Help improve human or animal health through creating new or more effective drugs and medicines. Learn the research processes used to identify drug targets and develop new therapeutics.
Your studies will combine the biological sciences with chemistry, giving you the skills to target, design, synthesise, create and assess new drugs. You'll also learn about protecting intellectual property, assessing the financial viability of drugs and the pre-clinical and clinical trial processes.
Tailor your studies to your strengths, interests and career goals. You'll learn a mix of academic and practical skills that are closely aligned to the needs of industry.
The Master of Drug Discovery and Development is best suited to very able students with backgrounds in chemistry or relevant life-science subjects such as biochemistry, biomedical science, pharmacy or pharmacology. It is an intensive one-year taught programme, unique in New Zealand.
Learn from academics and professionals who are leaders in the field and have experience in successfully taking drugs to market. Each course is taught by at least three academics so you'll be exposed to a wide range of expertise.
Drug Discovery and Development is taught by the Schools of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences in collaboration with the University's Ferrier Research Institute and the Centre for Biodiscovery.
You'll be able to take advantage of the research expertise of the Ferrier Research Institute in drug design and development, and if you're doing a Master's, you'll be working alongside the more than 30 scientists who make up the largest carbohydrate research team in the world. The Institute also has its own manufacturing facility so you'll have the opportunity to observe the drug development process from discovery to product.
You'll also benefit from the programme's links with the Centre for Biodiscovery where you will interact with the research teams that are actively discovering, designing and assessing novel bioactive compounds.
Get wise to the real-world issues facing pharmaceutical development and make the most of the hard-earned experiences of staff who have worked in the local and international biotech industry. Learn not only how to handle chemicals on a large scale, but to develop the mindset to do this in a way that is safe, reliable and robust—so you end up providing medicines that will change people’s lives.
Victoria offers three postgraduate qualifications in Drug Discovery and Development. Choose the one that suits your career goals, time constraints and financial situation.
If you begin by enrolling in the Certificate or Diploma programme you can continue on to complete your Master's. Or if you enrol in the Master's but can't complete it, for whatever reason, you may have completed enough points to be awarded a Certificate or Diploma.
Each qualification includes the core courses DRGD 401 Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, and a choice between DRDG 402 Drug Design or CHEM 421 Organic Chemistry and Bio-organic Chemistry.
After that you'll choose from selected courses from the study areas of Drug Discovery and Development, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Clinical Research and Microbiology.
All three qualifications give you the opportunity to do at least some research.
You'll complete four courses worth 60 points made up of the two core courses and two further choices.
You're likely to take seven courses that will include the two core courses, your elective options and the 30-point Research Preparation course.
You'll study for your Master's in two parts over three trimesters. In Part 1, the first two trimesters, you're likely to take seven courses that will include the core courses and a 30-point Research Preparation course.
In Part 2, you'll complete a full research project. Choose between DRDG 561 Applied Research Project, where you'll complete one or more problem-solving projects, or DRGD 590 Research Project, where you'll focus on medicinal chemistry and the formulation of active pharmaceutical products. In some cases you may be able to replace the research project with the thesis course DRGD 595.
Your Master's may be endorsed with a specialisation in either Drug Discovery, Drug Development or Chemical Biology. Check the requirements to find out what you need to do for these.
You can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of your studies.
The MDDD can be completed in 12 months full time, or in two years of part-time study but you'll need to discuss this option with the programme directorfirst. The Diploma will take you two trimesters and the Certificate one trimester.
You'll study at Wellington's Kelburn campus where you will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities. Students doing a research programme will also work in partnership the world-renowned Ferrier Research Institute in Lower Hutt.
Be part of a dynamic and collaborative scientific research community. Past students' research areas in drug discovery and development have included:
Become part of an active community of scientists. Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues. You'll have unprecedented access to world industry leaders who visit as guest lecturers and run seminars with students.
