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Mar 13, 2023 19:31PM IST

Pharmacology Overview

Pharmacology is the cornerstone of the medical profession as drugs are the basis of therapy for human diseases. The goal of Pharmacology courses is to maximise the benefits and minimise the risk of drugs to recipients. It also includes drugs’ history, source, physicochemical properties, dosage forms, methods of administration, absorption, distribution mechanism of action, excretion, clinical uses and adverse effects.

Various types of Pharmacology courses are available in India, from certificate to doctoral courses. To be eligible for full-time bachelor’s or master’s courses students have to qualify in entrance tests like MHT CET, BITSAT, NET, CSIR-NET, NEET-PG and AIIMS-PG. The course is generally offered offline with some online certificate courses available on Udemy, Coursera and other online websites. 

The top Pharmacology colleges in India are Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Madras Medical College, Dr D Y Patil Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and CMR College of Pharmacy. The course fee ranges somewhere between INR 3,000 and 1,50,000 per year. Students, upon graduation, can get into diverse career options such as Research and Development Scientists, Medical Science Liaisons, Pharmacovigilance/Drug Safety Associates, Medical Writers and Editors and Clinical Study Coordinators. 

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Pharmacology Course Highlights

Name of the Course




Degree Level

Certificate, Diploma, Undergraduate, Postgraduate, PhD

Course Mode

Regular, Online 

Course Duration

Six months - four years (depending on the Pharmacology course)

Qualification Required

Physics, Chemistry, Biology in 10+2 or a degree in Pharmacology for higher studies

Exam Type


Admission Process

Entrance- or merit-based

Top Colleges in India

Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Institute of Chemical Technology, Madras Medical College, Jamia Hamdard University

Fees Range

INR 3,000 - INR 1,50,000

Career Prospects

Academia, pharmaceutical industry, healthcare industry, research fields

Average Annual Starting Salary

INR 2 lakh - INR 9 lakh

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Why Choose Pharmacology Course?

The field of Pharmacology is continuously evolving with the challenge and demand for new medicines, to find better and safer drugs. The course is suitable for those who are ready to meet the challenges and work with the drug industry and explore how it works. 

  • The course is beneficial for career advancement with ample opportunities to find employment in the drug industry.
  • As new pieces of literature are constantly being added to the existing ones, students can continuously learn from the recent breakthroughs in Pharmacology.
  • Students are equipped with skills to apply their knowledge to real situations and existing challenges.
  • As Pharmacology improves the quality of life of people around the world and gives them the opportunity to live a healthier life, it certainly leads to job satisfaction.
  • Students can be a part of developing medicines to tackle new diseases, identify new treatments, discover new medicines, research to make sure medicines are effective for everyone and help to make sure that the right medicines are prescribed to people.
  • Additionally, the course is interdisciplinary where others get a chance to learn about other branches such as immunology, physiology and biochemistry. Therefore one gets a good background in bioscience.
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Pharmacology Course Types

Encompassing many types of chemicals and medicines that affect the functioning of the body, Pharmacology plays a key role in human health and society. They collect information on how drugs work and function in the body. The course is offered at various levels such as certificate, diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree. 

Let us check out the top Pharmacology courses: 

Certificate Program in Pharmacology

  • The basic Pharmacology certificate programme helps to develop fundamental knowledge of Pharmacology and reasoning skills needed to evaluate therapeutically appropriate details of various pharmacological drugs and agents used in medical practices. The course duration is around 6 months to 12 months and is also available in online mode.
  • Some of the popular certifications related to Pharmacology are drug development and project management, basics of clinical Pharmacology, top drug medication, an online certificate programme in modern Pharmacology and a professional certificate in pharmacovigilance.

Diploma in Pharmacology

  • A diploma in Pharmacology is designed to give fascinating insights into the field. One can learn the science of drugs and their effects on living systems including how Pharmacology came about and is governed, how drugs are introduced into the body, how they work and how to manage common diseases. 
  • Students who have completed class 12th can opt for a diploma in Pharmacology whereas a postgraduate diploma can be opted for by students with a BSc degree. Some of the courses are diploma in drug store management, diploma in clinical research and pharmacovigilance and post graduate diploma in pharmaceutical chemistry.

