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Job Description

Pharmacologists work as part of a scientific research team that investigate the effects of drugs on cells, tissue and animals to develop new drugs and undertake controlled experiments and clinical trials in laboratories. They will ensure that drugs and medicines are completely safe and free of any dangerous side effects before they are used by humans and they also play an important role in the research and development of new medicines 

Entry Requirements

To become a Pharmacologist you will usually need a degree in pharmacology, although some employers may accept degrees in:

  • biochemistry
  • physiology
  • neuroscience
  • microbiology

Some university courses include a year working in industry which will give you an advantage when you start applying for work.  

Entry requirements for your degree course can vary but you will usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSE's at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English, maths and science
  • and 3 A levels or equivalent including biology and chemistry

Career Tips

It may also be useful to have paid or unpaid work experience. 

The British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) have more information on work experience and becoming a pharmacologist.

Career Path and Progression

With experience, you could progress to supervisor or manager. You could also move into medical sales and marketing, drug registration, patent work or information science.

You could work in research and development with a postgraduate degree in pharmacology or a relevant PhD.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Chemist
  • Medical sales representative
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmacy technician

Required Skills

  • Sharp analytical skills
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good problem solving abilities
  • A methodical approach
  • Attention to detail
  • Good team working skills
  • Acute observation abilities.

Salary Range

£25,000 to £80,000

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