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Pharmacology and Drug Discovery MSc 2018/19 entry

Course code:

HLST088
HLST138

Study options:

1 year full-time
5 semesters/20 months full-time (Masters with Professional Experience)
2 years part-time (UK/EU only)

How to Apply
Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018
January 2019

Fees:

£15,050
£15,900 (with prof. experience)

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

International Office

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

This Master’s course provides the training and development necessary to meet demand for highly skilled scientists within the expanding and global bioscience sector. It can lead to a wide range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of pharmacology.

The course has been designed to respond to the increasing demand for suitably trained professional pharmacologists, essential to speed up the critical task of translating basic laboratory medical research into commercially-ready medical biotechnology and drugs that can be used to diagnose and treat patients. As well as relevant biotechnical innovations associated with pharmacology and drug discovery, classical clinical trial design and health-outcomes research, the course also encompasses an emerging area of science that is known as ‘Translational Medicine’.

Translational medicine requires a new breed of pharmacologist who can apply basic science knowledge and skills to experimental study design, management and data analysis, and who understands the legislation and other regulatory procedures surrounding disease treatment. Our course is designed to provide such specialists by applying basic and clinical science to topics including diagnosis, understanding and treatment of disease, supported by our excellent staff, research expertise and laboratory facilities. 

Biology degrees have been provided at Coventry University for over 40 years and it is ranked within the top 20 universities in the UK for Biosciences in the Guardian University Guide 2017. Our multimillion pound, state-of-the-art Science and Health Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge industry techniques.

See the facilities available in our brand new Science and Health Building

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Course information

This Master’s course is designed to expand your knowledge of pharmacological, molecular, biochemical, cell biological and genetic techniques underpinning modern pharmacology and drug discovery and how they can be used to solve real world problems and benefit society.

The programme is composed of a combination of modules which progressively build to the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Master’s. Core subject areas include cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, numeracy, statistics and computing and a range of practical laboratory techniques.

We provide hands-on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You will be trained in pharmacology research strategies and gain an understanding of the nature of business based on bioscience knowledge and research, opportunities for innovation, and regulatory requirement constraints, intellectual property and ethical issues.

 

Modules

Overview

Modules

  • Postgraduate Diploma

    • Advanced Pharmacology, drug discovery and development 
    • Current Topics in Biotechnology and Drug Discovery
    • Biotechnology in the Diagnosis of Disease
    • Genomes and DNA Technology
    • Research Skills
    • Pharmaceutical Discoveries
  • Master’s degree

    • Project/Dissertation
  • Master’s degree with Professional Experience

    • Professional Experience in Life Sciences 1
    • Professional Experience in Life Sciences 2
    • Life Sciences Professional Experience Project and Reflection

In more detail...

  • Extensive industry links with, for example, Green Biologics and Cambridge Scientific Solutions.
  • Strong track record of graduate employability, with 100% of students achieving positive destinations from the 2014 cohort.
  • Regular guest lectures from current practitioners in the pharmacology industry, laboratory research and other jobs in science in areas including pharmacology, drug design and development and clinical trials.
  • High levels of student satisfaction for ‘Biology and related Sciences’ – 95% overall and 89% for the quality of teaching compared to a sector average of 83% in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTSE) 2016.
  • Research-inspired teaching with input from experts in our Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences research centre, which focuses on the themes of: cellular and molecular biosciences; biological systems, health and disease; and physical activity, exercise and obesity.
  • Access to a well-equipped suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience using industry standard techniques, such as flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography, and confocal microscopy.

Your main study themes are:

  • Advanced Pharmacology, Drug Discovery and Development: Provides an understanding of basic and advanced pharmacology, clinical trials, drug design and development.

  • Current Topics in Biotechnology and Drug Discovery: Explores contemporary topics in modern biotechnology, drug discovery and issues surrounding the regulatory framework and the integration of legal and commercial issues for human research that uses drugs, biologics, devices and stem cells.

  • Biotechnology in Disease Diagnosis: The application of biotechnology to, particularly molecular, diagnostic techniques has initiated a revolution in the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious and non-infectious diseases. You will have the opportunity to learn how molecular diagnostic testing can provide key epidemiologic and surveillance data and rapidly identify outbreaks of disease.

  • Genomes and DNA Technology: Provides an understanding of modern genome science, looking at the techniques used and information gained in the analysis of genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes. The applications of molecular biotechnology in medicine and agriculture are considered with an emphasis on the production of recombinant protein products and the generation of genetically modified organisms.

  • Research Skills: Provides a detailed understanding of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific hypothesis. The ethos, requirements and legislation surrounding laboratory research will also be discussed.

  • Pharmaceutical Discoveries: Gives an overview of translational medicine from a global, academic, commercial and public sector perspective. Examples of real life translational medicine projects will be used in the form of case studies. An emphasis will be provided in this module that new medicinal products include not only small molecule drugs, but also a growing number of biologics, cell therapies (eg. stem cells), devices and combination devices with drugs/biologics/stem cells. You will have the opportunity to gain a detailed appreciation of novel approaches that use data/methodologies obtained in the lab, to design preclinical and clinical studies with the aim of enhancing the discovery of new therapies or targeting therapies to patient groups.

The course can be studied over three semesters and one year as a traditional full-time Master’s programme and two years part-time, starting in September and January. It can also be studied over 20 months as an extended full-time programme ‘With Professional Experience’. This incorporates the additional professional experience modules, in which you gain experience throughout either an internship with an external organisation or with the University and then write up a report detailing what you have learned.

Internships, subject to competitive application and selection, will normally be undertaken for three to five days per week for 18-22 weeks over two semesters. Those unsuccessful in gaining an external internship will undertake an internal internship that is based at the University, but which may have some input from external organisations, depending upon the nature of the internship. 

