BioPharmaceutical Science BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Pharmaceutical scientists work in the challenging field of drug discovery and development, an area key to sustaining the health and wellbeing of our society. Professionals in this area are experts in the development of new drugs, discover of diagnostic markers of disease and the assurance of safety, quality and efficacy of manufactured drugs.

The course puts you at the forefront of recent trends in pharmaceutical research, in which increasing numbers of drugs are coming from large biopharmaceutical molecules. As a result you can look forward to a wide range of career opportunities in a large and growing industry. Over a quarter of all industrial research in the UK is performed by pharmaceutical companies.

The University provides excellent facilities in our modern Sciences Complex. The quality of our analytical science equipment, and its quantity, is outstanding among UK universities. Teaching at Sunderland is kept fully up-to-date through our strong links with employers who help guide the content of the course.

We encourage our students to apply to undertake a year-long placement between the second and final years, although it is not compulsory. There may be possibilities of placements with multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Sanofi-Aventis or a local laboratory.

Watch a short film of students and staff talking about BioPharmecuetical Science at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Fundamentals of Biological and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30 Credits)
  • Introduction to Analytical Science (30 Credits)
  • Physiology and Cell Biology (20 Credits)
  • Pharmaceutical Regulation (20 Credits)
  • Fundamentals of Experimental Preparation and Data Analysis (20 Credits)

Year 2 (national level 5)

  • Pharmaceutical Analysis (30 Credits)
  • Pharmaceutics (30 Credits)
  • Biologics and Small Molecule Chemistry (30 Credits)
  • Pharmaceutical Development (30 Credits)

Year 3

  • Work placement (optional)

Final Year (national level 6)

  • Advanced Analytical Science (30 Credits)
  • Metabolomics and Proteomics (30 Credits)
  • Advanced BioPharmaceutical Development and Formulation (30 Credits)
  • Research Project (30 Credits)

Part-time study

Part-time students study the same course as full-time students, just over a longer period of time. If you study this course on a part-time basis you will typically complete 40-80 credits in a year, rather than the 120 credits of full-time students. All modules are taught during the day time and you will be studying alongside full-time students.

Meet Katy Hirst, a BioPharmaceutical Science student:

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include laboratory practical work, tutorials, lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills.

Assessments help provide feedback and consolidation as well as counting towards your degree. Assessment methods include laboratory reports, presentations, research essays and examinations.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page how courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK Universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

Facilities & location

This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which boasts excellent laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to multi-million pound investments.

Facilities for Chemistry

We’ve recently spent £1 million on our new state-of-the art analytical equipment. The analytical suite contains equipment which is industry-standard for modern clinical and pharmaceutical laboratories.

Our state-of-the-art spectroscopic facility allows us to investigate the structures of new molecules and potential medicinal substances. We are equipped with Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy (LCNMR/MS) platforms; this is an exceptional facility for a university. We also have low and high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis equipment.

Our facilities allow you to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy, which are of great importance in determining both ionic/metal content of pharmaceuticals and simple chemical structures. You will also gain experience of revolutionary protein and DNA separation techniques, as well as Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography for separating unknown chemical mixtures.

Facilities for Pharmaceutics and Pharmacology

Our highly technical apparatus will help you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects. 

In addition to equipment for standard pharmacopoeial tests, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also have highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.

We also have equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.

Simulation technology

You’ll have the opportunity to apply your training in a simulated setting with advanced ‘SimMan’ technology. 

Each of our £57,000 ‘SimMan’ mannequins has blood pressure, a pulse and other realistic physiological behaviour with pre-programmed responses to various pharmacological scenarios. Our academic team is actively working with the ‘SimMan’ manufacturers to develop new pharmacy simulations.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

  • Embase, which is a complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
  • PsycINF, which includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
  • PubMed, which contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
  • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
  • Web of Science, which covers a broad range of science areas

Learning Environment

Sunderland has a rich heritage in scientific studies and our degree courses are well respected in industry. We are fully plugged into relevant industry bodies, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people. Our vibrant learning environment helps ensure a steady stream of scientists who are well-trained and ready to contribute in a variety of fields.

Location


Fleming Building

Sciences Complex, City Campus, Chester Road, Sunderland, SR1 3SD

Entry requirements

2017

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award) including chemistry. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level. Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

2016

Our typical offer will be in the region of 280 points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (for example 1 x AVCE double award) including chemistry. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level.

We accept a maximum of 20 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 280 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma and an A Level in Chemistry.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 280 points and must include Chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 280 points and must include Chemistry.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email progression.schemes@sunderland.ac.uk or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

The annual fee is:

  • £9,000 if you are from the UK
  • £10,500 if you are from outside the UK

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Finance section of this website for more information.

Part-time fees

Tuition fees for part-time students are £4,500 per 120 Credits.

Please note that there is no international fee for this course as part-time courses are not available to international students.

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Finance section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

Sunderland has an excellent employment record. The reason for the exceptional employment rate is the quality of the course - at the core of the BioPharmaceutical Science course is the development of industrially-relevant practical skills.

Examples of companies that have employed our graduates include pharmaceutical multinationals and NHS laboratories.

Placements

The employability of Sunderland graduates reflects our mix of academic rigour and practical skills. To enhance this mix, we encourage you to apply to undertake a 48-week placement between your second and final year. It effectively becomes a third year of a four-year course. Placements are usually paid, with an average salary of £14,000-£18,000 a year depending on your location. Possible providers include multinational pharmaceutical companies or biomedical clinical laboratories.

Placements are subject to availability and interviews are required.

Placements are an excellent opportunity to put your learning into practice and understand the context for your new knowledge. The contacts made during placements can also be valuable for future job offers. In addition, you will be eligible for a City & Guilds Licentiateship that will recognise personal achievement and the application of professional knowledge in the workplace.

Guest speakers

We have well-established links with a number of pharmaceutical multinationals and NHS Trusts. Through these links, we organise a programme of guest speakers who discuss the cutting edge of pharmaceutical research and development. The programme helps you relate academic theory to current trends and issues. It’s all part of broadening your learning so that you’re prepared not just for exams but for life.

Study Abroad 

You have the opportunity to study in another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). With employers increasingly looking for a flexible and internationally-minded workforce, it’s a great way to enhance your CV and stretch your horizons.

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, contact the Enterprise Place.

The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

Student jobs, volunteering and paid projects (earn while you learn)

Our Careers & Employability Service (CES) advertises a variety of opportunities to earn money while you study.

Volunteering positions in local organisations, charities and community groups can help you to help other people while learning about your strengths and what you can offer. Past opportunities have included working with children and the elderly, conservation work and sporting activities.

CES also advertises details of paid part-time and vacation work in areas from call centre and retail work through to telesales and marketing and promotion and more.

Opportunities to work with companies on flexible, paid, part-time projects in areas such as IT, design, law, media, HR and event management, to name a few, are available too. These projects are a great chance to gain valuable work experience.

Experience

The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For more information visit: www.sunderland.ac.uk/experience

Support

Support for your learning

You can expect stimulating contact time that includes lectures, workshops, seminars and case studies. There is also a significant amount of time where you will be researching and studying on your own in preparation for assignments and seminars. If you have individual queries or difficulties within subject areas, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance. 

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views. 

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

"My placement gave me the opportunity to put elements of my course into practice."

Katy Hirst, biopharmaceutical

Katy Hirst

Student

“I’d read about the course and came to an open day at the University to find out more. The very high standard of the laboratories and equipment at the University was a real factor in me choosing Sunderland.

“The course includes a year out, working in industry. I was matched with the pharmaceutical firm Epax in Teesside, which manufactures Omega 3 products.

“I spent a full year there putting into practice what I had learnt on the degree course and made some great friends and contacts. Because it is a relatively small plant, I also got the chance to work on a number of different projects across the company, giving me a real oversight of the whole operation.

“I would really recommend doing a placement. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to do one, but now I realise how important it is and I have some really valuable experience to put on my CV.

“I have matured a lot during my time at Sunderland and my placement gave me the opportunity to put elements of my course into practice, which has really helped me in my approach to the final year.

“It has been such a good experience that I am planning to study for a Masters or PhD when I graduate and when it comes to looking for work, the North East is number one for my industry.”

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Apply straight away through UCAS, or read our 7-step guide to applying to university.

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Order a prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next open day

  • Date: Saturday 15th October 2016
  • Time: 9:30am-4:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's

Contact Sunderland

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Telephone: 0191 515 3000 
Email: student.helpline@sunderland.ac.uk

The details

Course Name BioPharmaceutical Science
UCAS Code
F100
Classification BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 19 September 2016
UK/EU Fee £9,000
Intl Fee £10,500

Entry requirements

2016 entry: 280 points
2017 entry: 112 points

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