Bachelors in Pharmacology

  • BSc in Pharmacology, which goes on for three years, explores in depth the effect of drugs. Aspects of molecular biology, chemistry, physiology and neuroscience are an integral part of bachelor’s in Pharmacology. Apart from that, the action of current drugs and the development of new drugs are taught here. 

Masters in Pharmacology

  • MSc Pharmacology provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical training that will aid them in integrating post-genomic molecular biology with drug discovery and physiological functions. It is a two-year programme consisting of lectures, laboratory sessions and seminars. One can also pursue an MD in Pharmacology which is a medical degree aimed to create highly qualified professionals in this field. 

Doctorate in Pharmacology

  • It is a research-based course of generally three years for students who wish to advance their career in the discovery of new drugs and the development of old ones. They are required to submit research papers or dissertations at the end of the course. 
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Pharmacology Courses Entrance Examinations

Students may have to appear for entrance tests to study Pharmacology at different levels. Though admission to diploma and certificate programmes does not require qualifying for an entrance test, they may need to take the same for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes. It is one of the major requirements for admission to universities. Find the list of entrance examinations that one may need to attempt:

Study Level/Programme

Entrance Examination

Full Form



Maharashtra Health and Technical Common Entrance Test


Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Examination 


Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test 


Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test



Himachal Pradesh Common Entrance Test


National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (postgraduate only)


All India Institute of Medical Sciences Postgraduate


Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research


Institute of National Importance Combined Entrance Test



National Eligibility Test 


Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Eligibility Test

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Pharmacology Course Eligibility Criteria

Students can pursue different Pharmacology courses after having cleared 10+2. The common eligibility criteria for various levels of Pharmacology courses are:

Study Level

Eligibility Criteria


Must have completed class 12 from a reputed board.


Must have completed higher secondary from a reputed institution.

Post Graduate Diploma

Must have graduated with a BSc degree from a recognised university.


Completed 10+2 from a recognised board with science as a stream. 

The must-have subjects are physics, chemistry and biology.


Must have a BSc in Pharmacology degree from a reputed university.


Must have completed MBBS with at least 55% marks. 


Must have completed Master’s in Pharmacology with at least 55% for general candidates and 50% for reserved candidates. They also have to qualify for competitive entrance examinations. 

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How to Get Admission to Pharmacology Course?

Admission to Pharmacology courses is generally based on the marks obtained in class XII or on the basis of the test scores of entrance examinations. Admission to most courses starts after May and the classes begin in July or August. The mode of admission is generally online for most courses. Here are some common steps involved in the admission procedure to guide Pharmacology aspirants.

  • Students must note that for certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas, admission is done mostly on the basis of merit whereas, in bachelor’s and master’s degrees, it can be both merit or entrance-based admission.
  • They must first decide which level of study they wish to pursue. After that, they can select the universities that offer Pharmacology courses.  
  • They can fill out the application form online and submit it along with the required documents. They will be asked to put their personal details and marks from previous examinations.
  • Once it is complete, they have to wait till the merit list is prepared or have to appear for the entrance examination. Students may also have to participate in interviews or group discussions that enable the admission committee to select suitable candidates for Pharmacology courses.
  • Once the entire procedure is complete, a final merit list will be available on the college or university website with the names of the selected candidates. Those who will be able to clear the cut-off of entrance examinations will be invited to study the subject. After that, students can pay the admission fee and submit other documents as required by the university.
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Popular Pharmacology Colleges in India

Some of the popular universities in India that provide Pharmacology courses at different levels of study are given in form of a comprehensive list below:



Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research

New Delhi

Bharati Vidyapeeth University


Institute of Chemical Technology


Madras Medical College


Jamia Hamdard University

New Delhi

Dr D Y Patil Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research


Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda


Madurai Medical College


Annamalai University


Dayanand Sagar University


Maharshi Dayanand University


CMR College of Pharmacy


Utkal University


Chhatrapati Shahu Ji Maharaj University


Lovely Professional University


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Study Pharmacology Abroad

Pharmacology graduates have a promising career if they complete their courses abroad. They are endowed with both theoretical and practical knowledge that helps them be the best in their profession. Some of the popular universities for Pharmacology abroad are:



