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Pharmacy MSc courses

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Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a related field

These courses are for you if you wish to gain an MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Drug Delivery, or Pharmacokinetics by studying at one of Europe's leading Pharmacy Schools.

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94% of our research was rated as being internationally excellent or world leading (REF 2014)
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Gain specialist skills and knowledge for a career in the pharmaceutical industry or research
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Research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 5th out of 97 UK higher education institutions (REF 2014)
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Top 10 in the UK (Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 2017 Complete University Guide)

Mode of delivery: Full time, on campus, (distance learning not available).

Duration: 12 months

Intake: Up to 20 students per year 

Entry requirements:  

  • We welcome applications from candidates interested in our course who have the skills and capability to excel. All candidates are considered on an individual basis based on their qualifications, experience, references and motivation.
  • Applicants must possess a good honours degree (minimum lower 2nd class) from a recognised university in one of the following subjects (or a related field):
    • Pharmacy, 
    • Pharmaceutical Science, 
    • Pharmacology, 
    • Physiology, 
    • Physical Science, 
    • Biochemistry, 
    • Biotechnology,
    • Chemistry, 
    • Chemical Engineering,
    • Genetics, 
    • Materials Science, 
    • Medicine.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. English language test requirements may be waived where students’ undergraduate degree was studied in an English speaking country. Find out more about our English language requirements.
  • The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor. 

Start dates: September (13 September 2017 for international and EU students; 18 September 2017 for UK students).

How to apply: 

  • Apply here 
  • The application deadline for international students is 1 August 2017. 
  • The application deadline for UK and EU students is 31 August 2017.
  • 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.
  • UK/EU students: £7,500
  • International students: £17,200

Aston alumni can benefit from a 20% discount on their tuition fees, whilst we also offer scholarships for African & South American students via the Ferguson Foundation and Indian students studying Pharmacokinetics via the GREAT-Aston University Scholarship Programme.

Through one of our three specialist pharmacy MSc courses you’ll gain a thorough understanding and awareness of your chosen area of pharmacy, the research methods required to complete a final supervised research project and an overview of the drug discovery process.

These courses are primarily designed to prepare you for an academic or industrial career in the relevant area. You may be a scientist already working within the pharmaceutical industry or a recent science graduate.

You will undertake a variety of compulsory modules and a research project. This project will last approximately four months and you 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.

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

MSc Drug Delivery: You will gain an overview of the drug development process from concept to market, gaining hands-on experience of pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery. 

MSc Pharmacokinetics: Pharmacokinetics is a key aspect of drug safety and investigates the fate of a drug in the body, and how the substance is absorbed, distributed, metabolised and eliminated. Develop your skill and knowledge in the application of pharmacokinetics to the design and optimisation of new therapeutics. This course has been developed with an emphasis on describing mechanistic approaches to assessing and predicting the pharmacokinetics of drugs throughout the drug development process. You will encounter a broad range of experiences in the application of pharmacokinetics from early discovery and development, through to market authorisation and clinical applications.

Discover more about the courses in this interview with one of the course directors, Prof Afzal Mohammed.

All students studying one of our three pharmacy MSc courses will take the following core modules:

  • Research Methods 1:  Professional Development: The professional skills taught in this module will equip you with general and transferable talents with broad application both within and outside of academia.
  • Research Methods 2: Communication Skills: This module includes critical analysis of published work, reviewing papers, writing abstracts, writing research papers, preparing poster presentations and oral presentation skills.
  • Research Project: The supervised research project will last for four months and be at the level expected for the first year of PhD studies.
  • Drug Discovery: An overview of the drug discovery process from target to market.
Depending upon the course you chose, you will also undertake the following modules: 
  • Chemotherapy & Selective Toxicity: Gain 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.
  • Drug Dosage Form & Design: Become equipped with the ability to apply the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physiochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug delivery systems.
  • Principles of Product Analysis and Validation: Assess 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.
  • Pharmacology: Develop your understanding of receptor pharmacology and pharmacological techniques and concepts.
  • Chemotherapy & Selective Toxicity: Gain 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.
  • Drug Dosage Form & Design: Become equipped with the ability to apply the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physiochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug delivery systems.
  • Principles of Product Analysis and Validation: Assess 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.
  • Drug Delivery and Targeting: The latest advances in drug delivery and targeting will be addressed within this module. The aim is to develop the concept of drug targeting with drug carriers and provide an in depth appreciation of the strategies available and utilised for a particular drug and biological barrier.
  • Chemotherapy & Selective Toxicity: Gain 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.
  • Drug Dosage Form & Design: Become equipped with the ability to apply the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physiochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug delivery systems.
  • Pharmacology: Develop your understanding of receptor pharmacology and pharmacological techniques and concepts.

