Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development

  • NFQ Level 7
  • Points Required 256*
  • Course Code AU857 (was SG431)
  • Award Ordinary Bachelor Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 3

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. . The overall philosophy of the programme is to produce science graduates who can assume positions of responsibility in the area of pharmaceutical science.


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 allows students to develop a range of skills, covering scientific, engineering, regulatory and quality issues, as well as delivering excellent communication skills. 

Modules are based around the core pharmaceutical sciences, but with emphasis also placed on modern technology and advances within the sector.


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 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. 

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.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at ATU 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. This is in the are of pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, biomedical and medical devices. There is a very high direct employment rate from the programme in companies such as Abbott, AbbVie, Pfizer, Eli Lily. Baxter and Allergan.

Areas within the sector in which graduates find employment include legislation/regulatory affairs, formulation, analysis, validation, production and quality systems.

Further Study

The BSc in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development provides an excellent foundation for students who wish to progress to the Honours Degree (Level 8) award in Year 4.

Graduates from the Level 8 programme may progress to Masters Degree or PhD programmes across a range of disciplines. 

Many of our past students who have completed the level 8 in pharmaceutical Science have gone on to become Pharmacists. Many students complete this in Scotland, Ulster University, or Liverpool. ATU Sligo hold an agreement with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin where students can progress onto their pharmacy degree programme.


Amy Flynn, a graduate of BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development, talks about her experience of studying this programme.

Did you know?

Many of our past students who have completed the level 8 Pharmaceutical Science have gone on to become Pharmacists. Many students study Pharmacy in Scotland, Ulster University, or Liverpool. ATU Sligo hold an agreement with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin where students can progress onto their pharmacy degree programme.

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.

This course includes a Pharma industry work placement, between year 3 and 4.  This can be from 3 to 12 months depending on the student and company agreement.  Students secure work placement with all the local Pharma companies in the region, i.e. Abbotts, AbbVie, and many others. We have had students do work placement in the States, UK, Malta, Italy.