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Masters Degrees (Genetic Toxicology)

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One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology. . This programme provides students with a research-orientated training in the application of molecular and cell biology to develop an understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. Read more

One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology. 

This programme provides students with a research-orientated training in the application of molecular and cell biology to develop an understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. You will study within a lively, highly interactive teaching and research environment.

Course details

One of the most rapidly developing areas of toxicology is the use of molecular, cell biology and omics to identify adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and to develop a mechanistic understanding of chemical toxicity at the cellular and molecular level. This is not only of fundamental interest (i.e., understanding the mechanism of action) but it also relates to an increased need for a mechanistic component in chemical risk assessment and development of high throughput screens for chemical toxicity.

The MRes in Molecular Mechanistic Toxicology is a one-year full-time programme that provides students with a research-orientated training in a lively, highly interactive teaching and research environment.

Programme content

The programme is coordinated by the School of Biosciences, which is recognised internationally as a major centre for both teaching and research in Toxicology. Molecular Toxicology is a major component of the School of Biosciences research activities along with interactions with other departments including Chemistry and the Medical School.

Specific areas of active research include:

  • Mechanisms of cell toxicity
  • Development of novel DNA binding chemicals
  • Cellular proliferation and differentiation
  • Environmental genomics and metabolomics
  • Molecular biomarkers of genotoxicity, oxidative stress and cellular responses
  • Role of environmental and genetic factors in disease

Learning and teaching

Two five-week taught modules are held in Semester 1 in conjunction with the taught MSc in Toxicology programme. Training in generic and laboratory research skills is also an important element of the programme. The programme also includes a six-month research project, which provides students with an opportunity for further advanced research training and hands-on experience of molecular and cellular biology techniques embedded in a research laboratory. Research projects can take place either in academic or industrial institutions.

Semester 1

  • Module 1 Metabolism and Mechanisms of Toxicity (20 credits)
  • Module 2 Forensic, Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (20 credits)
  • Skills Module (10 credits)

Semester 2:

  • Laboratory research project (130 credits)

Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, coursework, practical classes, student seminars and placement in a research laboratory. The taught component is assessed by a combination of examinations and coursework. The dissertation component is assessed by preparation of a research thesis. 

Skills gained

After completing the course you will have gained a detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of chemical toxicity (e.g. polymorphisms and metabolism, genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens, mechanisms of apoptosis, cDNA microarray and other high throughput screening strategies). You will also be able to critically evaluate and interpret available scientific literature, and effectively present the results of your research to peers using both written reports and oral communications. The programme will help you to develop laboratory skills and enable you to effectively interact in a research laboratory setting.

Careers

There is a demand for Toxicologists with molecular biology training in industry and other research organisations. The skills you gain from this course will stand you in good stead to enter research-based careers in the pharmaceutical industry and the medical sciences. You will also have enhanced your opportunities to further your research training by studying for the degree of PhD.



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The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge. Read more

The need to develop new strategies to combat diseases remains a major global challenge. This degree aims to enhance your employability and prepare you to tackle this challenge.

We’ll give you advanced training in the mechanisms underpinning a spectrum of infectious and non-infectious diseases, including viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and chromosomal abnormalities. You’ll also explore current and emerging diagnostic and treatment strategies.

You’ll learn about the latest molecular, genetic and cellular approaches being used to understand, diagnose and treat human disease, including traditional methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and novel methods involving genome and proteome analysis.

You’ll also have the opportunity to investigate the role of the immune system in the response to infection and disease, covering topics such as innate and adaptive immunity, allergy and immune evasion.

If you choose to study at Leeds, you’ll join a faculty ranked 6th in the UK for its research impact in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and you’ll graduate with the solid base of scientific knowledge and specialist skills highly valued by employers.

Course content

On this course you’ll gain an overview of a range of modern techniques and methodologies that underpin contemporary biomolecular sciences. You’ll investigate five topic areas: molecular biology, structural biology, cell imaging and flow cytometry, high throughput techniques and transgenic organisms.

You’ll also apply your knowledge to an extended practical investigation in the form of a laboratory-based project, involving practical training in a range of modern molecular biology and protein engineering techniques such as gene cloning, PCR, mutagenesis, protein expression, protein purification and analysis.

