Taught course

Drug Design and Discovery

University of the West of Scotland · School of Science

Entry requirements

Candidates must normally possess a good first degree in chemistry, pharmacy, or a bioscience with substantial chemistry content. Other professional qualifications equivalent to a degree, or a lesser, appropriate qualification and experience gained in industry will also be considered.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

Designed with industry input, and with industry placement opportunities available, this programme prepares you for
a career in the pharmaceutical industry or in academic research.
About the programme The programme – which reflects the approaches taken by modern pharmaceutical companies – provides theoretical and practical training in the strategies and techniques by which novel drugs are designed. This involves the study of synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and chemical analysis. The latest strategies and technologies involved in the discovery and testing of novel drug candidates are explored.
Practical experience You may take a work-based learning module involving industry placement for approximately one day per week during the second trimester. Placements will be with pharmaceutical, chemical or bioscience companies.
Your learning The MSc consists of six taught modules over two trimesters followed by a substantial research project.
Core modules include:
• Drug Discovery and Development
• Drug Research Methods
• Computer-Aided Drug Design
• Preclinical Drug Testing
• MSc Science Research Project
• Pharmaceutical Synthesis Optional modules:
• Placement Learning
• Drug Design and Development
You will conduct a research project to complete the MSc, involving the application of knowledge and practical techniques covered in the modules. There are various exciting research projects ongoing in this area, including testing of potential anti-tumour agents, and enkephalin analogs, design and synthesis of opioidmimetics, and compounds used against Alzheimer’s disease.
Our Careers Adviser says UWS graduates possess expert knowledge and practical experience of the most relevant techniques used in drug design and discovery, preparing you for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Graduates will find employment in drug synthesis, computer-aided drug design, drug formulation and regulatory affairs.

Information for international students


Fees and funding

In session 2015/16 the Postgraduate
Diploma element of this programme
carried SAAS postgraduate loan
funding for eligible students. Check
www.saas.gov.uk for 2016/17 loan info.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


full time
9 months

Course contact details

Morag Dagen
0800 027 1000 (+44 141 849 4101 out with UK)