Drug Discovery and Business Strategy MSc

2021-22 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

20 September 2021

Duration

1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)

20

About the course

You will learn the processes involved in discovering and developing a new drug and incorporated business strategies.You will study various analytical techniques and tools employed in drug discovery and, after completion of the course, will be expected to have the skills needed to start up new businesses offering specialised services in drug discovery or join drug discovery teams within the pharmaceutical industry.

Course detail

DRUG DISCOVERY.

This comprises four 15-credit Masters level modules that offer knowledge and skills around various analytical tools and techniques employed in drug discovery. These modules will provide you with the necessary laboratory skills needed in a routine drug discovery program, including personalised medicines, pharmacogenetics and molecular pharmaceutical techniques and their application in drug discovery and design.

Drug Design and Development

An introduction to precision medicine including pharmacogenomics, which will be extended to an in-depth appreciation of how genetic variations are inherited and can be applied to pharmacogenomic analysis, i.e. how genetic variations affect human drug response and how this area will become an essential component in developing new medicines. The module will also explore the application of biomarkers to stratified or personalised medicine. Both pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics influences of drugs will be covered, such as inter-patient variation in the expression of drug metabolising and activating enzymes, as well as differences in the expression of drug targets such as receptors, genes, enzymes and growth factors. Biometric analysis such as bioinformatics will be explored through the understanding of the development of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and its relevance to ‘-omic’ technologies (genomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics). In addition, different model systems that are used to identify and develop biomarkers and drug target identification will be covered. The module will use a series of lectures, workshops and tutorials to encompass these topics and areas of learning. This will involve several expert lectures including external consultants and scientists.

Practical skills for Analysts

Extended experiments to develop, compare and assess methods for analytical problems carried out in small groups with lab reports and oral presentations.

Data Treatment and Analysis

Basic statistical theory underlying the analysis and treatment of univariate and multivariate chemical, forensic, pharmaceutical and biological laboratory data.

You will be able to choose one of the following optional modules offering a range of advanced analytical tools, including electron and atomic force microscopy, electrochemical techniques, thermal analysis, advanced separation techniques, NMR and mass spectroscopy.

Instrumental Methods and the Analysis of Solids

Overview of instrumental methods of analysis including atomic spectroscopy, electrochemical techniques, surface methods and radiochemical methods.

Advanced Separation Techniques

This module introduces the theoretical basis and current and future developments in analytical separation techniques. Areas covered range from solid phase extraction; theory of chromatography; gas chromatography (GC); high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); capillary electrophoresis (CE), asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) and sedimentation velocity in the analytical ultracentrifuge (SV-AUC). Tutorials are provided to support the lectures. Assessment is by an in-class test (50 %) and a major assignment consisting of an essay and presentation (50 %).

NMR Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry for Analytical Scientists

This module provides both a broad and in depth coverage of NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. There is a large emphasis on developing your knowledge of the two techniques and you will be exposed to the most recent advances in instrumentation and their applications. You will explore advances in NMR design through a written assignment and you will also be able to demonstrate your ability to interpret spectral data in an exam.

BUSINESS STRATEGY

This comprises two 30 credit Masters level modules that will provide a range of skills needed for starting and running a business and developing its business strategy.These modules will include the main pillars of business management such as: Finance, Budgeting, Marketing, Human Resources, Organisational Behaviour and Enterprise Strategy.

Fundamentals of Management

The Fundamentals of Management module focuses on the fundamentals of why organisations exist and what organisations ‘do’. You'll cover core aspects of the management of a company such as strategic decision making, marketing, accounting and finance, operations and human resource management. The modules provides an opportunity to develop a high-level overview of the landscape of organisations and learn about the skills required by managers in modern organisations.

Fundamentals of Leadership

The Fundamentals of Leadership module focuses on understanding leadership in organisations. You will have an opportunity to develop an appreciation of the ‘softer’ side of business such as people management, communication, leadership skills, diversity and performance management. We will encourage you to reflect on developing your own leadership skills and style and developing your own leadership solutions.

PHARMCEUTICAL BUSINESS PROJECT

This will be a major project in pharmaceutical business strategy that will start from the first term and will run throughout the year to allow the time needed for an extensive 60 credit module of independent study and research.

Pharmaceutical Business Project

The overall aim of the project is to integrate learning across all modules and apply the knowledge into business practice. You will be expected to develop a business plan for a novel pharmaceutical formulation/product or novel themes around drug discovery and present it to a panel of experts for a thorough scrutiny and assessment.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • Minimum of 2:2 UK honours degree or equivalent in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry or other biological sciences such as biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology with adequate English proficiency.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.0 overall with no lower than 6.0 in writing and reading, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

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Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

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