MSc Pharmaceutical Science

Postgraduate, Part-time

Pharmaceutical Science MSc



Explore drug development, manufacture and production and enhance your prospects for a career as a drug discovery or development scientist

Overview

This course provides expert critical and technical knowledge related to the development, analysis and production of medicines, the drug industry and regulatory affairs.

You'll study recent trends in chemical, biological and biotechnological therapeutics and evaluate the latest technologies used in the pharmaceutical industry.

You'll also gain an understanding of the processes and methods used in clinical trials and the regulation of medicines and acquire the skills and knowledge to pursue your career in pharmaceutical science.

This course is eligible for a SFC funded place for Scottish and EU students – please see the SFC funding page for more information on how to apply. The deadline for applications for a January 2019 start is the 30th of November 2018.

Students at work in the laboratory

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Full-time)

Duration:

2-4 years

Start date:

SepJan


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Course details

This course provides the opportunity to acquire all the attributes necessary for a successful career in pharmaceutical science, undertaking lead research and development, or analytical management roles in the drug and healthcare industries.

You’ll acquire broad knowledge of contemporary, integrated drug discovery strategies and acquire the necessary skills to communicate effectively across the key diverse component disciplines with other professional scientists and non-specialist audiences.

You’ll develop broad knowledge of current pharmaceutical analysis and quality control strategies and will learn about GMP and GLP compliance. You’ll also gain an in-depth critical understanding of current research in biotechnology and pharmaceutical science.

There is an emphasis on developing your practical laboratory skills with various opportunities for hands-on experience in a range of current techniques and practices including specialist equipment such as HPLC, UV/Vis, and FTIR. In your final trimester you’ll undertake an independent project within a vibrant research team, allowing you to apply and further develop your technical, research and professional skills. There may be the opportunity to conduct your research project externally in a relevant organisation or pharmaceutical industry in the UK or overseas.

You‘ll also develop key skills including communication, problem solving, team work, project management, and leadership.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a part-time course which you can start in September or January with flexibility in the number of taught modules taken in each trimester. The course can take 2 to 4 years to complete, depending on your other commitments and availability.

    The project may be carried out over one or two trimesters.

    You’ll learn through interactive lectures, workshops, tutorials, site visits and laboratory sessions, and by engaging with guided independent study. Guest lectures may also be arranged. A variety of assessment tools are used to enhance and evaluate your learning.

  • note and pen Assessments

    Your assessments are mapped out across your programme and include formative work to help practice your skills, as well as summative work which will build on this preparatory work.

    These are carefully spaced out across each trimester to avoid clashes and include many different types of assessment such as essays, lab reports, posters, oral presentations, short discussions, class tests and exams. Some of these assessments involve group-work, whilst others are individual.

    For example: In the Current Practice in Drug Development module, you will undertake a critical review and an exam. In the Current Research in Pharmaceutical Science module, you will undertake a poster and PowerPoint presentation, and a critical review.

  • library Facilities

    The MSc Pharmaceutical Science programme is delivered at our landmark Sighthill Campus where students learn in state of the art laboratories equipped with, for example, industry standard HPLC; GC/MS and FTIR spectroscopy instrumentation; flow cytometry and confocal microscopy equipment, to ensure we meet the needs of students entering employment in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and bioscience sectors.

Modules

Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Biotechnology & Drug Discovery ( MIC11101 )

High throughput screening strategies for new drugs/targets: genomics, microarray technology; proteomics, phage display technology; Site-directed mutagenesis and protein engineering on enzyme specificity and pattern of inhibition by new drugs. Biotransformations vs chemical synthesis; Glycobiology; Culture systems - batch vs continuous; mammalian, plant, bacterial culture systems; Antisense RNA; GDEPT and VDEPT; Nanotechnology: mechano-chemical properties

Further information

Clinical Pharmacology ( BMS11108 )

General Introduction (Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacoynamics, Therapeutic Monitoring), Drug Interactions, Toxicology and Adverse Drug Reactions (Causation, Pharmacovigilance, Pharmacoepidemiology, Allergy, the Effects of Prolonged Administration, Effects on Reproduction, etc.), Poisoning and Overdoses, and Specialist Topic Areas (Neuroscience, Cardiovascular and Endocrine Biology, and Alcohol).

