Introduction

Scotland has a long tradition of excellence in clinical research and significant recent investment in the new science of Stratified Medicine makes it the ideal place to acquire the skills required for a successful career in 21st century biomedicine.

This programme is studied on campus.

Stratified Medicine aims to improve therapies for patients such that the drug treatments will be individualised for each patient thus improving his/her likelihood of the best response. This approach has huge potential to enhance therapies and the timely development of new treatments for human disease. It is one of the most important concepts in 21st century clinical science and is a crucial component of the global drive to increase the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of new medicines.

This taught postgraduate Masters programme harnesses Scotland's strengths in Stratified Medicine, Clinical Trials, Bioinformatics and Pharmacogenomics and draws on the current and future needs of the Life Sciences sector. It has been developed in conjunction with the industrial partners of the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC).

Throughout, this programme will integrate basic and clinical sciences. You will benefit from focused training and will graduate better equipped to design, execute and evaluate modern clinical interventions.

This specially funded programme is open to Scottish/EU citizens. Prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. The awards cover all tuition costs and all you need to do is apply in order to be considered.

The MSc Stratified Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation is a unique postgraduate degree, offered jointly by the University of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow and University of Strathclyde. Students choose to study on campus at either the University of Aberdeen or University of Glasgow. For informal programme enquiries contact study@abdn.ac.uk. To submit an application, apply here.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MSc
Duration
12 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September

What You'll Study

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

In semester 1 students take four compulsory courses leading to 55 course credits.

  • Small Molecule Drug Discovery
  • Introduction to Bio-Business and the Commercialisation of Business Research
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Commercialisation
  • Applied Statistics with Routine Health Datasets
Small Molecule Drug Discovery (BT5013) - 25 Credit Points

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.

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Introduction to Bio - Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research (BT5012) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Study Skills for Life (GS50M2)

This course gives students the opportunity to develop both the skills required to complete their degree programme and transferable skills that are fundamental to their future career. The course provides sessions 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-assessment and identification of opportunities by the students to use the support sessions and online resources available. Although the course itself is compulsory most 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 generic skills that are compulsory for all taught postgraduate students in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

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Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

In semester two students study two compulsory courses leading to 30 course credits.

Biologic Drug Discovery (BT5509) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Basic Research Methods (MT5515) - 15 Credit Points

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.

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Beyond Your Degree (GS55M2)

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.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

In semester two students must take 35 credits from a choice of optional courses:

  • Advanced Bio-business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research
  • New Venture Creation
  • Regulation and Governance of New Therapies
  • Spatial Epidemiology
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Applied Health Economics
Advanced Bio - Business and the Commercialisation of Bioscience Research (BT5508) - 15 Credit Points

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.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

In the final semester students undertake a research project which will account for the remaining 60 course credits. All projects will either have an industrial placement or a project which addresses an industrial need.

Course Availability

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

You will be offered a choice of base institution, either Aberdeen or Glasgow. In addition, you will participate in modules/courses provided by the Universities of Dundee and Strathclyde.

Tuition comprises core modules/courses (60 credits) and a series of optional modules/courses (60 credits) which enable participating students to personalise their degree better to align it with their future career aspirations. Students will also be offered a choice of project, which will afford them the opportunity to gain employability skills and to apply their new knowledge in a commercial or academic context. Further flexibility will be provided through a choice of host institution for some modules, and distance learning options for others.

Learning Methods

  • Clinical Learning
  • E-learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lab Work
  • Lectures
  • Peer Learning
  • Professional Placements
  • Research
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

Assessment Methods

The project accounts for 60 credits. All projects will either have an industrial placement or a project which addresses an industrial need.

The programme will include an opportunity for all students to present the outcomes of their projects to an audience of other students, academics and industry representatives. Assessment will consist of submission of a Dissertation and oral presentation.

Why Study Stratified Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation?

