Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc (Hons)

A highly vocational qualification which combines both pharmaceutical and cosmetic science to equip you with sound knowledge and extensive practical skills in the design, development and manufacture of pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care products.

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Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments - rather than lots of exams at the end of the year - and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging.

Read more about block teaching


Learn about some of the benefits of studying Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science at DMU, with Senior Lecturer Paul Bremner, including placement opportunities with global organisations.

Our Pharmaceutical Cosmetic Science (PCS) course has been designed to follow a concept-to-consumer narrative over the three years of the programme with a primary focus on how pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry products are formulated and manufactured.

As part of the Leicester School of Pharmacy, we have over 100 years of experience which will allow us to provide you with both the theoretical and practical skills you will need to thrive in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry following graduation. This will also be supported by our extensive network of collaborations with both industries ensuring that real-time developments in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry are a focal point on the programme.

You will study a wide range of topics that will firstly introduce you to the fundamental principles in pharmaceutics and cosmetics alongside analytical techniques and basics in biological systems, cell biology, microbiology and physiology. This will then feed into and complement the second-year modules which will focus on design, formulation, manufacture and evaluation of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The final year will delve deeper into more advanced and niche topics including drug design, personalised medicines, responsible innovation and sustainability. 

Key features 

  • This is a specialist course in the UK and DMU is one of only a handful of universities nationally which combines pharmaceutical and cosmetic science.
  • Renowned for our academic expertise, development training and world-leading research - we offer more than 100 years of teaching experience in the Leicester School of Pharmacy.
  • Our investment in dedicated practical laboratories and industry-standard equipment offers you invaluable opportunities to develop your practical and professional skills.
  • Our graduates gain rewarding and stimulating careers in the pharmaceutical and/or cosmetic industries – DMU PCS students have gone on to work for major companies such as AstraZeneca, Boots, The Body Shop, Catalent and Barry M.
  • Our strong network with industry means students will be able to develop their practical and professional skills and also be offered the opportunity to apply them to real-world situations with a placement year option.
  • Students will have the opportunity to achieve “Registered Scientist” recognition by completing annual personal development plans and one year of industrial experience; a qualification which can raise your profile as a professional.
  • Benefit from block teaching, where most students study one subject at a time. A simple timetable will allow you to really engage with your learning, receive regular feedback and assessments, get to know your course mates and enjoy a better study-life balance.


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Pharmacy MPharm (Hons)

  • UK
  • eu/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: B204

Duration: Three years full-time, four years sandwich (optional)

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: B204

Duration: Three years full-time, four years sandwich (optional)

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK.

Fees and funding:

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £16,250

Find out more about available funding for international students.


Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

Entry criteria


  • Five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including: English and Maths

Plus one of the following:

A Level

  • A minimum of 96 points from 2 or more A levels, including Chemistry at grade C or above, and one other science subject from: Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Statistics, Maths/Further Maths, or Psychology at grade D or above


  • BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science - Merit/Merit/Merit
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science - Merit/Merit/Merit


Alternative qualifications include:

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass QAA Accredited Science Access to HE with at least 15 level 3 credits in Chemistry at merit and 15 level 3 credits in a second science subject at merit.

English Language and Maths GCSE required as separate qualifications. Equivalency not accepted within the Access qualification. 

International Baccalaureate: 24+ with 6 higher level points in Chemistry and another science (preferably Biology)

Interview required: No

Personal Statement selection criteria

  • Clear communication skills, including good grammar and spelling

  • Information relevant to the course applied for

  • Interest in the course demonstrated with explanation and evidence

  • If relevant for the course - work and life experience

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.


UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Academic expertise



First Year

In the first year, you will study modules which focus on introducing you to the fundamental principles in pharmaceutical science, cosmetic science and various biological aspects such as microbiology, cell biology and physiology. You will also be introduced to a wide range of analytical techniques.

