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BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science with Foundation Year

Start date:
Study mode:
Course duration:
5 years Placement year, 4 years FullTime
UCAS Code:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
International year 2
Placement year international
All figures are subject to yearly increases. Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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Want to study with LJMU this September? Visit our Clearing hub to apply now if you have your grades or register your interest and become a Clearing Insider to receive updates while you wait for your results. Your journey starts with Clearing.

Why study Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • A degree leading to a higher than average salary
  • Graduates highly sought after in the UK's fastest growing manufacturing industries
  • Option to undertake a 12-month industrial placement (placement is not guaranteed)
  • Support from a personal tutor for the duration of your course
  • Wide range of career opportunities in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, chemical, biotechnological, food, healthcare and related industries
  • International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more

About your course

Completing the BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science with Foundation Year degree programme at Liverpool John Moores University will help you enjoy excellent career prospects and earning potential in a variety of sectors after you graduate.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science honours degree programme.

Once you pass the Foundation Year, you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

About BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science 

On this BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science programme you will learn about the science of medicines, from the identification and isolation of biologically active compounds through to the analysis and formulation into medicines for clinical use.

The aim of this degree course is to provide you with knowledge and understanding of core subject matter and first-hand experience of relevant laboratory techniques to enable you to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries or progress to further study. The programme has been designed to give you a solid foundation in the subjects that underpin Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science and then to explore how research and development procedures are applied in the industry.

The course will not only give you technological know-how, but also the transferable key skills to give you that competitive edge when it comes to climbing the career ladder. We encourage you take advantage of the opportunity to complete a one year placement after Level 5 as it will give direct experience of working in the industry, helping you identify career options and adding real value to your CV after graduation.

There are three main themes embedded throughout the programme: Chemistry and Analysis; Formulation and Production; and Physiology and Biological Activity. During level 3, students will develop knowledge, understanding and practical skills associated with the study of biology, chemistry and general science. Core modules have been designed to provide basic understanding and knowledge of general scientific principles and methodologies. These are supported with training in laboratory methods as well as other practical and key skills.

In levels 4 and 5, the subjects that underpin Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science are explored in depth and then in level 6 the focus is on more advanced principles and techniques and how the research and development procedures are applied in the industry.


  • Go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

    Go on a tour of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

  • Studying BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science at Liverpool John Moores University

    Studying BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science at Liverpool John Moores University

  • BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science – meet our alumni

    BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science – meet our alumni

"I had the opportunity to do a work placement at BASF in Germany. This experience has given me the confidence and knowledge to go on and do a PhD"
Andrew Cashmore, Graduate

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

A DBS check is not required for your application, however a DBS may be required for modules where there is a work based learning placement option. Work based learning placements that do not require a DBS check are available.


Successful graduates can enjoy above average salaries in these fast-growing sectors.

The pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries continue to be strong in terms of turnover and employment and consequently there is a high demand for graduates in these scientific disciplines. This degree programme is the ideal platform from which to launch your career as it is designed to meet the high demand for highly skilled and technology literate people to help these industries continue to be innovative and compete on a global scale. As a Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science graduate you can expect a career in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical, biotechnological, food, healthcare and related industries, in fields such as research and development, formulation science, quality control, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, clinical trial management, process development or product registration.

Graduates can also choose to continue their studies at LJMU by undertaking one of the many postgraduate masters courses available, such as MSc Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery, MSc Industrial Biotechnology or MSc Cosmetic Science.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 3

Core modules

Human Anatomy and Physiology
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic structure and function of key physiological systems and metabolic processes. It will also introduce the concepts of human physiology and their inter-relationships.

Fundamental Science Skills
20 credits

This module aims to provide and develop the basic skills required to successfully study a programme in the molecular bioscience areas.

Introduction to Chemistry
20 credits

This module covers introductory laboratory skills and fundamental physical and inorganic chemistry concepts, alongside a brief introduction to organic chemistry.

Introduction to Biochemistry and Cell Biology
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to cell structure and biochemistry.

Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
20 credits

This module provides an introduction to molecular biology and genetics.

Further Chemistry
20 credits

This module covers fundamental organic chemistry concepts.

Level 4

Core modules

Physical Properties
20 credits

This module will introduce the basic principles of physical chemistry as they relate to the formulation of drug products.

Organic Chemistry
20 credits

This module enables you to explore the structure, bonding, functionality and reactions of organic molecules with specific reference to pharmaceutically important drugs. You will also develop your ability to practice chemical laboratory skills.

Principles of Human Biology and Disease
20 credits

This module enables you to explore principles of human physiology and pathology with respect to homeostatic mechanisms. You will learn about bacteria, viruses and fungus and their role in human health and disease.

