Student in lab

This course takes intercalating medical students to honours degree level in pharmacology. It will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of pharmacology - possibly the area of study most frequently referred to during clinical practice. You will also gain insight into the clinical research needed before compounds can be used as therapeutic agents. Specifically, by the end of the course you should be able to:

  • describe the mode of action, adverse effects and therapeutic use of commonly prescribed drugs
  • explain how research techniques can be applied to pharmacology
  • discuss a limited number of pharmacological topics at current research level
  • demonstrate practical skills learnt during individual bench work and have gained further experience in group tasks
  • outline how clinical trials are organised and conducted, and
  • demonstrate enhanced problem solving abilities and self-help attitudes to learning.

Feedback from graduates is highly positive on this degree course, which has been praised for its wide availability of modules and project choices as well as the high level of student support from teaching staff.

Comments included:

  • "Really good programme, plenty of support and interesting lectures"
  • "Very useful for medicine"
  • "Great research project"
  • "Offers development in important skills such as research, lab and group work."
  • "Advanced scientific skills module, and research project gave me important skills for future research."
  • "The research project was a good opportunity to experience lab research."
  • "Practical skills in the laboratory"
  • "Reinforcing my pharmacology"
  • "Good range of modules both in depth and specific"
  • "Excellent support"

Course content

The course will:

  • prepare you for a career in medicine by providing an up-to-date course of study centred on the pharmacology of commonly prescribed drugs
  • provide an opportunity for you to select topics for advanced study
  • provide experience of laboratory work and further develop transferable skills
  • manage student progress effectively and provide support and guidance where appropriate, and
  • encourage staff-student rapport in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Research projects

You can apply for, or may be offered, projects in any area of Biomedical Science (e.g. pharmacology, human physiology, neuroscience, etc) but here are some example titles of projects offered recently by members of the Pharmacology programme team:

  • Brain biochemical analysis of mouse models of neuropsychiatric disease
  • Using cAMP accumulation as a measure of efficacy
  • Molecular properties of cloned human ion channels
  • Calcium-permeable ion channels in liver cancer cells
  • Role of ion channels in pancreatic beta cell death and insulin secretion
  • Assessment of schizophrenia-related behavioural deficits in mutant mice

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1


Chemotherapy 10 credits
Advanced Scientific Skills 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Pharmacology I 20 credits
Research Project in Biomedical Sciences 40 credits
Medical Pharmacology 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Pharmacology in Relation to Medicine BSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching


Teaching will be through lectures, practical classes, seminars, small group teaching, tutorials and a research project. Assessment is similarly varied, including in-course assessment (formative and summative) and written examinations. The in course assessment exercises include tests of practical skills, essay writing, data manipulation and problem solving. The research project will be assessed throughout the project and on the final written report. Degree classification will be based upon the marks obtained in each of the component modules, with the appropriate credit weighting applied.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

Other course specific tests:

Successful completion of the first two years of an MBChB programme at UK Universities or international equivalent.
For international students proof of English Language proficiency will be required. In line with undergraduate medicine we require a minimum of English GCSE grade B or IELTS 7.5.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

How to apply

Read about applying for intercalation on the School of Medicine website.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

The course is designed to give you a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding year which will add significantly to your skills, knowledge, and enhance your career opportunities on graduation.

The course allows full integration with existing science based BSc courses and the chance of a substantive research project.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip you with the best possible skills for future careers. There is a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. You will gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. You will be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your intercalating year.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.