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BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science

Iqra is in her first year studying a brand new course at the University of Bradford, BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science.

Iqra is originally from Bradford and has always enjoyed science. She hopes that her degree will open up doors to a career in Paris. 

This is her story.

I chose the University of Bradford because both the city and university are very diverse, which I appreciate, and it’s close to home.

An interest in science

"I’ve always been interested in science, especially working in a laboratory."

"Before starting university, I completed an access course in science at Bradford College, and I was keen to study a subject at university where it was an integral part of the course.



"Although I originally considered courses like Operating Department Practice and Optometry, it wasn’t until I’d done my research that I came across the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science course at Bradford."


A good choice

"Overall, I’m very happy with the course that I’ve chosen."

"It’s a combination of practical and theoretical work which I enjoy, although my favourite part is definitely the laboratory work.

"We have two labs per week where we experiment and then discuss what we did well or what we could improve on. This is helping to develop my analytical skills as we have to analyse the different techniques that we’re being taught."

In the lab

"Our course allows us to work with a huge range of equipment and test out different methods regularly."

"We work a lot with titration and pipettes, where we analyse different chemicals to determine concentrations and volumes.

"Since learning how to carry these out accurately, which can be challenging, they’ve become one of the parts of my lab work that I really enjoy.

"Other equipment that we work with every day includes Bunsen burners, microscopes to look at the structure of different tissues, agar dishes, and muscle twitch apparatus, where you attach an object and use voltage stimulus to generate muscle spasms.

"I feel very lucky to have found a course where I'm able to work with so many different methods and tools."

A student turned toward the camera and smiling

As it’s a new course, the class size is still small. This has helped me build close relationships with my coursemates and lecturers.

Work placement day

"Surfachem in Huddersfield distribute chemical ingredients to companies and organisations around the world."

"During the placement at Surfachem, we were able to try specialist machinery that we’d never used before, and mix creams using different ingredients. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to experience laboratory work in a real-world setting."

Theory in practice

"The theoretical side of the course is also important."

"In my second year, I’ll be learning about media training and business management.

"While I enjoy finding out about the body’s systems, such as what happens when you take tablets, I think it’ll be really valuable to learn more about commercial topics.

"We’re also going to be taught product manufacturing and product creation, such as foundations and lipsticks, which I’m looking forward to.

"The degree I’ve chosen gives me a few different options when it comes to careers.

"Too many choices can be confusing, but we were recently given presentations about different job roles which showed me that a position as a formulation scientist is something I’m interested in.

"This involves looking at the processes and formulation of products, such as cosmetics, and providing lab reports."

I’d love to move abroad and work as a formulation scientist.

External opportunities

"The University of Bradford’s course offers numerous opportunities for external experiences."

"The experience with Surfachem was the first chance I’ve had to work in a real-world setting, but the course also offers international placements.

"I am currently researching opportunities abroad with the International Opportunities team, and looking at Morocco and Spain for placements that would take place during my second year. I’m also considering a placement year which would extend my three-year degree to four years.

"Surfachem offers placements and they’ve suggested I apply when they become available.

"I’m hopeful that the experiences I’m able to secure during my time at university will give me the skills I need to secure a job with a major cosmetics company, like Charlotte Tilbury or L'Oréal in Paris."

The staff are very friendly and it’s a very supportive community at Bradford.

Open Day

"I attended an Open Day at Bradford where everyone was very friendly and supportive."

"I had such a good experience that it encouraged me to become a course ambassador.

"My role involves promoting the course which is very important as it’s so new. I offer advice and help to new students, give feedback to our lecturers and attend Open Days.

"I’m a naturally extroverted person, so the ambassador role really suits me. I hope to continue working as a course ambassador throughout my time at university."

A student smiling at the camera

To anyone who is considering university, embrace the challenges and don’t compare yourselves to other people. Everyone is different and has their own pace, so don’t panic if your journey looks different to someone else's.