Help improve human or animal health through creating new or more effective drugs and medicines. Learn the research processes used to identify drug targets and develop new therapeutics.
Your studies will combine the biological sciences with chemistry, giving you the skills to target, design, synthesise, create and assess new drugs. You'll also learn about protecting intellectual property, assessing the financial viability of drugs and the pre-clinical and clinical trial processes.
Tailor your studies to your strengths, interests and career goals. You'll learn a mix of academic and practical skills that are closely aligned to the needs of industry.
The Master of Drug Discovery and Development is best suited to very able students with backgrounds in chemistry or relevant life-science subjects such as biochemistry, biomedical science, pharmacy or pharmacology. It is an intensive one-year taught programme, unique in New Zealand.
Learn from academics and professionals who are leaders in the field and have experience in successfully taking drugs to market. Each course is taught by at least three academics so you'll be exposed to a wide range of expertise.
Drug Discovery and Development is taught by the Schools of Chemical and Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences in collaboration with the University's Ferrier Research Institute and the Centre for Biodiscovery.
You'll be able to take advantage of the research expertise of the Ferrier Research Institute in drug design and development, and if you're doing a Master's, you'll be working alongside the more than 30 scientists who make up the largest carbohydrate research team in the world. The Institute also has its own manufacturing facility so you'll have the opportunity to observe the drug development process from discovery to product.
You'll also benefit from the programme's links with the Centre for Biodiscovery where you will interact with the research teams that are actively discovering, designing and assessing novel bioactive compounds.
Get wise to the real-world issues facing pharmaceutical development and make the most of the hard-earned experiences of staff who have worked in the local and international biotech industry. Learn not only how to handle chemicals on a large scale, but to develop the mindset to do this in a way that is safe, reliable and robust—so you end up providing medicines that will change people’s lives.
Victoria offers three postgraduate qualifications in Drug Discovery and Development. Choose the one that suits your career goals, time constraints and financial situation.
If you begin by enrolling in the Certificate or Diploma programme you can continue on to complete your Master's. Or if you enrol in the Master's but can't complete it, for whatever reason, you may have completed enough points to be awarded a Certificate or Diploma.
Each qualification includes the core courses DRGD 401 Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, and a choice between DRDG 402 Drug Design or CHEM 421 Organic Chemistry and Bio-organic Chemistry.
After that you'll choose from selected courses from the study areas of Drug Discovery and Development, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Clinical Research and Microbiology.
All three qualifications give you the opportunity to do at least some research.
You'll complete four courses worth 60 points made up of the two core courses and two further choices.
You're likely to take seven courses that will include the two core courses, your elective options and the 30-point Research Preparation course.
You'll study for your Master's in two parts over three trimesters. In Part 1, the first two trimesters, you're likely to take seven courses that will include the core courses and a 30-point Research Preparation course.
In Part 2, you'll complete a full research project. Choose between DRDG 561 Applied Research Project, where you'll complete one or more problem-solving projects, or DRGD 590 Research Project, where you'll focus on medicinal chemistry and the formulation of active pharmaceutical products. In some cases you may be able to replace the research project with the thesis course DRGD 595.
Your Master's may be endorsed with a specialisation in either Drug Discovery, Drug Development or Chemical Biology. Check the requirements to find out what you need to do for these.
You can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of your studies.
The MDDD can be completed in 12 months full time, or in two years of part-time study but you'll need to discuss this option with the programme directorfirst. The Diploma will take you two trimesters and the Certificate one trimester.
You'll study at Wellington's Kelburn campus where you will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities. Students doing a research programme will also work in partnership the world-renowned Ferrier Research Institute in Lower Hutt.
Be part of a dynamic and collaborative scientific research community. Past students' research areas in drug discovery and development have included:
Become part of an active community of scientists. Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues. You'll have unprecedented access to world industry leaders who visit as guest lecturers and run seminars with students.
You'll have the broad skills you need to work in drug discovery in companies, universities, research institutes or with drug regulatory authorities. You might work within the pharmaceutical, bioanalytical or chemical industries, or take your skills into nutraceuticals or agrichemicals.