MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences

You will gain the skills and knowledge required as a pharmacist - the ability to provide effective pharmaceutical formulation strategies for current and future drug therapies and medicinal products.

Why choose this course?

  • Aston is rated in the top 10 for Pharmacology and Pharmacy in The Complete University Guide’s 2014 league tables
  • The University has strong links with numerous pharmaceutical companies - there may be the opportunity to undertake your project in collaboration with one of these companies.
  • Research informed teaching and dedicated state of the art laboratories.

Entry requirements

This programme is open to suitably qualified international and UK graduates. Prospective students must possess a good Honours Degree (minimum lower 2nd class) in pharmacy, pharmaceutical science, pharmacology, physiology, physical science, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, chemical engineering, genetics, materials science, medicine, or a related field, from a recognised university or an overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements 

English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country.

Course Information

Duration of programme: Full-time: 12 months

Start date: late September

Application deadline:

1st August for International students

31st August for UK/EU students

If you are applying close to the deadline, please ensure you have all supporting documentation ready for the application. If the deadline has passed, we may still be able to consider you, so please contact us.

Distance learning available: No

Intake: 15

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements

Fees for 2016 entry:

UK/EU students: £6,900
International students: £16,850

International scholarships - We have scholarships for African & South American students

Aston Alumni discount - 20% discount


This MSc programme is designed to provide specialist training and practical experience to graduates who are interested in following a career in the pharmaceutical industry or in research.

The course is based on compulsory modules and a research project. This project will last approximately four months and students will work under the supervision of recognised experts in their field. The project allows you to undertake a detailed investigation and develop practical expertise in a specialist pharmaceutical sciences area.

The University also has strong links with numerous pharmaceutical companies - there may be the opportunity to undertake your project in collaboration with one of these companies.


The taught modular programme will consider various aspects of pharmaceutical sciences e.g. the biology of disease states, pharmaceutical analytical analysis, pharmaceutical formulation, research methods and exploiting your research. Modules are:

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the drug discovery process from target to market.

This module aims to provide insight and understanding into the mechanisms of action of antibiotics used to control infectious diseases and of agents used in the treatment and control of cancer.
This module provides students with an understanding and ability to apply the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physiochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug delivery systems.
This module will concetrate on the assessment of the physico-chemical parameters using a range of tools, and consider the implications of these properties at all stages of formulation, development, regulation and application of the medicine.
The aim of this module is to provide students with understanding receptor pharmacology and pharmacologicaltechniques and concepts.
The professional skills taught in this modules will equip you with general and transferable talents with broad application both within and outside of academia.
This module includes the following: critical analysis of published work, reviewing papers, writing abstracts, writing research papers, preparing poster presentations and oral presentation skills.

The supervised research project will last for four months and be at the level expected for the first year of PhD studies. Examples of potential topics include computer-based drug design of antimicrobial compounds and chemical synthesis of compound libraries for screening and assay development.

Please click here for Programme Specification

The course is assessed by a mixture of coursework, examinations, practical work and oral and written presentations. The research project module will be assessed on the basis of a submitted project report and an oral defence of a poster.
Please note that the course is not accredited by any professional body.
This course is designed to provide a postgraduate-level education and training for graduates seeking employment in the pharmaceutical industry. The course is also an excellent foundation for studies at PhD level. Career paths from this course include drug development, analytical sciences, formulation development, pharmaceutical product assessor with regulatory bodies and PhD studies in various disciplines such as formulation sciences and drug delivery (small molecules and biologicals), analytical sciences (method and assay development) and drug targeting.
The transferable skills acquired on this course include effective written and oral communication, team working, report writing, critical analysis and IT skills.


  • Lectures and seminars are conducted in modern audio-visually equipped lecture theatres and classrooms.
  • “Wet” practicals are conducted in newly refurbished laboratories equipped with a range of pharmaceutical and analytical instruments.
  • The exceptional quality of research in the School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) has been confirmed in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions. 94% of our research was rated as being internationally excellent or world leading. Projects are conducted alongside established research groups, specialising in biotechnology research.
  • Teaching and organisational material is communicated via an electronic learning environment.
  • Access to journals is provided via Aston University’s library including a mixture of hard-copy publications and electronic access to several large scientific databases.

Course director

Dr Afzal Mohammed

Dr Mohammed has interests in the development of orally disintegrating tablets, formulating and characterisaton of oral liquid preparations and understanding genomic signature of drug delivery systems using microarray to design effective formulations.

Aston Pharmacy School

LHS Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3000      

Email: lhspgt@aston.ac.uk

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Fees & funding

Fees & funding



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