Formulation Science
20 credits

This module enables you to understand the physicochemical properties of active pharmaceutical ingredients and introduces you to the basic principles of pharmaceutical formulation.

Analytical Chemistry
20 credits

This module provides you with the basic, practical and relevant mathematical and analytical chemistry foundation for the quantitative aspects all Pharmaceutical modules.

Biologically Active Molecules
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your ability to gather, evaluate and communicate scientific information in order to facilitate the application of information presented to solve problems.

Level 5

Core modules

Pharmaceutical Formulation
20 credits

This module introduces you to the formulation, manufacture and testing of solid oral pharmaceutical dosage forms (tablets and capsules) as well as the development of oral modified release dosage forms.

Synthetic and Natural Drugs
20 credits

This module aims to present and illustrate the principles and processes involved in the discovery, acquisition of, and analysis of a range of natural, synthetic and biotechnologically produced drugs.

Principles of Pharmacology
20 credits

The module aims to develop your knowledge of anatomical, physiological and pharmacological organisation of biological systems.

Sterile Pharmaceutical Products
20 credits

This module enables you to learn about the formulation, preparation, manufacture and quality control of sterile products. You will be able to describe and discuss the principles and practice of sterilisation and the concepts of quality assurance of sterile products.

Pharmaceutical Analysis
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge, practical experience and interpretation skills necessary for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of chemical species relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Principles of Cosmetic Products
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge of the scientific principles applied in the preparation and analysis of cosmetic products.

Optional Modules

Sandwich Year - Pharmaceutical Science
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.

Study Year Abroad - Pharmaceutical Science
120 credits

The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.

Study Semester Abroad - Pharmaceutical Science
60 credits

The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.

Level 6

Core modules

Research Methods and Project
40 credits

The aim of the module is to enable you to plan, execute and report results of a research project in the area of pharmaceutical sciences, using a range of appropriate resources and methodology.

Industrial Product Development
20 credits

Within this module, you will gain information relating to pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and the associated regulatory controls to ensure consistency of patient safety.

Advanced Pharmaceutical Analysis
20 credits

The module is designed to provide you with the concepts and practical experience necessary to pursue a career in an analytical role in the pharmaceutical industry, and to be aware of the limitations of analytical techniques upon which you may rely for information.

Advanced Delivery Systems
20 credits

This module will present and illustrate methods for the formulation and application of advanced drug delivery systems.

Safety Assessment of Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics
20 credits

The aim of this module is to gain an awareness and understanding of preclinical testing and management and regulation of clinical trials in the process of drug development.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

The programme incorporates a range of teaching methods and there is a strong focus on learning through problem-solving and data interpretation in several modules at each Level. There is also an emphasis on developing practical, research and transferable skills throughout the programme.

Modules are delivered by a mixture of lectures, workshops, tutorials, online activities and laboratory practical sessions. Modules typically introduce the theory underpinning the various topics through lectures and students then engage in workshops to apply the theory during activity-based sessions, which may involve group work, peer-learning and data manipulation or analysis.

Work-related learning

Work-related learning is a vital element of your studies, as it will give you that extra competitive edge when you come to negotiate your way around the graduate job market. For this reason, we encourage you to undertake an industrial placement after your second year. Although this is not compulsory, it will boost your job prospects and give you a chance to put into practice skills and knowledge you have acquired in the first two years at LJMU.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

There will be times during your course when you need guidance and advice related to your academic studies or more personal matters. For this reason you will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of your course and take part in small tutorial groups where you can discuss course material in a more informal setting. Individual support is also particularly valuable when you work independently on your research project so you will be allocated a supervisor who will discuss aspects of your work in one-to-one tutorials.

The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has a Disability Support Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.



Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

There are a number of different assessment styles used at each level of the programme including laboratory reports, essays, presentations and online exercises. Some modules also incorporate formative assessments, particularly at lower levels. Most modules comprise an assessment weighting of 60% Exam: 40% coursework. Examinations comprise multiple-choice questions, written answers or problem-based questions and sample questions are made available to aid student preparation and revision.

Feedback, either written or verbal, is provided on all formatively and summatively assessed coursework. Modules will specify a feedback deadline alongside assessment submission deadlines. Feedback will normally be available within 15 working days after the assessment deadline and will relate to the specific assessment criteria. Many assessments utilise online marking rubrics, which illustrate to students how each assessment criterion is to be met, alongside the corresponding range of grade ratings.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

I teach the students to recognise the relevance of the topic in the context to which they can relate. I particularly enjoy mentoring students, celebrating their success and seeing the results of my hard work with them


What you can expect from your School

You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university's City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. Our state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching spaces will ensure you enjoy a first-class study environment. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.