Drug Delivery MSc

Gain hands-on experience of pharmaceutical formulation and knowledge of the drug development process from concept to market with the Drug Delivery MSc at Aston University, Birmingham.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

No placements

Duration

1 Year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Daniel Kirby

"This course aims to equip you with all of the necessary skills to be a key asset within the process of pharmaceutical development and approval. The areas of pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery are critical to ensure effective translation of promising drug compounds to effective medicines, ensuring that the patient receives the right drug, in the right place, at the right time."

Dr Daniel Kirby, Course Director and Lecturer in Pharmacy

Daniel Kirby

"This course aims to equip you with all of the necessary skills to be a key asset within the process of pharmaceutical development and approval. The areas of pharmaceutical formulation and drug delivery are critical to ensure effective translation of promising drug compounds to effective medicines, ensuring that the patient receives the right drug, in the right place, at the right time."

Dr Daniel Kirby, Course Director and Lecturer in Pharmacy

Course outline and modules

The pharmaceutical sciences arena includes a vast range of disciplines such as drug discovery, design, and delivery, all of which are crucial to the development and success of new drug therapies and medicinal products.

Drug delivery focuses on the different design of dosage forms available, such as tablets, injections and patches. The aim of drug delivery is to ensure the safe and effective arrival of the drug at the correct time, and concentration for the patient.


With a series of specialist modules covering topics including drug discovery, drug dosage form design, and advanced drug delivery and targeting, the Drug Delivery MSc at Aston course has been designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the drug development process from concept to market. This knowledge and experience will leave you well prepared on successful graduation for an exciting and rewarding academic or industrial career in the pharmaceutics and drug delivery arena.


By choosing to study this specialist pharmacy masters at Aston University, you’ll be joining a well-established and highly respected School of Pharmacy, that can trace its roots back to the establishment of the Birmingham Pharmaceutical Institution in 1847. We’re also the only Pharmacy School in the UK to hold a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy awarded by HM the Queen, meaning you can be sure that you’re learning experience will of the highest of quality.

Pharmacy research at Aston

Aston has expansive and highly regarded research community, we are home to several pharmacy research groups including:

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Clinical Pharmacy Research
  • Pharmacology and Translational Neuroscience Research
     

You’ll be taught by passionate research active academics whose specialist areas of drug delivery research including, formulation of age-appropriate medicines for paediatric and geriatric populations, alternative dosage forms to improve acceptability and practicality of medicines, and oral liquid nano medicines.

Our research is fed into the teaching on our courses, ensuring that you not only have access to the very latest trends and thinking in this specialist area, but that you also develop a critical appreciation of recent scientific developments and their clinical and industrial application.

International students and post-study work visa

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year. Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

As a University, we welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Course outline

Throughout your time on the Drug Delivery MSc at Aston, you will receive specialist training and practical experience on the design and development of effective drug delivery systems and hands-on experience of pharmaceutical formulation.

You’ll encounter a broad range of experiences designed to enhance your skills and knowledge. It’s our aim to provide you with:

  • Knowledge of the latest advances in drug delivery and targeting to develop an understanding of the concept of drug targeting using drug carriers
  • An in depth appreciation of the strategies available and utilised for a particular drug and/or biological barrier
  • An understanding of the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physicochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug dosage systems
  • An understanding of the biology of specific targets for drug-based intervention
  • Knowledge of the role of molecular modelling in rational drug design
  • Theory behind relevant laboratory experimental techniques and advanced research methodology to enable you to carry out independent work of publishable standard.
  • Insight into the regulatory procedures and laboratory processes required for analysis of pharmaceutical drug delivery products.
  • In addition to this subject specific knowledge, you will also develop transferable skills in presenting, team working, report writing, critical analysis, negotiating and data analysis.
     

Core modules:

  • Drug Discovery
  • Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity
  • Drug Dosage Form Design
  • Advanced Drug Delivery & Targeting
  • Principles of Product Analysis and Validation
  • Research Methods: Professional Development and communication skills
  • Research Literature Review
  • Research Project

 

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.


All applicants require:

  • Lower second class honours degree (2:2) or higher from a recognised university in pharmacy, pharmaceutical science, pharmacology, physiology, physical science, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, chemical engineering, genetics, materials science, medicine or related field. More information on international degree requirements can be found on our Aston in your country webpage.
  • 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.

More advice on applying to Aston can be found here.

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and Teaching

Teaching on the course is delivered via a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Some modules may also use computer modelling and simulation sessions.

This course is worth 180 credits, with each credit equivalent to 10 learning hours. The learning hours may include but are not limited to lectures, seminars, tutorials, lab sessions, practicals, online activity, reading, other independent study, and reflecting on assignment feedback.

Assessment

You will be 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.

Key Staff

Course Director: Dr Daniel Kirby
Meet the Pharmacy team.

Facilities

As a postgraduate student with Aston Pharmacy School, you will have access to a range of facilities and resources including:

  • Access to industry-standard clinical trials simulations software (e.g. Simcyp, Winnonlin).
  • 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.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21)

£9,350

International students (2020/21)

£18,900

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

On successful graduation, you will be equipped with extensive specialist knowledge, and the transferable skills relevant for various careers in the pharmaceutical industry or academic research. You’ll have a range of opportunities available to you such as drug delivery, analytical sciences, formulation development, project management, regulatory affairs and scientific writing.

In addition, for those that wish to peruse a career in academic research or academia, this course is a well-placed stepping stone for PhD study at Aston or another leading institution.  

Graduates from our suite of Pharmacy masters programmes have gone onto secure roles with a variety of organisations across the public and private sector.

Recent graduate roles include:

  • Associate Pharmaceutical Development Scientist
  • Analytical scientist
  • Laboratory Analyst
  • Lecturer in Science
  • PhD student
  • Product Performance Chemist
  • Quality Assurance Production Technician
  • Quality Control Technician
  • Research Associate
  • Scientific Director

 

 

Chat with current students

 

Frequently asked questions

Why study Drug Delivery MSc at Aston?

Drug delivery focuses on the different design of dosage forms available, such as tablets, injections and patches. The aim of drug delivery is to ensure the safe and effective arrival of the drug at the correct time, and concentration for the patient.

By studying at Aston, you’ll be gaining qualification from an institution rated in the Top 10 in the UK for research quality and student satisfaction (Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Complete University Guide 2020), meaning you’ll have everything you need to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding and exciting career in drug delivery or pharmaceutics. 

What will I study on this course?

The course explores everything from drug discovery, to drug dosage form design, and advanced drug delivery and targeting. It has been designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the drug development process from concept to market. You’ll learn a range of important personal attributes such as presentation, negotiation and communication skills and get the opportunity to gain hands on research experience in your final project.

What could I research for my final project?

Your research project forms a large and important part of your MSc studies, and at Aston, we offer projects covering wide range of specialist disciplines.

Recent examples of projects undertaken by Aston Drug Delivery MSc students include:

  • The impact of excipient and process parameters on drug loading in the formulation of orally disintegrating tablets.
  • Nanostructured particles for oral drug delivery.
  • Improving drug loading and release profiles of orally dissolving films.
  • Development of microemulsion systems for topical drug delivery.
  • Development and characterisation of niosomal formulations for ocular drug delivery.
  • 3D printing for the manufacture of personalised biodegradable drug loaded arterial stents.
What facilities will be available to me?

At Aston, you’ll benefit from dedicated specialist learning facilities, industry-standard clinical simulations software, and a virtual learning environment, to help you to learn flexibly.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

 Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding careers support and advice.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government have created a new post-study work visa. See here for more information.


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