Oxford University

United Kingdom

University of Western Australia


Northwestern University

United States

University of Manchester

United Kingdom

University of Dundee

United Kingdom

University of Regina 


University of Technology Sydney


University of Reading 

United Kingdom 

Middle Tennessee State University

United States 

University of Rhode Island

United States

Griffith University


Red River College 


Swansea University

United Kingdom

James Cook University


Mohawk College


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Pharmacology Course Fee

The course fee of Pharmacology varies as per the course type, university location and various other factors. The fees are low for certificate and diploma courses while bachelor’s and master’s degree course costs more. The course-wise fees are given below:

Study Level

Average Annual Fees (in INR)











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Pharmacology Course Syllabus

The course content of Pharmacology may be different for institutions but the fundamentals remain the same. Students will be taught as per the requirement of the degree. The syllabus is designed per the dynamic character of Pharmacology to suit the needs of academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and the community. 

Overall, it ensures that:

  • Students are trained to attitude, knowledge and skills as required for their professional careers.
  • The current learning needs of students are ensured.
  • Employers’ needs in the ever-changing Pharmacology world are met.
  • Sound research is enabled.
  • The requirements of regulatory bodies are met.

The detailed syllabus is given below: 

Pharmacology Syllabus

Introduction to Pharmacology

Routes of drug administration



Adverse drug Reactions

New drug discovery and clinical trials

Autonomic nervous system Pharmacology

Drugs for cough and Bronchial Asthma


CNS Pharmacology

Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) Pharmacology

CVS Pharmacology

Endocrine Pharmacology

Gastrointestinal drugs Pharmacology

Blood Pharmacology

Chemotherapy of microbial diseases

Immuno Pharmacology

Chelating agents

Antiseptics and Disinfectants

Drugs acting on skin & mucous membranes

Rational pharmacotherapy


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Pharmacology Course Curriculum

The course curriculum of Pharmacology is a combination of classroom teaching and laboratory experiments. Besides lecture and practical modes of instruction, problem-based learning is also included.

Case history, clinical presentation, earlier and current pharmacotherapy, possible effects and outcome of drugs are discussed in detail. Students are trained to understand and respond to clinical queries. Web-based learning is also encouraged now.  

Hospital exposure of students to patients for a better understanding of the interaction of drugs and adverse reactions to drugs is also an important part of the curriculum. Conference and training programmes are also an essential part of the course where students are exposed to recent developments in the industry. 

In addition, for MD and doctoral students, the presentation of a dissertation or thesis paper is mandatory. 

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Pharmacology Scope in India - Career and Job Prospects

There are always increasing and evolving opportunities in India for Pharmacology graduates. The Covid-19 pandemic has put into the spotlight the ability of the pharmaceutical industry. The shift in technological advancements has resulted in an unprecedented need for Pharmacology graduates with essential skills and experience to make a valuable impact. 

There are a dozen of applicable career paths for those who have taken up Pharmacology as a subject. The job opportunities in different fields are highlighted below:


Jobs Roles


Researchers, Scientists, Lecturers, Laboratory Technicians

Pharmaceutical Industry

Research and Development Scientists, Regulatory Affairs Associates, Medical Affairs Associates, Sales Representatives, Pharmacovigilance/Drug Safety Associates, Clinical Trial Monitors, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Information Specialists, Clinical Research Associates and Coordinators, Medical Science Liaisons


Clinical Scientists, Research Associates, Clinical Study Coordinators


Scientific/ Medical Writers and Editors and Consultants

Some job profiles are discussed in detail below:

  • Medical Writer: After completing a Pharmacology course, one can work as a medical writer working closely with researchers and scientists about their latest findings. They can also help pharmaceutical or biotech companies create educational and sales materials. Additionally, one may usually write about how new products work, their side effects and their benefits. 
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative: Here, one gets to work directly with pharmaceutical and biotech companies. They pitch the products developed by their organisations and engage new and existing clients. The job roles demand people and project management, marketing and customer service. 
  • Pharmaceutical Lab Scientists: They are in charge of the research and development process of testing new drugs, products and therapies. They can work both in the government and private sectors. 
  • Drug Safety Associates: They are responsible for monitoring, processing, reporting, and controlling the adverse event data obtained from clinical trials and other sources. They document all communication from clinical trial sites, process the data in the company’s database, ensure data accuracy and consistency, and meet the project milestones and deadlines.

