Bachelor of Science (Honours) In Pharmaceutical Sciences

Bachelor of Science (Honours) Pharmaceutical Sciences

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 257


  • AL840

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

Explore Pharmaceutical Sciences

This unique course provides the essential information and skills required for employment in the pharmaceutical sector. Given the wide range of disciplines required in driving modern manufacturing approaches this multidisciplinary course covers chemical-based and next generation biotech-based therapeutics and their formulation into safe and effective medicines of high and durable quality.

The pharmaceutical sciences are typically concerned with methods and techniques to minimize toxicity and optimize therapeutic efficacy, maximize product yield, how to circumvent difficulties with drug absorption or unwanted distribution and premature inactivation or elimination. It also explores which new generation technologies such as nano-encapsulation and stimuli-sensitive polymers are most suitable to achieve beneficial drug delivery.The core experience across the modules is the exploration of the structure-property relationships of drugs and pharmaceutical materials. Using sophisticated apparatus and instrumentation, our graduates will develop the skills that will give them a range of career options. In addition, we will help to grow the interpersonal attributes required for you to interact with colleagues from other disciplines.

The pharma industry’s continual growth and prosperity in Ireland is highly dependent on the generation and attraction of skilled graduates and this course is designed to give you the knowledge and competence to enter industry or proceed to further postgraduate education. The midlands region is a locus for many pharma and healthcare companies and this degree programme supports that growth.

What will I experience?

An ideal programme for learners interested in a career in the pharmaceutical industry delivering synthetic, formulation, analytical, and transferable skill-sets.

Combine enabling know-how across a range of methodologies critical to the successful development of marketable therapeutics.

In supporting a strong local cluster of drug substance, finished product pharmaceutical, diagnostic reagent, and medical device manufacturing, we regularly consult with companies to maintain the currency of our course provision.

Lecturers combine teaching expertise with industry experience. Many of our faculty have worked in the pharma industry and continue to maintain active contacts in this space.

AIT’s programmes in pharmaceutical sciences are designed to meet the growing demand for scientists to service the current and emerging pharma industries in Ireland generally and the midlands in particular.

  • Lectures, tutorials and practical classes delivered in modern, well-equipped teaching rooms and laboratories.
  • Enthusiastic lecturers with wide experience of research, academia and industry.
  • A research project in year 4 which will focus on a specific pharmaceutical sciences-related topic.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Graduates may expect to find rewarding careers and well remunerated positions in the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals sector, whether in an API/biologic drugs plant or in a finished drug product manufacturing facility. A substantial cohort are employed in analytical services, or in the closely-related sectors of diagnostics’ manufacture and polymer characterization. A number of graduates have been successful in securing roles in highly skilled technical services; others in regulatory affairs where they interface with national, EU or other international state bodies such as the US FDA in support of marketing authorization applications from their employer. Previous graduates have also obtained sought after roles in research, whether leading to a higher degree (up to QQI Level 10, PhD) in AIT, at other universities, in industry, or the wider public service such as forensics and environmental monitoring.

Additional Information

AL840 is recognized for professional graduate admission to the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland (GradICI).

The Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS) is the UK-based professional membership body for Pharmaceutical Scientists. AIT is currently (2019) the only Irish APS-Accredited Institution for its BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Sciences (

​For further information about this programme, please contact

Dr Nuala Commins

Head of Department of Life & Physical Sciences,

Athlone Institute of Technology.
Tel: +353 (0)90 6468081

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Years
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Median CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Life & Physical Sciences
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate Grade H5 in two higher-level subjects, plus four subjects at Grade 06 at ordinary level. Subjects to include Mathematics and a language (English or Irish).

QQI: Any major QQI award with three distinctions and a pass in C20139 or 5N1833 or C20174 or C2017 or Leaving Certificate Maths at O6/H7.


Course Structure

Year 1

Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics for Scientists, Learning and Development for Higher Education, Information Technology for Scientists, Scientific Computing, Current Scientific Issues through Enquiry Based Learning.

Year 2

Mathematics and Statistics for Life and Physical Sciences, Gene Technology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Analytical Techniques, Organic Chemistry, Physical and Inorganic Chemistry.

Year 3

Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Science, Pharmaceutical Separations, Coordination and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Dosage Form Design, Pharmaceutical Spectroscopy, Pharmaceutical Synthesis, Pharmaceutical Materials, Professional and Transferable Skills for Pharmaceutical Scientists, Pharmaceutical Statistics, Quality Assurance and Good Manufacturing Practice.

Year 4

Project Theory & Practice, Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacology, Metals in Medicine, API Discovery & Development, Bio-analytical Techniques in Therapeutics, Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Experimental Design & Validation, Medical Devices & Advanced Therapies, Pharmacognosy and Natural Products.

Careers & Opportunities

Further Study

There are three different entry routes to pursue a pharmaceutical sciences degree at AIT:

Level 6 - Higher Certificate in Science (Bioscience/Chemistry) (AL632)

After completing Level 6 you can progress to Year 3 of AL734.

Level 7 - BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Drug Development & Analysis) (AL734)

After completing Level 7, for year 4, you can progress to the honours degree in pharmaceutical sciences (AL840).

Level 8 - BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences (AL840)

All three options lead to an honours degree. If you choose the level 6 or 7 options you can graduate after two or three years’ study and enter the workplace at that stage with a qualification. Alternatively, if you choose to continue your studies, you can pursue a level 8 in pharmaceutical sciences (AL840).

Facility Gallery