Course Finder



Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ , Credits 240 )

Pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs and their action on biological systems, ranging from genes and cells up to tissues and even human populations. A drug is any substance given to a human or animal with the intention of changing the state of body function: to relieve pain, treat cancer, eliminate infection or improve health. Pharmacology is also concerned with the use of drugs as investigative tools to obtain a better understanding of cellular and physiological processes in both health and disease. At UCD, Pharmacology students will have the opportunity to take part in drug development research.

Information on all our courses including pathways, internships and careers information is available in the UCD Science Undergraduate Courses Entry 2024 Brochure (PDF).

For more information regarding this course, please click School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science

How do I apply?

For EU students, please apply via MyUCD. The following entry route(s) are available:
Description ENTRY Duration Application Opening Date APPURL
Pharmacology(BLS1) - Undergraduate Degree (Non EU) Entry in
Full Time - 4 Year(s) Apply from -
Oct 2023

Pharmacology is one of the degree subjects available through the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in the common entry Science course. Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. For more information on choosing a degree major at the end of Second Year, visit the Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences stream page.

This is a sample set of modules that a Pharmacology student could study each year in UCD.

First Year
Scientific Enquiry • Cell Biology & Genetics • Basis of Organic and Biological Chemistry • Biomedical Sciences • Biology in Action • Life on Earth • Linear Algebra for Science • Calculus for Science • Optional Science Modules • Elective Module

Second Year
Biomolecular Lab Skills • Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology • Biomolecular Sciences • Pharmacology: Biomedical Science of Drugs • Chemistry for Biologists • + modules for 2 other Science Subjects • Elective Modules

Third Year
Cell Signalling • Chemotherapeutic Agents • Pharmacology of Neurodegenerative & Psychiatric Illness • Data Modelling for Science • Drug Action in Body Systems • Toxicology • Advanced Nervous System Pharmacology • Molecular Pharmacology • Optional Science Modules • Elective Modules

Fourth Year
Research Project • Advanced Cardiovascular Pharmacology • Advanced Neuropharmacology • Advanced Pharmacology of Cancer • Gene Regulation • Emerging therapies • Drug Discovery & Development • Advanced Renal Pharmacology

Timetables & Assessment
Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full-time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

Professional Work Experience
A limited number of opportunities exist in second and third year to gain additional laboratory experience during the summer. Funded schemes are organised by public and private bodies, e.g. the Irish Health Research Board and The Wellcome Trust (UK). In addition, occasional opportunities arise within individual research groups.

Click below to for all course modules:


Career opportunities for Pharmacology graduates include working in pharmaceutical companies, drug regulatory bodies such as the Irish Medicines Board, the biotechnology sector, chemical safety and toxicology. Pharmacology graduates can also pursue graduate studies at MSc or PhD level. PhD programmes in Ireland and abroad cover areas such as drug development and biomedical science.

International study opportunities in third and fourth year to date have included univerisities in Australia, USA and Denmark including University of Melbourne, University of Washington, Seattle, and University of Copenhagen.

Pharmacology is a prominent and distinguished discipline in the realm of biomedical research, offering an interactive and practical field of study. Neuropharmacology and the drug development pipeline are two key disciplines that have always fascinated me, and as part of my final year research project, I had the opportunity to conduct my own research in epilepsy, as well as pursue an internship at the Conway Institute in third year within the same area. After I graduated, I pursued an MSc Biotechnology & Business, furthering my interest in the business side of pharmaceuticals. I hope to work in clinical trials involving neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders in the near future.
Fatima Butt, Graduate