Following completion of the Human Genome Project, the pharmaceutical industry is preparing for a revolution in cancer and inherited disorder therapies. This course is training a new generation of bioscientists to meet challenges at the interface between biology and chemistry, and to apply pharmaceutical and analytical knowledge directly to improve quality of life.
The course develops a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of drug design and discovery, with an emphasis on new developments and advances in drug identification, understanding drug pharmacology and novel therapeutics, and appreciating how these topics interact with bioscience businesses and enterprise.
This programme is designed to enable you to gain systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current problems and new insights regarding the analysis of biomolecules. There is particular reference to drug design and discovery, along with a comprehensive and critical understanding of applied techniques and their current application in research in the field of biomolecule analysis and drug design.
This course is aimed at students who wish to acquire the specialised skills needed to design drugs for the 21st century. It is ideal for anyone with primarily either a chemistry or biochemistry based undergraduate degree wishing to broaden their knowledge base. The part-time route is well suited to those who already work in industry as it is possible to carry out research projects within the place of work. Prospective students must be committed to developing their skills and knowledge for a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology sectors.
Teaching is through:
There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Each exam is 2 hours.
Although particularly relevant to those looking for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, this course will also equip you for a career in research, teaching and many other professions including cosmetic science, animal health, food science, medical laboratory research, patent law, scientific journalism and health and safety.
Research projects may be carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Paterson Institute, UK). We also invite visiting lecturers to share their expertise on the subject areas.
After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
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.