MSc Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industrial Training (2 years)

The University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy has world-leading expertise in the areas of drug discovery and pharmaceutical sciences. Our courses blend the fundamental disciplines underpinning drug discovery with the opportunity to practise background theory within the productive, research-led environment offered by the School.

You can choose from our one-year course which equips you with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of drug discovery and exceptional scientific understanding, or our two-year course which adds a year’s industrial training placement, further developing your employability and leadership skills.

Our successful and popular one-year programme includes a 60 credit individual research project, and is accredited by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Our pioneering two-year MSc programme is unique in the UK, and builds on the foundations of the one-year programme to equip students with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of drug discovery, and industry standard training. It is therefore especially recommended to high-achieving and ambitious students seeking an opportunity to gain extensive hands-on training in an industrial environment, working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The placement year with one of our industrial partners is arranged and guaranteed upon completion of a successful application and interview process.

Due to limited places available, students who are unable to join the two-year programme will automatically be considered for our one-year programme, which includes the same disciplines underpinning drug discovery and research-led environment in which to practise the theory.

Course details:

The overall aim of our courses is to develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills, key skills and practical and professional skills in the area of Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Science.  The overall drug discovery process from ‘concept to clinic’ provides the reference point for the education and training delivered in the more specific scientific and regulatory aspects.

Students will be able to develop an understanding of the scientific principles underlying the main topic areas housed within the arena of drug discovery.  In addition, upon completing the degree students will be able to make effective use of electronic communication and information search and retrieval to facilitate development of key critical skills with which to assess and analyse a broad array of scientific literature.

The modules you study include topics such as Fundamentals of Drug Discovery, Drug Targets and Pharmacodynamics, Hit Identification to Lead Optimisation, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Drug Discovery with Physical and Organic Chemistry.

Assessment is via a combination of written and online exams, practical lab-based skill assessments and written practical reports, oral and poster presentations, research project and viva voce.

Meet the staff who teach on our courses.

Entry requirements

2:1 degree (or international equivalent) in an appropriate biology- or chemistry-related subject. International applicants will require an IELTS overall score of at least 7.0 (with no less than 6.0 in any element) for the one-year programme, and 7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element) for the two-year programme.

Find out how to apply.

How to apply

Thank you for considering joining our school. If you would like to apply for a postgraduate position, please fill in our online application form. Academics specialising in your areas of interest will consider your application and, if you’re successful, make you a formal offer.

Your offer will be conditional on us receiving your references and transcripts. If you’re an international student, you will also need to show us proof of your English language skills. You can find more information on our entry requirements page.

Most postgraduate courses start in September and you can apply up to a year in advance. We advise you to do so as early as possible, particularly if you are an international student or will be applying for a scholarship.

Contact us

If you have any queries, please contact Louisa Buonocore on +44 (0)115 846 6250 or e-mail

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