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MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences - modules


  • 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.
  • Principles of Product Analysis and Validation - This module provides students with a complex understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics of the delivery system and covers the regulatory procedures for drug delivery systems. Students will also explore 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.

  • Pharmacology - The aim of this module is to provide students with understanding receptor pharmacology and pharmacological techniques and concepts.It includes the fundamental and advanced aspects of drug action at receptors, the biological basis of drug actions, advanced aspects of receptor theory and second messenger pharmacology, basic and advanced aspects of autonomic nervous system pharmacology and central nervous system pharmacology.
  • 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.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research