Science – Applied Science,Forensics and Pharmacy Courses

Science CoursesFull-time CoursesApprenticeships

Our Applied Science courses are delivered by highly qualified tutors with a range of professional experience and their expertise is valued by our students.

There are excellent resources including well-equipped laboratories and classrooms with interactive technology.

Further Education courses are designed to build and develop the skills for employment in a wide variety of roles in the scientific and healthcare industries. Our students also progress onto a range of Higher Education Programmes and a wide variety of careers across their chosen industry sector or scientific field. New apprenticeship courses are available for laboratory technicians and in pharmaceutical services.

Laboratory technicians support scientists and help carry out tests, research and investigations. You would work in areas such as forensic sciences, scientific analysis, the health service, and in education. If you are interested in practical science, testing and analysing things, this job could be perfect for you.

Forensic scientists use principles of biology, chemistry and maths, and a range of techniques, to obtain and analyse evidence from a variety of sources – including blood and other body fluids, hairs, textile fibres, glass fragments and tyre marks.

You will need to have good practical and technical skills, the ability to plan your own workload, an enquiring and analytical mind, accuracy and attention to detail a methodical approach to your work strong problem-solving skills. You can find jobs with a wide range of private and public sector organisations, such as government agencies, non-government agencies, universities, colleges and schools, hospitals, public health laboratories and forensic laboratories.

The course gave me a broad introduction to science which helped me understand what direction I want to take my career in, as I have been able to learn about so many areas. I have a much better understanding of the subject and where I would like to develop my skills further.Kyle Taylor - Applied Science

New Pharmacy Apprenticeships

Colchester Institute is pleased to start providing Pharmacy Services Apprenticeships at both intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3) levels. Successful completion will include both the pharmaceutical science and pharmacy service skills qualifications and at level 3 successful completion will enable registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council. The Apprenticeships aim to support the health and wellbeing of patients and develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients and customers. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to support your organisation by harnessing new talent or helping to up skill your existing workforce. This is your chance to employ an individual committed to learning and developing their skills within your organisation whilst benefiting from the full support and experience of both teaching and assessing staff from the college. The apprenticeship offers both classroom sessions for the underpinning and essential knowledge and on the job style observations, assessments and reviews.

The UK’s Pharmaceutical Industry

There are around 64,000 people employed in community pharmacies in the UK. A further 18,000 people are employed within hospital pharmacies, NHS Trusts and within the pharmaceutical industry (Apprenticeship Framework September 2015).

The NHS Workforce Review Team Summary 2009 indicates that the demand for pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians is increasing and these support roles form an essential part of the pharmacy team.

Explore the potential pharmaceutical job roles below:


Pharmacists have a highly responsible job, dispensing drugs and checking prescriptions


  • 4-year Master of Pharmacy degree
  • 1-year pre-registration training course in a pharmacy
  • Registration exam
  • Registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain

Salary range

£26,500 – £83,000 depending on job role, experience and hours worked

Jobs roles

Community pharmacy:

  • Providing healthcare advice about prescription and over-the-counter medicines
  • Advising on drug dosages and risks
  • Running screening programmes for diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Visiting care homes to advise on the use and storage of medications
  • Ordering and controlling stock
  • Running a business, including supervising and training staff

Hospital pharmacy:

  • Working with doctors and nurses and other healthcare staff
  • Producing medicines when ready-made ones aren’t available, for example, cancer treatments
  • Buying, quality testing and distributing medicines throughout the hospital
  • Visiting wards and patients to talk about medicines and dosages
  • Dispensing medicines for patients being discharged from hospital

Local NHS service:

  • Giving advice to GPs on how to choose and prescribe medicines
  • Running GP practice clinics

Education or industry:

  • Carrying out research into new medicines by running clinical trials
Pharmacy Assistant

Pharmacy assistants are also called dispensing assistants or counter assistants


  • Intermediate apprenticeship or recognised equivalent qualification

Salary range

£14,000-£20,000 depending on job role, experience and hours worked

Jobs roles

  • Advising customers about non-prescription items
  • Serving customers and assembling orders
  • Taking payments
  • Labelling products, re-stocking shelves and display cabinets
  • Answering calls from GP surgeries, nursing homes and clinics
  • Delivering medicines to wards
  • Entering medicine data on computerised dispensing systems
Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a Pharmacist


  • Advanced apprenticeship or recognised equivalent qualification
  • Registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain

Salary range

£19,000-£40,000 depending on job role, experience and hours worked

Jobs roles

  • Choosing the correct items for a prescription
  • Weighing ingredients, measuring liquids and counting tablets
  • Putting together ointments and medicines
  • Making sure prescriptions are legal and accurate
  • Ordering new stock using computerised systems
  • Providing advice to customers about medicines
  • Handling confidential information