School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences
Our courses are delivered within an innovative learning environment, providing you with forward-looking, relevant, supportive, and professionally-recognised education.
The focus on applied study, practical development and evidence-based research combines challenge with the reward of doing something truly worthwhile with your career; the chance to make a positive difference to peoples’ lives, to society, and to the pharmacy and life sciences industry.
Our education programmes are innovative in their approach, with a strong emphasis on practice-based learning. You will have access to a range of state-of-the-art laboratories and learning environments to facilitate the development of skills required for new professional roles and you'll emerge with valuable practical skills in lab techniques, analysis and problem-solving and the inter-personal skills that are vital for successful careers.
Our School is multidisciplinary, and you will benefit from shared learning experiences across a broad range of subject areas – bio and biomedical sciences, analytical and medicinal chemistry, forensic science, food, nutrition and human health, pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical sciences. There is a joint interprofessional learning programme between RGU and the University of Aberdeen which engages 11 undergraduate healthcare professions including: biomedical science, diagnostic radiography, medicine, midwifery, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy and social work. Through this programme you will be given the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams drawn from across the breadth of health and social care disciplines. This provides fantastic experiential learning opportunities and enables realistic interprofessional learning opportunities where you can learn about the roles of the other professions and benefit from the experience of partnership working.
We have a proven track record for excellence, all our courses are accredited and approved by professional bodies including the General Pharmaceutical Council, Institute of Biomedical Science, Association for Nutritionthe Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the Royal Society of Biology and the Health and Care Professions Council. This is one of the reasons why our graduates are in such high demand by employers.
Our approach to preparing graduates for employment sees our courses placed amongst the top in league tables:
- 99.2% of full-time first degree UK-domiciled respondents went into employment and/or further study within six months of graduating. (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17)
- 85.9% of respondents in the final year of their undergraduate degree at the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences were satisfied with the overall quality of their particular course. (National Student Survey 2018)
- Top ranked university in the UK for the Food Science subject table. (Complete University Guide 2019)
- Top ranked in Scotland and top 10 in the UK for the (Pharmacology and) Pharmacy subject table. (The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019)
- In the top 10% of institutions in the UK for above median earnings and/or further study for Pharmacy graduates (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework Year Three subject level metrics)
- With students based in the purpose-built, state-of-the-art Sir Ian Wood Building, we are currently the top university in Scotland and top 10 in the UK for the quality of our facilities. (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018)
Community Pharmacy Practice
We offer a range of chemistry, formulation, molecular biology, cell culture, microbiological, forensic science, food handling and aseptic laboratories in our modern, state-of-the-art facility. We also have a number of informal and formal learning spaces, including pharmacy and clinical simulation centres, a real crime scene house, and access to a moot courtroom to present forensic evidence. Our research students use our expert kit to work on a wide-variety of interesting projects including analysis of DNA, oilfield chemicals, illegal drugs and counterfeit whisky.
These facilities allow you to learn in inspiring surroundings, with access to the very best in equipment and cutting-edge technology. Our sustained investment in these facilities means that you develop high-quality analytical, clinical, and professional skills which are valued greatly by future employers. Our graduates are well-prepared for entering the job market and our courses are regularly placed amongst the top performers in league tables for graduate employment.
Our courses are designed in response to the needs of industry, and therefore we have developed close links with local and international companies as well as public sector organisations. Placements are an excellent opportunity for students to gain real world experience and for employers to see what our students have to offer.
For our undergraduate students in particular, work placements will play an integral part of your learning experience, where you will discover a lot about yourself and your chosen career path as you gain valuable industry exposure.
We have facilitated student exchange schemes for many years. Erasmus students are welcomed to RGU from France, Germany and Italy and participate in courses in Forensic and Analytical Science and Biomedical Science. We have established a number of successful student exchange schemes in the area of Pharmacy with East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and University of Tasmania in Hobart. These exchanges are non-credit bearing, but allow students from other countries to experience a different model of healthcare provision.
We are proud to be associated with the following leading organisations, institutions and professional bodies.
