Course overview

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 ensuring 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. 

Why Pharmacokinetics at Aston University?

Cerficate
Internationally recognised Pharmacy school
Aston University's Pharmacy School is the only in the UK to hold a prestigious Regius Chair in Pharmacy awarded by HM the Queen
Book and pen
Research active staff
Study with research-active academics from a wide range of pharmaceutical fields and backgrounds
microscope logo
Specialist equipment
Access to a wide range of state-of-the-art specialist facilities

Course description

Pharmacokinetics MSc

During your time on the Pharmaceutical Sciences MSc at Aston, you'll receive specialist training in a broad range of topics such as drug discovery, drug dosage form and design, and chemotherapy and selective toxicity. Ensuring you possess the necessary skills of a pharmaceutical scientist before embarking on your own final research project. 

arrow icon

What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK's second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you, fantastic facilities that will bring your course to life through hands-on, practical experience; years of close industry collaboration that is harnessed to provide you with learning based on real-world needs. 

user icon

What you will provide
As a postgraduate student, you will be required to balance academic work and research projects. You will be expected to engage with teaching materials, online lectures, and in-person sessions. It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies - understand that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, you must be able to demonstrate critical thinking and have ambition and drive to excel. 

graduate cap icon

What skills we teach
In addition to a comprehensive education in Pharmacokinetics, this course emphasizes developing transferable skills such as presentation, teamwork, report writing, critical analysis, negotiation, and data analysis. 

signpost icon

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.

How you will learn

Your teaching style is modern and innovative, with a hands-on approach that bridges the gap between theory and practice. This enables you to apply your skills as you progress through your course, marrying your learning with practical examples, all designed to prepare you for the world of work. 

You will engage in a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, seminars, group work, and a research project - likely to be a laboratory-based project where you will collect and analyse your own data. 

What you will learn

Explore the impact of pharmacokinetics on various aspects of drug development, including design, discovery, and delivery. Gain an understanding of the latest advancements in drug delivery and targeting, essential principles in designing drug dosage systems, and the role of pharmacokinetics in ensuring optimal therapeutic outcomes.  

Practical application is emphasized through hands-on experiences in utilising computer-assisted drug design and molecular modeling for predicting in-vivo pharmacokinetics. Furthermore, you will gain insights into relevant laboratory techniques and advanced research methodologies, enabling you to conduct independent work of publishable quality. 

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.  

Course objectives

  1. Provide students with an overview of the drug design and drug discovery processes. 
  2. Provide an you with an understanding of the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and physicochemical principles important in the design and formulation of drug dosage systems. 
  3. Provide you with an overview of the role of pharmacokinetics in ensuring optimal therapeutics outcome. 
  4. Provide hands-on experience of computer-simulations to examine the role of drug-specific properties on influencing human in-vivo drug biodistribution. 
  5. Develop your research skills and transferable skills relevant to drug discovery, drug design and drug delivery in preparation for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Modules

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Drug Discovery15
Chemotherapy and Selective Toxicity15
Research Skills15
Principles of Product Analysis and Validation15
Pharmacokinetics30
Drug Dosage Form Design30
Total120

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Research Project60
Total60

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, biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, and materials science. 

See international student information below for international equivalent information.

International students

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

 

coursepage_productdesign_students

Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,750

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£20,700

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

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.

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 defense of a poster. 

Career prospects

In 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:

  • 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  
Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Pharmacokinetics MSc at Aston University?

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 research could I do in 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 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.

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 career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

Say Hello to students at Aston University

Hello - What would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

Chat to our students

 

Register your interest