Develop your theoretical and practical skills needed for a career in pharmacology by familiarising yourself with the latest advances in commercial pharmacological science.
You will work alongside our highly regarded lecturers who are also active researchers, and have the opportunity to hear from invited guest lecturers. There is also an opportunity to take a year-long work placement.
This course is ideal if you:
- are a recently qualified undergraduate and are looking for the professional skills needed to obtain a job in a pharmaceutical company
- are working in an organisation and want a masters-level qualification to give you a competitive edge
- require the skills and experience needed to study for a research degree
- are an international student who would like to study abroad
- would like a course delivered by experienced research academics, with the possibility of completing a research project in industry
- want to use cutting-edge facilities to develop your own learning and research.
One year paid work experience option available
Postgraduate open events: We hold postgraduate open events throughout the year. Find out more and book a place.
Contact details: Email us
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 8351
What you'll study
This course is made up of six core modules and a research project. If you are part-time or a sandwich student, you will continue to study the second year from the modules listed below.
Cell Biology and Physiology (20 cp) - Develop your understanding of basic cellular function within physiology, and gain an appreciation of cellular systems. Modern pharmacological concepts and techniques are introduced as well as studying cell organisation, gene expression, metabolism, and physiological systems.
Neurophysiology (20 cp) - A number of hot topics in molecular and cellular neuroscience will be selected from current scientific literature. These topics include subjects such as neuronal pathways involved in the expression of behaviour, neural degeneration, neurotoxicity and the recent advances in our understanding of certain neurological and psychiatric illnesses.
Biology of Disease (20 cp) - You'll gain an understanding of the pathogenesis of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney fibrosis. The lectures and seminars examine cancer aetiology, the genotypic and phenotypic properties associated with tumour progression, metastasis, and the current approaches to cancer gene therapy and immunotherapy.
Research Methods and Bioethics (20 cp) - This module encourages you to think beyond your own subject, and interact accordingly. You'll gain a solid foundation in literature review, research design and planning, data analysis and a poster presentation by focusing your studies on a related ethical issue. Ethical issues in research will also be explored, as you discover when and how to obtain ethical clearance in accordance with ethical governance at NTU.
Pharmacology (20 cp) - In this module, you'll see how genes can influence our physiology, and hence our pharmacological response to drugs used to treat pathological conditions. You'll develop the concept of tailoring therapeutic drugs as the future of drug design, enabling physicians to prescribe personalised medical treatments based on an individual's genome.
Techniques in Macromolecular Analysis (20 cp) - The aims of this module are to provide an advanced knowledge and understanding of the techniques that can be used to isolate and purify macromolecules, and the approaches that can be used to track, study and predict macromolecular structure and function. You'll explore a range of current topics, and their application to macromolecular analysis. These topics will include the macromolecular analysis of proteins, protein purification programs and simulations, and protein bioinformatics.
Research Project (60 cp) - In consultation with a supervisor at NTU, you'll select a research topic comprising an original, defined research question (or series of such questions), and develop a written research proposal for the Project. You'll then present this proposal as part of the Research Methods and Bioethics module. Working individually with the guidance of supervisors, you'll design your experiments and computer-based approaches to address the research questions. A diary-style record of protocols or methods will be used to generate entries for your skills portfolio. You'll communicate your findings through a written thesis, and a poster presentation. For the MRes course, an interim written report and oral presentation will be assessed after six to eight months of work, in order to review your progress.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- Enhance your communication skills
- Enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- Boost your career prospects.
Find out more about the ULP.
- Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) - choose to study 60 credit points (cp) of taught modules
- Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) - choose 120 cp of taught modules for the award, does not include a research project
- Masters of Science (MSc) - full 180 cp of taught modules and research project, accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science
If you are unsuccessful in completing the 180 cp required for MSc, you will be awarded PG Cert if you have passed at least 60 cp, or PG Dip if you have passed 120 cp. All PG Cert, PG Dip and Masters students are taught together.
- 100% of our bioscience research activity achieved world-leading, internationally-excellent or internationally-recognised status (latest Research Excellence Framework 2014)
- 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degrees (latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15)
- 83% of NTU postgraduate taught students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of their course (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016)
- Leading university in the UK for the number of postgraduate students taking professional qualifications (latest Higher Education Statistics 2014/15)
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
How you're taught
This Pharmacology postgraduate degree will be delivered through lectures, laboratory classes, demonstrations, computer packages, and project work. We have state-of-the-art lecture, computing, library and laboratory facilities.
All six core modules are assessed by a variety of different types of course work including written assignments, oral presentations and poster presentations, and examinations. The research project will involve the design, implementation and reporting of a major research task.
There will be various support mechanisms to help and advise you, including email contact with all tutors, a virtual learning environment for course information and messages, and pastoral support from our International Coordinator and Postgraduate Courses Administrator. The University offers an induction programme for international students, and English language classes.
Contact hours for a 20 cp modules are typically around 50 hours, with a further 150 hours expected from you for directed and independent study.
Careers and employability
This course provides the professional skills, experience and knowledge necessary to pursue a wide range of careers within the field of pharmacology. It encourages students to be aware of the link between molecular cell biology and pharmacological approaches in drug development and the treatment of disease.
Graduates are also well-versed in the ethical issues surrounding drug development and usage and their impact on business making them a valuable addition to any company.
This course offers you the opportunity to take a one-year placement or several smaller placements. If you start this course in September / October then you will complete your placement following your taught modules and research project. If you start in January you will complete one term of taught modules and your project then go on placement before returning to NTU for your final term of modules.
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice
To qualify for the additional qualification of Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice (PGDIPP) you must submit a work placement portfolio which includes a placement diary, reflective report and updated CV, as well as deliver an oral presentation on your placement experience.
Help and support
We will work closely with you to help you strengthen your CV and interview techniques. During the placement year, an academic member of staff will visit at least twice to check on your progress and offer any advice.