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Masters Degrees (Phytopharmaceutical)

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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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The programme is based around the development of new medicines, including the design, disposition, delivery, action and use of drugs. Read more
The programme is based around the development of new medicines, including the design, disposition, delivery, action and use of drugs. Pharmaceutical Science is at the interface of biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, toxicology and epidemiology. You will study drug development and design, legislation and regulation, drug analysis and quality control, biotechnology, pharmacology and toxicology. All students undertake a research project in a specialist topic, which develops the ability to collect original data and take into account previous work.

Programme structure

You will study core modules in Drug Design, Legislation and Regulation, and Research Skills. You will also have the option to study Toxicology, Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Development, Advanced Cellular Pharmacology and Physiology, Bioinformatics, or Drug Analysis. All students will undertake an independent research project.

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

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The UCL School of Pharmacy has an international reputation in natural drug discovery and the evaluation of drug leads from natural sources. Read more
The UCL School of Pharmacy has an international reputation in natural drug discovery and the evaluation of drug leads from natural sources. This MSc has been designed in response to ever-increasing interest in the development and use of medicines derived from natural products.

Degree information

This programme aims to train students in the methods used to analyse and characterise medicinal natural products, to examine the safety and efficacy of currently used herbal medicines, analytical and bioassay methods, and the ethnopharmaceutical uses of plants from traditional systems of medicines.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (120 credits), and a research dissertation (60 credits). There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Analytical Techniques in Phytochemistry
-Biodiversity and Medicines
-Medicinal Natural Products
-Natural Products Discovery
-Formulation of Natural Products and Cosmeceuticals

Dissertation/report
All students undertake a four-month research project in the third term which culminates in a dissertation. Topics range from natural product isolation and characterisation, synthesis, analysis, and a survey of medicinal products used in the community.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and laboratory-based practical classes. Assessment is through a combination of written examinations, coursework and practical assignments, and the research project and oral presentation.

Careers

Recent graduates of this programme have progressed to careers in herbal, phytopharmaceutical or health food sectors. Some are involved in drug discovery while others pursue a PhD in the UK or overseas.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme provides a broad overview of natural product science, the impact of natural products as medicines, their analysis and their place in various societies.

Specifically the programme covers herbal medicines in healthcare and their safety and efficacy, with examples of natural products as medicines. There will also be lectures on the analysis of natural products and their place in the drug discovery process.

A visit to an industrial manufacturer of herbal medicinal products will take place.

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