Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 311*
  • Course Code SG445
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary


Pharmaceutical Science combines a range of scientific subjects that are vital in the development, discovery, processing and manufacturing of different drugs and therapies. This four-year honours degree course provides students with a broad but thorough background in the chemical, biological, and technological disciplines as they relate to the study of medicinal products. It provides excellent training in scientific principles, practical applications, organisational and computing skills, as well as self-discipline. 

In the first semester, students start with learning the fundamentals of the basic science subjects, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, and an introduction to pharmaceutical science as a subject.  Tutorials in all of these subjects are provided to support students who may not have studied these in Leaving Cert.  Students will have laboratory/practical sessions in all of the subjects which is an excellent way of getting hands-on experience with science and to get to know your classmates. As students progress through the course, the subjects become more specialized. These modules include dosage formulation, biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical manufacturing, quality systems, validation, and pharmaceutical legislation. The option of relevant work placement within the pharmaceutical sector (both in Ireland and abroad) occurs between the end of year three and the commencement of the final year of academic study.

As a graduate, you will be multi-skilled and will typically gain employment throughout the pharmaceutical/healthcare industrial sector. Should you wish to progress your studies, you will be well equipped to pursue higher degrees such as MSc or PhD.


First-year focuses on building a foundation in the core science subjects, as many students have not studied Chemistry, Physics or Biology at Leaving Certificate level.


In the second year, the core sciences are developed, building on the foundation laid down in the first year.


The emphasis in year 3 is on applying the knowledge gained in the first two years to the specific needs of the pharmaceutical sector. Students currently have the option to complete a work placement between yr 3 and 4. This can last for four months or for a full year.


Students study modules at an advanced level. A final year project allows them to make use of the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the programme. 

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

A science subject at Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for this course.

Career Opportunities

The pharmaceutical/healthcare industry is currently one of the most extensive and thriving in Ireland with 18 of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world having operations here.

Included in this are pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, biomedical and medical devices. Areas within the sector in which graduates find employment include legislation/regulatory affairs, formulation, analysis, validation, production and quality systems. Our graduates are employed in companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Abbvie, Baxter and Allergan.

Further Study

Level 8 graduates may progress to Masters Degree or PhD programmes across a range of disciplines. Graduates can also progress to the pharmacy degree programme in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Did you know?

Students get the opportunity to apply for an Abbott Excellence & Science Award where students can get an internship and valuable work experience with one of the many leading pharmaceutical companies in our region.