Drug Discovery

The aim of the module is to provide an overview of the drug discovery process from target to market. This module includes an overview of the pharmaceutical industry, an introduction to receptors and drug action, biological evaluation of new compounds, drugs from nature, medicinal natural products - a biosynthetic approach,; lead discovery and lead optimization, combinatorial chemistry and high throughput synthesis, drug chirality and its pharmacological consequences, prodrugs, absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and clearance, the role of toxicology in drug development, drug design and physicochemical properties, drug development, clinical trials, future trends and case studies in drug design and drug discovery.

Chemotherapy & Selective Toxicity

This module aims to provide insight and understanding into the mechanisms of antibiotics used to control infectious diseases and of agents used in the treatment and control of cancer. Through the anti-infective component of the module you will gain an understanding of the molecular targets and action of therapeutic agents, resistance and how this might be countered. The focus on cancer will provide you with an enhanced understanding of the molecular biology of the cancer cell and the basis for conventional and novel therapies.

Drug Dosage Form & Design

This module provides students with an understanding and ability to apply the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physicochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug delivery systems. You will also develop an ability to collect, manipulate and interpret experimental data important to drug formulation and delivery. The topics that are covered include principles of drug absorption, principles of drug distribution, pharmacokinetic principles & pharmacodynamic outcomes, bioavailability & bioequivalence and modifying drug release.


This module aims to provide students with an overview of the influence of pharmacokinetics on drug design, drug discovery and drug delivery and to have hands-on experience of applying data derived from computer-assisted drug design and molecular modelling techniques to predicting human in-vivo pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. The module aims to provide students with an overview of the drug design and drug discovery processes, develop the students’ understanding of the biology of specific targets for drug-based intervention, provide an understanding of the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physicochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug dosage systems, address the latest advances in drug delivery and targeting and develop an understanding of the concept of drug targeting using drug carriers and provide an in depth appreciation of the strategies available and utilised for a particular drug and biological barrier, provide an overview of the role of pharmacokinetics in ensuring optimal therapeutics outcome, provide hands-on experience of computer-simulations to examine the role of drug-specific properties on influencing human in-vivo drug biodistribution.

Research Methods 1: Professional Development

The professional skills taught in this module will equip students with a range of professional skills for academia and the biotechnology sector whilst familiarising you with professional issues such as research funding and ethical codes for guiding ‘best practice’ in research.

Research Methods 2: Communication Skills

This module includes the following - critical analysis of published work, reviewing papers; writing abstracts, writing research papers, preparing poster presentations and oral presentation skills. 

Research Project

The research project involves experiential learning with the completion of a comprehensive literature review appropriate to the project. This involves the preparation of a detailed project plan including resourcing and costing of materials and appreciation of experimental design, power calculations where appropriate for study design, ethical and logistic considerations. In addition, an individual research project that includes practical work that involves data production, processing and analysis. The preparation of a detailed final project report (mini-thesis) and the preparation of a poster to illustrate the main findings from the project to an audience of fellow students and staff.

Excellent Different Distinctive