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It is an exciting time for chemists to be involved in all aspects of biomedical research. 

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. Chemistry is inherently well positioned to have a major impact on drug discovery, since other disciplines cannot create novel small molecules. This course offers classical natural products-based drug discovery, involving extraction, assay-based functional fractionation, isolation, characterisation, and target validation. However, increasingly, this approach is complemented by molecular target-based drug discovery and molecular modelling. Discovery of new generation antimicrobials against multidrug resistant strains of bacteria is advancing by extensive use of those modern tools.

The syllabus is designed to develop the analytical techniques and problem-solving skills relevant to postgraduate-level employment in both the pharmaceutical sector but also to provide access to transferable skills relevant to a great variety of professional careers.

Following completion of the Human Genome Project, the pharmaceutical industry is also 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.

Furthermore nanotechnology is fulfilling medical science’s need for more precise treatments that are less invasive, less costly and less complicated to administer than traditional methods. This translates into better patient outcomes, lower healthcare costs and wider access to healthcare services in under-resourced parts of the world.

You will:

  • Learn to meet challenges at the interface between biology and chemistry and to apply pharmaceutical and analytical knowledge directly to improve quality of life.
  • Learn where chemistry, nanotechnology and genome technology is pushing the boundaries of biomedical research.
  • Develop the tools to enhance your employability including analytical techniques and problem-solving skills.
  • Acquire strong training in drug synthesis and analytical methods, natural product chemistry and molecular modelling

This course is for you if:

  • You are a committed bioscientist with a background in chemistry or biochemistry
  • You are excited by the developments in biomedical science
  • You want to design new generation drugs for the 21st century

Course Details

The course has both full-time and part-time routes which, for the MSc, comprises three, 14-week semesters or five 14-week semesters, which you can take within one or three years respectively. 

For the full-time study option:

  • Semester one - September to February
  • Semester two - February to June
  • Semester three - June to September

Visit the website for further information on modules.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching is through lectures, practical sessions and workshops, guided reading and a research project where you will be supervised by an expert member of staff who are actively engaged in international research programmes. 

There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Assessment methods consist of coursework portfolios, lab reports and case studies, examinations, laboratory portfolios and presentations. 

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering

The School of Computing, Science and Engineering (CSE) seeks to improve lives through proactive collaboration with industry and society. Our stimulating, industry-accredited courses and research programmes explore engineering, physics, acoustics, computing, mathematics and robotics. Through our award-winning lecturers, world-class facilities and research-led teaching, CSE produces highly employable graduates ready for the challenges of today and tomorrow.


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.

Many students have progressed onto research and studying for a PhD (working in the areas of biofuels, cancer research and drug synthesis). Some of these have progressed to PhD here at Salford but we have recent alumni pursuing PhDs globally.

We have recently had students find employment as research assosiates (Liverpool University, John Innes Centre), technical roles (University of Salford) and with pharmaceutical companies (e.g. Cyprotex) both in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

Visit the Drug Design and Discovery - MSc page on the University of Salford website for more details!






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