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Choosing between Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Start your career at the forefront of modern healthcare.

From tackling infection and managing everyday illness to helping prevent the global spread of diseases, modern medicine is extending our lifespan and improving patient health and wellbeing.

Whether you’re looking to explore a patient-focussed role or are more interested in a career in research, our Pharmacy and Pharmacology courses will equip you with the unique skills and knowledge you need for a rewarding career in healthcare. But knowing the difference between them and deciding which course is right for you can be tricky.

Put simply, pharmacists study all aspects of the preparation and use of medicines, while pharmacologists study the effect of medicines on the body.

Choosing between Pharmacy and Pharmacology

While both subjects may work in a similar area, there are some important distinctions between the two that may help when deciding which to study.


  • Learn about the appropriate supply and administration of medicines, including monitoring treatment and disease progression
  • Study the mechanisms and principles of how medicines work through a patient-focussed lens
  • Gain professional practice and go on patient-facing clinical placements
  • Go on to enter more patient-focussed careers


  • Study human disease and the mechanisms and underlying principles of how existing drugs work
  • Learn about a range of techniques and technologies utilised to aid the discovery of new drugs
  • Engage in a range of laboratory and drug development placements
  • Go on to enter more lab-based careers

Potential careers

The skills and knowledge gained through either course will also give you the opportunity to progress into a diverse range of related and non-related careers.

On graduating from Pharmacy courses, most students go on to do a foundation year in a hospital or community setting to become practising pharmacists. Those graduating from Pharmacology courses are well-suited to research careers or further study.


Opportunities range from patient-facing clinical roles within the community, hospitals or primary care, to research and drug development roles within industry and academia.

Many graduates also return to the University for our postgraduate courses. Recent Bath Pharmacy graduate employers and foundation year training providers include:

  • NHS (hospital and primary care settings)
  • Alliance Boots
  • LloydsPharmacy
  • Day Lewis

All graduates from 2024 will be independent prescribers at registration, after the successful completion of degree and a GPhC foundation year.


Throughout the course, you’ll be exposed to different practical lab techniques in dedicated pharmacology labs. On graduation, you’ll be well-suited to a research career in industry or prepared to continue your studies to a higher level.

Recent Bath Pharmacology graduates have gone on to roles including:

  • Scientist at a large pharmaceutical company
  • Research Assistant at a university
  • Healthcare Analyst at a data analytics company
  • PhD student at a London research facility

Course listings

Full details of each course and how to apply for 2025 entry.

Writing your personal statement

A strong personal statement makes all the difference when you’re applying for an undergraduate course.

If you're applying for a Pharmacy course, your personal statement should demonstrate your academic ability and motivation, as well as an understanding of the role of a pharmacist and the importance of National Health Service values.

For Pharmacology, you will need to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the subject as well as drug development. Including relevant reading, voluntary or work experience, areas of interest from your current studies or other relevant extra- and co-curricular activities will help strengthen your application.

If your personal statement is not focussed on Pharmacy or Pharmacology, your application will still be considered. However, you will need to provide an alternative personal statement reflecting your interest in your chosen subject before we can make a decision on your application.

Our Undergraduate Admissions team will be in touch to request a new statement and this will be considered along with the rest of your application. You won’t be disadvantaged in any way if you’re asked to submit a revised personal statement.