The overall aim of the course is to develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, and practical and professional skills in the area of drug discovery and pharmaceutical science.
The drug discovery process from ‘concept to clinic’ provides the reference point for the education and training delivered in the more specific scientific and regulatory aspects.
This course will give you:
- a critical understanding of the disease/disorder biology and how it impacts upon human health
- knowledge in normal and abnormal pharmacology and bodily function, with an understanding of how and why drugs are either rejected or taken forward for future development
- skills in physicochemical and pharmacological principles alongside the regulatory processes necessary for new medicine discovery and entry into the clinic
- knowledge of the process of drug design and development so you apply to practical problems in pharmacology, drug discovery and pharmaceutical science
By taking this course, you will:
- benefit from a course accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry
- join a pharmacy school ranked in the world top 10 (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2019)
- be taught by academics from the School of Pharmacy and the School of Life Sciences, providing you with expertise from both disciplines
- engage with influential scientists from the pharmaceutical industry
Individual research project
As a masters student, you will work alongside researchers who are transforming lives and improving societies. In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, we were the only school of pharmacy to have 100% of our research graded as 4* in the ‘Impact on Society’ category. This is the highest grade and means our work is world-leading.
Our portfolio of multidisciplinary research is focussed on understanding and developing treatments for some of the most complex and challenging diseases of our time. We work globally to achieve this. By joining us, you will have the opportunity to undertake your own research project, supported by a supervisor from the School of Pharmacy or the School of Life Sciences.
Previous topics have included:
- Designing and making new antimicrobial agents to overcome existing antimicrobial resistance
- Using molecular modelling to understand how ligands interact with a chemokine receptor in novel manner
- Developing new fluorescence and bioluminescence-based assays to measure the binding of ligands at different receptor targets.
- In vitro, ex vivo and in vivo pharmacokinetic characterisation of anticancer compounds and their prodrugs designed for targeting the intestinal lymphatic system
Projects last for 12 weeks and are worth 60 credits. You can work in our laboratories and they encourage the practical application of the theory taught on the course.
Meet your Course Directors
"I am a UK-registered Pharmacist with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. Within the School of Pharmacy, I am responsible for directing and developing our postgraduate taught programmes, which include this course and MSc Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
My research focusses on trying to understand complex proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) through their interaction with small molecules. GPCRs are found embedded in the membrane of cells and convert extracellular stimuli into a range of intracellular signals. These proteins are targeted by over one-third of all drugs in the clinic and regulate a vast array of processes in the body."
Dr Shailesh Mistry, Course Director
"I am an Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology within the School of Life Sciences. I am also Chair of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (NC-IUPHAR), a Senior Editor of the British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) and an Editor of the Concise Guide to Pharmacology (CGTP). For a number of years, I have featured in a list of the most highly-cited researchers.
My research focusses on Cannabis-related medicines, primarily understanding, quantifying and developing assays to screen ligands acting at the molecular targets of cannabinoids, and the enzymes involved in synthesising and metabolising endogenous cannabinoids."
Dr Stephen Alexander, Course Director
MSc Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences (two-years)
We also offer a two-year masters which includes a year working in industry. In the second year, fees are reduced to half those of the first year, as you focus on your industrial training. This unique course is a great opportunity to gain experience working in the pharmaceutical industry and build your network for your future career.