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Course content

This programme teaches advanced experimental approaches to dissecting the mechanisms of drug action (pharmacology), a science that has seen innovative theoretical and technical development at UCL for over a century.

About this degree

In addition to providing experience of both classical and modern pharmacological techniques, the programme will help develop skills for literature search-based data acquisition and analysis; written and verbal communication of science; abstract writing; poster preparation; graphical processing; image preparation for publication; writing a scientific paper; and giving research presentations.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a research project (90 credits).

Core modules

  • Investigative Pharmacology
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Practice of Science

Optional modules

Students choose one of the following:

  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Drug Design and Development
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Pharmacology of Inflammation
  • Receptor Mechanisms
  • Synaptic Pharmacology
  • Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics


Students undertake an original research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs, practicals, tutorials and a laboratory project. Student performance is evaluated through formal examination, coursework, and the research project.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics MSc


This programme is likely to lead to careers in biomedical sciences, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and clinical laboratories, and extend to clinicians interested in moving towards a scientific career. Students will obtain a thorough knowledge of and practice in pharmacological assessment, drug design and development pathways. It is anticipated that graduates will move onto PhD programmes and/or build careers in industry or clinical investigations through employment as research associates/scientists in the pharmaceutical industry or academia.


The knowledge and transferable skills developed on this programme will be advantageous for those considering employment in any pharmaceutical or healthcare setting, or contemplating further studies in related fields. The programme will also provide excellent training in critical appraisal of complex data, which will transfer well to other disciplines.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme is jointly taught by UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology (Division of Biosciences), and the Research Department of Pharmacology at the UCL School of Pharmacy. Both departments are historically and currently internationally leading in this field, and together provide cutting-edge education in theory, research practice and innovation in pharmacology.

The programme is designed to impart extensive experimental expertise applied to drug development and subsequent therapeutics. The combination of traditional and experimental approaches in pharmacology, coupled with current innovation in therapeutics and drug discovery and development, fosters a unique set of skills, which will enable graduates of the programme to engage in various aspects of pharmaceutical research globally.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Visit the Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!





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