Pharmacokinetics MSc

Study Pharmacokinetics MSc at Aston University, Birmingham to develop the technical skills needed for an exciting career within either the pharmaceutical industry or clinical sciences, applying the principles of in-vitro and in-silico pharmacokinetics to allow improved dosing of drugs to different populations of patients within clinical trials or clinics.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

No placements

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Raj

"This course is built around developing your skills in a broad range of disciplines related to the pharmaceutical industry, spanning drug discovery and development through to formulation sciences.  All through the programme, the principles of pharmacokinetics are reinforced and the training allows you to apply pharmacokinetic techniques both within a pharmaceutical industry setting but also within clinical trials and clinical sciences settings."

Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan, Course Director and Lecturer in Pharmacy

Raj

"This course is built around developing your skills in a broad range of disciplines related to the pharmaceutical industry, spanning drug discovery and development through to formulation sciences.  All through the programme, the principles of pharmacokinetics are reinforced and the training allows you to apply pharmacokinetic techniques both within a pharmaceutical industry setting but also within clinical trials and clinical sciences settings."

Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan, Course Director and Lecturer in Pharmacy

Course outline and modules

Pharmacokinetics is vital to ensuring the safety of the clinical drugs we use to treat a huge range of illnesses and diseases.

It explores what happens to a drug when it enters the body, by examining how it is absorbed, distributed, metabolised and eliminated. It is a vital step in the process of drug delivery, and key to making sure drugs are safe and effective.

From drug discovery to formulation sciences, the Pharmacokinetics MSc at Aston is focused on building your understanding of research methods, and critical thinking skills for application inside and outside of academia. With broad training in both basic and advanced pharmacokinetics topics, you will develop the ideal skill set for an exciting career in the pharmaceutical industry or clinical sciences. This is further supported by training in a variety of in-vitro technical skills applicable to the pharmaceutical industry, alongside expertise in cutting edge pharmacokinetic software tools widely used by industry, regulatory agencies and hospital around the world.

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 Group
  • Pharmacology and Translational Neuroscience Research

You’ll be taught by passionate research active academics whose specialist areas of research include population pharmacokinetics, whole body physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling, medicine optimisation, deprescribing and tropical diseases.

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 Pharmacokinetics MSc at Aston, you’ll gain an extensive overview of the influence of pharmacokinetics on drug design, drug discovery and drug delivery.

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.
  • An understanding of the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physicochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug dosage systems.
  • An overview of the role of pharmacokinetics in ensuring optimal therapeutics outcome.
  • Hands-on experience of applying data derived from computer-assisted drug design and molecular modelling techniques to predicting human in-vivo pharmacokinetics and biodistribution.
  • An understanding of the theory behind relevant laboratory experimental techniques and advanced research methodology to enable you to carry out independent work of publishable standard.

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
  • Drug Dosage Form Design
  • Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity
  • Pharmacokinetics  
  • Principles of Product Analysis and Validation
  • Research Skills
  • Research Methods / Professional Development Skills
  • 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

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, reflecting on assignment feedback, field trips and work placements.

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.

Staff

Course Director: Dr Raj K. Singh Badhan
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 to drug discovery, drug design and drug delivery for various careers in the pharmaceutical industry. In particular, within drug metabolism pharmacokinetics (DMPK) departments, supporting the clinical transition to apply pharmacokinetic principles in clinical trials, or clinical treatment optimisation through virtual clinical trial simulations.

You will also be suitable for other opportunities such as 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 Pharmacokinetics MSc at Aston?

Pharmacokinetics is a key specialist are of pharmacy that focuses on the fate of a substances administered to a patient, how it is administrated, consumed and absorbed. It is a vital knowledge is key for the safe and effective development of drugs, helping to keep the population safe.

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 pharmacokinetics.

What will I study on this course?

The course explores everything from drug design to chemotherapy and is assessed through practical learning, coursework and presentations. 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?

Our teaching staff will work with you to develop a project that caters for your own specific training requirements, and one which is deliverable within the allotted time-frame.  These can span both laboratory research, clinical research or a combination of both.  

A recent example of a project examined why some patients who are drug abusers and were receiving treatment using a heroin substitute called methadone, did not respond well to treatment.  Many of these patients often contract other illnesses such as tuberculosis or HIV. 

This can lead to complicated drug interactions which can reduce how methadone works and can push the patients back into heroin abuse.  The project explored the interaction between methadone and rifampicin (an anti-tuberculosis drug) using virtual clinical trials, and resulted in recommendations for new dosing regimens for patients who are taking these combinations of drugs.  The project was run in collaboration with an external clinical collaborator and resulted in a paper being published in a high impact medical journal alongside being invited to present the work at a roundtable discussion at Public Health England (UK).  

Other examples have spanned a variety of disciplines and include formulation development (transdermal formulations and optimising pharmacokinetics), tropical diseases (optimising antimalarial use in paediatrics patients), antimicrobial pharmacokinetics optimisation in children.

Projects developed on the Pharmacokinetics MSc will always be translational in nature, offering the opportunity for a tangible impact on society and healthcare. 

What facilities are 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?

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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