This course increases your knowledge and skills in pharmacology and biotechnology to increase your competitiveness in the job market or complete research at PhD level. If you are already employed, this course can help you to further your career prospects.
The course is delivered by internationally recognised academics who are involved in biotechnology and pharmacology research. Research projects include studying the manipulation of proteins and their application to Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, ion channels and the development of novel drugs from natural products.
You learn in detail how drugs act at the molecular and cellular level and then how biotechnological techniques are used to produce new drugs. Examples include developing new and effective treatments for diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.
You also gain experience of the latest techniques used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce and study the effects of novel drugs.
The course gives you
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.
The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
Assessment is mostly by written examination and coursework including problem solving exercises, case studies and input from practical laboratory work. Research project assessment includes a written report and viva voce.
The course improves your career prospects in areas of • biomedical sciences • medical research in universities and hospitals • the pharmaceutical industry • biotechnology companies • government research agencies.
You also develop the skills to carry out research to PhD level in pharmacology and biotechnology.
Recent MSc Pharmacology and Biotechnology graduates jobs include • project specialist at PAREXEL • quality assurance documentation assistant at Vifor Pharma • PhD at the University of Manchester • clinical research associate at AstraZeneca • workplace services analyst at Deloitte India (Offices of the US) • regulatory compliance specialist for Selerant • senior product executive at PlasmaGen BioSciences.
This programme teaches advanced experimental approaches to dissecting the mechanisms of drug action (pharmacology), a science that has seen innovative theoretical and technical development at UCL for over a century.
In addition to providing experience of both classical and modern pharmacological techniques, the programme will help develop skills for literature search-based data acquisition and analysis; written and verbal communication of science; abstract writing; poster preparation; graphical processing; image preparation for publication; writing a scientific paper; and giving research presentations.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a research project (90 credits).
Students choose one of the following:
Students undertake an original research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs, practicals, tutorials and a laboratory project. Student performance is evaluated through formal examination, coursework, and the research project.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics MSc
This programme is likely to lead to careers in biomedical sciences, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and clinical laboratories, and extend to clinicians interested in moving towards a scientific career. Students will obtain a thorough knowledge of and practice in pharmacological assessment, drug design and development pathways. It is anticipated that graduates will move onto PhD programmes and/or build careers in industry or clinical investigations through employment as research associates/scientists in the pharmaceutical industry or academia.
The knowledge and transferable skills developed on this programme will be advantageous for those considering employment in any pharmaceutical or healthcare setting, or contemplating further studies in related fields. The programme will also provide excellent training in critical appraisal of complex data, which will transfer well to other disciplines.
The programme is jointly taught by UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology (Division of Biosciences), and the Research Department of Pharmacology at the UCL School of Pharmacy. Both departments are historically and currently internationally leading in this field, and together provide cutting-edge education in theory, research practice and innovation in pharmacology.
The programme is designed to impart extensive experimental expertise applied to drug development and subsequent therapeutics. The combination of traditional and experimental approaches in pharmacology, coupled with current innovation in therapeutics and drug discovery and development, fosters a unique set of skills, which will enable graduates of the programme to engage in various aspects of pharmaceutical research globally.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.