MRes Clinical Drug Development

Course Tutor: Dr Simon Yona


The MRes in Clinical Drug Development offers specialist training in all aspects of drug development, from current innovations, to unmet clinical needs, with an emphasis on research skills. Students will be exposed to leading research scientists, biotechnologists and pharmaceutical companies, research methodology, including the translation of basic science research into novel therapies for human disease, and the philosophy, governance and social implications of health research.

How does the MRes differ from the MSc?

The Master of Research (MRes) programme, while containing some taught elements, focuses more on research skills. It will provide an excellent introduction to research methods and will provide a good preparation for post-doctoral study. MRes students will complete a 105 credit research project, while the MSc students will complete a 60 credit research project.


My decision to study for an MRes in Clinical Drug Development stemmed from my desire to gain significant practical experience as a scientific researcher. The programme offers excellent taught modules in all aspects of drug development, clinical trial design and statistics by top academics and industry professionals that equip and prepare you to achieve most from your laboratory project. My laboratory project was based on developing novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging techniques to help increase efficiency of preclinical drug development in rodent models of ischemic stroke. This project was a lot of hard work and I was rewarded with a nomination for the UCL Dean’s Research Award 2014 and also presented my work at an international MRI conference. I highly recommend studying for an MRes in Clinical Drug Development at UCL and have now secured a doctoral position in medical imaging sciences looking at brain function in response to pharmacological substrates in Diabetic patients. I found that all the tutors and staff were dedicated to help us achieve and strongly suggest this course to anyone interested in understanding the drug industry and gaining hands on research experience.

Jed Wingrove -  MRes Clinical Drug Development 

Full Time

Students on the full-time programme must take modules to the value of 180 credits. The MRes programme consists of 75 credits of taught modules and a research project of 105 credits:

Core Modules
Credit Value
Term Day
MEDCG003 Drug Discovery I 30 Term 1
MEDCG001 Statistical Methods in Research
Term 1
MEDCG017 Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Term 2
MEDCG002 Advanced Statistical Methods
Term 2
MEDCGR99 Research Project
 105 Term 3

Students on the part-time programme must take the above modules, totalling 180 credits, over two years. We recommend that the research project is completed over two years.

 Topic Title  Supervisor
Does Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI) cause its anti-inflammatory effect via up regulation of COX induced prostaglandin E2? Dr Alastair O'Brien
Validation of a novel preoperative POSSUM score in elective orthopaedic surgery. Dr Ramani Moonesinghe
Small molecule inhibitors of the HIF pathway in cancer drug development Dr Margaret Ashcroft
Lymphocyte mediated endogenous opioid analgesia in the postoperative period. Dr Gareth Ackland
In vitro optimization of chemical modifications of spliceswitching oligonucleotides for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia Dr Bernard Khoo
Pharmacokinetic modelling of alternative dosing regimens of anti-infectives for paediatric patients in resource-limited areas. Dr Oscar della Pasqua (GSK)
Surrogate decision-making in learning disability Dr Sarah Edwards
Generalisability (external validity) of RCTs for antiretroviral therapy strategies for the treatment of naïve and experienced HIV-positive patients Dr Alejandro Arenas-Pinto
Delineating a role for endothelium-derived C-type natriuretic peptide in the pathogenesis of septic shock Professor Adrian Hobbs
Physicochemical properties and metabolic fate of tetrathiomolybdate (TTM), a copper chelator and sulphide donor. Dr Alex Dyson
Clinical Research Activity in the EU Dr Ross Breckenridge
What is the best way to Investigate a Brain Hemorrhage? Dr David Werring
How does the production of superoxide change in neuroinflammatory disease? Professor Kenneth Smith
 Which factors influence a patient's decision whether or not to participate in a clinical trial? A qualitative and quantitative study comparing the acute and non-acute setting.  Dr Sarah Edwards
 Factors that control neutrophil chemokine receptor expression  Dr Andrew Williams
 Cardiac MRI  Dr James Moon
 A Retrospective analysis into the discriminatory power of exhaled breath temperature monitoring in a population of mild to moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease subjects from healthy ex and current cigarette smokers.   Dr John Hurst
 The design, synthesis and evaluation of new inhibitors of the kinesin Eg5 as lead drug candidates for the treatment of multiple myeloma. Professor Frank Kozielski
 The evaluation of clinical evidence and Cost effectiveness analysis based on NICE guidance: Drug treatment for breast cancer.  Professor Nicholas Freemantle
 Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Tetrathiomolybdate  Professor Mervyn Singer
 Development of a novel caspase 3-specific radiotracer for the detection of apoptosis in response to chemotherapy  Professor Barbara Pedley
 Development of a Cardiac Patch Using the Novel Nanocomposite Polymer POSS-PCU Professor Alexander Seifalian
 Persisting blood propofol levels in the critically ill and levels of sedation following the termination of a long term (>72 hours) infusion  Professor Mervyn Singer
 Klotho gene variants that can protect from adverse outcomes in CKD  Dr Ben Caplin
 A Genetic Approach to Identify Biological Pathways Relevant to Stroke and its Subtypes.  Dr Reecha Sofat
 Feasibility of using “bench-top” MRI for assessment of experimental stroke  Dr Daniel Stuckey

All current students are supported by the extensive services offered by the UCL Careers Service, as well as the department's own specialist Careers Day, which forms part of our annual calendar of events.

This MRes provides an ideal foundation for graduates who wish subsequently to undertake a PhD in biomedical science within UCL or elsewhere. In addition the course provides key transferable skills for those wishing to pursue careers in drug discovery.

Destinations of recent graduates of the department include:

  • Imperial College London: Research Associate
  • GlaxoSmithKline: Senior Scientist
  • St George's Hospital: Consultant Physician
  • Garvan Institute: Researcher
  • UCL: Laboratory Manager and Research Assistant
Key Facts
  • Good Clinical Practice training included.
  • Teaching input from GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Core teaching on two days per week.
  • Part-time study offered.

For more information about applying for a PhD after the MRes, please visit our Postgraduate Research Degrees page.

Page last modified on 29 jan 15 14:56