Research in drug discovery and development enables the identification of new drug targets and therapeutics. Postgraduate programmes in Drug Discovery and Development are offered at Victoria University of Wellington. This is a collaborative programme between the following:
The programmes operate on the interface between the fields of chemistry and biological sciences, drawing on the research expertise of the Ferrier Research Institute in drug design and development, and on expertise from the Centre for Biodiscovery in the discovery and design of bioactive compounds and the determination of their modes of action. This programme will equip graduates with the tools to enter the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and agrichemical sectors. The programme has been designed in consultation with international leaders in the pharmaceutical and related fields.
Students will be provided with a programme of study tailored to their personal skills and interests, with flexibility being offered by the opportunity to undertake directed individual study courses. Alongside the core courses, students will be offered the opportunity to specialise according to their interests, with named specialisations offered in Drug Discovery, Drug Development and Chemical Biology.
The programmes provide graduates with broad knowledge of the processes and activities involved with drug discovery, design and development. It uses a mix of academic and practical skills, and is closely aligned to the needs of pharmaceutical industry in the areas of drug design and development, including bioanalytical, chemical and related industries, nutraceuticals and agrichemicals.
The programmes equip graduates to pursue careers in these industries, in the public or non-governmental sectors, or to continue directly to PhD level studies.
Further information may be found at the following websites:
This online programme will provide you with the stimulus, guidance and knowledge to develop a career around new approaches to drug discovery.
You will study the challenges in developing novel drugs; the science underlying emerging fields of drug discovery; the application of new ideas to the field; how drug discovery relates to real-world health problems; the commercial aspects of drug discovery; and potential future developments. The programme offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.
Our award-winning online learning technology enables you to interact with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your home or workplace. You will have the same access to our staff as you would if you were on campus. Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources but they get the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community.
You will learn through a variety of teaching methods, including online tuition, peer-to-peer discussion and individual study. You will take twelve taught courses followed by a research project leading to a dissertation in your final year.
Individual courses can be taken for Continuing Professional Development purposes or you can study for a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc.
We offer a fast-track option to complete the MSc in two years, or you can spread your programme over a maximum of six years, through intermittent study, allowing you to accommodate work and other commitments.
You can expect to spend seven to 13 hours a week on your studies, depending on your chosen schedule.
You will enhance your career prospects with marketable analytical and presentation skills.
If you are interested in how drugs metabolise, small molecule discovery and biologics this programme will provide an advanced level of study and challenge to ensure you have sound skills to innovate within the drug development industry. This industry area is rapidly expanding due to new discoveries across biotechnology, biologics, Internet of Things, customised drug treatments and diagnostics at source. This has lead to many new companies being formed, customised and small batch medicines apart from large batch pharmaceutical research and production.
University of Aberdeen is world renowned in this area with the invention of Insulin to treat diabetes which won a Nobel Prize and strengths in medical research areas which also include food and nutrition and disease treatment. You learn about bio-business and the university has strong links with GSK, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca plus Novabiotics and others.
In our MSc in Drug Discovery and Development we train students in major areas of biochemical and molecular pharmacology and therapeutics relevant to the drug discovery and development business. This includes training in molecular pharmacology, drug metabolism and toxicology, therapeutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmcovigilance, regulatory affairs and clinical pharmacology.
Introduction to Bio-Business and Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Basic Skills - Introduction
Small Molecule Drug Discovery
Advanced Bio- Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research 2
Basic Research Methods
Biologic Drug Discovery
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
• 12 months or 24 months
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.
View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page
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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).
The rapid transformation in the nature of drug discovery means that knowledge of related disciplines, and the technologies used, is essential for those considering a career in commercial or academic research.
This MSc will help you explore the latest methods of developing drugs and therapeutic compounds for humans and animals and disease control agents for plants.
You will learn about marketing, licensing and regulations, which are all part of the development process. Our multidisciplinary approach links structural biology, bioinformatics, chemistry and pharmacology.
You will investigate the fundamental scientific problems and techniques of drug discovery and design, alongside the challenges of developing principles for new therapeutic strategies.
You will have hands-on experience of crystallographic computer programming and computation for bioinformatics.
You will consider the moral and ethical aspects of the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries through case studies, seminars and discussions.
This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.
This MSc is designed to help you pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry or relevant government agencies, and it will provide a good background for managerial or technical roles in research, design and development. It is also a solid basis from which to continue your studies to PhD level.