To help you to develop and specialise, you’ll get substantial subject-specific training through an independent research project in an area of infection, immunity or human disease.

You’ll also take specialist taught modules covering topics such as infectious and non-infectious disease, advanced immunology, medical diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases and cancer.

If you have previous experience of immunology, you could opt to investigate the structure, regulation and development of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, or explore aspects of human toxicology. These could include the actions of toxicants on the cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, kidneys, liver and lungs, genetic toxicology and chemical carcinogenesis, and the effects of chemicals on fetal development.

In the final part of the course you'll work on an independent laboratory-based research project related to your course options. You’ll receive extensive training in experimental design, the practical use of advanced techniques and technologies, data analysis and interpretation, and will be assigned a research project supervisor who will support and guide you through your project.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Immunology 10 credits
  • Infectious & Non-infectious Diseases 10 credits
  • Practical Bioinformatics 10 credits
  • Medical Diagnostics 10 credits
  • MSc Bioscience Research Project Proposal 5 credits
  • Treatment of Infectious Disease and Cancer 10 credits
  • Research Planning and Scientific Communication 10 credits
  • Advanced Biomolecular Technologies 20 credits
  • Protein Engineering Laboratory Project 15 credits
  • Bioscience MSc Research Project 80 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Your learning will be heavily influenced by the University’s world-class research as well as our strong links with highly qualified professionals from industry, non-governmental organisations and charities.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including formal lectures, interactive workshops, problem-solving, practical classes and demonstrations.

Through your research project and specialist modules, you’ll receive substantial subject-specific training. Our teaching and assessment methods are designed to develop you into a scientist who is able to think independently, solve problems, communicate effectively and demonstrate a high level of practical ability.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods: multiple-choice testing, practical work, data handling and problem solving exercises, group work, discussion groups (face-to-face and online), computer-based simulation, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Career opportunities

The strong research element of the Infection, Immunity and Human Disease MSc, along with the specialist and generic skills you develop, mean you’ll graduate equipped for a wide range of careers.

Our graduates work in a diverse range of areas, ranging from bioscience-related research through to scientific publication, teacher training, health and safety and pharmaceutical market research.

Links with industry

We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advise us on what they look for in graduates and on employability-related skills within our programmes.

We collaborate with a wide range of organisations in the public and commercial sectors. Many of these are represented on our Industrial Advisory Board. They include:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Ernst and Young
  • The Food and Environment Research Agency
  • The Health Protection Agency
  • MedImmune
  • Thermofisher Scientific
  • Hays Life Sciences
  • European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Smaller University spin-out companies, such as Lumora

Industrial research placements

Some of our partners offer MSc research projects in their organisations, allowing students to develop their commercial awareness and build their network of contacts.

Professional and career development

We take personal and career development very seriously. We have a proactive Industrial Advisory Board who advises us on what they look for in graduates and on employability related skills within our courses.

Our dedicated Employability and Professional Development Officer ensures that you are aware of events and opportunities to increase your employability. In addition, our Masters Career Development Programme will support you to:

  • explore career options and career planning
  • understand the PhD application process and optimise PhD application
  • learn how to use LinkedIn and other social media for effective networking and career opportunities
  • practice interviews for both job and PhD applications.


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This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. Read more
This Masters course will open the door to a fascinating and fast-moving sector of analytical science that will build on your previous undergraduate studies, in chemistry, biology or other appropriate science courses. You will gain knowledge and scientific skills that are directly applicable to the field of forensic science, with prospects of employment in forensic science laboratories as well as in other analytical science laboratories.

The course involves a unique combination of forensic chemistry and forensic biology, covering subjects such as trace evidence, toxicology and DNA analysis. Once you have covered the underlying principles of both areas, you can then specialise in your chosen field for your MSc research project.

The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, which enhances its credibility and currency among potential employers.

This course can also be taken part time - for more information, please view this web-page: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/study-at-northumbria/courses/forensic-science-dtpfrs6/

Learn From The Best

Our teaching team are active researchers who routinely incorporate their expertise and enthusiasm into their teaching. Many of the staff have worked in forensic science laboratories and have been involved in high profile cases such as the Stephen Lawrence, Joanna Yeates, Suffolk strangler and Jigsaw murder cases. Their areas of research include toxicology, the analysis of fibres and their transfer and persistence and the analysis of ancient DNA.

