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Course content

Course overview

  • Qualify as a modeller with key skills in computational approaches in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  • Study at a university ranked 6th in the UK and 16th in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology (QS World University Rankings 2018).
  • Undertake full-time learning or fit study around other commitments with our part-time option.
  • Benefit from workshop sessions by applying the skills you develop to real-world data.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £13,500 
  • International students (per annum): £26,000
  • MSc (part-time distance learning)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £6,750 per annum 
  • International students (per annum): £13,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.


The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of a 10% reduction towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2019.

Entry requirements

English language

English language students whose first language is not English require a minimum of one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing
  • Internet-based TOEFL: 90 with a minimum of 22 in each component.

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University pre-sessional English language course if your current IELTS scores are:

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form.

Contact us at  for more information or if you would like to speak with the course director before applying.

Advice to applicants

Before applying, please make sure all supporting documents are scanned and ready to upload. The documents you will need to supply are:

  • evidence of qualifications (certificates or transcripts) to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements;
  • evidence of English language ability, if English is not your first language;
  • two references.

Teaching and learning

The course emphasises the development of problem-solving skills. A large portion of the learning involves structured problems requiring you to apply theory and practical skills to solve typical problems that arise in drug development.

The following teaching and learning methods are used throughout the course:

  • taught lectures;
  • computational modelling and simulation workshops;
  • self-directed learning to solve given problems;
  • webinars and tutorials by leading scientists in industry/academia;
  • supervised research;
  • mentorship in solving problems and writing the research dissertation;
  • independent study.

Coursework and assessment

We assess your achievement of the learning outcomes for this course through:

  • unit assignments (submitted electronically);
  • unit examinations;
  • research project dissertation and oral presentation.

Course unit details

Year 1 (full-time)

Term 1 (September to January)

  • Introduction to clinical trials (15 credits). This online unit provides an overview of the drug development process followed by in-depth coverage of scientific, statistical and regulatory considerations in the design and interpretation of clinical trials.
  • Basic Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics (15 credits). This unit provides information on how drugs get into the body, how they get around the body and how they are removed from the body
  • In Vitro - In Vivo Extrapolation in ADME (15 credits). The applications of modelling and simulation have been limited to the so-called phase I-III of drug development. This unit provides information on modelling and simulation as applied to extrapolating data from in vitro systems to the in vivo conditions (IVIVE) prior to phase I.
  • Biostatistics in Clinical Trials (15 credits). This unit is designed to give the student an understanding of fundamental statistical concepts that are routinely used in designing clinical trials or interpreting trial results.

Term 2 (February to May)

  • Data Analysis in PKPD (30 credits). This addresses the specialised area of modelling that combines mathematical and statistical knowledge in data fitting with the sound knowledge of the human body as a system. The unit emphasises the value and implementation of mechanistic models.
  • Advanced topics in modelling and simulation (15 credits). This unit focuses on the elements that make up a successful modelling and simulation project. We consider the scientific and commercial rationale for undertaking a modelling project, and how these rationales then guide the project design. After reviewing case studies which illustrate the characteristics of a successful project, you will create a research proposal on a topic of current importance in the general area of modelling, simulation and data analysis.
  • Advanced topics in Physiologically-based PK models (15 credits). This unit provides further training on the use of mechanistic pharmacokinetic models, which use mathematical descriptions of physiological processes to predict the fate of drug molecules within the human body.

 Term 3 (May to September)

  • Supervised research project/dissertation (60 credits). This unit follows on directly from the research proposal in modelling and simulation (PHAR69924). You will require both an academic and an industrial supervisor and will carry out the research project (typically at a place of work) proposed in PHAR69924.

Course content for part-time mode

If you are planning to complete the course in 29 months, the content will be delivered in the following sequence:

Year 1

  • Basic Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics (PKPD)
  • Biostatistics in Clinical Trials
  • Data Analysis in PKPD

Year 2

September - June

  • Introduction to Clinical trials
  • In Vitro - In Vivo Extrapolation in ADME
  • Advanced topics in modelling
  • Advanced topics in Physiologically-based PK models

June - January

Supervised research project/dissertation

Career opportunities

This course was originally developed for scientists working within the pharmaceutical industry who wished to qualify as modellers with hands-on experience. The qualification will enhance your abilities within your current role or provide you with skills to progress into new posts.

The course is also appropriate for science and engineering graduates who wish to enter the industry. The role of modelling and simulation or pharmacometrics is assuming greater and greater importance in the pharmaceutical industry.

Visit the MSc Model-based Drug Development page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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