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Masters Degrees (Cheminformatics)

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This MSc offers a comprehensive guide to all aspects of modern day drug design. It is taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. Read more
This MSc offers a comprehensive guide to all aspects of modern day drug design. It is taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. Our graduates have progressed to undertake or obtain PhDs or medical studentships, or have found employment in both the private and public sector.

Degree information

The programme covers all aspects of drug design, including genomics, bioinformatics, structural biology, cheminformatics, molecular modelling and fragment-based drug design, drug target selection, intellectual property and marketing. New therapies and research areas such as antibodies, siRNA, stem cells and high throughput screening are covered. Students will develop essential skills such as research methods and techniques of drug design.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is also offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is also offered. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Bioinformatics and Structural Biology
-Target Identification and High Throughput Screening
-Cheminformatics and Computer Drug Design
-Biological Molecules as Therapeutics - Antibodies, siRNA, and Stem Cells
-Biophysical Screening Methods, Protein NMR and Phenotypic Screening
-Fragment Based Drug Design (FBDD)
-Target Selection - Scientific Grounds
-Target Selection - Commercial and Intellectual Property

Dissertation/report
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which can take the form of a literature project, wet lab/computer modelling based project or an external project with an industrial sponsor.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, self study, practical sessions and discussion groups. The research project forms one third of the programme. Each of the taught modules is assessed by unseen written examination (50%) and coursework (50%). The research project is assessed by the dissertation and viva.

Careers

The programme will provide a good background for students looking to establish a career in drug design/discovery and related industries (biotech, pharma, national research laboratories and NHS agencies), and for industry professionals seeking to gain a greater understanding of new methodology. The knowledge and transferable skills delivered will also be useful for those intent on further PhD or medical studies.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Industrial Chemistry, University of Oxford
-PhD Researcher (Molecular Biology), EMBL (European Molecular Biology Laboratory)
-Cancer Research, Imperial College London
-PhD Drug Design, University College London (UCL)
-PhD Oncology, Tianjin University

Employability
Graduates from this programme have progressed to PhD/medical studentships at different universities and research institutes around the world, including Oxford, UCL, Grenoble, EMBL, and in the USA and China. Many alumni have secured positions in research teaching and technical sales in the private and public sectors.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is listed among the top five universities in the TImes Higher Education QS World University Rankings 2015/16 and is located in the centre of one of the world's finest cities. UCL is one of Europe's best and largest centres for biomedical research.

At the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, we have pioneered multidisciplinary research with a particular emphasis on translating that research into useful clinical benefit. Our research expertise includes: medicinal chemistry, computational drug design, neuronal development and signalling, cell cycle control, intensive care medicine, stem cells, mitochondrial biology and cancer.

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The Organic Chemistry. Drug Discovery MRes at UCL offers students the opportunity to follow an integrated course of research and interdisciplinary study. Read more
The Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery MRes at UCL offers students the opportunity to follow an integrated course of research and interdisciplinary study. Students gain outstanding training in synthetic organic chemistry applied to drug design, together with a breadth of experience in several areas of synthetic methodology and chemical biology.

Degree information

The programme provides a thorough foundation in drug design, advanced organic synthesis and molecular modelling, together with modules on research techniques, professional development and entrepreneurship. Students will carry out a substantial research project on organic/medicinal chemistry or chemical biology over a ten-month period.

MRes students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two modules from the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research (30 credits), one Master's level chemistry module (15 credits) two transferable/research skills modules (30 credits) and the research project (105 credits).

Core modules - students take 30 credits of transferable/research skills and submit a research dissertation (105 credits).
-Transferable/Research Skills
-Research Dissertation

Optional modules - students take 45 credits from the following options:
-Bioinformatics
-Target Identification
-Cheminformatics
-Biological Molecules
-Biophysical Screening
-Fragment Based Drug Design
-Target Selection (Scientific)
-Target Selection (Commercial)
-Principles of Drug Design
-Biological Chemistry
-Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Synthesis
-Synthesis and Biosynthesis of Natural Products
-Organometallics and Catalysis
-Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry

Dissertation/report
Students will undertake a laboratory-based research project lasting ten months. An interim report is submitted after five months, and at the end of the project each student writes a dissertation, gives a short presentation and has a viva voce examination.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, problem classes, workshops and projects. Assessment is through unseen written examination, coursework, project reports and presentations.

Careers

The MRes has been developed in response to the needs of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for highly qualified students as leaders in the discovery of new medicines. The pharmaceutical sector is a major employer in the UK and high-quality graduates with an understanding of the sector are always in demand. Our recent graduates have taken up PhD positions, are working in industry and have entered teacher training.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-PHD Chemical Biology, University College London (UCL)
-PhD Radiochemistry, University College London (UCL)

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is taught in collaboration with the Wolfson Institute of Biomedical Research (WIBR) which brings together scientists and clinicians from both academic and pharmaceutical industry backgrounds. The institute's strength is in its multidisciplinary approach to research, with the goal of identifying novel targets for drug development.

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This programme is offered by the UCL Division of Medicine and the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research and is designed for the more research-oriented student, complementing Drug Design MSc. Read more
This programme is offered by the UCL Division of Medicine and the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research and is designed for the more research-oriented student, complementing Drug Design MSc. Conducting cutting-edge research within the drug industries and UCL's academic group, it offers opportunities for networking and future career development.

Degree information

This programme teaches students the latest methodologies and approaches and covers all aspects of drug design: drug discovery, computational and structural biology, screening, assay development, medicinal chemistry, and most importantly the industrial practices involved in modern drug design technology.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (105 credits).

Optional modules - students will select three from the following Drug Design MSc modules:
-Bioinformatics and Structural Biology as applied to Drug Design
-Biological Molecules as Therapeutics
-Biophysical Screening Methods, X-ray Crystallography, Protein NMR and Phenotypic Screening
-Cheminformatics and Modelling for Drug Design
-Fragment-based Drug Design
-Target Selection – Commercial and Intellectual Property Aspects
-Target Selection – Scientific Grounds

Core modules - plus two taught transferable skills modules delivered by CALT (UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching):
-Investigating Research
-Researcher Professional Development

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 to 20,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and problem classes, critical journal clubs and a research project. Assessment is through coursework, practicals, laboratory work, examination, dissertation and oral presentation.

Careers

We expect students graduating from this programme to take leading roles in drug discovery and development worldwide or to undertake further PhD level research. The first cohort of students on the Drug Design MRes graduating in 2015 have found jobs in the pharmaceutical industry as well as PhD studentships in leading universities.

Employability
The advanced knowledge and skill set acquired by taking this programme will enable students to find employment in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in a global market.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The division hosts research groups in the areas of medicine, pharmaceutical research, cell cycle, neurobiology, mitochondrial function, stem cells and cancer. Underpinning the translational aspects of the biomedical research, we have a medicinal chemistry group which conducts research where chemistry and biology intersect, using the latest techniques and developing new ones for the study of biological systems.

The division collaborates extensively within industry and academia to develop biological tools and therapeutic agents. There are plenty of opportunities to conduct translational research that has an impact on drug discovery.

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies, well established in the West, have been transferring their research and development to the East. Given these substantial developments, particularly in China and India, the programme will have a broad international appeal.

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