Academic staff include former forensic biologists, forensic toxicologists, and forensic fibre experts. They continue to maintain close links with the industry including the police and practising forensic scientists. Many of them are well-established within professional forensic science societies and organisations, which directly inform policy and practices within the field.

Teaching And Assessment

Our teaching will give you a solid grounding in all the technical areas that are key to forensic science, while simultaneously developing the higher level of independent thinking and advanced interpretation that is expected at Masters level. To support your learning journey, many of the staff have an ‘open door’ policy which makes it easy to ask questions; it’s also possible to book appointments with them so that you can work through queries about lab work, concepts and theories, and any other aspects of the subject.

We use different types of assessments: some will contribute to your final grade while others will be used to provide you with guidance on your progress and reinforce your learning. You can expect both your tutors and your peers to provide useful comments and feedback throughout the course.

Module Overview
AP0700 - Graduate Science Research Methods (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0703 - Subject Exploration (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0708 - Applied Sciences Research Project (Core, 60 Credits)
AP0723 - Practices & Procedures in Forensic Science (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0724 - Forensic Toxicology & Drugs of Abuse (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0725 - Criminalistics (Core, 20 Credits)
AP0726 - Forensic Genetics (Core, 20 Credits)

Learning Environment

You will have access to a dedicated crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes. Students can also access Return to Scene (R2S) software which provides a 360 degree interactive scan of a crime scene allowing you to perform further analysis in detail after you have left the scene. Northumbria University has also invested heavily in an impressive suite of analytical equipment allowing you to gain first-hand experience of the techniques used in operational laboratories.

We use a range of technologies to enhance your learning, with tools including web-based self-guided exercises, online tests with feedback, and electronic discussion boards. These tools support and extend the material that is delivered during lectures.

You will have 24/7 term-time access to Northumbria’s library, which was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

Research-Rich Learning

We host the Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science and our research directly impacts on what and how you learn. Northumbria is helping to push the frontiers of knowledge in areas such as:
-Forensic fibre comparisons using statistical and chemometric approaches
-DNA profiling in contexts such as injuries to children and poaching of wildlife
-Human genetic and phenotypic variation
-Analytical toxicology

As part of the course, you will undertake a Masters project that will require you to evaluate relevant literature as well as to develop your ideas within the context of existing research. The project will involve information retrieval, critical appraisal, presentation of aims and strategy, development of advanced analytical and problem-solving skills, the discussion and interpretation of results, and the composition of a written dissertation. Each project will be aligned to an active area of research that is specific to an academic member of staff.

Give Your Career An Edge

This course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. This reflects the relevance and rigour of the curriculum, and provides assurance of workplace-ready knowledge and application.

The focus on practical laboratory work, combined with the mix of group work, independent learning and professional practice, will help ensure that you develop skills that are transferable to a range of careers and disciplines.

Throughout your time at Northumbria we will prompt you to reflect on your self-development through the Higher Education Achievement Report process. We will also encourage you to take advantage of the services of our Careers and Employment Service such as CV advice and interview preparation.

Your Future

Forensic science has gained a high profile through TV dramas and, in the years ahead the sector is likely to be further transformed by technological advances in a number of fields. With an MSc Forensic Science you will be well-placed to take up a fascinating and rewarding role in forensic science laboratories.

What’s more, by developing the attributes of a Masters student, including the ability to solve complex problems, think critically, and work effectively with others and on your own, you will enhance your employability in all sectors of the analytical science industry. You will also be well equipped to pursue further studies at PhD level.

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The Transplantation MRes enables you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. Read more

The Transplantation MRes enables you to experience an internationally competitive research area, predominantly in academia but also potentially in industry. The MRes can be taken either as a stand-alone qualification or provide an entry route onto a PhD or MD.

The course is designed for graduates with a BSc in the life sciences and is also suitable for graduates from other science disciplines and intercalating and fully qualified MBBS or BDS students.

What you'll learn

There is a taught component with subject-specific content in the area of Transplantation. Subject-based modules provide a broad exposure to diverse aspects of transplantation, from clinical concepts to cutting edge scientific development. There will be a unique opportunity to gain insights into the speciality of transplantation sciences in the context of transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells, corneal/limbal stem cells and a variety of solid organs.