Ranked in the UK's top 10 in the 2017 Complete University Guide, Aston Pharmacy excellent links with the profession. In addition, our research profile ensures relevant, expertise-led teaching for the students who enrol onto our courses each year. We have a long history of proving sector-leading courses - did you know that Aston Pharmacy School can trace its roots back to 1841?

You will learn in lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Some modules may also use computer modelling and simulation sessions.

Our courses are 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.

Graduates from our MSc programmes have taken up careers within the Pharmaceutical Industry in various disciplines such as analytical sciences, formulation development and project management. Our programmes provide the wider context and practical laboratory experience for pursuing careers in regulatory affairs, scientific writing and further studies.

Recent graduates have entered roles such as:

  • Assistant Lecturer, University of Sulaimaniyah
  • Associate Product Manager, AstraZeneca
  • Business Development Manager, Crete Designs Limited
  • Clinical Technician / Worker, Bridgewater Hospital
  • Compound Technician, Sterling Pharmaceuticals
  • Drug Designer, Unspecified Drug Company
  • Drug Safety Specialist, PPD
  • Drug Store Manager, Qaiwan group company
  • Inhalation R & D Analyst, Aesica Pharmaceuticals Ltd (R5)
  • Lecturer, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  • Locum Pharmacist, various
  • Molecular Modeller / Community Pharmacist, Verax Care Pharmacy
  • OSD Technologist, GSK
  • Pharma Benefit Associate, UnitedHealth Group
  • Pharmacist, Government of India
  • Pharmacist, Kerbala University
  • Pharmacologist, Unspecified
  • PhD Research Scholar, NIRMA University
  • Recruitment Consultant, SRG
  • Regulatory affairs trainee, PharmaLeaf India Pvt Ltd
  • Research assistant, University of Leeds
  • Research Scientist, Pluss Polymers
  • Research Scientist, Wintean
  • Researcher, Sunny Pharmtech Inc.
  • Sales Relationship Coordinator, Wesley Assurance Society
  • Science Teacher, Perry Beeches School
  • Senior Regulatory officer, Roche Pharmaceuticals

 

In addition to the particular knowledge and skills that you will gain on these courses, you will also develop transferable skills such as: 
  • Presenting
  • Team working 
  • Report writing 
  • Critical analysis 
  • Negotiating
  • IT.

Our courses are delivered in a multidisciplinary environment. You will be exposed to a variety teaching/research staff, each with their own specialist interests, which will contribute to your learning and development. Facilities and resources that you will benefit from include:

  • Modern lecture theatres and classrooms, equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and technology.
  • Newly refurbished laboratories that are equipped with a range of pharmaceutical and analytical instruments for “wet” practicals.
  • An established Virtual Learning Environment for teaching and course-organisation materials and communications.
  • Hard-copy and electronic access to publications, journals and large scientific databases.
  • Specialist cutting-edge software (e.g. Gastroplus, SimCYP)

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Research laboratories

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 Power handling room and tableting machine

Pharmacy

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Pharmacy at Aston University is part of the School of Life and Health Sciences, which also includes Optometry, Biomedical Science, Biology and Psychology undergraduate programmes and a thriving research culture. There are over 50 teaching and research staff in Pharmacy with other School of Life and Health Sciences staff also undertaking Pharmacy/Life/Health Sciences related teaching and research.

Your teaching and research projects are led by established research groups, specialising in biotechnology research. 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.

Course Directors:

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences & Drug Delivery: Professor Afzal Mohammed, Chair in Pharmaceutics. Having undertaken his PhD at Aston University, Professor Mohammed joined the university as a research fellow in 2004. Having sucsessfully risen to the position of reader, he was awarded the Chair in Pharmaceutics in 2016. His research interests are in the formulation, development and optimization of orally disintegrating tablets; the formulation and stability testing of oral liquid nano medicines; understanding the gene expression profiling of drug delivery systems using microarrays; and the evaluation of gene expression changes during oral drug absorption in vitro.
  • Pharmacokinetics: Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan, Lecturer in Pharmacokinetics. Dr Raj K.Singh Badhan joined Aston in June 2010 following over 3 years of extensive pharmacokinetics training with the world-renowned Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetics Research as a post-doctorate research associate, within the School of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester. He has a broad background and interest in identifying and modulating cellular mechanisms impacting upon drug/chemical biodistribution and pharmacokinetics. Key to this approach has been the merging of bioinformatics and pharmacokinetics in-silico approaches to provide mechanisms that may yielding predictions of human drug biodistribution during early preclinical development phases.

Meet the Pharmacy team.

Discover more in the following ways:


Interested? We'd love to hear from you


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