Masters degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry equip postgraduates with the techniques to study drug design, function and development.
Taught MSc courses are typical in this field, though research-oriented MRes and MPhil programmes may also be available. Entry requirements normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering
In understanding the design of drugs and medicines, you will learn to analyse pharmaceutical compounds, their properties and synthesis (bonds / reactions). You will also explore pharmacokinetics (the movement of drugs in the body) and drug metabolism.
Training is provided in analytical instrumental techniques, particularly separation science, sensors, spectroscopy (electromagnetic radiation) and chemometrics (measuring chemical data). Research experience is refined through individual projects, and sometimes through opportunities for industrial placements.
Careers in this field are highly varied, as the expertise you will gain is highly transferrable. Traditional roles may include drug screening in large pharmaceutical laboratories, or the design of patents and product registration.
Your knowledge would also make you a suitable candidate for legislative roles within government agencies, policy-making for ethical and effective manufacturing practise.
Students who have completed our BSc Pharmaceutical Science degree will follow Route A; all other students will follow Route B.
The MSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry course is delivered primarily in block mode. A blended learning and teaching approach is used to provide you with key and subject specific skills. Typically all modules will consist of a mix of lectures, tutorials, and workshops/practical laboratory sessions. Students are provided with numerous learning activities including written coursework; project work; group work; practicals (with group sizes tailored to the activity); problem solving sessions; self-study assignments; oral and poster presentations; independent study; work related learning and on-line self assessments.
The pharmaceutical chemistry course is full time for one year, and each module is generally around 48 hours of contact spread over two to three weeks. The first term is spent doing mainly taught modules, the second term is for the work placement/project.
Assessments are undertaken on an individual, pair or small group basis, and include:
The MSc Pharmaceutical Science programme was developed in response to the need for enhanced skills by employees within pharmaceutical research, development or manufacturing.
The programme will generate graduates with in-depth theoretical knowledge and extensive laboratory skills, allowing students to be involved in many disciplines of pharmaceutical science from drug discovery and medicinal chemistry through to product development and manufacture and including pharmaceutical analysis, quality control and quality assurance.
Delivery on this programme involves a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and lab-based exercises. Many of the lectures on this programme are delivered by leading industrial experts. Problem-based learning and case studies will provide students with experience of team-working that simulates an industrial setting. Students will develop team-working, critical thinking and analytical problem solving abilities which are important in the modern pharmaceutical industry.
The main part of the programme is a research project that runs over the whole academic year and gives students the opportunity to work with modern research equipment to carry out novel research. Project work will help students enhance practical skills, analytical thinking, time management, communication skills and independence.
The aims of the programme are to:
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.
Students are assessed through examinations, coursework and a dissertation.
Graduates from this programme can pursue careers in the NHS, the pharmaceutical industry or industries manufacturing other health care products.
Developed in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, the four pathways of our MSc in Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT) are postgraduate-level training programmes designed for scientists and managers working in the pharmaceutical industry and NHS in the fields of product development, manufacturing and quality assurance.
Many of our units have been developed to support those seeking to build their QP portfolio and our team includes QPs who are willing to support your development through this pathway.
You can also take individual units as standalone CPD courses. Please contact us for further details of the units that can be taken.
We offer a three-day summer school each year to allow you to meet fellow students and your tutors while attending workshops to support your learning and development in the units.
For our Business Development and Licensing pathway, we offer a two-day winter school held in London that covers the units within this key course for business development executives.
Below are some links that may be useful if you're thinking about studying PIAT.
Example dissertation titles
Below are examples of previous dissertations undertaken on the PIAT course.
All units commence in April and October. You can see a list of units in the table below, or view units specific to each of the four pathways:
Our alumni have used the learning and opportunities gained from this course to advance their careers in a range of roles and areas.
Some have moved to management positions, while others have taken on roles with more responsibility, becoming team leaders, heads of projects or responsible for new and larger areas, regions or territories.
As part of the course, our students build networks of contacts and join a growing community of leaders within the industry.
Chemists have always been in demand worldwide with pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, fine chemicals, and within research laboratories across the globe. The programme at Aberdeen is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Aberdeen is noted for Nobel prizes within Chemistry which include the invention of modern chromatography (Synge 1952) and the discovery of a new element - protactinium (Soddy 1921). Teaching at Aberdeen is informed by world class research within food security. Class sizes are kept small to enable you to have strong teaching interaction and support in your studies. You will be taught by many staff in the environment group (TESLA) and (MBC)
The programme focuses on specialised modern analytical methodology. The range of industries or institutes where these skills are asked for includes the pharmaceutical industry, environmental institutions, research institutes and also the oil & gas industry. There are many new innovations which require chemists with advanced skills to analyse and test new methods of providing health via IOT devices, smart phones and small sensors deployed throughout the body to quickly provide analysis and customised recommendations.
Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page
Find out about fees:
Find out more from the programme page
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs
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The Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery MRes at UCL offers students the opportunity to follow an integrated course of research and interdisciplinary study. Students gain outstanding training in synthetic organic chemistry applied to drug design, together with a breadth of experience in several areas of synthetic methodology and chemical biology.
The programme provides a thorough foundation in drug design, advanced organic synthesis and biological chemistry, together with modules on research techniques, professional development and entrepreneurship. Students will carry out a substantial research project on organic/medicinal chemistry or chemical biology over a ten-month period.
MRes students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits) and a research project /dissertation (105 credits).
Students take five 15-credit modules including two Master's-level chemistry modules, one transferable/research skills module, one analytical chemistry module, and one professional development module.
There are no optional modules for this programme.
Students will undertake a laboratory-based research project lasting 10months. An interim report is submitted after five months, and at the end of the project each student writes a dissertation, gives a short presentation and has a viva voce examination.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, problem classes, workshops and projects. Assessment is through unseen written examination, coursework, project reports and presentations.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery MRes
Students can be self-funded or find sponsorship from funding agencies such as research councils, the European Union, industry or charities.
There are also a number of Graduate School Scholarships and departmental bursaries and prizes available.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The MRes has been developed in response to the needs of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for highly qualified students as leaders in the discovery of new medicines. The pharmaceutical sector is a major employer in the UK and high-quality graduates with an understanding of the sector are always in demand. Our recent graduates have taken up PhD positions, are working in industry and have entered teacher training.
This degree involves a cutting-edge research project in the laboratory a member of research staff at UCL Chemistry. This is one of the leading research departments in the UK with staff undertaking world-leading research in all areas of chemistry and chemical biology.
* We still have a position on the course starting in September 2018 – this will lead to a placement in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. Please apply by Tuesday 31 July*
Our pioneering two-year MSc programme is unique in the UK, and builds on the foundations of our very successful one-year programme in Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences, to equip students with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of drug discovery, and industry standard training.
The course is designed to develop graduates who have exceptional scientific understanding and a host of transferable skills, including leadership skills. It is therefore especially recommended to high-achieving and ambitious students seeking an opportunity to gain extensive hands-on training in an industrial environment, working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
The course blends the two fundamental disciplines underpinning drug discovery and provides students with the opportunity to practise background theory within the productive, research-led environments offered by the School of Pharmacy. This school has world-leading expertise in the areas of drug discovery and pharmaceutical science, and students on this course will have the chance to learn directly from staff at the forefront of the field.
The course is technology-rich, using online learning packages to supplement face-to-face teaching and innovative assessment methods.
The second year of the course has been developed in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure currency and relevance, and to increase the future employability of graduates. Our aim is to train future leaders in the pharmaceutical sector.
The placement year with one of our industrial partners is arranged and guaranteed upon completion of a successful application and interview process. You will pay reduced tuition fees for the second year of the course, as you focus on your industrial training.
Due to limited places available, students who are unable to join the two-year programme will automatically be considered for our Royal Society of Chemistry accredited one-year programme, which includes the same disciplines underpinning drug discovery and research-led environment in which to practise the theory.
The overall aim of the MSc is to develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, key skills and practical and professional skills in the area of Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Science. The overall drug discovery process from ‘concept to clinic’ provides the reference point for the education and training delivered in the more specific scientific and regulatory aspects.
Students will, therefore, be able to develop an understanding of the scientific principles underlying the main topic areas housed within the arena of drug discovery. In addition, upon completing the degree students will be able to make effective use of electronic communication and information search and retrieval to facilitate development of key critical skills with which to assess and analyse a broad array of scientific literature.
When taken together, the ethos of the programme is therefore to:
Please visit the online prospectus for detailed module information.
Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be shortlisted for interview based on their whole application, including the personal statement. Your personal statement should include:
The interview will include a technical component, which will involve questions relating to theoretical organic chemistry, synthesis and retrosynthesis. The final offer of a place will depend on the availability of placements.
To secure your place, you will need to pay a £2000 deposit. This will form part of your conditional offer as there are a limited number of placements offered in advance by providers. Once the deposit is paid and any other offer conditions are met, your place on the course is guaranteed. The deposit will be used to offset your tuition fee for the first year.
If you are unable to secure a place on the two-year course, after meeting initial eligibility criteria, you will be guaranteed an offer for the one-year course (which is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry). This course incorporates the same high quality taught module component but replaces the industrial placement year with a three-month research project at the University.
Graduates can expect to move into a range of scientific careers, particularly with global pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical SMEs. Strong industrial links to the course will further enhance students’ employability.
The MSc also provides a strong grounding for students wishing to subsequently study for a PhD in a related subject area.
The Masters (MSc) in Pharmaceutical Analysis at Queen's University Belfast is taught jointly between the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the School of Pharmacy by leading experts in the field.
