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Alternative titles for this job include

Pharmacologists study the effects of drugs and other chemical substances on cells, animals, humans and the environment.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£50,000 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 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.

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 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

Entry requirements

To do this apprenticeship, you'll need:

  • a degree in a relevant subject

More Information

More Information

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a pharmacologist 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
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

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 part of your day-to-day duties, you might:

  • design, set up and carry out experiments
  • analyse data using complex equipment and measuring systems
  • test drugs on cells in labs and through clinical trials
  • make recommendations using the results of research to develop new products and manufacturing processes
  • study the effects of drugs and test the safety of manufactured products

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 progress to supervisor or manager. You could also move into medical sales and marketing, drug registration, patent work or information science.

You could work in research and development with a postgraduate degree in pharmacology or a relevant PhD.

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

FT Access- Pharmacy & Bio-Medical Sciences

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Portsmouth

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

  • Start date: 16 September 2024
  • Location: Stamore

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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