The students' view
Students from our suite of Clinical Pharmacology Masters programmes describe their experiences here at Aberdeen and where their Masters degree will take them.
Develop your knowledge and understanding of how drugs and medicines are made and used safely with this MSc programme delivered by Scotland's leading pharmacology researchers and bio-entrepreneurs.
This programme is studied on campus.
The University of Aberdeen has developed an enviable reputation in pharmacology and drug metabolism since the discipline was founded over 50 years ago.
The main areas covered in the MSc are:
In addition to these topics you will also learn about research methods which are key to understanding modern drug discovery and development. Uniquely, this programme will also teach you about Bio-Business which describes the commercialisation of scientific ideas, demystifies the language of business and explains the business models used by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
This MSc is suitable for graduates in biomedical science, pharmacy and medicine who want to improve their career prospects, widen their knowledge base and are interested in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
This course will describe the basic language of business and give examples of large versus small businesses in the bioscience area. Intellectual property rights will be explained as will how present your business and how to set up a small biotech company. A comparison will be made of the big Pharma business model and that of small biotech businesses.
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 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.
The course will focus on small molecule drug discovery. Receptor theory and cell communication and signalling will be revised to facilitate understanding of the remainder of the course. The basis of the drug discovery process will be described and the phases of drug development discussed. A range of targets for drug discovery will be identified and how small molecule drug affect these will be described. Issues around drug regulation will be raised.
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.
Plus one of the following electives:
Series of lectures covering fundamental topics such as RNA (coding, non-coding transcription), DNA –protein interactions (e.g. chromatin, transcription factors), 3D structure of chromosomes and regulation of gene activity) as well as on genome structure/genetic mapping and advanced analytical methods such as CRISPR and genome editing technology. Lectures are complemented by tutorials and workshops covering related topics.
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 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 advanced course builds on the basics provided in Introduction to Bio-business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research (BT5012). It provides more detail on financing and setting up a Bio-business.
The course deals in depth with finance, corporate governance and business models. The major assessment involves the students working together in teams to set up a virtual bio-business and to pitch this business to a group of experts in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. The team will adopt the roles of senior management team and present to the experts their part of the business.
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.
Biologic therapies represent one of the most important and novel areas of drug discovery in the 21st century. The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the success of protein, peptide or antibody based biologic therapies and to examine how this exciting new area will develop over the next decade.
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.
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.
The teaching of our MSc Drug Development and Discovery 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:
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. Some examples of the course work assessed throughout the component courses are: essays, commercially focused presentations, business planning and bio-entrepreneurship, public communication of science and written examinations.
Progression to a research project is dependent on performance in the individual courses.
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 check the In My Country pages to find out if your degree is equivalent.
Please enter your country to view country-specific entry 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:
OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
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.
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£10,000|
|Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year|
|Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year|
The following options are available to support your studies. Please click the links for full details and eligibility criteria.
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
Completing the MSc in Drug Discovery and Development at the University of Aberdeen will give you a wide range of career opportunities within academia and industry.
The University of Aberdeen strongly believes in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary working, meaning our programme will help you build an essential network of contacts that will prove useful in establishing your career in drug discovery and development.
On graduating from the programme, there are several career options you can choose from, some of which include:
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.
I studied at the University of Aberdeen because it is a well-known and high ranking university over the world with a high quality of research.
The programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of world renowned and vastly experienced researchers in drug discovery and development 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.
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.
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.