MSci Pharmacology and Drug Discovery


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Sciences



UCAS Course Code
B211
A-Level typical
ABB (2019/0 entry) See All Requirements
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How can we support an ageing population and fight the increasing number of cases of diseases such as cancer? How can we help the one in four people suffering from mental health issues? These are just some of the challenges you’ll explore on our pharmacology and drug discovery degree. You’ll be able to apply your passion for chemistry and biology and put it to use for the good of human health, developing the life-changing medicines of the future.

Study in the internationally renowned School of Pharmacy, with world-class research in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic resistance and tissue engineering.  Our research-rich environment is pivotal to the Pharmacology Drug Discovery course, which has been designed to prepare you for a career at the forefront of pharmaceutical research.

Overview

Pharmacology is the study of drugs and their effects on living organisms. You’ll examine the way drugs work to combat disease and, combined with drug discovery, you will learn how new drugs are designed, synthesised and manufactured. The Pharmacology Drug Discovery programme is the only MSci of its type in the UK and is innovative in it’s multidisciplinary approach.

The course brings together scientific disciplines - biology, chemistry and physical sciences – around the context of disease and medicines.  Within integrated modules, you’ll learn about the major diseases and science behind the drugs used to treat them. We also include business studies to provide you with an understanding of management practice focussed around the pharmaceutical industry; vital tools to working in today’s corporate world.

You’ll be taught by academic researchers including pharmacologists, cell biologists, medicinal and pharmaceutical chemists, whose own research is in pharmacology and drug discovery.  The course is designed to inform and inspire your journey to becoming a researcher in the pharmaceutical sciences.  For example, in practical classes you’ll gain experience of synthetic medicinal chemistry as well as techniques in current molecular pharmacology – the techniques used in the discovery of new medicines.  You’ll learn about designing experiments and how to write reports in the form of a scientific papers.  A highlight of the course will be performing your own original research in an individual project carried out within an active research laboratory.   

You’ll be taught by a dedicated team of academic staff, including pharmacologists, cell biologists and medicinal chemists. Their teaching and assessment methods include practical lab work, problem-based learning, research and business management projects. So you can be sure you’ll receive world-class teaching in biology, chemistry and pharmacology, preparing you for a range of exciting careers in academia, health or the pharmaceutical industry. 

Course Structure

Year 1

In your first year you’ll gain a solid base for understanding how drugs work, what they target, and how they’re developed. You’ll be introduced to medicinal chemistry, principles of pharmacology and neuropharmacology, drug delivery and pharmacokinetics.  You’ll then apply your knowledge in laboratory practicals.

You’ll also take a course in business studies at the Norwich Business School, which will provide you with an understanding of the world of management and the key concepts of management practice.

On top of this, you’ll develop your professional skills – including how to write an eye-catching cover letter and C.V.

Year 2

In your second year you’ll apply your knowledge to individual systems of the body. You’ll explore topics such as cancer, infectious disease and immunology, plus the diseases and medicines of the cardiovascular, renal and gastro-intestinal systems. In studying the central nervous system you’ll learn about neurodegenerative disease and mental health. You’ll also develop your knowledge and understanding of the principles of medicinal chemistry - how drugs are designed and synthesised.  The practical component supports your learning including a series of molecular pharmacology practicals to give you hand-on experience of techniques used in current pharmacological research.

Year 3

In the third year, you will have the opportunity to select from further modules covering a broad range of biology, drug discovery and pharmacology topics. Furthermore, you will learn about the drug pipeline, including more in depth drug discovery, in vivo studies and clinical trials and toxicology of drugs. You will speak about science and pharmaceutical research to general audiences. Finally, in collaboration with the Norwich Business School, you will take a course in project management. This course will provide you with key management skills required for your future career, including the ability to create, plan, and deliver as part of a team that manages real projects for external sponsors.

Year 4

In the final year, you will exploit your knowledge from the first three years and perform a comprehensive final year project in collaboration with a research active faculty member. Your project will focus on the pharmacology, drug design or delivery in one of many areas, including the major contemporary challenges of cancer, inflammation, age-related disorders and epigenetics. You will complement this with topics encompassing the latest research and future directions in pharmacology and drug discovery.

Teaching and Learning

You’ll be taught utilising a range of innovative teaching methods, so as well and lectures, tutorials and practical classes, there’ll be case studies, problem-based learning, team-based learning and research and business management projects.  In student-led learning you will give presentations including producing posters and videos.

