A good honours degree in chemistry, pharmacy, life science or a related subject. Applicants with alternative qualifications will also need appropriate experience (in healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry or a regulatory body, for example). Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.
Months of entry
This course will develop your knowledge of the design, development, analysis and production of medicines, the drug industry and regulatory affairs. It is particularly suitable if you are keen to enter employment in areas such as pharmaceutical marketing, formulation, regulatory affairs, process development, medical statistics and clinical trial organisations. You can choose to combine your studies with training in the fundamentals of management theory (option available only for September intake), which is especially suitable to those interested in taking up management positions in relevant organisations.
What will you study
You will have the chance to explore current trends in chemical, biological and biotechnological therapeutics, and will look at the latest technologies used in the pharmaceutical industry. You will gain an understanding of the processes used in clinical trials and in the development, manufacture and regulation of medicines. You will also develop your computing and statistical skills and other key skills, such as data collection, communication, time management, organisational and review and synopsis skills.
Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.
Modules (September start)
- Statistics and Quality Systems
The module introduces students to the role of statistics and quality systems in modern analytical science. It demonstrates how a thorough understanding of statistical concepts, the analytical process and the quality systems and quality management paradigms collectively enable the consistent and reliable interpretation of analytical chemical data to support the economic requirements of a business organisation. The module aims are:
- To define analytical chemistry and the criteria that distinguish it from other sciences.
- To describe and appraise the analytical process in a systematic manner and emphasise the purpose of each stage.
- Provide the rationale for the use of statistics in chemical analysis and experimental design and the skills required to perform statistical testing and interpretation of chemical data manually, via a calculator and with software.
- To enhance students knowledge of the planning and development of quality systems in the analytical laboratory.
- Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technology
The module is intended to ensure that students are aware of the processes by which a drug is formulated into a medicine. It examines the effect that formulation decisions have on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines, and on the pharmaceutical industry's business model. It includes the principles of pharmaceutical analysis and the application of pharmaceutical analytical techniques (both routine and non-routine) for the design, process- and quality-control of manufactured pharmaceuticals and process-intermediates. It is designed to enable students to review instrumentation choices when confronted with pharmaceutical issues and to select the appropriate tool(s). It also looks at the emerging quality assurance concepts of process analytical technology and quality by design. The module aims are:
- To analyse aspects of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing including process analysis.
- To extend the students' knowledge of total quality management and apply it to the analytical laboratory in the pharmaceutical industry.
- To provide current examples of the applications of the techniques studied in this course specifically to pharmaceutical problems.
- Manufacture and Clinical Trials of Medicines
This module introduces you to the different phases and types of clinical trials and the associated legal, regulatory and ethical issues. This includes statistical data analyses and how to manage and review clinical trial data in relation to evidence-based medicine. The technology and application of the manufacture of various medicine formulations are discussed and the place of biotechnological products introduced. The module also covers elements of medicines regulation with particular reference to the UK and European Union. Regulations are dealt with both within a general framework and specific areas including manufacturing, dealing with specialist products, regulation in clinical use, and licensing. The module aims are:
- To develop an understanding of the testing of medicines and medical devices in human volunteers and patients, and role of statistics and clinical data management.
- To facilitate review of results from drugs under test or in therapeutic use, to make judgement of these data and to make valid recommendations or warnings where appropriate.
- To enable students to undertake detailed review of the progress of medicinal products from instigation to patient.
- To allow design of improved systems of production, testing and control of medicaments including the different types of clinical trial.
- Design, Discovery and Development of Pharmaceuticals
This module complements others on the course by looking at drug development from a medicinal chemistry perspective. It covers:
- key aspects of drug design, lead optimisation, pharmacokinetics and toxicology, with respect to drug development;
- how drugs are designed and developed from laboratory bench to approval; and
- the essential research which must be conducted as part of this overall process.
- Business in Practice
This module runs on Saturdays.
This module is aimed at the practical needs of students from different academic contexts such as, but not limited to computing, science, medicine, biotechnology and the health services who are aspiring team leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs in business within the context of the commercial, public, voluntary, or academic sector.
The module introduces and uses activities and problem-solving to investigate business topics ranging from finance, accounting, budgeting, and marketing, to organisational management by developing the leadership skills to meet business challenges and cope with its complexity.
This module involves a research- or industry-based in-depth research project. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, utilising analytical and laboratory skills.
