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Herbal Medicinal Science (Top-Up) - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

If you intend to study at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, this course will help you turn your final qualification into a double award. You’ll study additional London Metropolitan modules during your time at SUTCM, and then complete an additional fourth year at London Met, after which you’ll receive your bachelor’s degree.

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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This course is a partnership between London Metropolitan University and Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SUTCM). To participate in this course, you must first complete the SUTCM programme, with additional London Met modules. Provided you achieve the necessary grades, you’ll then progress onto this course – which you can choose to study either at SUTCM in Shanghai, or at London Metropolitan University in the UK.

Herbal medicine takes a holistic approach to wellness, and uses natural products to treat patients. On the top-up course, you’ll expand on your knowledge of traditional medicines and learn about the ways they are developing with the aid of technology. You’ll look at the way in which plant-derived drugs can be created through chemistry and pharmacology, and study related areas of science, including cell biology, bioanalytical science, medicinal chemistry and toxicology.

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a work-based placement year, during which you’ll gain exposure to the industry and get valuable hands-on experience.


Aggregate scores for Level 5 and Level 6 will be used to determine your final grade.

You'll be assessed through progress tests, summative examinations, and coursework in the form of detailed laboratory reports. 

In your final year, you'll write a detailed report based on an investigative project carried out through the academic year. This will be assessed through a presentation and oral examination as well as through the quality of the written report.

Professional accreditation

On graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).

In addition to meeting the University’s standard entry requirements, Government quota and non-quota students get on to the programme through the Chinese University Matriculation exams:

  • this programme is only available for Shanghai students studying on the BSc (Hons) Chinese Medicinal Science / BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicinal Science (Dual Award), which is delivered by us in collaboration with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SUTCM)
  • no other students are eligible for this programme, and therefore will not be offered to UK/EU or other candidates

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Module information not available

Year 3 modules include:

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    This module will survey the fundamentals of analysis of simple molecules in biological and other relevant systems. Modern instrumental methods will be reviewed and practical experience given.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This first half of this module focuses in detail on the structures and chemical reactivity of all the important groups of natural products (alkaloids, flavanoids, terpenes, carbohydrates, amino acids and proteins). The medicinal chemistry lectures will concentrate in detail on the molecular mechanisms by which drugs act in the body, and the various strategies used in drug design.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)
    • autumn semester

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature or field work, or meta-analysis of databases. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.

    Read full details.
  • This module will equip students with experience of a range of synthetic procedures and the purification steps needed to isolate products for testing.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous and foreign compound metabolism on toxicity. Students will learn how these processes can be modulated in the treatment of poisonings.

    Read full details.

Throughout your course at SUTCM, you'll take one London Met module per year. On successful completion of your SUTCM programme - and the passing of all London Met modules - you'll be eligible to progress on to Year 4 (level 6).

London Met modules to be taken alongside your SUTCM programme include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science
  • Synthetic Techniques for Herbal Medicinal Science

Year 4 (level 6) modules include:

  • Advanced Bioanalytical Science
  • Fundamentals of Bioanalytical Science
  • Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Practical Chemistry
  • Research Project for Herbal Medicinal Science
  • Toxicology

On graduating, you'll be well equipped to pursue a career in herbal medicinal product development, quality control and assurance work.

You'll find career opportunities throughout the science-based industries, particularly the pharmaceutical, natural product, biotechnology, food and agricultural sectors.

The programme is also excellent preparation for advanced postgraduate study.

If you're studying full-time, you can choose to study either at London Met or at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SUTCM), where all teaching is in English. If you choose the latter, you'll receive a Certificate of Completion from SUTCM on graduation.

You'll also have the chance to complete a placement year working in the industry.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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