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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    1 year Distance learning Distance Learning

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    22 August 2019

Clinical drug development is available for study to MSc or PGDip level, over a period of one year full-time or two- five years part time (variable mode).

We have developed a modular postgraduate programme in clinical drug development designed to give you the necessary academic background and specialist skills needed to carry out clinical drug development in a contract research organisation, pharmaceutical industry or health service environment.

If you are a nurse, medical doctor or other health professional working in contract research organisations, the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare, this programme has been designed for you.

The programme will:

  • Allow you the option to study on a flexible part-time basis, or by distance learning.
  • Give you an understanding of the regulatory framework underlying clinical research.
  • Teach you to understand the principles of laboratory methodologies applied to clinical trials.
  • Give you understanding of the steps involved in developing and implementing new drugs.
  • Cover the key areas of expertise needed for a successful clinical research programme.
  • Develop your skills and understanding in clinical microbiology, and will give you a thorough knowledge of associated subjects such as molecular biology.

Why study your MSc in Clinical drug development at Queen Mary?

Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry is comprised of two world renowned teaching hospitals, St Bartholomew’s and The Royal London, which have made, and continue to make, an outstanding contribution to modern medicine. We are one of the top five in the UK for medicine in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

MSc/PGDip in Clinical drug Development is based at The William Harvey Research Institute, the largest university-based pharmacological research institute in the UK. Our success in this area is illustrated by our publications in high-impact journals, accompanied by renewal and additional funding of one Medical Research Council and five Wellcome Programmes, which we lead or support as co-investigators. The Institute has strong links with the pharmaceutical industry both in the UK and abroad.

  • Our location in the east of London and elsewhere in the East London Gateway will enhance your experience.
  • Barts and The London is part of Queen Mary, the only university in central London to offer extensive campus-based facilities.
  • We have modern state-of-the-art buildings alongside more traditional facilities such as our fantastic library.
  • The modular nature of the programme is designed to fit in with your full-time employment.


Clinical drug development is available for study to MSc or PGDip level, over a period of one year full-time or two- five years part time (variable mode). You may also study the MSc or PGDip as a distance learning programme.

The modular nature of the programme is designed to fit in with full-time employment. The taught elements of the modules are delivered in three-day blocks every six weeks.

To achieve a postgraduate diploma, you must complete and pass eight modules. The MSc award is dependent on your successful completion of a further four modules, including a dissertation.


Undertaking a masters programme is a serious commitment, with weekly contact hours being in addition to numerous hours of independent learning and research needed to progress at the required level. When coursework or examination deadlines are approaching independent learning hours may need to increase significantly. Please contact the course convenor for precise information on the number of contact hours per week for this programme.

Distance learning

This programme is distance learning, delivered online by our easy-to-use online virtual learning environment.

You will be able to follow each lecture online via audio recordings and slide/whiteboard content. All written assignments are submitted through the blackboard system and poster and oral presentations assessed through SKYPE/webcam system. You are encouraged to interact with teaching staff and other students in online discussion forums, join group activities and be part of the student community.


This programme is also available to study Part-time which means that the number of modules taken is reduced per semester, with the full modules required to complete the programme spread over two academic years. Teaching is generally done during the day and part-time students should contact the course convenor to get an idea of when these teaching hours are likely to take place. Timetables are likely to be finalised in September but you may be able to gain an expectation of what will be required.

Core modules

  • Clinical Study Design
  • Practical Aspects of Clinical Research and Early Drug Development
  • Ethics and Regulation
  • Data Management and Statistics
  • Specific Topics in Clinical Trial Design
  • Elective Dissertation
  • Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics
  • Marketing Healthcare
  • Dissertation
  • Drug Discovery and Pre-clinical Research and Development
  • Toxicology.

Option modules

  • Health and the Human Body
  • Healthcare Organisation and Decision-making.

Learning and teaching

For those studying via distance learning, this course will be delivered using a variety of methods including: online lectures, podcasts, lecture notes and documentary reading material, guided reading exercises, online seminars/tutorials, clinical case presentations and analysis utilising the principles of evidence-based medicine, together with moderated discussion via the discussion board, 'Ask the expert' sessions, demonstration videos if applicable.


To achieve a Postgraduate diploma, you must complete and pass eight modules.

The MSc award is dependent on your successful completion of a further four modules, two of which will comprise a critical dissertation of approximately 20,000-words.

The taught modules are subject to 100 per cent by continuous assessment, with your submission of essay-style answers, a series of shorter answers or a mixture of both. Your work will be marked and returned to you according to the timetable given in the Programme Handbook. You will not have a final written examination.


Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time DL £9,790

Tuition fees for International students

2019/20 Academic Year

Full time DL £19,745

Visit the MSc Clinical Drug Development page on the Queen Mary University of London website for more details!




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