Differentiating Between Pharmacy and Pharmacology Degrees Abroad

For students interested in healthcare and medical studies abroad, two fields that sound similar but have different scope are Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Understanding how these programs vary in their focus can help make an informed program selection.


Pharmacy is a professional degree focused on the applied knowledge of drugs and medications. Key learning areas include:

  • Medicinal Chemistry - Drug development, synthesis, chemical properties
  • Pharmaceutics - Drug formulation, manufacturing, quality testing
  • Pharmacology - Effect of drugs on biology, drug actions and uses
  • Pharmacy Practice - Patient care, distributing medicines, dosage, law/ethics

Pharmacy graduates are equipped to work as licensed pharmacists in healthcare settings and the pharmaceutical industry. #pharmacyvspharmacology


Pharmacology is an advanced biomedical science degree focused on the research of drug action on cells and systems. Key topics include:

  • Clinical Pharmacology - Effects of drugs on humans
  • Neuropharmacology - Drugs affecting the nervous system
  • Toxicology - Study of poisons and drug safety
  • Molecular Pharmacology - Drug interactions at the cellular level

Pharmacology students undertake robust research training and generally pursue careers in drug discovery research, clinical trials, academic research positions.

While foundational courses overlap, the application focus makes these two degree paths distinct for aspiring healthcare students

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