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Masters Degrees (Adme)

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This course is designed for graduates of chemistry, pharmacy and other related sciences who are contemplating a career in the pharmaceutical industry, academia, the NHS or with government agencies such as drug licensing authorities. Read more
This course is designed for graduates of chemistry, pharmacy and other related sciences who are contemplating a career in the pharmaceutical industry, academia, the NHS or with government agencies such as drug licensing authorities.

The programme provides a good background in basic pharmaceutical sciences followed by advanced training in drug discovery, drug product design, drug delivery, pharmacology, microbiology and regulatory processes. It also offers advanced practical experience and supervised training, together with an opportunity to undertake an in-depth research project as part of an active research group.

This course is suitable for both UK and non-UK graduates, and international students benefit from our excellent support networks.


Scholarships are available for this course. Please click the link below for more information.

Course structure

This course is one calendar year, full-time, involving 30 weeks of taught modules divided into two 15-week semesters, and a project which is largely carried out during the remaining time.

Students may have the opportunity to undertake a short industrial placement (optional) during their second semester. A four-month research project is integrated into the second semester, on completion of which you will be required to submit a 10,000 word dissertation. The assessment of each taught module includes coursework and a written examination paper at the end of semester two.

Past research project topics include the development of novel transdermal formulations containing naturally occurring antioxidants as sunscreen agents, and the use of mucoadhesive gels for vaginal drug delivery.


During the course you will:

• develop knowledge and understanding of the role of drug discovery; biological processes involved in drug action; drug product design; quality assurance, quality control and regulatory affairs
• develop knowledge and understanding of the chemical principles underlying the design, action and disposition of drug molecules
• appreciate aspects of drug ADME and the underlying mathematical principles, mechanisms of action and adverse effects of drug treatments and the phenomenon of drug interactions
• develop an understanding of the microbiological processes involved in the development and quality assurance of non-sterile and sterile medicines and devices including biotechnology products
• develop knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and current trends in the formulation design and manufacture of pharmaceutical dosage forms
• deveop an appreciation of the physicochemical and biological factors which affect uniformity, performance, stability and bioavailability of pharmaceutical products.


Research Project
Research Methods
Pharmacology and Drug Development
Regulatory Affairs
Industrial Pharmacy, QA and QC
Current Research in Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Industrial Placement
Advanced Pharmaceutical Analysis
Advanced in Biochemical and Clinical Analysis
Quality Issues in Complementary Therapies That Utilise Plants
New Medicinal Products: From Inception to Market
Industrial Manufacturing Processes
Advanced Drug Delivery

Careers and Employability

This course will equip you for a career in the pharmaceutical industry, NHS, academic centres, research institutions or with government agencies such as drug licensing authorities. Our graduates are also well placed to apply for a PhD.

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Our MSc Model-based Drug Development course provides the knowledge and skills for making evidence-based decisions at various stages of drug development. Read more

Our MSc Model-based Drug Development course provides the knowledge and skills for making evidence-based decisions at various stages of drug development.

It covers the scientific and regulatory aspects of evaluating a drug, with emphasis on the use of modelling and simulation methods. You will learn why these methods are so highly valued by industry and regulatory authorities as effective, cost-saving, decision-making tools. Learning is reinforced via hands-on application of the skills to real data.

The course has been developed with an emphasis on mechanistic approaches to assessing and predicting pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PKPD), such as physiologically-based pharmacokinetics (PBPK) .

As this comes under the general umbrella of systems biology, you will be able to apply your knowledge of modelling and simulation in various areas of research within the pharmaceutical industry.

Full-time students benefit from immersion in the varied biomedical research environment at The University of Manchester, including interaction with research staff at the renowned Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetic Research .

Alternatively, part-time students already working in the pharmaceutical industry can take advantage of the flexible, distance learning mode of the course, which allows you to fit study around other commitments.


The aim of the course is to provide specialist knowledge and skills that are highly relevant for a career linked to drug development and pharmaceutical industry.

It is designed for science, engineering or mathematics graduates who want to acquire:

  • awareness of the commercial and regulatory factors in drug development;
  • understanding of the physiological, chemical, and mathematical foundations used to define the safe and effective use of potential medicines;
  • training in the use of mathematical modelling and simulation methods to guide drug development.

The course aims to:

  • provide background information on the theory and methods for quantitative assessment of drug absorption, distribution and elimination;
  • provide an understanding of the role of pharmacometrics in the process of drug development;
  • provide background information on in vitro assays used to characterise ADME properties of new drug entities;
  • indicate the mathematical framework that is capable of integrating in vitro information with knowledge of the human body to predict pharmacokinetics;
  • provide familiarity and experience of using different software platforms related to pharmacometric data analysis including R, Phoenix, NONMEM, MATLAB, Simcyp, WinBUGS and MONOLIX;
  • equip you to reflect upon influential research publications in the field, to critically assess recent published literature in a specific area;
  • provide awareness of the elements of a convincing research proposal based on modelling and simulation;
  • provide the opportunity to undertake a project and carry out original research.

Special features

Distance learning option

Our distance learning option is ideal for scientists linked to the pharmaceutical industry who wish to expand their expertise while working in the industry.

Full-time mode

The full-time mode allows suitably trained mathematics, science or engineering graduates to focus on obtaining the advanced skills needed for a career in this area. We utilise a blended learning approach in which online learning content is supported by regular face-to-face contact with tutors.

Hands-on learning

Your learning will be reinforced over the duration of the course via hands-on application of your skills to real data.

Additional course information

The course focuses on the following topics.

  • Pharmacokinetics: addressing how a drug dose is administered to the body and the fate of drug molecules that enter the body.
  • Pharmacodynamics: addressing the chemical and physiological response of the body to drug.
  • Pharmacometrics: the science that quantifies drug, disease and trial information to aid efficient drug development and/or regulatory decisions (definition used by the US FDA).
  • Systems pharmacology: analysis of interactions between drug and a biological system, using mathematical models.
  • In vitro: in vivo extrapolation using physiologically based pharmacokinetic models (IVIVE-PBPK).

Teaching and learning

The course emphasises the development of problem-solving skills. A large portion of the learning involves structured problems requiring you to apply theory and practical skills to solve typical problems that arise in drug development.

The following teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course:

  • taught lectures;
  • hands-on workshops;
  • self-directed learning to solve given problems;
  • webinars and tutorials by leading scientists in industry/academia;
  • supervised research;
  • mentorship in solving problems and writing the research dissertation;
  • independent study.

Coursework and assessment

We assess your achievement of the learning outcomes for this course through:

  • unit assignments (submitted electronically);
  • unit examinations;
  • research project dissertation and oral presentation.

Career opportunities

This course was originally developed for scientists working within the pharmaceutical industry who wished to qualify as modellers with hands-on experience. The qualification will enhance your abilities within your current role or provide you with skills to progress into new posts.

The course is also appropriate for science and engineering graduates who wish to enter the industry. The role of modelling and simulation or pharmacometrics is assuming greater and greater importance in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharmaceutical companies and government regulatory agencies are recognising its value in making best use of laboratory and clinical data, guiding and expediting development and saving time and costs.

A range of well-paid jobs exist in this area across the globe. Scientific and industry publications often discuss the current shortage and growing need for modellers.

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