Higher Studies

While many will enter the job market, some may opt for higher studies and increase and expand their knowledge base. For example, Pharmacology certificate holders can opt for a diploma or bachelor's programme in Pharmacology and so on. One can also opt for a PhD after the master's which would open doors to independent research and higher levels of management roles in Pharmacology and drug discovery.

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Salary after Pharmacology Course

The job titles mentioned above give an extraordinary advancement to career and competitive salaries. Location of employment is also an important factor in deciding the salary of Pharmacology degree holders. They can get jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research organisations, hospital pharmacies, clinical pharmacies, technical pharmacies, medical dispensing stores, research agencies, food and drug administrations, educational institutes and health care centres. 

Here, we have provided an approximation of the average salary after a Pharmacology course:

Job Role

Average Annual Salary (in INR)

Medical Writer

2-9 lakh

Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

3-6 lakh 

Drug Safety Associates

3-5 lakh

Research Associates

5-7 lakh

Laboratory Technicians

2-4 lakh

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Skills that Make You the Best Pharmacologist

Not only does having theoretical expertise and practical knowledge help to climb up in the Pharmacology sector but there are also other soft skills that would determine one’s progress and advancement in the field. The skills that one requires are as follows:

  • Awareness of Health and Safety Procedures: One should be well aware of the health and safety procedures to administer drugs, and understand their effects as well as side effects on the human body. It is also necessary for the administration of new medicines. 
  • Confidence: Working with drugs can impact human health and that is why practitioners need lots of confidence to work in this industry.
  • Communication Skills: The practitioners have to communicate the effect of drugs to other parties and this requires clear communication skills to effectively pass on information.
  • Other Skills: The other skills that benefit Pharmacology practitioners to progress in their field are:
    • Logical and inquisitive mind
    • Good teamwork
    • Accuracy and attention to detail
    • Analytical skills
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FAQs about Pharmacology

Is a Pharmacology course a good career option?

Yes, Pharmacology is a good career option for those who want to contribute to the medical sciences. The salary package is good and is a respectable job. There is job satisfaction in administering the research and use of drugs as they are indirectly saving patients’ lives and contributing to the welfare of society. 

Does MSc Pharmacology require NEET?

No, MSc Pharmacology does not require students to qualify for NEET. Only those who aim to become MD Pharmacology will appear for NEET-PG after completion of their MBBS degrees. Those who are opting for MSc Pharmacology will appear for respective national, state or university entrance exams. 

Do pharmacologists work in hospitals?

Yes, pharmacologists work in hospitals where they bring clinical pharmacologists’ perspectives and expertise to prescribe medicines. They investigate and recommend the appropriate use of drugs in hospitals and teach the rational use of drugs at all levels including medical students, house staff and attending physicians. They also assist the pharmacy and therapeutics committee.

Are pharmacologists doctors?

No, pharmacologists are not doctors but medical scientists who work on developing new drugs which are used in the medical field. A pharmacologist does not require a doctor’s degree to work in the profession. However, if one gets a PhD in Pharmacology, one can become a doctorate in the subject. Besides, one can study MD Pharmacology after MBBS and become a doctor in the field.

Is entry to Pharmacology merit or entrance-based?

Entry to Pharmacology courses is both merit and entrance-based. Some universities and courses like diplomas and certificates accept students based on their previous qualifications and scores while for bachelor's, master’s and doctoral courses, one needs to qualify for one of the entrance tests like MHT CET, NEET-PG, NET, and more. 

Is it hard to study Pharmacology?

The difficulty level of Pharmacology depends on the students who are studying the course. The course may be tough as it requires one to focus on certain medications, how they work, when they are used, how they are given to patients and their side effects. It requires memorising a lot of information which may be difficult for someone.

Can I study Pharmacology after 12th?

Yes, you can study Pharmacology after 12th. You can pursue either a certificate course, diploma course or bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology provided you have at least 55% marks in higher secondary. Also, you need to have studied physics, chemistry and biology in class XII to be eligible to study the course. 

