Toxicology has become an integral part of medical services and scientific discovery. Toxicology is a degree that covers a niche topic in medical science, but it’s importance cannot be overstated or forgotten and UCAS Toxicology is one of the most applied degrees available.
What is Toxicology?
A Toxicology degree is often confused with a Pharmacy degree as they cover a similar branch of medicine. Toxicology however takes less of a product-based approach and looks more at chemical structure, a chemical’s effect on the environment and how the manufacturing of any medicine or drugs or any other kind of hazardous chemical.
Toxicology degrees are usually studied for around four years, but there are multiple postgraduate options available, such as studying a Toxicology Masters degree. Postgraduate degrees also tend to open up more doors for students when looking for a career, as employers are more receptive to candidates with a higher educational study.
A Toxicology degree is a chance for you to make a real difference in the world.
During a Toxicology Degree, you will be taught how to carry out risk assessments on dangerous and unstable chemical substances, but also on production lines and chemical production facilities.
You’ll be shown how to carry out various tests, like Vivo and Vitro Chemical Tests, health and safety tests, specific and chemical specific tests and you will also be shown the chemical and molecular structure of a specific drug before it is mass produced or released.
The collection of data is important in all forms of scientific study and it is no different with a Toxicology Degree. You will be required to gather in-depth data and analytics on the drugs you're overlooking. On this course, you will be told how to build a Safety Profile and how to create reports on the findings you have in the data.
But what is the difference between Toxicology and Pharmacology? A Pharmacology degree focuses on the manufacture and processing of pharmaceuticals, whereas Toxicology focuses more on the effects of the drug and how it can be monitored and the risks involved with all types of chemicals.
What can you do with a Toxicology degree?
With Toxicology courses, there will be a number of Toxicology careers that will be open, however, students are not just limited to working in the world of Toxicology.
Many Pharmacists have a Toxicology degree, as do many doctors, nurses, specialists and nutritionists. A Toxicology degree is a very good degree because it covers such a wide variety of subjects and teaches students a lot about the different disciplines of Science, but also general Mathematics and English Language.
The most common career with a Toxicology degree however, is a Toxicologist and this can be achieved with a Toxicology or Medicine degree. A Toxicologist is someone who monitors and evaluates dangerous and hazardous toxic materials and also aids in the research and creation of new materials.
Pharmaceuticals and other products are being released to the general public and they need to be made safe
It is not uncommon to take on a Research role after completing university and it’s a great way to gain not only industry experience, but also important connections to people who can really influence your career path.
What A Levels do I need?
The entry requirements for a Toxicology degree will differ depending on where you study and what level the course is, but the most common A Level requirements are CCD for your Toxicology application.
Most universities will require you to have grades in science-based subjects, Mathematics and in English Language, though the latter two are accepted at GCSE level as well.
Those who do not meet the conditions that a university has asked for them, may be able to study a foundation degree as well.
How will I be assessed?
A Toxicology degree will have three core components for assessment: coursework, examinations and practical-based work.
Your coursework will be in some way linked to whatever practical task you're doing at the moment. You will need to present your findings and data and you will need to know the methods used. Coursework will also be research-based topics and hands-on experience influenced as well.
Examinations are fairly straight-forward, but the exams will be a mix of practical and theoretical. The emphasis on one or the other will depend on the university you attend.
Many Pharmacists have a Toxicology degree, as do many doctors, nurses, specialists and nutritionists.
You will be marked on your practical work as well. Some of this will be lab-based, but some will be field-based as well. Some degrees, like a Geology degree rely on you to collect samples and then report on your findings. This is somewhat similar for a Toxicology degree too.
What skills will I learn?
As this is both a theoretical and a practical-based degree, you will develop skills in both these categories.
You will learn lab etiquette, research skills, working to a deadline, collaboration skills and the abilities to present your findings and data.
All of these are vitally important to a Toxicology degree graduate and will stand you in good stead, regardless of what Toxicology degree jobs you end up taking on.
Why should I study a Toxicology degree?
A Toxicology degree is a chance for you to make a real difference in the world. Pharmaceuticals and other products are being released to the general public and they need to be made safe, secure and there needs to be a thorough understanding of how these products reach the market and you would be playing a pivotal role in that.
You will learn about chemical structures and the compounds and molecules that make up these different structures, you will learn about their chemical properties and you will also learn about the ways that these structures can be implemented everywhere.
Studying a Toxicology degree will arm you with a powerful scientific knowledge, it will prepare you for the working world and will help you to impact the world in a meaningful way.
A Toxicology degree is often confused with a Pharmacy degree as they cover a similar branch of medicine.
Studying Toxicology will likely indicate that you have a deep rooted passion for the subject and that should come across in your Toxicology personal statement as well, so if you have passion for Toxicology, then you should take a look!
What happens when I graduate?
For students that have graduated with a Toxicology degree, there is the ability to go straight into a paid career, but most students will find work on an unpaid or graduate salary. Internships, Toxicology work experience and apprenticeships are common for most university students postgraduate, however, don’t be disheartened! Some of these can lead to great career opportunities, fantastic connections that you can build for the future and can lead to extensive skill-building and honing opportunities.