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Alternative titles for this job include

Pharmacologists study the effects of drugs and chemicals on living things, and develop new products to help tackle disease.

Average salary (a year)

£27,000 Starter


£55,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Pharmacologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship


The most direct way to become a pharmacologist is by studying for a pharmacology degree.

You could also complete a postgraduate course in pharmacology, if you've done a degree in a related subject, like:

  • biochemistry
  • physiology
  • microbiology
  • biomedical science

Some courses include a year working in industry, which will give you an advantage when you start applying for work. You can also get experience by working as a lab assistant or through work shadowing.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry

More Information


You could apply to do a Clinical Pharmacology Scientist Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship takes around two and half years and is a mix of work-based training and study.

To apply, you'll need:

  • to be working in a clinical research role
  • a degree in medicine, biomedical science or pharmacy

More Information

More Information

Career tips

It's useful to look for work experience opportunities and internships while you are studying. This will give you the chance to gain laboratory skills like:

  • sterilising equipment
  • setting up analytical instruments
  • working as part of a research team
  • following safety standards and procedures

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the British Pharmacological Society for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about a career in pharmacology and working in pharmaceuticals through the British Pharmacological Society and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • science skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a pharmacologist, you would:

  • test combinations of chemicals and drugs to see what they do
  • design and carry out experiments and clinical trials
  • collect and analyse data
  • assess the safety of products and calculate dosage levels
  • write reports and publish research findings
  • work with other clinical scientists to develop new products and manufacturing processes

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a research and development supervisor or manager, for example, with a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. 

You could also move into:

  • drug licensing and patent work
  • science publishing
  • university teaching
  • medical sales and marketing

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Pharmacologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Higher Education Diploma: Pharmacy and Bio-Medical Sciences

  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Stamore

FT Access- Pharmacy & Bio-Medical Sciences

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Portsmouth

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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