Enhance your undergraduate degree with a year's placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment.
We are ranked 1st in the UK for Anatomy and Physiology in The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.
At a Glance
On Campus Learning
There is a rapidly increasing number of immune system molecules now used to treat, or used as targets in the treatment of, a wide range of disease.
Immunology is the study of how the body defends itself against pathogenic microorganisms and cancer but is also fundamental to debilitating autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergies. Pharmacology is concerned with the discovery, characterisation and toxicology of drugs that are used either as medicines or as experimental tools for advancing our understanding of the body in health and disease. It also addresses drug toxicity and the processes by which drugs are absorbed, metabolised and excreted. We look at how the immune system can be exploited for novel therapies including vaccines.
Students will gain a broad, in depth, understanding of both subjects at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. Our research-led approach, which covers the latest advances provides graduates with the skills and knowledge for a wide range of careers in immunology and pharmacology and more generally in medical science.
In your fourth year you will undertake a year's industrial placement and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc. Placements vary considerably but, in general terms, you will have the opportunity to do a placement in an industrial, commercial or research environment where you will be able to develop a breadth of practical experience to complement your degree programme and enhance your employability.
What You'll Study
A degree in Immunology and Pharmacology is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.
Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.
Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.
This course covers the foundations of chemistry that underpin the life sciences at a molecular level and is suitable for students with different backgrounds including little or no previous study of chemistry. The basic concepts of quantitative chemistry will be covered, along with the different types of organic molecules, acids and bases, and the principles of kinetics and thermodynamics. The relevance of the course materials to life science is emphasised throughout.
Laboratory classes introduce important practical techniques, with experiments that reinforce and complement the taught material.
The course will allow students to continue with other chemistry courses as part of their enhanced study by providing discipline breadth.
Chemistry plays a vital role in the life sciences, explaining the properties of biomolecules and how biological processes work at a molecular level. Organic reaction mechanisms give insight into how different types of molecules can be synthesised and methods of chemical analysis introduce other important topics linking the chemical and life sciences. The relationship between energy, entropy and equilibrium in driving reactions will be covered and the course concludes with a survey of the molecules of life – proteins, enzymes and sugars.
Laboratory classes complement lectures by consolidating learning and developing problem-solving and hands-on practical skills.
• Cells are the fundamental unit of life – without them life could not exist, and as such understanding how they function is crucial to our understanding of biology and medical science.• This course provides theoretical knowledge in a diverse range of topics covering the fascinating world of cells, from molecules like DNA, to how different cell types function within our bodies.• All practical classes are research based and will provide theoretical knowledge and skills training in many areas of molecular and cell biology.• Employability skills will also be explored through a highly interactive enterprise session and our online mini course.
Year 2 courses introduce Immunity, Infectious Diseases, Genetics and cell biology. The year 2 curriculum includes two courses devoted to development of Foundation and Research Skills in the Life Sciences.
this course will provide a comprehensive understanding of how genetic information is stored, how it is accessed by the cell to form functional proteins and how the release of this information is controlled to produce a healthy human child;
understanding this process is essential to understanding the basis of human disease and the course will examine how genetic differences affect disease susceptibility;
this popular, comprehensive and cutting edge course will equip students with the essential knowledge, skills and confidence in molecular biology required to progress on all courses undertaken in the School of Medical Sciences
understanding the fundamental workings of cells is important to a wide range of scientific disciplines;
this course integrates the key metabolic and biochemical processes that underpin human, animal and plant life in relation to health and disease;
this core knowledge prepares you for more advanced study in all areas of life sciences and has wide ranging applications;
you will also participate in an award winning practical series focussed on drug discovery which will build essential employability skills in experimental design, data analysis and practical laboratory skills
course cultivates literature research skills, building confidence in
team-working and communication through scientific writing and seminar
encourages student-led learning and organisation in researching a topic on
human health or disease of your own choice, with tutors providing guidance;
will learn to use online and library resources to search for information
from primary research articles and relay that information in the form of a
written report and a Powerpoint presentation to peers and academic tutors;
are all fundamental skills for scientific researchers, but are also
transferrable talents for many other career pathways
A pre-requisite for all students intending to apply for a year’s industrial placement.
This course covers the skills necessary to complete placement applications by exploring CV preparation, writing covering letters, completing application forms, identification of your skill sets and good interview technique.
The course will prepare you for the workplace by making you aware of general employability skills and by helping you identify your own transferable skills.
Biochemical pharmacology and toxicology is a broad ranging course covering many fundamental aspects of pharmacology. It lays appropriate foundations upon which advanced Pharmacological understanding is developed.