  • All year: Professional Portfolio 1
  • Block 1: Core Concepts in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Block 2: Core Concepts in Cosmetic Sciences
  • Block 3: Analytical Techniques
  • Block 4: Cell and Systems Biology


Second Year

In the second year, there is an emphasis on building skills and knowledge already gained. There is a focus on the integration of the design, formulation and manufacture of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

  • All year: Professional Portfolio 2
  • Block 1: Pharmaceutical Formulation
  • Block 2: Cosmetic Formulation
  • Block 3: Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products
  • Block 4: Design, Manufacture and Evaluation of Cosmetic Products


Optional placement year at the end of year two.


Third Year

In the final year, there is a focus on more innovative topics which concludes with an independent research project.

  • All year: Professional Portfolio 3
  • Block 1: Drug Design and Biopharmaceutics
  • Block 2: Personalised Medicine and Drug Delivery
  • Block 3: Responsible Innovation in Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science
  • Block 4: Research Project

The programme has been designed to be student-focused to allow for more interactive learning, promoting a more inclusive, independent learning experience. A wide range of resources will be made available to you including podcast recordings, interactive large group sessions, laboratory-based practical sessions all of which will be complemented by workshops and seminars.

Across the whole course, there will be a varied mix of assessments including report writing, competency-based activities, knowledge checks, critical thinking case studies and unseen exams.  

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend on the level and modules of study. Typically, you will have up to 20 contact hours of teaching.

Some examples of academic expertise and impactful research include:

Professor Mingzhong Li has successfully been awarded four funded projects from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). These grants are highly competitive and one of the projects will aid our understanding of oral medicines targeted at neglected tropical diseases.

Professor Katie Laird is founder of A Germ’s Journey educational resources (www.germsjourney.com), free at the point of access resources to teach children around the world about microorganism, their transmission and improve handwashing behaviour, the resources have been developed for a global audience and used in 117 countries. She has also undertaken research on the efficiency of hospital laundries and has been commissioned to develop a laundry efficacy test standard to be used by the international laundry industry.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Substantial investment in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate industrial standards in health and life sciences. We have dedicated, contemporary laboratory spaces which are specialised to support you in various aspects of pharmaceutical and cosmetic sciences including analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories.

We have a dedicated team of experienced technical staff which will be able to support all your laboratory-based teaching sessions and you will receive guidance and support from our academic teaching team to ensure that your learning within this environment will help prepare you with the confidence and knowledge needed for your experiential learning in industry.


Whilst practical laboratory sessions will be based in the Hawthorn building, face-to-face sessions such as seminars and workshops can be scheduled in various buildings across campus giving you an all-round experience of DMU campus. 

Library and learning zones

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including the Virtual Learning Environment, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team
CCJ Graduate


As part of this course you will have the opportunity to complete a placement which offers invaluable professional experience. Placements are typically provided across Leicester and the wider East Midlands. You will have the chance to benefit from placement opportunities in global organisations such as Unilever, Pfizer and Boots.

The DMU Careers Team can help you secure a placement through activities such as mock interviews and practice aptitude tests, and you will be assigned a personal tutor to support you throughout your placement.

CCJ Policing Graduate

Graduate Careers

Our graduates have gone on to work for internationally recognised companies including GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Boots.

Throughout the course we will help you to enhance your employment opportunities by embedding transferable skill into the programme and providing opportunities to collaborate with key employers and stakeholders through the Leicester School of Pharmacy’s careers events and mentoring scheme.

Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science graduate Shivani Raja couldn't be happier after landing her perfect job creating cosmetics for health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain Boots.

Shivani, who works as an innovation technologist in the cosmetics department, said: “It's a fun job and the best part is getting to be creative. I work with brands such as No7, Soap and Glory and Botanics.”


DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken DMU Global trips to places such as New York, where they were able to gain more understanding of the healthcare provision provided by pharmacists in America. As well as this, students have previously visited a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in China to observe its processes and also travelled to Berlin to support refugees.


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