On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
- Prepare a realistic and coherent project proposal, formulate aims and objectives and plan your own time to achieve stated objectives.
- Critically evaluate the current literature.
- Carry out appropriate experiments in a safe manner (applying COSHH) and generate reliable data suitably analysed and apply appropriate statistical tests.
- Communicate the results of the project in a coherent report and in oral and visual manner.
Modules (January start)
- Statistics and Formulation of Therapeutics
This core module introduces the role of statistics in modern analytical science. It demonstrates how a thorough understanding of statistical concepts, the analytical process and quality management paradigms collectively enable the consistent and reliable interpretation of analytical chemical data to support the economic requirements of a research and business organisation.
The module is also intended to ensure you are aware of the processes by which a drug is formulated into a medicine. It examines the effect that formulation decisions have on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines, and on the pharmaceutical industry's business model.
The module aims to:
- Propose a suitable analytical approach, collect experimental data from measurements and then perform suitable arithmetic statistical calculations on these chemical data to solve straight-forward problems.
- Present and critically interpret data in a variety of formats, including graphical and written and electronic reports.
- Rationally demonstrate, in reporting of their experimental work or oral/written analysis of an area of pharmaceutical technology, an ability to make independent and impartial critical observations in relation to the published scientific literature and marketing claims.
- Discuss and apply the skills and techniques acquired in this course to pharmaceutical problems.
- Implement design and formulation strategies to render difficult drugs more amenable for formulation.
- Design, Discovery and Manufacture of Medicines
The module details the synthetic chemistry behind the development of drug molecules and evaluates quantitatively the structure activity effects from pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic perspectives.
The module outlines the process for intellectual property protection and exploitation. The current technology employed in the manufacture of various medicine formulations is discussed; and the place of biotechnological products introduced.
The module also covers elements of medicines regulation with particular reference to the UK and European Union. Regulations are dealt with both within a general framework and specific areas including manufacturing, dealing with specialist products, regulation in clinical use, and licensing.
- Quality and Analytical Systems
The module introduces the principles of pharmaceutical analysis and the application of pharmaceutical analytical techniques (both routine and non-routine) for the design, process- and quality-control of manufactured pharmaceuticals and process-intermediates.
It is designed to enable you to review instrumentation choices when confronted with pharmaceutical issues and to select the appropriate tool(s). It also looks at the emerging quality assurance concepts of Process Analytical Technology and Quality by Design.
The module aims to:
- Critically evaluate the importance of quality systems and analytical testing in the creation and manufacture of drug delivery systems.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of quality management systems relating to the analytical laboratory.
- Critically evaluate the role of the analytical scientist in the analytical process and the significance of timely and appropriate analytical measurements to the reputation and economic well-being of a business.
- Critically examine the analytical methodology and quality assurance methods pertaining to the production facilities, and appropriate monitoring/validation.
- Propose solutions to problems specific to pharmaceutical analysis.
- Drug Development and Clinical Trials
The core module introduces the different phases and types of clinical trials and the associated legal, regulatory and ethical issues. This includes statistical data analyses and how to manage and review clinical trial data in relation to evidence-based medicine.
Advanced experimental techniques in spectroscopy and compound separation will be discussed in the context of drug molecule characterisation and development.
The module aims to:
- Explain the process for patent protection and the steps involved in bringing a drug/medical product from bench to market.
- Fully understand the principles of molecular mode of action for different drug classes used in the treatment of disease.
- Critically evaluate the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of changes to the structure of certain drugs and suggest appropriate synthetic methodology to accomplish this.
- Explain the different types of preclinical and clinical trials, their application in terms of comparative values and safety and the associated ethical considerations.
- Critically evaluate clinical trial procedures to ensure compliance with Good Clinical and Manufacturing Practices and legislation (European and other); correlate and analyse data from and assess outcomes of both clinical trials and post-marketing pharmacovigilance data.
- Link the role of trials to the introduction of medical products and devices that have been granted Marketing Authorisations, ie. the approved uses – including the limitations that trial results may have on the commercial products.
Information for international students
All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking. Read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider. http://www.kingston.ac.uk/international/studying-at-kingston/language-requirements/
Fees and funding
Please see http://www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate-course/pharmaceutical-science-msc/fees-and-bursaries.html for further details.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Admissions team
- 08448 547683/+44 (0)20 3308 9931