The Department of Oncology and the Department for Continuing Education’s CPD Centre offer a part-time MSc in Experimental Therapeutics that brings together some of Oxford's leading clinicians and scientists to deliver an advanced modular programme designed for those in full-time employment, both in the UK and overseas.
The Programme draws on the world-class research and teaching in experimental therapeutics at Oxford University and offers a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of the principles that underpin clinical research and to translate this into good clinical and research practice.
The MSc in Experimental Therapeutics is a part-time course consisting of six modules and a research project and dissertation. The programme is normally completed in two to three years. Students are full members of the University of Oxford and are matriculated as members of an Oxford college.
The modules in this programme can also be taken as individual short courses. It is possible to transfer credit from up to three previously completed modules into the MSc programme, if the time elapsed between commencement of the accredited module(s) and registration for the MSc is not more than two years.
- The Structure of Clinical Trials and Experimental Therapeutics - Drug Development, Pharmacokinetics and Imaging - Pharmacodynamics, Biomarkers and Personalised Therapy - Adverse Drug Reactions, Drug Interactions, and Pharmacovigilance - How to do Research on Therapeutic Interventions: Protocol Preparation - Biological Therapeutics
The aim of the MSc programme is to provide students with the necessary training and practical experience to enable them to understand the principles that underpin clinical research, and to enable them to translate that understanding into good clinical and research practice.
By the end of the MSc programme, students should understand the following core principles:
- Development, marketing and regulations of drugs - Pharmaceutical factors that affect drug therapy - Pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics and pharmacodynamics - Adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and pharmacovigilance - Designing phase I, II and III clinical trials for a range of novel therapeutic interventions (and imaging agents). - Application of statistics to medicine - Laboratory assays used to support trial end-points - Use of non-invasive imaging in drug development - Application of analytical techniques
By the end of the programme, students should be equipped to:
- demonstrate a knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques for solving clinical research problems and translate this into good clinical and research practice - apply skills gained in techniques and practical experience from across the medical and biological sciences - develop skills in managing research-based work in experimental therapeutics - carry out an extended research project involving a literature review, problem specification and analysis in experimental therapeutics and write a short dissertation
Guidance from the UK Royal College of Physician's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine
The Faculty have confirmed that if enrolled for Pharmaceutical Medicine Specialty Training (PMST), trainees may be able to use knowledge provided by Experimental Therapeutics modules to cover aspects of a module of the PMST curriculum. Trainees are advised to discuss this with their Educational Supervisor.
Experimental Therapeutics modules may also be used to provide those pursuing the Faculty's Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (DPM) with the necessary knowledge required to cover the Diploma syllabus. Applicants for the DPM exam are advised to read the DPM syllabus and rules and regulations.
Members of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine who are registered in the Faculty's CPD scheme can count participation in Experimental Therapeutics modules towards their CPD record. Non-members may wish to obtain further advice about CPD credit from their Royal College or Faculty.
To complete the MSc, students need to:
Attend the six modules and complete an assessed written assignment for each module. Complete a dissertation on a topic chosen in consultation with a supervisor and the Course Director.
Dissertation: The dissertation is founded on a research project that builds on material studied in the taught modules. The dissertation should normally not exceed 15,000 words.
The project will normally be supervised by an academic supervisor from the University of Oxford, and an employer-based mentor.
The following are topics of dissertations completed by previous students on the course:
- The outcomes of non-surgical management of tubal pregnancy; a 6 month study of the South East London population
- Analysis of the predictive and prognostic factors of outcome in a cohort of patients prospectively treated with perioperative chemotherapy for adenocarcinoma of the stomach or of the gastroesophageal junction
- Evolution of mineral and bone disorder in early Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): the role of FGF23 and vitamin D
- Survey of patients' knowledge and perception of the adverse drug reporting scheme (yellow cards) in primary care
- The predictive role of ERCC1 status in oxaliplatin based Neoadjuvant for metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) to the liver
- Endothelial Pathophysiology in Dengue - Dextran studies during acute infection
- Literature review of the use of thalidomide in cancer
- An investigation into the phenotypical and functional characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells for clinical application
- Identification of genetic variants that cause capecitabine and bevacizumab toxicity
- Bridging the evidence gap in geriatric medicines via modelling and simulations
The class-based modules will include a period of preparatory study, a week of intensive face-to-face lectures and tutorials, followed by a period for assignment work. Attendance at modules will be a requirement for study. Some non-classroom activities will be provided at laboratory facilities elsewhere in the University. The course will include taught material on research skills. A virtual learning environment (VLE) will provide between-module support.
The taught modules will include group work, discussions, guest lectures, and interaction and feedback with tutors and lecturers. Practical work aims to develop the students' knowledge and understanding of the subject.