Key aspects are: - critical concepts of pharmacological and toxicological relevance are covered in-depth at a molecular and biochemical level, with the ultimate significance to the human organism also studied- a modern and relevant practical thread (partly funded by the British Pharmacological Society) permits application of lecture materials, and enhances employability through development of relevant core practical skills- research-led special topics are also embedded where the materials studied are put in context through teaching driven by recent medical research discoveries
cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of
death worldwide. Using teaching informed by high-quality research this course provides
a comprehensive understanding of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology;
you will learn how the knowledge of physiological
processes is directed into identifying drugs targets for disease, which will improve
your understanding of drug discovery;
insight into the molecular and cellular action
of drugs in the cardiovascular system will prepare you for your final year
wider transferable skills include problem
solving, data interpretation and training in the ethical and safety aspects of recruiting
human subjects in research.
This course will give you a broad understanding of the immune system, the way it works and its role in health and disease;
you will cover the core concepts which are essential for advanced study in Immunology;
practical classes will extend your knowledge and abilities in both generic laboratory techniques and those more specifically related to Immunology;
you will gain wider transferrable skills including team-working, improved ability to present and interpret data and write reports, and improved numerical skills all of which are key requirements for employers
an industrial placement allows students to experience workplace culture and makes them more effective employees following graduation;
placements vary considerably but in general terms, students are placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where they obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme;
students are employed by their host company and can expect to work a normal 40 hour week, possibly on a number of projects, over a full calendar year;
tutorial assistance from a member of the University academic staff is available via email and / or telephone throughout the year
In your Honours year the focus of taught courses is on special aspects of immunology and pharmacology. An important feature is the ten-week research project, carried out in research laboratories at the University or in local research institutes.
You will be taught using a variety of methods and styles and we continually seek to make the teaching engaging, exciting and responsive to the latest research in your subject area. The research we carry out in the School directly informs and guides our teaching, particularly in the final Honours year. Our commitment to teaching is recognised by the range of University of Aberdeen Student-led Teaching Awards given to staff from our School.
As a student, your learning is supported by MyAberdeen, our virtual learning environment from which you can access the lecture Powerpoint slides, online practice tests, links to related reading, and tutorial support material.
We make innovative use of 'educational voting' handsets in class, remote control 'clickers' that allow each and every student to electronically respond in class by anonymous vote to questions posed by the lecturer.
Your academic development is supported from year 1 through to year 5 by an assigned personal tutor, who acts as adviser and mentor throughout your University career.
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
Why Study Immunology and Pharmacology?
You will spend the fourth year of your degree in paid employment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc.
Our teaching is underpinned by world leading research groups particularly in Immunohaematology, Immunology of Fungal Infection and Cannabinoid Pharmacology.
This is a wide-ranging programme that provides training in both specialist and generic employment-related skills.
We have strong links with the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) and the encouragement of our Pharmacology students to join the BPS enhances opportunities for networking, bursaries and enhanced professional development through the Society.
The many pharmacology and immunology-linked spin-out companies from the University provide the opportunity to benefit from experience, placements and project prospects.
The academics involved with our successful spin-out companies also continue to feed into the teaching and this provides a unique dimension to the teaching team experience.
SQA Highers- AAAB* A Levels- ABB* IB- 34 points, 6 at HL* ILC- 5H with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3, with H2 and H3 from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject, OR AAABB including AB from Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics subject. The grading within band B must be B2 or above.*
*Including AB in two Science or Mathematics subjects.
Applicants who achieve AAAB or better over S4 and S5 are likely to be made an offer of admission. This may be unconditional or it may be conditional, dependent upon academic profile. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers may be required.
Highers at AB from two Science or Maths subjects required.
A minimum of 3 A Levels at ABB.
A levels at AB from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
A minimum of 34 points. 6 points at HL from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Five subjects at Higher, with 4 at H2 and 1 at H3. H2 from two Science or Mathematics subjects.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
EU / International students
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year
Scholarships and Funding
Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.
The Immunology and Pharmacology degree offers good prospects for research careers in academia, industry, the scientific civil service and hospitals. It can be used as an entry qualification for certain postgraduate courses, including MSc Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology, Endocrinology, Nutrition or IT. Alternatively, it may lead onto careers such as marketing, publishing or teaching.
Our degree programmes are built to enhance your employability and three flagship options give our degrees a distinctively different flavour from many others. All our degrees offer:
A 10-week full time research project in the final year which will provide you with valuable experience of working in a medical science research environment
Highly relevant and sought after experience in bio-business aimed at giving you an understanding of the commercialisation of scientific ideas and an opportunity to learn about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
We have close links with the British Society of Immunology who provide funding for the Aberdeen Immunology Group enabling bi-weekly talks in term time from Immunologists across the UK and further afield as well as an annual symposium.
We have close teaching and research ties with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service in Aberdeen.
Strong links with the British Pharmacological Society (BPS).
Useful Fact about this Degree
The University of Aberdeen is associated with a Nobel Prize for research which led to the development of insulin as a treatment for diabetes.
12th in the UK
We are ranked 12th in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology in The Guardian University Guide 2023
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.
Science Teaching Hub
Our state-of-the-art Science Teaching Hub provides students with a digitally focussed environment including advanced analytical tools, research-grade equipment and flexible laboratory spaces.
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