Drug Discovery and Development (with optional Professional Placement) MSc

Drug Discovery and Development (with optional Professional Placement) MSc

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    12 months or 24 months with placement

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This course is perfectly suited for graduates in related science areas who are interested in/are pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies and research laboratories. It is also appealing to intending PhD researchers. Students are exposed to current and emerging trends in drug discovery, drug design and regulatory sciences through a combination of lectures, seminars, practicals delivered by highly experienced academics and industrial experts.  Future-proof course design ensures graduates would continually meet the core needs of the global pharmaceutical industry. Superb modern facilities and placements to the pharmaceutical industry exposes students to hands-on and real-life experiences.

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Entry Requirements

Students must hold one of the following:

  1. A 1st or 2nd class honours degree of a UK university or its equivalent in chemistry, pharmacy, biology, forensic science, bio/medical sciences or a related subject.
  2. A qualification or experience deemed to be equivalent to the above.

Those applicants seeking entry with appropriate experiences will be required to demonstrate the suitability of this experience both on application and at interview.

International students should have an English language qualification, IELTS at 6.5 (no individual mark lower than 6.0), TOEFL at 600 (paper) and 250 (CBE) with a TWE of 4.

Admission with Advanced Standing: students may be able to claim exemption from individual modules where they can demonstrate an appropriate level of prior qualification or experience. This will not normally be more than two modules. Applications for accreditation of prior learning, whether experiential or certified, will be considered on an individual basis and applicants should initially make arrangements to discuss their case with the Course Leader at the time of application.

Programme at a Glance

Semester 1

  • Research Development
  • Drug Development and Discovery
  • Fundamentals of Formulation Drug Delivery and Biopharmaceutics
Semester 2
  • Research Development
  • Quality Assurance, Clinical Trials and Regulatory Affairs
  • Nanomedicine and Biotechnology Products  
Semester 3
  • Research Project

Drug Discovery and Development (with professional placement), MSc

  • MSc Drug Discovery and Development with an additional placement option (120 credits)

Our MSc Drug Discovery and Development (with Professional Placement) follows the same academic structure as MSc Drug Discovery and Development, with the addition of the placement element and is a two year, full-time programme. You will  undertake your professional placement in an pharmaceutical-related organisation, which will be for a minimum of 38 weeks and a maximum of 40 weeks. This course will provide a framework within which you can take advantage of the opportunities in pharmaceutical-related fields to meet technical, business and user needs.

You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Further Information


  • Placements
  • Real-life case studies
  • Employability with diverse career choices
  • Strong links with the pharmaceutical industry
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Six core taught modules and a research project


Placements are to the pharmaceutical industry are carried out. The industry may be involved in the design/ drive of a research project. In such instances, the student may also visit the industry


Graduates would be equipped with a knowledge and skills base that allows pursuit of both scientific and non-scientific careers in a variety of pharmaceutical work environments. This may include jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies, academia, further studies-PhD etc.

Progression routes include further research towards higher degrees and other doctorate courses


The MSc (by Research) is very similar to a PhD, but with a research project designed to take 12 months. It is not intended as a first step towards a PhD, but rather as an alternative to a PhD. There are no associated lectures, classes or written examinations. Find out more at our Faculty research website : https://www.uclancbsresearch.co.uk/msc-by-research/

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Industry Links

  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Rosemont Pharmaceuticals
  • Wockhardt UK
  • GSK
  • AstraZeneca

Students go on placement to some of these and industrial experts from some of these partners come in to deliver guest lectures and seminars. This also ensures students have knowledge of current/emerging practices and trends in the pharmaceutical industry.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Students will be assessed through a variety of means including; presentations, examinations, posters (with oral questioning during the poster session), case studies, data interpretation exercises, essays and scientific reports, practical report, project report and oral examination

The learning environment includes placement visits to the pharmaceutical industry and visits from the industry where expertise is shared with practitioners. Excellent staff, who are research-active with diverse academic, industrial and clinical expertise.

Current academic expertise include; Ann Urmston (Pharmacy practice), Elaine Crombie (Medicinal chemistry and calculations), Dr. Abdullah Isreb (Crystallography & Nanoformulation),  Dr. Amina Ferraz (Respiratory drug delivery), Dr. Christopher Smith (Pharmacology), Dr. Clare Lawrence (Cell & molecular biology), Dr. Enoche Oga (Biopharmaceutics, absorption enhancement and modelling), Dr. Leroy Shervington (Drug Design and Pharmaceutical Analysis), Dr. Marta Krysmann (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Dr. Sarah Wilson (Health ethics), Dr. Tim Snape (Pharmaceutical Chemistry), Dr. Zhengyuan Zhou (advanced drug delivery systems), Prof Kamalinder Singh (Drug delivery and Nanomedicine), Prof Rob Forbes (Biopharmaceutics & nanotechnology)