Research Scientist, Astra Zeneca), Dr Mark Bruce (Senior Director, Head of Translational Science and Drug Safety, ONO PHARMA UK), Chloe Bryan (Senior Clinical Research Associate, Quality Regulatory and Clinical Consultancy, Cambridge), Tim Hardman (Managing Director, Niche Science and Technology). External speakers contribute to module lectures e.g. on pharmacokinetics, drug development, drugs in healthcare, and through careers talks and panels.

After completing your degree you could go on to work in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, managing drug trials or working in the laboratory for one of the many pharmaceutical companies or contract research organisations, or assist with research and test medicines on patients in clinical trials units, hospitals or GP practices. Potential employers include the NHS and many professional and regulatory organisations, such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) or Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Alternatively, you could follow an academic route: teaching or researching disease mechanisms and identifying treatment targets for new medicines; or seek employment in the fields of scientific publishing, journalism, marketing and sales.

For more information on the range of career options, download our Clinical Pharmacology careers brochure (PDF). Should you wish to undertake further study or research at St George’s, you will be well equipped to apply for graduate-entry programmes, such as medicine or pharmacy.

Academia (teaching or research)
Bioanalytical company
Biomedical company
Biotechnical company
Clinical trials unit – industry or healthcare
Contract research organisation
Large pharmaceutical company
Publications house
Regulatory affairs

Apply now! Spring semester 2024
This is a rolling intake - applications are accepted all year round.
Studies commence
5 Feb 2024
Apply now! Fall semester 2024
This is a rolling intake - applications are accepted all year round.
Studies commence
16 Sept 2024

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Spring semester 2024
This is a rolling intake - applications are accepted all year round.
Studies commence
5 Feb 2024
Apply now! Fall semester 2024
This is a rolling intake - applications are accepted all year round.
Studies commence
16 Sept 2024

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

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