How to become a pharmacologist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
You'll need a science degree to become a pharmacologist. Pharmacology is the most relevant subject, although a degree in biochemistry, physiology, or microbiology may also be accepted by employers.
A postgraduate qualification may also be a requirement when applying for some jobs.
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.
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
You could do a Clinical pharmacology scientist degree apprenticeship.
As an apprentice clinical pharmacologist you would follow medicines through their entire lifecycle including:
- discovery to research
- dosage recommendations
- safety and efficacy
- marketing and approval
You may need to be:
- already working in a clinical pharmacology role
- a pharmacist looking to use your skills in research
- a science graduate
To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:
- a degree in a relevant subject for a degree apprenticeship
It's useful to look for work experience opportunities or internships while you are studying that give you the chance to gain laboratory skills like:
- using pipettes
- sterilising equipment
- setting up analytical instruments
- following safety standards and procedures
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the British Pharmacological Society for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming a pharmacologist through the British Pharmacological Society and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.