In the laboratory you’ll carry out experiments based on the subjects covered in the lecture programme.  The sessions will be supervised by your lecturers and postgraduate student demonstrators, who’ll ensure the safe execution of the experiments and discuss the theory behind them. New state-of-the-art teaching laboratories are due to open at UEA in 2019.

Assessment

You’ll experience a variety of assessment methods throughout the course, which we’ll prepare you for with guidance and formative assessments (where you get feedback on your work before submitting the final piece). And we’ll provide you with detailed feedback to ensure you continue to achieve your full potential.

After the course

You’ll graduate ready to pursue a career in drug design or development, within academia, the health sector or industry.

You could also choose a broader life science career, for example with a grant-funding body, charity, learned society or in academia, regulatory affairs or publishing.

We embed employability skills throughout the course with sessions developing CVs, interview techniques, presentation skills, team-working, research and business skills.

For entrepreneurial students who, in the future, want to turn their work into a business, there are dedicated facilities on the Norwich Research Park, with state-of-the-art lab and office spaces right on our doorstep.

Career destinations

Examples of careers that you could enter include:

  • Research scientist in industry or university
  • Healthcare scientist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Degree would also be useful for:
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Medical sales representative
  • Patent attorney
  • Regulatory affairs officer
  • Science writer
  • Toxicologist

Course related costs

You may be required to cover minor costs associated with visits to industry.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

CELLULAR PHARMACOLOGY

You will be introduced to fundamental cellular structure, function and processes involved in cell life cycles (cell growth and cell death). You will cover intracellular signalling pathways and different forms of cellular communication (inter-cellular signalling). The module will introduce fundamental principles of molecular biology, including nucleic acids, genes, transcription and translation, plus the application of human genomics and bioinformatics in medicine. You will learn the basic principles of receptor pharmacology, drug binding and drug actions, including major classification of receptors covering five major receptor families for pharmaceuticals. Specialised cells and receptors will be highlighted including neurons and electrical signalling.

PHAP4006Y

30

INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS (2)

How are businesses organised and managed? This module helps non-Norwich Business School students explore the dynamic and ever-changing world of business and provides insights into the managerial role. You'll explore the business environment, key environmental drivers and the basic functions of organisations. There will be a review of how organisations are managed in response to various environmental drivers. You will consider some of the current issues faced by every organisation, such as business sustainability, corporate responsibility and internationalisation. This module is designed to provide an overview of the corporate world for non-business specialists, so no previous knowledge of business or business management is required for this module. General business concepts are introduced in lectures and applied in a practical manner during seminars. By the end of this module, you will be able to understand and apply key business concepts and employ a number of analytical tools to help explore the business environment, industry structure and business management. You will be assessed through a range of assignments, for example an individual piece of coursework, group work and an exam. Therefore, the module reinforces fundamental study skills development through a combination of academic writing, presentational skills, teamwork and the practical application of theory. Core business theory is introduced in lectures and applied practically with the use of examples in seminars. By the end of this module you will be able to understand and apply key business concepts and a range of analytical tools to explore the business environment. Introduction to Business facilitates study skills development that is essential across all 3 years of the undergraduate degree by developing academic writing, presentation, team working and communication skills effectively.

NBS-4008Y

20

INTRODUCTION TO DRUG DELIVERY AND PHARMACOKINETICS

This module will provide an overview of the physicochemical basis of drug delivery, including different routes of administration and the physiological barriers for each route. Essential pharmacokinetic calculations will be introduced to students which will enable them to conduct dose calculations and predict the therapeutic outcome of a range of dosage forms.

PHAP4007Y

20

INTRODUCTION TO MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY

The unit aims to provide the student with an introduction to the basic chemical principles that underpin understanding of the bonding interactions that hold drug molecules together, the structures and reactivities of carbon based compounds, and the specificities of drug-target interactions. In the practical element of this module the students will be introduced to basic organic synthesis techniques. In the second semester the unit will build on the students' chemical knowledge and will introduce the student to fundamental cellular structure, function and biochemistry. The biological and chemical properties of each of the major classes of cellular (life) molecules are presented, together with details of some of the essential processes in which they are involved.

PHAP4003Y

30

NEUROPHARMACOLOGY

You will gain an understanding of the peripheral nervous system and explore how drugs can act at neuronal synapses.

