Pursuing a career in pharmaceutical science gives one an understanding of the science behind drug development and medical treatment. A career as a pharmaceutical scientist allows you to participate in duties such as experiments with drugs and other therapies. Additionally, you will improve the quality of people’s lives by developing pharmaceutical treatments.


A pharmaceutical scientist works with biotechnology and pharmaceutical organisations in researching, discovering, developing and testing novel drugs or other pharmaceutical therapies. These professionals work in research laboratories to identify and develop compounds that can potentially cure diseases. However, Pharmaceutical science is known as the career that brings new drugs to the market.


I will walk you through the steps needed to pursue a career as a pharmaceutical scientist.


Steps to Become a Pharmaceutical Scientist

  1. Obtain an O’level result

    To pursue a career as a pharmaceutical scientist, you need to have a strong foundation in science subjects. You need to have a minimum of credits in subjects such as English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics in your O’level examinations.

  2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    This is an important step to take in pursuing this career. You can gain a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences. Alternatively, you can pursue a related field such as biochemistry, microbiology, biomedical sciences or pharmacology. You need this degree to enter the field of pharmaceutical science.

  3. Develop your Skills

    It is important that you build relevant skills while earning your degree and after. As a pharmaceutical scientist, you need to have good laboratory skills as well as science skills. Additionally, you should develop soft skills such as critical thinking, organization, communication and teamwork skills.

  4. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    You can choose to focus on an area of pharmaceutical science. This will enable you to narrow your strengths to a particular field and gain expertise in that area. You can choose to focus on different aspects of the drug cycle such as discovery, development and manufacturing. However, you should choose an area based on your skill set and interests.

  5. Gain Experience

    You can gain experience through internships or volunteering. This will enable you to gain a full understanding of the laboratory environment. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to handle real-life situations aside from the theoretical aspect of pharmaceutical science.

  6. Pursue Advanced Education

    You can obtain a master’s or a doctorate in this field. This can allow you to have more career opportunities as well as a high earning potential. You can earn a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences, medicinal chemistry or any area you choose to specialise in. Additionally, a doctorate will qualify you to lead research projects and accept managerial positions in laboratory settings.


Skills Required to Become a Pharmaceutical Scientist

  1. Formulation Development
  2. Mathematical Skills
  3. Analytical Skills
  4. Risk assessment
  5. Communication
  6. Collaboration
  7. Strong Scientific Knowledge
  8. Research Skills
  9. Observation Skills
  10. Critical Thinking


Careers in Pharmaceutical Science

  1. Clinical Research Associate: They are in charge of developing and implementing clinical protocols as well as data collection. Additionally, they are also in charge of quality control in clinical studies.
  2. Pharmaceutical Manufacturer: This field focuses on creating pharmaceutical items such as healthcare products by using raw materials and chemical compounds.
  3. Biomedical researcher: Biomedical researchers study the origins and course of illnesses. Additionally, they develop medicines and therapies to enhance human wellness. These professionals usually work in places such as university research centres, hospitals and pharmaceutical industries.
  4. Regulatory Affairs Specialist: They are in charge of ensuring that a product complies with government and industry rules. Additionally, they inspect a facility’s operation to make sure it adheres to applicable regulations.
  5. Product Developer/Regulator: These professionals operate in a range of sectors such as biotechnology and pharmaceutical research. Furthermore, they are often based in laboratories, developing new drugs and researching ways to improve existing drugs.


Workplace of a Pharmaceutical Scientist

  1. Pharmaceutical Companies
  2. Biotechnology Companies
  3. Academic Institutions
  4. Hospitals
  5. Government agencies


Universities in Africa to study Pharmaceutical Science

  1. University of Nigeria, Nigeria
  2. Cairo University, Egypt
  3. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  4. Zagazig University, Egypt
  5. Alexandria University, Egypt
  6. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  7. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  8. Bayero University, Nigeria
  9. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
  10. Rhodes University, South Africa
  11. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  12. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  13. Tanta University, Egpyt
  14. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  15. Moi University, Kenya
  16. University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  17. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  18. University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  19. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  20. University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  21. Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
  22. Tunis University, Tunisia
  23. Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
  24. University of Ghana, Ghana


In conclusion, pursuing a career as a pharmaceutical scientist requires you to have skills such as precision, attention to detail, and a keen interest in experimentation. Additionally, you should have the potential capacity to collaborate and communicate with fellow scientists and companies. This career is a promising one which has potential career opportunities and high earning potentials. Therefore, with true determination, dedication and acquiring the right education and skills, you are sure to enjoy a fulfilling career.


Good luck!

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