What are the key skills required for a Pharmacology course?

The key skills required for Pharmacology courses are technical expertise and laboratory skills, general IT skills, general research skills, teamwork, self-management and professional communication skills in both written and verbal form. All these skills help one to become a skilled Pharmacology practitioner and contribute toward the goal of creating safe drugs for human consumption. 

What is the difference between Pharmacology and pharmacy?

The difference between Pharmacology and pharmacy is that a pharmacy course is directed towards equipping graduates with licenses to dismiss prescription medicines in pharmacies or to become a pharmacist. On the other hand, the Pharmacology course deals with the research aspect of the science while teaching students to investigate the effects of chemical compounds and find out ways to create remedies for mental and physical ailments.

What is Pharmacology course?

Pharmacology course is the study of drugs and their effect on the body of living beings. It includes creating new chemical substances and analysing the effects of medical compounds as well as understanding the beneficial and harmful effects of drugs. The subjects involved in Pharmacology are toxicology, biology, chemistry and physiology.

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Related Questions


laiba noor, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Dec-27-2023

rubina, Student / Alumni

-Answered on Nov-17-2022
Hello! LPU is the best for Pharmacy Studies it is an undergraduate four years course (approved by PCI) which is a prerequisite for registration to practice as a pharmacist. It imparts skills to work in industry, clinical setups, drug control organizations, education and research sectors in pharmaceuticals Pass with 60% aggregate marks in 10+2 (with English, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology or Maths) or equivalent, subject to qualifying LPUNEST Apart from imparting theoretical knowledge, the university also aims at cementing the practical side of the course LPU is placed 62nd among all government and private universities in India in the NIRF ranking for 2021. The LPU School of Pharmacy is one of India's top 25 pharmacy schools. Our students benefit from extensive participation in worldwide research and conferences in the domains of medicine, drugs, and pharmaceutical sciences. Placements: Placements provide a great deal of satisfaction. Several well-known companies from various industries pay us a visit. Pharmacy firms such as Lupin, Cipla, Ayurvett, and others come to Lovely to recruit competent students in their field. Here are some salient features of the Program are mentioned below: 1. School of Pharmaceutical science (LPU) is approved by Pharmacy council of India (PCI). 2. School is ranked 19th among Top 30 Pharmacy colleges in India by NIRF 2022. 3. School has students from all states of the country and large number of students from all over the world. 4. Live Projects & Consultancy: Constant collaborations with pharmaceutical industries for solving problems related to medicines and their dosage forms provide first-hand experience to work on practical problems. 5. Innovative Pedagogy. 6. Close Interface with the Corporate World. 7. Large number of Patents & Publications are documented every year. 8. Animal House: The department has animal house which is approved by CPCSEA (Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals). 9. Library: The department has well-equipped library with online subscription for national and international journals. 10. Faculty: Highly experienced doctorate faculty with academic and industry experience add immense value to the professional skills of the students. 11.Placement: PlacementRecord of B.Pharm Program (till date – in spite of the Pandemic Situation): 6 LPA (Zyla Health)) was the highest salary package last year and average package is 3.5 LPA. Placement session is still LIVE !! Students are placed in the best brands like ABBOTT, VLCC HEALTHCARE LTD, NESTLE INDIA LIMITED, DR. LAL PATH LABS, MAX SUPER SPECIALITY HOSPITALS, CIPLA, CADILA PHARMACEUTICALS, RAVENBHEL PHARMACEUTICALS PVT. LTD., MEDITAB, BIOCLINICA, TRANSLUMINA THERAPEUTICS LLP etc. Hope this helps !!
I want to read in IARI
-Moumita -Updated on July-31-20221 Answers

Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

-Answered on July-31-2022

Dear Student,

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Delhi offers the Master of Science (M.Sc.) programme in a wide range of specializations.

The eligibility critieria for these programmes include a bachelor's / B.Sc degree in a related discipline.

Admissions to these programmes are granted on the basis of merit created on the marks scored in an entrance exam conducted by the education division of ICAR.

Please feel free to write back to us if you need information about any particular M.Sc specialization in IARI.

Thank you.