Extended BioPharmaceutical Science BSc (Hons)

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Immerse yourself in drug discovery and development. Obtain a Pharmaceutical Science degree even if you don’t meet the requirements for direct entry to the degree. Pass the first year and move on-campus to continue your studies.

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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.

On graduation, 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.

Why us?

  • 100% of our BSc (Hons) Biopharmaceutical Science graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)
  • The first year of the course is taught at Sunderland College
  • You will be encouraged to apply for an optional 1-year placement between levels 3 and 4, working with multinationals such as GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Sanofi-Aventis or in a local laboratory

Course structure

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, supervised project and group work and resource-based learning.

Assessment is carried out through reports, seminar presentations and time-constrained tests.

Year 1 (national level 3):

  • General Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Biology (20 credits)
  • Physiology (20 credits)
  • Mathematics (20 credits)


On completion of the first year, you will move from Sunderland College to the University of Sunderland to complete the remaining three years of the course.

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

  • Our new 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 chemistry
  • 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.

    Facilities for pharmaceutics and pharmacology
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, 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: 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
    • PsycARTICLES: Includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
    • PubMed: Contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
    • Science Direct: Offers more than 2,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Web of Science: Covers a broad range of science areas
    Library Services - sciences
  • Your first year will be at Sunderland College, which has made significant investments in chemical analysis, data logging and biological science experimentation.

    Please contact Sunderland College for more information about facilities and location.

    Sunderland College
    Washington Campus
    Stone Cellar Road
    NE37 2NH

    Sunderland College - extended programmes


The first year of this course is based at Sunderland College. The next three years are on campus at the University of Sunderland.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this course are lower than for BSc (Hons) BioPharmaceutical Science.

You will need an A Level (or equivalent) in chemistry and three passes at GCSE grade C, including Maths and English, or the equivalent. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

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

Fees and finance

The first year of this course is taught at Sunderland College, and the fee is £8,200 if you are from the UK / EU. However you will be eligible for a £1,200 fee waiver scholarship. This means that you will only pay a tuition fee of £7000 in the first year of the extended programme.

From year 2 you will study at the University of Sunderland. The tuition fee for year 2, 3 and 4 will be £9,250 per year - the same as for BioPharmaceutical Science.

If, after completing year 1, you are offered a place on the Master in Pharmacy, the course will last for four years, and the fee will be £9,250 for each of the four years.

If you need support or have any queries about applying for your finances for this partner college programme, or want to get in touch with our Partnership Liaison team, you can find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Please note that this course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student in the Sunderland Futures department


Biopharmaceutical Science graduates have excellent employment rates as industrially-relevant practical skills are at the heart of the course.

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


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 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 and 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.


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