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Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics - MSc

Course Description

This programme teaches advanced experimental approaches to dissecting the mechanisms of drug action (pharmacology), a science that has seen innovative theoretical and technical development at UCL for over a century.

Degree information

In addition to providing experience of both classical and modern pharmacological techniques, the programme will help develop skills for literature search-based data acquisition and analysis; written and verbal communication of science; abstract writing; poster preparation; graphical processing; image preparation for publication; writing a scientific paper; and giving research presentations.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (75 credits), one optional module (15 credits), and a research project (90 credits).

Core modules
-Investigative Pharmacology
-Molecular Pharmacology
-Practice of Science

Optional modules - students choose one of the following:
-Advanced Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
-Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
-Drug Design and Development
-New Drug Targets in the CNS
-Pharmacology of Inflammation
-Receptor Mechanisms
-Synaptic Pharmacology

Students undertake an original research project which culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation and an oral presentation.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs, practicals, tutorials and a laboratory project. Student performance is evaluated through formal examination, coursework, and the research project.


This programme is likely to lead to careers in biomedical sciences, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and clinical laboratories, and extend to clinicians interested in moving towards a scientific career. Students will obtain a thorough knowledge of and practice in pharmacological assessment, drug design and development pathways. It is anticipated that graduates will move onto PhD programmes and/or build careers in industry or clinical investigations through employment as research associates/scientists in the pharmaceutical industry or academia.

The knowledge and transferable skills developed on this programme will be advantageous for those considering employment in any pharmaceutical or healthcare setting, or contemplating further studies in related fields. The programme will also provide excellent training in critical appraisal of complex data, which will transfer well to other disciplines.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme is jointly taught by UCL Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology (Division of Biosciences), and the Research Department of Pharmacology at the UCL School of Pharmacy. Both departments are historically and currently internationally leading in this field, and together provide cutting-edge education in theory, research practice and innovation in pharmacology.

The programme is designed to impart extensive experimental expertise applied to drug development and subsequent therapeutics. The combination of traditional and experimental approaches in pharmacology, coupled with current innovation in therapeutics and drug discovery and development, fosters a unique set of skills, which will enable graduates of the programme to engage in various aspects of pharmaceutical research globally.

Visit the Experimental Pharmacology and Therapeutics - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree from a UK university, in life sciences, pharmaceutics, biotechnology or pharmacy, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Professional or other qualifications obtained by written examinations and approved by UCL, together with at least three years of appropriate professional experience, will also be considered.

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