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.
Chemistry research at Swansea University is vibrant and covers a wide range of research areas and interests, and will be growing at a fast pace over the next 2-3 years. It is focused on 4 themes: Energy, Health, New and Advanced Molecules and Materials, and Water and the Environment. These research initiatives transcend the traditional discipline boundaries, integrate the core areas of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistries and intersect with other scientific disciplines, engineering and medicine.
The new Department of Chemistry has excellent, purpose-built modern laboratories and has access to a diverse type of laboratories research infrastructures to develop its research. For example, high-quality, high-impact chemistry research is already taking place in World Class Centres based in Swansea such as The Centre for NanoHealth, The Institute of Mass Spectrometry, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Energy Safety Research Institute, Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre, The Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research and The Materials Research Centre. The integration of the new Chemistry Department with Engineering, the Medical School and other departments in the College of Science provides an environment of research excellence and allows our chemistry students and research staff to invent, innovate and develop products in a way that is best suited to research in the 21st century and the need to generate disruptive, step-change advances with impact on current global challenges.
Energy: One of the key areas where advances in chemistry will be needed is in providing solutions to the global energy challenge. Chemistry research in Swansea University is participating in fundamental and applied research initiatives focused on:
Health: Chemistry research provides new routes to more effective, cheaper and less toxic therapies and to non-invasive disease detection and diagnosis tools – a requirement to transform the entire landscape of drug discovery, development and healthcare, which is unaffordable and needs to benefit more patients. The chemistry research laboratories for this theme are adjacent to Swansea Medical School – which ranked 1st in the UK for research environment, and 2nd for overall research quality in the REF 2014.
Current chemistry research includes:
New and Advanced Molecules and Materials: There is major interest in synthesing, designing and controllling molecular and macromolecular assemblies at multiple length scales. In Swansea this research involves use of:
Water and the Environment: Chemistry at Swansea university has a strong profile in the development of analytical tools for measuring environmental impact, environmental impact assessment of polymer-based materials through their lifetime (including the effects of recycling and biopolymers), technologies for the efficient removal of environmentally harmful materials (and thus reduced emissions per output of discharge), membrane technologies and new methodologies for desalination, and for dewatering and killing pathogens for sanitation applications and the use of new molecules and materials for photocatalytic water splitting and development of self-propelled micro and nanomotor systems for environmental remediation. In collaboration with the Biocontrol and Natural Products (BANP) group in the Department of Biosciences, there is also growing research interest around the characterisation and application of natural products, in particular those derived from fungi and microalgae, to provide therapeutics and nutraceuticals and to act as agents for biocontrol and bioremediation.
Our new state-of-the-art teaching laboratories are being built as part of a multi-million pound investment to create a chemistry hub for the high quality Chemical Sciences research being carried out across the Colleges of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
A chemistry qualification opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the lab. There are endless interesting and rewarding science-based jobs available – these can be in research, outdoors or in other industries you might not have thought of. Please visit the Royal Society of Chemistry website for details.
Find out more about the huge range of jobs in chemistry by exploring the job profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website (eg Cancer Researcher, Flavourist & Innovation Director, Chief Chemist, Sustainability Manager, Fragrance Chemist, Household Goods Senior Scientist, Analytical Scientist, and many more).