Further information

Current Practice in Drug Development ( BMS11104 )

Origins and new sources of drugs; natural products and new pharmaceuticals; the drug discovery and development process. Molecular modelling. Stereochemistry: a source of problems in medicinal chemistry. Structure-based drug design; pharmacophore-based drug design; QSAR. Physicochemical properties and drug design: electronic factors, lipophilicity, partition coefficient, steric parameters, prediction of drug-receptor interactions, ligand binding studies. Drug formulation, prodrugs. Computational techniques: analysis of conformational space, molecular graphics and the visualisation of molecules. Molecular diversity. Combinatorial libraries and modern methods of synthesis. Current approaches to the chemotherapeutic treatment of (selected) diseases: cardiovascular disease, inflammation, cancer, viral- and bacterial- infection, diabetes, asthma, cognitive disorders. Legislation: regulatory requirements. Intellectual property and patent protection of new pharmaceuticals.

Further information

Current Topics in Pharmaceutical Science ( BMS11109 )

Phases of clinical development of new drugs, Official regulation of medicines, Formulation, classification and naming of drugs. Pharmaco-economics. Introductory ethics and the history of "ethical" regulation. Legal Implications of being "unethical". Perception of pharmaceuticals and the pharmaceutical industry by society. Exploration of specific topics, e.g. Drug testing, when testing goes wrong, the ethics of testing in different countries, the use of animal models in drug development and testing.

Further information

Drug Design and Chemotherapy ( BMS11105 )

Emphasis on: molecular targets in cancer: characterisation and structure of biological targets (genes; enzymes; receptors; nucleic acids). Design, synthesis and mechanism of action of inhibitors of telomerase, the G-quadruplex, DNA-topoisomerases, matrix metalloproteinases. Targeted therapies, drug delivery mechanisms, design of prodrugs; macromolecular prodrugs and nanoconjugates. Synthetic oligonucleotides, PNAs, DNA-and RNA-binding ligands: design and applications. Synthesis and development of non-nucleoside antiviral agents: HIV integrase inhibitors, protease inhibitors. Peptoids and peptide mimics. Mechanisms of intrinsic and acquired drug resistance and MDR. Contemporary drug design to combat resistant bacterial and protozoal infections.
Laboratory work in selected drug synthesis, methods of purification and characterisation; solution and solid- phase combinatorial peptide methodology and biological (including enzyme) assays; molecular graphics.

Further information

Research Skills ( MIC11107 )

DNA purification, restriction and quantification; Cloning – vectors, ligation, screening and analysis of clones; Gene expression and protein purification; Protein analysis – quantification, detection and mass spectrometry; Principles of nucleic acid hybridisation and DNA synthesis to applications in PCR, sequencing microarrays and gene silencing techniques (RNA interference); In silico analysis and manipulation of RNA, DNA and protein sequence information (bioinformatics); “-omics” – comparative and functional genomics, proteomics.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Biological and pharmaceutical sciences at Edinburgh Napier

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in  bio-molecular sciences in order to be eligible for this programme. 

The following acceptable degree background are: pharmacy; pharmacology, pharmaceutical or medicinal chemistry; biological or biomedical sciences; chemistry; immunology; biotechnology; genetics; virology; molecular biology; forensic science.

We may also consider degree-equivalent qualifications, as will applicants without Honours degree equivalence but who have appropriate experience gained in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industries.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2018/19 2019/20
Home/EU Stage 1 £2,660 tba
Home/EU Stage 2 £3,190 tba
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Home EU - Total Fee £5,850 tba
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Stage 1 £6,800 tba
Stage 2 £8,350 tba
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Overseas - Total Fee £15,150 tba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Fees.
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships.
The University offers a 10% discount on MSc Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

Careers

  • Laboratory-based and research management-based product development work
  • Employment in industries ranging from the big pharmaceutical companies to developing biotech companies; contract drug testing companies and service providers to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries; hospital laboratories, NHS and local government
  • Further study at PhD level in pharmaceutical and biomolecular sciences leading to an academic career.
  • If you currently work in a relevant sector, this course will enhance your prospects for career progression. 
Research work in science lab