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Course content

The Clinical Pharmacology course will give you the advanced skills and knowledge to evaluate the safety of new medicinal products in preparation for medical approval. It is one of three modular programmes in Pharmaceutical Medicine designed for working physicians, clinical scientists and allied health professionals interested in the clinical development process.

Key benefits

  • King's is ranked 7th in the world for Pharmacy & Pharmacology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017)
  • Lectures delivered by experienced multi-disciplinary researchers from the biopharmaceutical sector and the regulatory authorities.
  • Flexible study schedule with the option to complete a PG Diploma (coursework only) or PG Certificate.
  • Coordinated study programme with the PharmaTrain and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians curricula.
  • The first UK course that complies with both the PharmaTrain initiative of the European Commission and the Bologna Process, and is the PharmaTrain Centre of Excellence.


Clinical Pharmacology is the study of how drugs influence human physiology and the way the body responds. This study forms a vital part of the clinical development of new medicines and requires an advanced understanding of pre-clinical science, as well as the ethical and legal requirements for specialist research programmes. A well-designed clinical pharmacology programme informs the final regulatory of a new medicine. Therefore, generating skilled clinical pharmacologists is critical for the efficiency of future drug development.

This course will provide you with a broad knowledge and understanding of the drug development process and the medical aspects of the marketing of pharmaceutical products. You will also have opportunities to undertake advanced research projects and the possibility of one or more thesis publications.

The study programme is made up of optional and required modules. The MSc pathway requires modules totalling 180 credits to complete the programme, including 60 credits from a dissertation of around 15,000 - 18,000 words. The Postgraduate Diploma pathway will require modules totalling 120 credits, while the Postgraduate Certificate will require you to study modules totalling of 60 credits to complete the course.

If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MSc qualification part-time, your programme will take up to four years to complete. The Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate pathways are both part-time courses. The Postgraduate Diploma will take two to three years to complete and the Postgraduate Certificate up to two years.

Course purpose

This course is for those working in or seeking to work in the field of clinical drug development. It covers all aspects of the clinical development process through from the earliest studies to post marketing activities. It will enhance knowledge and skills in all aspects of clinical research, drug regulation and drug safety.


The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of coursework and written examinations. The MSc study programme also requires a research and dissertation on the subject of clinical pharmacology.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they are subject to change.

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Visit the Clinical Pharmacology - MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert page on the King’s College London website for more details!