North East Scotland College
NESCOL is Scotland's largest provider of further/higher education. Upon completing an HNC or HND, many students go on to complete a degree at Robert Gordon University.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
HCPC is a regulator which was set up to protect the public by keeping a register of health professionals who meet the Council’s standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.
The General Pharmaceutical Council
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. The role of the GPhC is to protect, promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public who use pharmaceutical services in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Royal Society of Chemistry
The RSC is the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a worldwide network of members and an international publishing business, its activities span education, conferences, science policy and the promotion of chemistry to the public.
The Institute of Biomedical Science
The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) is the professional body for biomedical scientists in the United Kingdom. It aims to promote and develop biomedical science and its practitioners.
The Royal Society of Biology
The Society of Biology is the professional body for UK biologists. The Society has some 10,000 individual members and through its corporate specialist member societies represents over 80,000 professional and non-professional bioscientists.
British Dietetic Association
The British Dietetic Association is the professional association for dieticians. Its aims are to advance the science and practice of dietetics, promote training and education in the field and regulate the relations between dieticians and their employers through the BDA Trade Union.
Association of Nutrition
The Association for Nutrition (AfN) defines and advances standards of evidence-based practice across the field of nutrition and at all levels within the workforce.
The Nutrition Society was established to advance the scientific study of nutrition and its application to the maintenance of human and animal health. Highly regarded by the scientific community, the Society is the largest learned society for nutrition in Europe.
- There is an increasing requirement for evidence-based practice in order to meet the demand for clinical effectiveness and good practice.
There is an increasing requirement for evidence-based practice in order to meet the demand for clinical effectiveness and good practice.
Research at RGU is built on strong foundations of education and practice-based research. Over the years we have built up a vibrant research community in partnership with the NHS in Scotland and other Universities and institutions.
We host multi-disciplinary research that focuses its activities on addressing major issues around the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, care and welfare of patients, as well as environmental and bioscience areas of special interest. Our School also draws on the research skills of academic staff in three other our schools: Nursing and Midwifery, Applied Social Studies, and Health Sciences, as well as NHS and Scottish Government colleagues, the Centre for Obesity Research & Epidemiology (CORE) and Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research (ACTR) and The Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE PROGRAMME
We welcome applications from students to undertake research in the following broad areas:
- Clinical and Sports Biomechanics
- Biomedical Research
- Environmental Research
- Obesity Management
- Sports Nutrition
- Pharmacy Practice Research
Our documentation that ensures researchers maintain the highest ethical standards that preserve the safety, rights, dignity and well-being of both participants and researchers.
Specialist Research Facilities
If you undertake research as part of the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, you will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and receive support from experienced and dedicated staff.
- Cell culture (primary cultures and cell lines) and microbiological suites
- Molecular biology (PCR, RT-PCR, comet assay)
- Biochemistry (Western and Northern blotting, GC-MS, LC-MS, HPLC and capillary zone electrophoresis)
- Physiology and pharmacology (electrophysiology, myography, in vitro and in vivo assessment of cardiac and vascular function; platelet and leukocyte function)
- Tissue structure (histology, immunohistochemistry, fluorescence microscopy)
- The University has a wide range of analytical equipment including GS-MS, LC-MS, HPLC systems.
- The University has a wide range of equipment required for the formulation, manufacture and testing of medicines
- Complete range of equipment necessary for the dry and wet granulation of drugs and excipients for manufacturing as powders and tablets
- Production of oral modified release delivery systems supported by a full complement of equipment
- Other formulation types can be investigated with the help of a range of modern analytical instruments that include a Zetasizer (analysis of nanoparticles), texture analyser, dynamic rheometer, DSC, TGA and a hot-stage microscope (HSM).
The University has a wide range of equipment suitable for conducting both solution and solid phase synthetic procedures, complimented by analytical equipment including a 400 MHz nmr, GCMS, LCMS, multiple HPLC's (analytical and preparative), GC, FT-IR, UV and Fluorescence spectrometers, scanning EM, Molecular modelling can be done on a Silicon Graphics Octane 1200 workstation