MSc Drug Discovery and Toxicology with Advanced Research

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

This programme gives you in-depth knowledge of the scientific basis of drug discovery with a particular emphasis on toxicology, the science behind the safety of drugs. We make full use of our geographical location at the heart of the UK Pharmaceutical industry attracting numerous expert contributions from industry professionals (e.g. GSK, AZ). The course will cover all aspects of new medicine research and development from identifying novel targets through drug screening to clinical trials of candidate medicines. With our excellent facilities, emphasis on practical work, and teaching underpinned by the latest research, you will be qualified for research and development positions in pharmaceutical companies including discovery biology and toxicology, as well as a wide range of other non-laboratory roles in industry.

Why choose this course?

  • This programme is taught by expert staff with Pharmaceutical Industry Research & Development and Toxicology experience.
  • We have strong links to big Pharma Research sites nearby which provide the opportunity for numerous guest lecturers from the industry.
  • Our state of the art Science building provides excellent facilities for laboratory based studies, including QPCR, cell culture, protein analysis, isolated tissue studies, immunohistochemistry.
  • Upon graduation you will be equipped for working in a wide range of roles in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries.
  • Successfull candidates will have the opportunity for an extended 12 month research project.

What will I study?

The MSc Drug Discovery and Toxicology with Advanced Resource will provide students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the drug discovery process and the role of toxicology in developing safe medicines. The programme comprises four taught modules and a project module. In Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology students study the essential aspects of these topics that provide a necessary background for contemporary drug discovery. A focus on immunology reflects the growing understanding of the contribution of this area to disease and hence novel opportunities for drug discovery. The Translational medicine module explores the process of drug discovery with a particular emphasis on translation, developing molecules that will eventually work in human patients as well as in a laboratory. Molecular Medicine explores with the emphasis on recent examples of chemical and biological approaches to developing 21st Century medicines and Contemporary topics in Drug Discovery and Toxicology provides a focus on recent developments in drug safety science. A problem-based learning approach is integral to develop advanced critical analysis and group working skills in students’ on the programme.

All students have the opportunity to complete a laboratory based research project in their chosen area of interest ranging across options in toxicology and pharmacology of drug discovery.

Currently available projects include:

  • Gastrointestinal pharmacology
  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Molecular pharmacology of vascular disease
  • Diabetic Neuropathic pain
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Toxicology of new smoking devices
  • Toxicology of novel psychoactive substances

Professional Accreditations

Subject to validation, this course will be accrediated by the Royal Society for Biology Accreditation.

What job can I get?

Graduates of the MSc Drug Discovery and Toxicology with Advanced Research may go on to work in a broad range of fields including: Toxicology research, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, clinical toxicology, forensic toxicology, food safety, academia research, medical writing/science journalism, UK government departments, education, or patent law. Alternatively, you may also use the MSc in Drug Discovery and Toxicology to underpin an application to study for a research degree such as MRes, MSc by Research, or a PhD in a related field.

Subject to validation

This course is due to be validated at a Validation conditions event which will be held in June 2020.

We anticipate that there will be further enhancements made to the course as a result of the Validation.

Our website and printed literature will be updated following completion of the Validation process in order to provide applicants with further confirmed details on the following:

  • module titles
  • whether the modules are core or optional
  • the expected contact hours
  • how the course will be assessed
  • staff teaching on the course

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.