You'll have the broad skills you need to work in drug discovery in companies, universities, research institutes or with drug regulatory authorities. You might work within the pharmaceutical, bioanalytical or chemical industries, or take your skills into nutraceuticals or agrichemicals.
Our Molecular Biophysics for Medical Sciences MRes offers you the chance to learn about biophysics, molecular biology and bioinformatics, and to undertake an extensive research project. This course is excellent preparation for a PhD or a foundation for high-level entry into the industry.
This Molecular Biophysics for Medical Sciences MRes programme will give you a thorough exposure to practical biophysics research in a world-leading centre that has been at the forefront of biophysics research since it opened 60 years ago. Our early successes include the elucidation of the structure of DNA and the development of the sliding filament model of muscle. More recently we have pioneered breakthroughs in the areas of muscle and immunoglobulin function, molecular-tweezers development, cell motility, DNA recognition, and the development of new techniques in cellular microscopy.
The research component of your MRes will be complemented by a series of in-depth modules in molecular biophysics and molecular biology.
You will also have the exciting option of carrying out your research project in Singapore to produce outstanding science.
Quantitative skills in biology will be incredibly important for the next generation of professional scientists working in industry and academia. We recognise this, and our MRes offers you an integrated training programme ideally suited to instruct you in the biophysical techniques to meet this challenge.
Our MRes will give you an excellent foundation for a career in academic research, but it also provides a robust foundation for entering industry at a high level, where biophysics has applications ranging from drug formulation and delivery to structure-based drug discovery and the development of medical and scientific imaging techniques.
Acquiring quantitative skills in biology is of paramount importance for the next generation of professional scientists working in industry and academia. The MRes (Master of Research) in Molecular Biophysics at King's College London offers an integrated training programme ideally suited to learn biophysical techniques crucially important to meet this challenge.
We deliver an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue careers in academic research. Equally, our MRes provides a robust foundation for high level entry into industry where biophysics has applications ranging from drug formulation and delivery, structure-based drug discovery, and the development of medical and scientific imaging techniques.
Our Master is designed for outstanding graduates in the Life and Physical sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics) who want to apply their knowledge to biological problems at the research level. Taught modules cover biophysics and molecular biology techniques with elements of bioinformatics.
We will provide you with seven hours of lectures and seminars each week. In your first semester you’ll also have 10 to 12 hours of lab work and 35 hours in your second semester. We will expect you to undertake 15 to 20 hours of self-study.
Typically, one credit equates to ten hours of work.
We will assess you through a combination of exams, coursework and practical assessment for your first two modules. For the Molecular Biophysics Research Project, we will assess you through a thesis, a viva and a presentation.
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However they are subject to change.
Many of our graduates continue to study PhDs. Others transfer their skills and knowledge to careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, cancer research, medicine, scientific administration within research councils and scientific publishing.
The Drug Sciences MRes is for graduates wishing to pursue a career in research. The programme provides a flexible opportunity for high-level research-based training and acquiring a range of academic skills that will prepare students for PhD-level study or a career in biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
This programme includes taught and research components and runs for 12 months. The research project begins immediately when students join their chosen laboratory. Project work continues throughout the whole year. The taught component is tailored to individual research programmes. Students select the appropriate modules for their chosen research discipline. There is also core training in research methods and transferable skills.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of both a taught component (30 credits) and a larger research component (150 credits). The taught component will be drawn from a range of specialist options taught by the School of Pharmacy. Students will study either one 30-credit or two 15-credit modules. Not all modules will be available every year.
Students select either one or two modules from a wide range including:
All students undertake a programme of full-time research equivalent to approximately 10 months' duration. This research will be written up as a dissertation at the end of the period of study.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars, laboratory work, participation in the research training programme. Assessment is through written examination, research dissertation, oral presentation and viva voce examination.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Drug Sciences MRes
Graduates of this programme can expect to become proficient research scientists equipped for a career in research, in the pharmaceutical industry, or with a government regulatory body.