PHAP4008Y

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

APPLIED IMMUNOLOGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

How does the immune system work? This module will answer that question and provide an introduction to inflammatory and infectious diseases. Exploring these topics in detail, you will gain in depth knowledge of the aetiology and pathophysiology of common inflammatory diseases, as well as the pharmacology and medicinal chemistry of associated therapeutic interventions. You will also explore the treatment options and prevention strategies for infectious diseases.

PHAP5009Y

20

CARDIOVASCULAR AND RENAL DISEASES

Do you want to build upon your knowledge of pharmacology and peripheral nervous system modules and learn about the physiology of the heart, vascular system and kidney? This module will provide you with a detailed knowledge of the aetiology and pathophysiology of common cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and renal diseases and the pharmacology of associated treatments.

PHAP5011Y

20

CHEMISTRY FOR DRUG DISCOVERY

This module aims to extend your knowledge of organic chemistry reactions and mechanisms and their application in drug design and discovery. You will be introduced to analytical and purification techniques used to monitor reactions and assess drug purity. Through case studies, practical laboratory sessions and lectures by speakers from the pharmaceutical industry, you will evaluate and apply your knowledge to real life examples.

PHAP5002Y

30

GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES AND CANCER

This module will provide you with a detailed knowledge of gastrointestinal diseases and cancer. It covers the physiology of the gastrointestinal tract, the basic biology of cancer and the aetiology and pathophysiology of common gastrointestinal diseases and cancers. Conventional therapeutic interventions will be discussed, alongside innovative approaches and novel delivery systems. The role of natural products in these diseases will be highlighted. The module builds on pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and drug delivery modules in Year 1.

PHAP5010Y

20

NEUROPHARMACOLOGY - CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

This module focuses on the pathophysiology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and treatment of common diseases of the central nervous system (including psychiatric disorders).

PHAP5012Y

30

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

ADVANCED DRUG DISCOVERY, PHARMACOLOGY AND TOXICOLOGY

This module will enable you to appreciate the development of modern approaches to drug discovery and understand the complexity of the drug discovery process and drug pipeline. Topics featured include advanced pharmacology, pre-clinical studies, disease models, toxicology, ethics and clinical trials. During the module, you will utilise case studies based upon drugs that have reached the clinic or are in advanced clinical development. You will build on your knowledge gained from pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and clinical therapeutics modules taken in previous years.

PHAP6015B

30

DRUG DISCOVERY

New for 2018/9

PHAP6017A

30

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Project management has become an increasingly important approach to management and skilled project managers are in increasing demand across all sectors of the economy. You'll be introduced to the basic tools and skills required to create, plan, deliver and evaluate projects. You will use these tools on a real project. You will critically reflect on your experience in the light of both the developing academic evidence-base on project management and current practitioner debates.

NBS-6018Y

20

SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

How is science perceived by society? This module will introduce you to the role of science in society, from science curriculum and policy, to media and public engagement. You will learn how to adapt activities to engage different audiences and gain skills in science communication. During the module you will design and run your own science engagement activity. You will also develop skills in grant writing to understand how to successfully apply for funding. In addition, the role of science within the media will be explored to establish how it impacts public opinion.

PHAP6018A

20

SPECIAL TOPICS

You will draw upon the investigative techniques developed in your Research Project and build on the knowledge and skills you developed in all modules in Levels 1 and 2 of the course. You will study two (of a range) pharmaceutically-related special topics in depth and develop an extensive knowledge in these selected areas.

PHAP6016B

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

FRONTIERS IN DRUG DISCOVERY

NEW - available in 2019/20

PHAP7022Y

20

FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY

NEW - available in 2019/20

PHAP7021Y

20

RESEARCH PROJECT

NEW - available in 2019/20

PHAP7019Y

80

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB including Chemistry or BBB including Chemistry with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including HL5 in Chemistry
  • Scottish Highers AAABB including Chemistry
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC including Chemistry
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 3 subjects at H2 and 3 subjects at H3 including Chemistry
  • Access Course Pass Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3, including 12 credits in Chemistry
  • BTEC DDM in Applied Science, or Applied Science (Medical Science) is acceptable. Excludes BTEC Public Services
  • European Baccalaureate 75% overall including 70% in Chemistry

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C/4 or above at GCSE.

Science A-levels must include a pass in the practical element.

A-Level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Applicants without traditional A levels e.g. those with Access or BTEC qualifications, if they are successful at interview, will be asked to complete a chemistry test at the University during the Summer. Information concerning the content of the chemistry test will be made available to such applicants.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Please click here for further information.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a foundation programme. Depending on your interests and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515