The modules aim to:

  • provide sound understanding of the scientific basis underlying the therapeutic benefits and adverse effects of clinical transplants
  • highlight the research areas where applications of immunology and cell biology can improve transplant outcome and patient wellbeing
  • provide a view of bench to bedside translational links between scientific research and clinical practice

The course emphasises the clinical practice driven research, which prepares students for a future career in either medical practice or broad biomedical research. 

Main topics covered include:

  • transplantation immunology related to cellular and molecular basis of allogeneic immune responses, tolerance, immunosuppression
  • the genetic and molecular basis of HLA system, non-HLA immunogenetics, histocompatibility, impact of HLA matching in choice of donor and transplant outcome
  • transplantation pathology related to graft-versus-host disease following haematopoietic stem cell transplant, rejection following solid organ transplant, tissue damage and loss of graft function
  • manipulation of haematopoietic stem cells for clinical use
  • development of novel therapeutic strategies to aid improvement of clinical transplant outcome

It has the flexibility for you to develop your own bespoke course by choosing additional, complementary modules from a wide selection. You will also undertake training in general research principles and other professional and key skills.

Your project

The research project comprises the major element of the course. This project will involve 24 weeks’ carrying out research in the area of transplantation under the supervision of an expert academic researcher in the field.

Our MRes courses

Transplantation MRes is closely linked to a suite of MRes courses that you may also be interested in:

Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.

Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.

You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.



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We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments. Read more

We invite postgraduate research proposals in a number of disease areas that impact significantly on patient care. We focus on exploring the mechanisms of disease, understanding the ways disease impacts patients’ lives, utilising new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and developing new treatments.

As a student you will be registered with a University research institute, for many this is the Institute for Cellular Medicine (ICM). You will be supported in your studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.

We undertake the following areas of research and offer MPhil, PhD and MD supervision in:

Applied immunobiology (including organ and haematogenous stem cell transplantation)

Newcastle hosts one of the most comprehensive organ transplant programmes in the world. This clinical expertise has developed in parallel with the applied immunobiology and transplantation research group. We are investigating aspects of the immunology of autoimmune diseases and cancer therapy, in addition to transplant rejection. We have themes to understand the interplay of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses by a variety of pathways, and how these can be manipulated for therapeutic purposes. Further research theme focusses on primary immunodeficiency diseases.

Dermatology

There is strong emphasis on the integration of clinical investigation with basic science. Our research include:

  • cell signalling in normal and diseased skin including mechanotransduction and response to ultraviolet radiation
  • dermatopharmacology including mechanisms of psoriatic plaque resolution in response to therapy
  • stem cell biology and gene therapy
  • regulation of apoptosis/autophagy
  • non-melanoma skin cancer/melanoma biology and therapy.

We also research the effects of UVR on the skin including mitochondrial DNA damage as a UV biomarker.

Diabetes

This area emphasises on translational research, linking clinical- and laboratory-based science. Key research include:

  • mechanisms of insulin action and glucose homeostasis
  • insulin secretion and pancreatic beta-cell function
  • diabetic complications
  • stem cell therapies
  • genetics and epidemiology of diabetes.

Diagnostic and therapeutic technologies

Focus is on applied research and aims to underpin future clinical applications. Technology-oriented and demand-driven research is conducted which relates directly to health priority areas such as:

  • bacterial infection
  • chronic liver failure
  • cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.

This research is sustained through extensive internal and external collaborations with leading UK and European academic and industrial groups, and has the ultimate goal of deploying next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic systems in the hospital and health-care environment.

Kidney disease

There is a number of research programmes into the genetics, immunology and physiology of kidney disease and kidney transplantation. We maintain close links between basic scientists and clinicians with many translational programmes of work, from the laboratory to first-in-man and phase III clinical trials. Specific areas:

  • haemolytic uraemic syndrome
  • renal inflammation and fibrosis
  • the immunology of transplant rejection
  • tubular disease
  • cystic kidney disease.

The liver

We have particular interests in:

  • primary biliary cirrhosis (epidemiology, immunobiology and genetics)
  • alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • fibrosis
  • the genetics of other autoimmune and viral liver diseases

Magnetic Resonance (MR), spectroscopy and imaging in clinical research

Novel non-invasive methodologies using magnetic resonance are developed and applied to clinical research. Our research falls into two categories:

  • MR physics projects involve development and testing of new MR techniques that make quantitative measurements of physiological properties using a safe, repeatable MR scan.
  • Clinical research projects involve the application of these novel biomarkers to investigation of human health and disease.

