The course involves a comprehensive treatment of the science and technology of pharmaceutical analysis with particular emphasis on the regulatory environment in which the pharmaceutical industry operates. It is intended for suitably qualified graduates currently working in or aspiring to work in the pharmaceutical industry - in particular non-pharmacy graduates employed in quality control or quality assurance roles requiring specialised training, retraining or upgrading of skills. The course may also be attractive to technical managers in regulatory affairs, product development and other related areas. The objective is to equip graduates with the appropriate analysis skills required by the pharmaceutical and veterinary manufacturing industries.
The course is available for full-time study over one calendar year or part-time over two years and consists of lectures, workshop and laboratory work. Part-time teaching is normally scheduled for Fridays during academic terms. The course comprises lectures, workshops, seminars, laboratory work, written assignments and factory visits. In addition each student must write a major essay on a designated topic in the area of pharmaceutical analysis. Students proceeding to a M.Sc. degree will be required to undertake a research project and present a detailed scientific report at the end of the course.
The course consists of eight basic modules: regulatory aspects of pharmaceutical analysis, statistics, GLP chromatographic analysis, spectroscopic and physical methods of analysis, pharmacopoeial methods of drug analysis, analysis of low level drug analysis, specialized pharmaceutical methods of analysis, biological and pharmacological methods and pharmaceutical formulation.
The taught modules are supported by lectures and workshops on presentation and research skills and visits to industrial laboratories. The course is taught mainly by College staff, although there is a contribution from specialist visiting lecturers. The research project may be conducted either in the School of Pharmacy or at the student's place of employment but in either case supervision is exercised by a member of the School of Pharmacy academic staff.
Overall assessment of candidates is based on tutor marked assignments (TMAs) during the course work and written examinations in May/June each year. Credits are available for all assignments including laboratory reports. The M.Sc. project report should be of 20,000 words and is examined in September. Candidates must successfully complete the taught component of the course at the Trinity term examinations, before proceeding to the M.Sc. project. Provision is available for a supplemental examination in September each year if required. A reasonable attempt is required in all aspects of the examination process. A pass mark of 40% is normally required but compensation is applied where appropriate.
Applicants are accepted, subject to the availability of places, from holders of honors degrees in a relevant Science discipline (e.g. Pharmacy, Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and other appropriate primary honors degrees e.g. I.T., Medicine or Veterinary). Equivalent primary and/or postgraduate qualifications are considered, particularly with relevant professional experience. Applications will be evaluated by the Course Director in consultation with the Course Committee and Dean of Graduate Studies as appropriate.