Taught course


University of Birmingham · School of Biosciences

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Entry requirements

A good Honours degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Physiology or a related discipline. Alternatively you may be qualified in Medicine or Veterinary Science. Graduates without Honours but with at least two years' approved postgraduate experience, and non-graduates who hold diplomas or other qualifications may also be considered.

Months of entry


Course content

We provide vocational training in the theoretical, clinical and laboratory aspects of toxicology. You will learn about the nature and mechanism of adverse effects of chemicals such as those found in industry, in the household, in agriculture, in medicine, and those that occur naturally in the environment. We give particular emphasis to molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity. A challenging part of the programme is learning to predict the risk of toxicity and balancing this against the likely benefits of the substance concerned. The School of Biosciences is recognised internationally as a major centre for teaching and research in toxicology.

The MSc programme is of 12 months' duration, commencing in late September, and comprises four taught modules, a skills module, a synoptic module and a research project. To accommodate students who might be released from their posts in industry for short periods, or those wishing to undertake part-time study for other reasons, modules can also be taken separately over a period of 2 years.

The taught modules (5 or 6 weeks long) are as follows:

  • Module 1: Metabolism and excretion of xenobiotics
  • Module 2: Pharmacological, forensic and clinical aspects of toxicology
  • Module 3: Molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity and carcinogenesis
  • Module 4: Toxicology in Practice: Safety assessment in industry and the environment

Additional modules:

  • Skills Module
  • Synoptic Module
  • Research Project

Generic and specific skills training is embedded throughout the taught modules, and during the year you will visit a number of external establishments involved with toxicology. The research project (12 weeks from May to August) takes place in a university, research institute, industry or a hospital environment. Many take place away from the University and/or Birmingham giving you the opportunity to experience other working environments.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days.

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year.

Information for international students

International students can find details of scholarships on our website

Fees and funding

Please visit our website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005