Our studies cover a broad range of topics (including diabetes, dementia, neuroscience, hepatology, cardiovascular, neuromuscular disease, metabolism, and respiratory research projects), but have a common theme of MR technical development and its application to clinical research.

Musculoskeletal disease (including auto-immune arthritis)

We focus on connective tissue diseases in three, overlapping research programmes. These programmes aim to understand:

  • what causes the destruction of joints (cell signalling, injury and repair)
  • how cells in the joints respond when tissue is lost (cellular interactions)
  • whether we can alter the immune system and ‘switch off’ auto-immune disease (targeted therapies and diagnostics)

This research theme links with other local, national and international centres of excellence and has close integration of basic and clinical researchers and hosts the only immunotherapy centre in the UK.

Pharmacogenomics (including complex disease genetics)

Genetic approaches to the individualisation of drug therapy, including anticoagulants and anti-cancer drugs, and in the genetics of diverse non-Mendelian diseases, from diabetes to periodontal disease, are a focus. A wide range of knowledge and experience in both genetics and clinical sciences is utilised, with access to high-throughput genotyping platforms.

Reproductive and vascular biology

Our scientists and clinicians use in situ cellular technologies and large-scale gene expression profiling to study the normal and pathophysiological remodelling of vascular and uteroplacental tissues. Novel approaches to cellular interactions have been developed using a unique human tissue resource. Our research themes include:

  • the regulation of trophoblast and uNk cells
  • transcriptional and post-translational features of uterine function
  • cardiac and vascular remodelling in pregnancy

We also have preclinical molecular biology projects in breast cancer research.

Respiratory disease

We conduct a broad range of research activities into acute and chronic lung diseases. As well as scientific studies into disease mechanisms, there is particular interest in translational medicine approaches to lung disease, studying human lung tissue and cells to explore potential for new treatments. Our current areas of research include:

  • acute lung injury - lung infections
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • fibrotic disease of the lung, both before and after lung transplantation.

Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics

Our research projects are concerned with the harmful effects of chemicals, including prescribed drugs, and finding ways to prevent and minimise these effects. We are attempting to measure the effects of fairly small amounts of chemicals, to provide ways of giving early warning of the start of harmful effects. We also study the adverse side-effects of medicines, including how conditions such as liver disease and heart disease can develop in people taking medicines for completely different medical conditions. Our current interests include: environmental chemicals and organophosphate pesticides, warfarin, psychiatric drugs and anti-cancer drugs.

Pharmacy

Our new School of Pharmacy has scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.



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Your programme of study. If you want to discover a cure for a major disease or lesser known disease this programme will help you towards that goal. Read more

Your programme of study

If you want to discover a cure for a major disease or lesser known disease this programme will help you towards that goal. Aberdeen is well know for drug discovery as Insulin was developed at the university and there has always been a strong research focus within the medical sciences to continue finding major innovations in health sciences. You learn how to formulate drugs to understand how they are regulated and the bio-business area. This area has been in rapid growth since the discovery of customised drugs which rely on individual genetic make up to define, small batch drugs which larger drug companies don't manufacture for reasons of scale and economy, and the understanding of biologics to treat diseases.

Drug Discovery is one of the few areas which have continued to expand over the last 5 years, in fact there is a major revolution in treating disease processes with other disciplines assisting. The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is one of the largest contributors of income and it is being disrupted by a combination of easy process and scale up using innovation centre facilities, and customised treatments. Drug discovery involves multidisciplinary teams working in academia, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Our MRes in Drug Discovery provides training in across all aspects of drug discovery and development, clinical pharmacology and medical biotechnology. The degree programme consists of one term of taught courses (3 months) followed by 2 individual research projects lasting 16 weeks each.

