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Masters Degrees (Medicinal Plant)

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Phytopharmaceutical Science, the development of drugs from plants and other natural compounds, is now a significant area of research for the development of new medicines with a sound historical basis. Read more
Phytopharmaceutical Science, the development of drugs from plants and other natural compounds, is now a significant area of research for the development of new medicines with a sound historical basis. Many drugs listed as conventional medications are derived from plants and were originally administered in plant form.

Over recent years, in their search for novel therapeutic agents, there has been a huge rise in interest from the global pharmaceutical industry centred on the isolation and evaluation of compounds from plants used in medical treatment derived from traditional medicine sources.

Based on the increasing importance of this emerging area of natural product science this programme of study will enable individuals with specific expertise in the regulation and development of plant-based medicines to pursue a career in the rapidly expanding phytopharmaceutical industry or a government regulatory body.

The MSc in Phytopharmaceuticals is a taught postgraduate programme which provides an in depth study of natural products, their analysis, value as medicines and regulatory issues controlling their production and sales.

As a MSc Phytopharmaceutical student, you will:

receive a high quality programme which will provide you with the expertise to work in the pharmaceutical industries emerging area of natural product science
be supported throughout your studies by our experienced, dedicated team of staff
study in excellent facilities, including new refurbished laboratories with the latest analytical equipment and Medicinal Herb Garden.

Programme structure

Phytopharmaceuticals is multi-disciplinary. You will study, plant chemistry, phytochemical analysis, analytical methods, quality control, toxicology, ethnobotany, herbal therapeutics, legislation and regulation of herbal products, and research methods.

In order to be eligible for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma, a student shall have passed the two specialist modules, the optional module and the core module; or one specialist module, the research project and the core module (120 M Level credits). Students obtaining 60 M level credits (by the core module and either specialist module or the research project) may be considered for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Life Sciences.

In order to be eligible for the award of the Masters degree, a student shall have passed both specialist modules, the optional module, the research project and the core module (180 M level credits).

You will be assessed throughout the programme in practical work and theory. Coursework varies and includes laboratory work, data analysis, essays, presentations and examinations.

Career opportunities

Feedback from industry suggests that natural product science is an expanding area of interest resulting in new employment opportunities for qualified individuals with specific expertise in the regulation and development of plant based medicines. Opportunities also exist in teaching, writing and horticulture.

You may also be interested in UEL's MSc Pharmaceutical Science programme.

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MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by our research active academic staff. Read more
MPhil supervision covers a number of research topics supported by our research active academic staff. Our broad range of research areas relate to understanding how food and food constituents affect human health and well-being, relating to healthy ageing, food security, sensory quality, international nutrition and personalised nutrition.

Much of the research is multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, via links across research areas within the School, and across the University through the Human Nutrition Research Centre.

Research themes

-Health benefits of consuming selected foods and food types, eg whole grains, carrots, nitrate-rich vegetables, food supplements, regarding cardiovascular health, cancer, sarcopenia, cell damage
-Elucidation of roles of fat-soluble vitamins in health and disease, eg vitamins A and D, modelling and understanding sources and metabolism in humans and farm animals
-Medicinal properties of herbs and plant extracts, eg effects on cognitive performance, pain, mood, well-being, dementia
-Effects of production/processing factors on food composition & sensory quality, eg effects of organic/conventional production, supply chain temperatures, varieties/breeds

Facilities

Our modern laboratories provide important teaching and research environments and are equipped with analytical equipment such as HPLCs, GCs, CNS analyser, centrifuges, spectrophotometers and molecular biology equipment. Our specialist research facilities include:
-A tissue culture laboratory
-Plant growth rooms
-A Class II laboratory for safe handling of human biological samples
-Taste panel facilities and test kitchen
-A thin section facility for soils analysis

We operate closely with other Schools, Institutes and the University's Central Scientific Facilities for access to more specialist analytical services. For work with human subjects we use a purpose built Clinical Research Facility which is situated in the Royal Victoria Infirmary teaching hospital and is managed jointly by us and the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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