  • Stratified Medicine is highly topical. There is high demand for graduates with this qualification and skills and you will be ideally place to pursue a career in the commercial or academic life sciences upon graduation.
  • You will be given the unique opportunity to undertake an industry linked placement as your main project. This fantastic opportunity will be offered by partner commercial organisations/companies and universities.
  • The programme will cover aspects of commercial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, together with the principles which underpin the emerging science at the interface between genetics and pharmacology.
  • You will undergo theoretical and practical training in state-of-the-art research processes, enabling an appreciation of how to apply novel stratified approaches, together with clinical pharmacological, regulatory and ethical principles to the optimisation of future clinical research and therapeutic practice.
  • You will gain an understanding of statistical methods used to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of new treatments, and direct experience of how all of these techniques are applied by academic and industrial researchers in the development of new medicines.
  • The five universities, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Dundee and Edinburgh are internationally recognised as leaders in biomedical research, hosting highly collaborative and productive groups with the requisite expertise in pharmacology, clinical trial methodology, pharmacogenomics, and life sciences.
  • 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.

Entry Requirements

Applications should be accompanied by a personal statement, highlighting career goals and how this programme will help to achieve them.

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Candidates must normally possess:

  • At least a second class honours degree in Life Science or Pharmacy/Pharmacology from a university in the United Kingdom; or
  • A qualification deemed by the Joint Management Committee to be equivalent to the above; and/or
  • Professional or industrial experience deemed appropriate by the Joint Management

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:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

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

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact study@abdn.ac.uk.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

Scottish Funding Council Awards

Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. The SFC has selected this programme in recognition of the high demand for students with these qualifications.

Financial Assistance for Travel and Accommodation

Students will receive financial assistance for travel between the partner Universities and assistance with accommodation costs.

University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to offer a 20% discount on postgraduate tuition fees for all alumni. Further information can be found on our Finance and Funding pages.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Upon graduation you will be able to pursue a career in a variety of academic and commercial sectors including clinical research, preclinical lab-based research, business development with expert knowledge in life sciences and Bioinformatics/biostatistics.

"As a small biotech company having excellent staff is paramount to our success. Scotia Biologics is based within the Aberdeen University Medical Institute campus and as such has the added bonus of being able to take on Masters students for their 10 week placement. I have been amazed at the level of competence displayed by the students on the Stratified Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation taught MSc programme. As a result, we offered two of these students full time employment in our company when they completed their MSc"

Dr Gill Broadbent
Chief Operations Officer
Scotia Biologics Ltd.

“Cell ProTx Ltd. was able to provide a significant learning experience in the areas of free radical biology and medicine, redox chemistry and drug development as well as the operations of an SME Life Sciences company. Students provided significant benefit to the company by undertaking literature reviews and initial proof-of-concept studies in areas of research, additional to our core programme, which we could not otherwise have done. “All of the candidates were of very high calibre and integrated well with other members of staff becoming part of our team for the duration of their placements. One of the students successfully secured an industrial PhD position following his time with us. “I very much hope that the SMPI course will continue to thrive as it provides a unique foundation for students to progress into the Life Sciences sector.”

Donald McPhail Director,
Cell ProTx Ltd.

Industry Links

Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC)

Scotia Biologics

Cell ProTx

Elasmogen

NovaBiotics

Top 10 for Spin-Out Companies

We are one of the top 10 UK Universities for spin-out company formation.

Our Experts

The programme will be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of world renowned and vastly experienced experts.

Programme Coordinator
Professor Heather Wallace

Information About Staff Changes

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.

Facilities

Image for Stratified Medicine Scotland - Innovation Centre
Stratified Medicine Scotland - Innovation Centre

Stratified Medicine Scotland - Innovation Centre

The SMS-IC is a world-class centre for providing commercial delivery of stratified medicine capabilities. SMS-IC is based at the newly opened Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow.

Image for The Institute of Medical Sciences
The Institute of Medical Sciences

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.

Image for Foresterhill Health Campus
Foresterhill Health Campus

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.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX