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Do you want to promote the safer use of medicines in man? Our Clinical Pharmacology MSc aims to develop your research skills, your knowledge of clinical drugs and their use in the real world.
This programme is studied on campus.
The University of Aberdeen has been producing high quality Clinical Pharmacology graduates for over 30 years and has been at the forefront of pharmacology research for over 50 years.
Common themes throughout this MSc programme include molecular pharmacology and toxicology within the fields of disease, the drug discovery process and drug design and development. The programme will enable you to access leading academic and industry experts and provide you with valuable networking opportunities. Coupled with the skills and experience that you will gain throughout your studies, your employability and career prospects will be improved.
The MSc is ideal for recent graduates, medics and scientists, who would like to improve their career prospects, fill skills gaps and further their hands-on research experience.
We aim to provide you with:
An understanding of the principles of pharmacology and methods
An ability to apply knowledge in academic and real world health contexts
Opportunities to learn from world renowned researchers
The taught part of our MSc Clinical Pharmacology programme extends over two terms. It consists of approximately 150 hours of lectures and 10 days of practical classes in addition to tutorials, seminars and teaching.
Over the last four months of the programme, students will undertake a project involving original research. The research will be linked to the areas of interest of the college and staff but special interests can be accommodated. The project is presented in the form of a thesis.
The course focuses on the molecular mechanisms of drug action and how cutting edge research can advance current therapeutic approaches to disease. The utility of molecular pharmacology will be highlighted in the context of current and future drug discovery for cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases and cancer.
This course provides advanced level learning in drug metabolism, discovery and development. It includes the importance of drug transporters in the drug discovery process, regulatory issues and molecular toxicology and pharmacology at an advanced level. Mechanisms of drug-induced and oxidative stress and immunopharmacology are described. External experts are invited to provide their unique expertise on a range of topics which can include toxicopathology, immunotoxicology, risk assessment and an industrial perspective on the drug discovery process.
This course will describe and review the use of medicinal compounds in man together with methods to assess and describe efficacy and toxicity. A number of exemplar disease areas and at risk populations will be selected and the drugs used to treat these conditions and populations discussed and explained. The importance of understand drug mechanisms of action and associated risk as well as benefit will be emphasised in a clinical setting. The course will consider both drugs in current use and those in development.
This course intends to develop the student's awareness of the fact that statistical techniques are integral to scientific research. Researchers must be able to specify a precise research question in statistical terms and then select an appropriate study design in order to carry out an effective research project. They must also be able to assess the adequacy of the research presented in scientific or medical literature. The same skills are also required for many MSc dissertation projects.
This course is designed to provide or revise the basic skills you will require for your MSc. The course will revise basic laboratory skills and techniques and advance these to a level required to undertake graduate practical classes and projects by developing hands-on experience, competence and confidence in key laboratory skills.
This course gives students the opportunity to develop the transferable skills required to both complete their degree programme and progress in their future career. The course provides guides and workshops on a variety of skills, including literature appraisal, academic integrity, writing, presentations, note taking and time management. It provides online resources for developing IT and numeracy skills, and acts as a resource for advertising development opportunities both within and outside the university.
The course strongly relies on self-reflection and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course itself is compulsory the majority of the course sessions offered are optional, and support is given to the students to help them identify what they most need to work on. Completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.
This course is the first of two courses relating to cross-discipline skills development that is compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.
Pharmacokinetics describe “what the body does to a drug” and thus is a central feature of applied pharmacology. The course will develop an understanding of the role that pharmacokinetics play in all aspects of drug administration, distribution, metabolism and excretion and how these effects can be modelled and predicted graphically and mathematically. Such modelling is a fundament of therapeutic regimen design, drug development, clinical pharmacology and drug safety and will be considered within all of these contexts providing a broad and relevant appreciation of the importance of pharmacokinetics to the pharmacologist
This course reviews a range of essential methodologies that are currently used in medical research from molecular technologies to human studies. Experts in the various techniques will describe the fundamentals of the methodology and show how they can be applied.
This course gives students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to progress in their degree programme and beyond into their chosen career. It focuses on the job application process, the support available from the university both during and after their degree, and the skills that apply to undertaking projects. Sessions include an introduction to the careers service, CV, cover letter and interview skills, workplace professionalism and managing projects. Online resources are provided to support transferable skill development.
The course strongly relies on self-assessment and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although completion of the course is compulsory, most of the course sessions offered are optional, and completion of the course is achieved through formative assignments.
This course is the second of two courses relating to generic skills that are compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.
We have a dynamic research culture at the University and as part of the MSc you will undertake an original research project, supervised by a member of staff, over a period of 16 weeks. This is an excellent opportunity to carry out pioneering research, often as an active member of an existing research group. A list of proposed projects, based on the work currently being undertaken by lecturing staff, is distributed to the students early in the second half session.
Examples of previous projects:
The future of detecting and treating gastric cancer
TB multidrug resistance – a problem that just won’t go away
The research project is the climax of the MSc programme and involves working on an independent research project for 12 weeks prior to completion of a dissertation. It involves utilisation of much of the skills developed throughout the previous 2 semesters, and is selected based on student interests and preferences.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
The teaching of our MSc Clinical Pharmacology programme is lecture based with self-directed learning, practical classes (where appropriate) and tutorials to support the lecture material. External experts are also regularly invited to provide specialist expertise. Many lectures are recorded via Camtasia and can be viewed again when required.
The MSc makes the most of hands-on learning to enable repeated exposure to evidence-based practice using real life examples. Some of the teaching methods employed in the programme include:
Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning
Exposure to leading academic and industry experts
Research-led teaching taught by Key Opinion Leaders
Insight into real-life situations and examples
Real-life learning in a clinical environment
On-going support is provided by the University’s dedicated, interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers, who will be tutoring you. Peer support will develop throughout the course(s) as engagement with students from other countries and disciplines is actively encouraged.
Much of the teaching on this course is participatory and students are expected to consolidate all taught content by completing related tasks and activities and engaging in independent study in their own time.
Each course has its own continuous assessment criteria based on the progress of practical and course work as well as a written degree examination. Progression to a research project is dependent on performance in the individual courses. The MSc project is assessed with the submission of a thesis and viva examination.
Why Study Clinical Pharmacology?
You will be taught by world-leading researchers and qualified clinicians on-site and you will experience studying within the one of the top 10 medical schools in the UK.
We have a huge range of online learning materials so you can re-listen to lectures and access revision materials whenever you need to. We aim to make your learning as interactive as possible to improve your understanding of clinical scenarios.
You will benefit from having access to clinical teachers and researchers who are key opinion leaders in their field. You will be taught by people who have experience of working for regulatory bodies and Government, which will provide you with useful insights into the pharmacology employment market.
You will learn pharmacology best practices, increasing the relevancy of your degree. There will also be opportunities to build a network of contacts within the clinical pharmacology field.
We strongly believe in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary learning, which is reflected in the collaborations we organise with other universities, research institutions and governments within the UK, Europe, America and more than 12 developing countries.
You will have access to a hospital and a University – all on one campus. The Foresterhill Health Campus at the University is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes a Medical School, large teaching hospital and the Institute of Medical Sciences.
We are one of the top 10 UK Universities for spin-out company formation.
The British Pharmacological Society has recognised the University of Aberdeen as a site of special scientific interest based on its achievements in pharmacology.
The University has the rare distinction of having two British Pharmacological Society Wellcome Gold Medal winners on staff.
Award winning research on opioids and cannabinoids was carried out by world-renowned Professors Kosterlitz and Pertwee at the University.
The University of Aberdeen is associated with a Nobel Prize for research which led to the development of insulin as a treatment for diabetes.
The University of Aberdeen is a World Top 170 University (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020)
The University of Aberdeen is ranked 13th in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Guardian League Table 2019
All of the staff here are very friendly and passionate, they give me a lot of support with my studies. Whatâ€™s more, the price of the tuition fees is very reasonable, which is very important for self-supported students like myself.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
Applicants will usually require a second class Honours degree (2:2) or equivalent in a biomedical science subject such as biochemistry, biomedical science, pharmacology or a degree in medicine or pharmacy.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.
English Language Requirements
To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.
an up-to-date CV/Resumé
a degree certificate showing your qualifications
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Completing the MSc programme in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Aberdeen will equip you with a range of essential research skills that you can apply to workplace environments. You will be able to conduct research into new drugs and promoting the safer use of medicines.
An MSc in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen will prove a rewarding platform towards a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Completion of the programme alone will show prospective employers that you have the hands-on research experience required to bring value to their organisation.
Clinical Trials Coordinator
Regulatory and Safety Pharmacology Adviser
We have strong links with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry including Servier, GSK, Pfizer and AstraZeneca and with small biotechnology companies such as Novabiotics, Antoxis, Cell ProTx and TC Biopharma. These companies provide expert teaching and training opportunities during the degree.
We also have excellent links with the NHS and are co-located with a large NHS teaching hospital on the Foresterhill Health campus.
Professor Heather Wallace describes how our MSc will develop your research skills, your knowledge of clinical drugs and their use in the real world.
We are one of the top 10 UK Universities for spin-out company formation.
What our Alumni Say
I chose the University of Aberdeen because of its excellent reputation for research and the cutting-edge facilities. This programme enables students to acquire diverse skills in their chosen field and beyond through collaboration.
The programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of world renowned and vastly experienced researchers in clinical pharmacology with each course having its own specialised co-ordinator(s).
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
The Institute of Medical Sciences
Focused on developing future effective therapies, the Institute of Medical Sciences houses nearly 400 researchers and support staff working on cutting-edge biomedical subjects aimed at understanding the human body's response to infection and disease.
A dedicated Medical Library on the Foresterhill Health Campus and the fantastic facilities in the Sir Duncan Rice Library at King’s College, are complemented by online access to the key medical and health sciences journals and textbooks.
Foresterhill Health Campus
The Foresterhill Health Campus is one of the largest clinical complexes in Europe which includes the Medical School, large teaching hospital, the Institute of Medical Sciences and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.