The overall aim of the Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Analysis programme is to provide advanced training in chemical analysis, with a focus on applications in the pharmaceutical sector. We provide students with an appropriate skill-set, knowledgebase and practical experience in preparation for a career either in industrial or academic chemical analysis research in a supportive learning environment.
You will also receive hands-on training on state-of-the-art separation techniques, such as HPLC/MS and GC/MS, in the purpose-built Pharmaceutical Analysis lab designed in partnership with Agilent, a world-leading instrument manufacturer.
The overall aim of the programme is to provide advanced training in chemical analysis, with a focus on applications in the pharmaceutical sector, providing students with an appropriate skill-set, knowledgebase and practical experience in preparation for a career either in industrial or academic chemical analysis research in a supportive learning environment. The aims and objectives are to:
• prepare the student to move directly into graduate level employment in the chemical / pharmaceutical industry, or in a non-chemistry related industry,
• enhance their employability skills including the ability to work in a team, written and oral presentation skills, numeracy and preparation for self-motivated lifelong learning, professional development and service to society,
• gain appropriate knowledge and subject specific practical skills to permit students to progress to either an academic research degree (PhD) or an industrial research position,
• provide a practical research training through successful completion of a substantial piece of research in pharmaceutical analysis, and
• undertake research at the forefront of the analytical sciences at an advanced level.
The programme is designed to train students in the appropriate skills for them to be able to pursue a career in chemical analysis, either in an academic or industrial context, with particular focus on pharmaceutical analysis. The course is structured in a way that will ensure hands-on experience with the majority of techniques and instrumentation used nowadays in modern analytical laboratories.The course comprises of four taught modules that cover the key aspects of Pharmaceutical Analysis, including Advanced Separation Science, Advanced Spectroscopic Techniques, Solid State Characterisation Techniques and Quality Assurance and Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry.
All students will undertake a research project supervised by an academic member of staff from either the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering or the School of Pharmacy, followed by a written dissertation and an oral presentation, while the option to carry out an industry based project will be available.
The course is offered on a full-time and part-time basis, in order to accommodate students already in employment. The full-time course will last one year and the part-time course two years.
The Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas, is accepting applications from highly competent college graduates for admission into the M.S. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences (deadline for fall is January 31). Qualified candidates must have a four-year undergraduate degree and meet all additional requirements stated under the Admission Guidelines for Prospective Students at http://www.ttuhsc.edu/sop/graduateprogram/prospective/default.aspx.
The M.S. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences is a competitive 24- to 30-month program that involves 18 months of coursework plus 6 to 12 months of research work in the biomedical and pharmaceutical aspects of drug development and discovery. Students may choose to do master’s research in cancer biology and therapy, neuroscience, medicinal chemistry, or drug delivery. Students who successfully complete the master’s degree may either find jobs as junior scientists in pharmaceutical industries or apply for our doctoral program in pharmaceutical sciences. Although no research or teaching assistantships are available for master’s students, doctoral students are eligible for $25,000/year research assistantship and master’s students are eligible for competitive scholarships to waive tuition and fees. Many of our alumni with doctoral degrees are highly successful professionally, working in pharmaceutical industries, academia, government (FDA), and other research institutes. College graduates interested in the M.S. program in Pharmaceutical Sciences at TTUHSC School of Pharmacy may contact Ms. Teresa Carlisle ([email protected]) with their queries and obtain more information about the program at http://www.ttuhsc.edu/sop/graduateprogram/default.aspx.
Medicinal and Biological Chemistry requires a thorough understanding of molecules, their structures, properties and synthesis, but it also demands the chemical understanding of the nature of biological structures, from macromolecules to cells, the design of pharmaceutical materials in the laboratory and their function in clinical settings.
The knowledge and skills acquired in the course will leave graduates well equipped to compete for positions related to 'drug discovery' in chemical, pharmaceutical or biotechnological companies.
The degree consists of advanced lecture courses in:
These are studied concurrently with a predominantly practical based course offering an introduction to research methods.
Students then proceed to a period of full-time research project work, leading to the submission of their Masters dissertation.
Lectures are given by leading researchers in the area of medicinal and biological chemistry.
The lecture courses are supported by tutorial sessions and assessed by examination in May.
The Introduction to Research Methods course includes an exciting problem solving exercise where you learn important skills such as Communicating Science, Innovation, Dealing with Intellectual Property and Grant Application Writing, together with a literature survey and written report, defining the scope of the subsequent individual research project work.
On completion of the course, students should have developed a depth of comprehension and critique in the core elements of their subject area, including:
Additionally they will have enhanced their professional/practical skills through:
Students will also have the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as:
Graduates are well suited to take up roles in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, either in research and development or sales and marketing. You will gain valuable work experience in a real-life research environment.
Alternatively, a Masters degree is a precursor to a PhD degree.
Our courses teach students the valuable skills they need to also move into other areas outside chemistry. Careers in IT, management or finance are possibilities after completing your degree.