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Small Molecule Drug Discovery
  • Introduction to Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
  • Basic Skills-Induction
  • Generic Skills

Optional

  • Introduction to Molecular Biology
  • Applied Statistics
  • Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

Semester 2

  • Research Project

Optional

  • Advanced Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
  • Biologic Drug Discovery
  • Basic Research Methods

Semester 3

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • The university is highly regarded and known as a 'centre for excellence' in drug discovery and commercialisation
  • Researchers that teach are active opinion leaders and regulators with further interdisciplinary researchers in other countries and two British Pharmacological Society Wellcome Gold Medal winners on staff
  • The university won the Nobel Prize for the treatment of diabetes and invention of insulin

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time or Part Time
  • 12 Months or 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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We have scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy. Read more

We have scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy. This spans the fundamental understanding and concepts of drug action, the discovery of new drugs and development of medicines, the clinical management and rationale use of medicines, through to the professional role of the pharmacist in improving public health.

As a postgraduate research student studying for an MPhil or PhD, you will be based within the School of Pharmacy and a research institute in the Faculty of Medical Sciences relevant to your proposed research. Our research institutes are as follows:

If your research involves clinical components there may be a partnership with the NHS.

The School of Pharmacy's focus is on multidisciplinary translational research, work that is relevant to real life. We combine world-class laboratory and clinical research facilities with an open environment where scholars, clinicians and researchers benefit from working side-by-side. You will spend your time within research teams led by experts in their field, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

We offer MPhil and PhD supervision in the following research areas:

Disease-Selective Medicines

The discovery and development of new small molecule therapeutics with improved disease selectivity and reduced systemic toxicities, through the use of rational drug design and synthesis, lead optimisation, and preclinical evaluation in cellular disease model systems. We are particularly interested in the development of cancer prodrugs with tumour specific activation and reduced systemic toxicity, and novel therapies for improved treatment of infective diseases including Dengue and other haemorrhagic fever viruses and Tuberculosis, amongst others.

Improved Strategies for the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Understanding the molecular mechanisms that generate and maintain the symptoms and processes of chronic pain, and its translation to effective strategies for pain control, including opioid treatment.

Cellular Physiology

Understanding the pathways that allow hormones to control epithelial ion channel activity and physiological action, particularly the control of sodium channel activity in the distal nephron and consequent hypo/hyper-tension.

Safety Pharmacology and Discovery Toxicology

Development and utilisation of new preclinical tools for identification of therapeutics with potential safety liabilities, particularly novel clinically relevant cell models and systems for detection of effects upon the heart.

Pharmaceutics and Chemical Principles of Dosage Form Design

Pharmaceutical formulations to deliver active molecules to treat disease. We have active research on intermolecular interactions, nanoscale pharmaceutics and nanotherapeutics, including dosage form design from intermolecular interactions, and delivery of biopharmaceuticals. In particular research is focused on:

  • determining strategies for improving drug solubility and altering materials properties to enable effective drug delivery and the production of enhanced medicines.
  • supramolecular Pharmaceutics, particularly inter/intramolecular interactions and kinetics leading to, during and after self-assembly of small organic molecules.
  • fundamental and translational nanomedicines
  • understanding and improving drug delivery via the subcutaneous, inhaled and intravitreal routes of delivery

Pharmaceutical Public Health

The role of community pharmacy as a central fulcrum to address health inequalities and behaviour change in relation to smoking, alcohol and substance misuse, sexual health and obesogenic behaviours, amongst others. As the community pharmacy is the most frequent point of contact for patients and public within the wider primary healthcare team, we evaluate the dynamics and interactions of this relationship and the potential role for pharmacy within the early diagnosis of disease and improvements in public health.

Rational Medicines Use

The safe and efficient use of medicines in primary and secondary care is central to the role of every pharmacist. However, medicines are becoming increasingly complex and patients are being given more preventative medicine focused at improving their health, which poses clear risks and significant potential for complications. Rationalisation of medicine usage crosses care boundaries, applies both within primary and secondary care, and furthermore at the care interface. We investigate prescribing habits and the mechanisms to support patients who may take complex medicines for a significant portion of their life

Patient Safety and Health Information Technology

Medication errors can result in patient injury or death, and are preventable. These errors can occur at the stages of ordering, transcription, dispensing and administration. We conduct studies around key technological advances targeted towards intercepting these errors and improving patient safety. Our research focuses on evaluation of specific health information technology prevention strategies throughout the medication use process, with a particular emphasis on health information technology, including its broader implications for medical care and policy. We also explore the different types and causes of errors that occur during the prescribing process when using electronic systems, providing national and international recommendations for their improvement.



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