Teaching and learning incorporates lectures, workshops, tutorials, presentations and practical laboratory sessions, all supported by an extensive suite of analytical and biological laboratories staffed by experienced technicians. In addition, each module is supported by extensive online material to help prepare you for your taught sessions and to assist with your personal study. 

Where possible, coursework uses applied tasks that mimic the skills needed in jobs to help ensure you are attractive to future employers, such as oral and poster presentations, and the collection and interpretation of laboratory data culminating in a detailed report. We try to organise industry visits and also offer the opportunity to apply for internships, which have led to previous students spending time with companies such as Inocardia, Severn Trent Water and Lytegro.

You will receive a series of lectures and seminars on selected contemporary topics in pharmacology and drug discovery, delivered by University teaching, research staff and invited speakers from other universities, research institutes, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. 

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Each module contains two summative assignments which you must pass with an average mark of 40% or greater. In order for you to show your potential you will be assessed in a variety of formats, including scientific report writing, verbal and written presentations – including oral and poster presentations, and critical reviews – and a statistical analysis of data.

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows:

  • Practical or project work: 55%
  • Critical reviews of the literature: 25%
  • Oral, poster and leaflet presentations: 14%
  • Data analytical exercise: 6%

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60%, respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

55% assessed by practical or project work

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • Current hot topics in pharmacology, such as drug discovery, dug development and clinical trials.
  • Genomes and DNA technology, including molecular biology and genomics, and pharmacological applications.
  • Diagnosis of disease, including the use of pharmacology in disease diagnosis.
  • Pharmaceutical discoveries, including translational medicine and drug discovery.
  • Research methodology, including design and management of scientific research.

 

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and interpret knowledge and practice in pharmacology.
  • Collect, analyse and present data using appropriate methods.
  • Apply scientific methods to the critical analysis of literature, reflection, information searching, and research methodology in areas of pharmacology.
  • Apply scientific/clinical methods to conducting and management of research.
  • Formulate and present a critical argument using a variety of methods (eg. presentation, essay) that would stand up to critical review and scrutiny in academic and professional settings.
  • Work safely in the laboratory, establishing fundamental techniques, and carry out progressively more advanced laboratory-based investigations based on competence in pharmacology.
  • To lead and to collaborate with others in order to solve problems of a practical nature and to provide appropriate solutions.
  • Design a research study, including demonstrating awareness of safety and ethical issues.
  • Conduct an independent research project, including collection, analysis and presentation of data.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 15 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as 3 hours of laboratory sessions and 12 hours of lectures, workshops and tutorials each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 25 hours of self-directed study each week e.g. working on coursework assignments.

This course attracts like-minded students from all over the world, who are seeking to improve their scientific and laboratory skills in pharmacology, using British standard equipment and gaining extensive practical laboratory time. As such, you’ll find yourself part of a multicultural learning environment, working alongside students who will share their own professional and personal experiences.

You will benefit from being taught by a diverse range of staff with different international experiences. Some modules have external speakers who have an international research background. Coventry University is committed to providing students an international experience, so you will also have the opportunity to take part in the Global Leaders programme.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,264

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15



12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold an Honours degree at 2:2 or above, or equivalent, in a life sciences, pharmacology or clinical sciences based undergraduate course.

We would normally be looking for study of the following subjects in the final year of an undergraduate degree programme: physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology or pharmacology.

Applicants must hold an Honours degree at 2:2 or above, or equivalent, in a life sciences, pharmacology or clinical sciences based undergraduate course.

We would normally be looking for study of the following subjects in the final year of an undergraduate degree programme: physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology or pharmacology.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.5 or above, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-Sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants must hold an Honours degree at 2:2 or above, or equivalent, in a life sciences, pharmacology or clinical sciences based undergraduate course.

We would normally be looking for study of the following subjects in the final year of an undergraduate degree programme: physiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology or pharmacology.

English as a Foreign Language This course requires an IELTS of 6.5 or above, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-Sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£10,650
£11,600 (with prof. experience) (per year)


January 2019

£10,650
£11,600 (with prof. experience) (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£10,650
£11,600 (with prof. experience) (per year)


January 2019

£10,650
£11,600 (with prof. experience) (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£15,050
£15,900 (with prof. experience) (per year)


January 2019

£15,050
£15,900 (with prof. experience) (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Career prospects

The MSc Pharmacology and Drug Discovery programme is specifically designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required for a career within the pharmacology and drug development arena and there are many opportunities, both the UK and internationally.

A large number of pharmacologists are employed by companies in the pharmaceutical industry, where they are involved in discovering and developing drugs and carrying out clinical trials. Pharmacologists may also work for contract research organisations (CROs) or academic departments within universities on research projects. There are also opportunities within government laboratories (including environmental agencies), charity-funded research organisations, such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), and with other research institutes. 

The scientific knowledge and skills you should acquire during the course can also be a useful basis for a career in teaching; technical and scientific writing (such as medical writing or writing for the media); clinical trials; drug registration, patenting or monitoring; medical publishing or other information services, regulatory affairs or sales and marketing.

A wide range of job opportunities exist, including:

  • Clinical research manager 
  • Clinical scientist
  • Human resources manager
  • Patent attorney
  • Pharmacologist
  • Project manager/director
  • Public relations officer
  • Regulatory affairs associate
  • Research scientist
  • Sales representative
  • Medical writer
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.

The tuition fees stated on the course webpage, prospectus and your offer letter will apply for the duration of your course, subject only to changes to the law or government requirement. Please note that we set fees for individual courses, and fees from previous years are no indication of fees for future years.