This MRes in Drug Sciences is conducted primarily as an in-depth and novel research project at the forefront of research in the area of medical and pharmaceutical sciences within the internationally recognised UCL School of Pharmacy.
Thus students gain research experience and training in their chosen research laboratory and also importantly, they have the opportunity to interact with expert researchers in all aspects of the drug discovery and delivery process.
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: School of Pharmacy
87% 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.
Pharmaceutical Science is a relatively new discipline and is concerned with fostering a multi-disciplinary approach towards the study of exciting new developments in the chemical, biological and biomedical science areas focusing upon the biochemistry, pharmacology, design, methods of analysis and delivery of pharmaceutical substances.
The course aims to produce high quality pharmaceutical science graduates with the generic, subject-specific and transferable knowledge and skills suited to a career in the pharmaceutical industry or other related laboratory based scientific discipline.
The course provides two routes, leading to a named award in Pharmaceutical Science, appropriate for students already in, or planning a career in the Pharmaceutical Sciences profession.
Your modules will include:
The course will provide you with a thorough grounding in the basic principles of Pharmaceutical Science and will equip you with the skills necessary for successful postgraduate study.
Pharmaceutical science is well established at Wolverhampton and benefits from a long tradition of teaching and research in the chemical and biological sciences.
This course gives students an excellent opportunity to study core science as well as the modern developments that are occurring at the boundaries between biology, chemistry and clinical practice.
The Pharmaceutical Science course is attractive if you are seeking an academic research career and/or wish to make yourself highly employable as a pharmaceutical scientist, enabling you to specialize in the key area of drug discovery and design.
Specialist modules offer you the opportunity to gain knowledge in key and emerging areas of Pharmaceutical Science, focusing on drug discovery and design.
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This MSc will provide students with the skills and knowledge to allow them to participate effectively in the creation and growth of high-impact pharmaceutical business ventures. Its graduates will be ideally positioned to initiate their own start-up companies or join existing biotech or pharmaceutical businesses.
Students will learn how to develop and assess a new business concept, and how to raise finance for and market a business and its outputs. They will build their scientific skill set by exploring four scientific research areas in pharmaceutics, and will interact closely with and be mentored by those who have direct experience of initiating a start-up business.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), a scientific research project (30 credits) and a business case development project (30 credits).
Students select three optional modules in term one (from a choice of four), and a further optional module (from a choice of five) in term two.
Students undertake two projects which culminate in two written reports and oral presentations. One is a short laboratory research project, while the second involves the development of a business case for a new pharmaceutical endeavour.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars and practical sessions, as well as industrial visits. Assessment is through a combination of written examinations, coursework assignments and project work.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Pharmaceutical Formulation and Entrepreneurship MSc
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates from this MSc find work in various areas of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. They are fully equipped with the skills to start their own businesses, and can approach UCL Innovation and Enterprise to assist with this if desired. Alternatively, they may join small biotech or major pharmaceutical companies, pursue further research in academia, work in consulting, or join world-leading technology companies where there is increasing emphasis on healthcare and the life sciences. For instance, recent graduates have undertaken PhD research at the University of Cambridge or found work with start-ups such as Intract Pharma.
Employability skills are embedded in the programme, with emphasis placed on the development of "soft" skills and a series of workshop sessions organised on CV writing, undertaking interviews, and networking. We make extensive efforts to provide opportunities for students to meet with potential employers. Students from this MSc are highly competitive in the global jobs market.
This programme is unique in equipping students with a broad skill set in both medicines design and entrepreneurship. It is delivered by world-leading academics in both the UCL School of Pharmacy and UCL School of Management.
UCL staff with direct experience of launching a pharmaceutical start-up will teach students best practice and how to overcome the major challenges involved in enterprises of this kind.
UCL’s central London location combines state-of-the-art research with an entrepreneurial dynamic that fosters start-up creation, and provides access to venture capitalists, business angels, and world-leading pharmaceutical companies. UCL Innovation and Enterprise, UCL’s centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction, offers UCL students direct practical support in launching a business.
This unique professional training programme has been designed and developed in collaboration with the multinational Contract Research Organisation, Covance.
The course is 20 months long, covering campus-based taught modules in the first six months, followed by a 12-month guaranteed paid placement in industry where you can expect to earn around £20,000.
During your training you’ll gain an integrated understanding of the full biological drug development pathway and the regulatory framework. The focus will be on large molecule drugs: monoclonal antibodies like Herceptin, bio-similars and antibody-drug conjugates; gene therapies and the technologies that underpin the discovery and development pathway.
You’ll be taught by leading industrialists and internationally renowned academics working at the forefront of their fields in the areas of science that support drug development. The curriculum is delivered primarily via project work in teams, and is assessed with outputs that are commonplace in industry, including presentations and reports to clients, regulators, investors/sponsors etc.
To prepare you for work in industry, you’ll also have access to cutting-edge practical technologies and gain hands-on practical training in protein purification, characterisation, formulation and assessment of binding function. In addition, you’ll use cell-based assays to look at drug potency, all performed in a strict regulated environment.
This course will help give you the experience and skills to become highly employable. Many pharmaceutical companies are expanding their biopharmaceutical capability, which is creating demand and opportunities for talented, well-trained people. At the same time, these companies report difficulties in recruiting employees with relevant skill sets and those with broad industrial experience are greatly sought after.
This course will provide you with an understanding of biological drug development focusing on each of the major steps of the process:
The course is 20 months long, covering the campus-based taught elements in six to seven months, followed by a 12-month guaranteed paid work placement involving a research project where you’ll experience at first hand the working environment of this industry.
Work placement: an integral part of your training
An integral part of this course is your first paid job in industry. This is a 12-month guaranteed work and research experience in industry or placement hosted within the university research laboratories developed and co-supervised with industry. Students can expect to earn up to £20,000 over the duration of their placement.
The placements will all include a practical research project where you will gain in-depth practical experience of at least one technical function of the drug development process (discovery, manufacturing, pre-clinical testing, clinical safety and efficacy).
You will commence your project in May, six-months after the start of the programme and will be completed by the following April. Graduation is scheduled immediately thereafter, making you available for employment immediately after your placement.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Over the first six to seven months starting in September you will study 100 credits worth of taught modules.
Seven months after the start of the course (April/May), you will start a 12-month industrial placement where you will undertake a research project worth 80 credits.
The learning and teaching on the course has been constructed to align with activities performed in industry, preparing you to be work-ready immediately after you finish.
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
This course will challenge you to think creatively, solve problems and develop strong communication and teamwork skills. You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods, including formal lectures, interactive workshops, practical classes and industry site visits.
You’ll extensively use of real-life, industry specific case studies to illustrate theoretical and practical concepts and multiple opportunities to work in teams, including the opportunity to lead a team. A wide range of ‘authentic’ assessments will be used that students will experience in the workplace including submissions to regulatory authorities, client reports and presentations to industry panel members.
Your first steps into an industrial career
The course is designed to train talented scientists wishing to pursue a career in drug development in the international biopharmaceutical industry.
You’ll be exposed to senior industrialists working as tutors throughout the course and can take this opportunity to obtain career advice. You’ll also work in industry full time for 12 months, which is an outstanding opportunity for you to develop a competitive career plan.
With this degree, you’ll have the relevant knowledge and experience to fast-track your career as, for example, an analytical scientist, project manager, or coordinator, in areas such as research, quality control, manufacturing, project management, non-clinical, clinical, and market access.
As a student on this course you’ll have unique access to an industry-mentor and a personal tutor (academic member of staff) for the duration of your studies. You’ll also get support in planning your career through sessions that develop your CVs and applications.