Taught course

Drug Discovery MSc

University of Nottingham · School of Pharmacy

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) related to biology or chemistry including (but not restricted to) pharmacy, pharmacology, biochemistry, genetics, life sciences, natural sciences, biomedical sciences

IELTS: 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each element.

Months of entry


Course content

Learn how to develop treatments for some of the world’s most challenging diseases of our time. You will develop key aspects of the drug discovery journey, from initial concept through to clinical treatment.

Research from the School of Pharmacy is transforming the lives of millions of people across the globe. Some of our recent contributions include:

  • developing an innovative materials discovery platform, leading to improved biomedical devices that reduce infection and improve healing
  • helping the NHS save £500m through research into the expansion of pharmacy services in England
  • influencing government policy internationally to establish community pharmacies as vaccination centres for influenza and COVID-19

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. You will establish practical and professional skills from both the School of Pharmacy and the School of Life Sciences. You will learn to communicate complex ideas through a variety of formats, such as a simulated pitch to investors for funding. You will develop core practical skills in key areas that underpin drug discovery, such as synthesis of drugs, and in vitro and in vivo analysis.

You will benefit from a range of teaching approaches and methods from experts collaborating with, or working in, the pharmaceutical industry. The Schools have extensive links with local and global pharmaceutical organisations, including Sygnature Discovery, Excellerate Bioscience and GlaxoSmithKline. Members of our course team have won awards for excellence in teaching and student support. Our small group learning environment can help you settle in quickly and form a lasting network of connections.

A dedicated supervisor will support you during your research project. You will work alongside our researchers who are transforming lives and improving societies.

Examples of previous research projects include:

  • Computational chemistry - Identification of Potential Inhibitors against Factor XII related to COVID-19 using Molecular Docking
  • Synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry – Facile synthetic approaches to CGP-12177 analogues for exploring the β1-adrenoceptor secondary conformation
  • In silico pharmacokinetics – Evaluation of the impact of CYP2C8 polymorphisms on the efficacy and disposition of amodiaquine using physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling
  • Drug screening – Characterization of RO7297590 binding properties to human cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors using homogenous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF)
  • Target identification - Targeting protease inhibitors to the gut-associated lymphoid tissues for improved treatment of HIV/AIDS

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written/ formal examinations1
Written coursework / continuous assessment1
Oral exam1

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 5559