MSc Clinical Drug Development

Course Tutor: Dr Ross Breckenridge

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This MSc offers specialised training in state-of-the-art biomedical science (including exposure 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.

Students will develop a practical understanding of research methods in biomedical science and knowledge of cutting-edge research alongside practical experience in laboratory, clinical or epidemiological research.
This MSc programme provides opportunities for students to develop theoretical knowledge and understanding and practical skills in research methodology.These include statistical methods applied to medical research, drug discovery, research in a specific biomedical area or health speciality, and ethics and governance of applied health research.

Want to do a PhD? Why not consider our MRes in Clinical Drug Development

Key Facts
  • Full-time MSc taught over two days per week (Tuesday and Thursday).
  • Part-time MSc taught over one day per week for two years.
  • Good Clinical Practice training included
grace

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Student View

"Doing an MSc in Clinical Drug Development at an esteemed institution such as UCL has provided me with an in-depth insight into the field of drug development. I have gained an understanding into the process by which new scientific discoveries are translated to clinical practice, allowing me to fully appreciate the importance of scientific research. Having studied a science based subject for my undergraduate degree my eyes were opened to the business, regulatory and clinical aspects surrounding drug development. This broadened my horizons and led to me to apply to study Graduate Medicine. During my research project I was able to contribute to cutting edge findings which have resulted in the research being accepted for publication by Nature Medicine. I was then asked by my supervisors, to stay on after my degree as research assistant whilst applying to medical school. I have made some brilliant friends, met some very useful contacts and had a truly invaluable experience during my postgraduate degree. I would strongly advise anybody, of any age, interested in the field of drug development to undergo this MSc at a University with such excellent facilities and academic resources. I have loved it!"

Grace Auld, MSc Drug Development 2012 (pictured above left)

Programme Structure

Full Time

Students on the full-time programme must take modules to the value of 180 credits. The MSc programme consists of 5 core modules (105 credits), one specialist module (15 credits) and a Research Project (60 credits):

Core Modules
Credit Value
Term Day
MEDCG003 Drug Discovery I
30
Term 1
Tues
MEDCG002 Advanced Statistical Methods 15 Term 2
Thurs
MEDCG001 Statistical Methods in Research
15
Term 1
Tues
MEDCG005 Ethics and Regulation of Research
15
Term 1
Thurs
MEDCG004 Drug Discovery II 30 Term 2
Tues
MEDCG099 Research Project
60  Term 3
 n/a
Specialist Modules (choose one)
Credit Value Term Day
MEDCG009 Respiratory Medicine
15 Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG010 Gastroenterology and Hepatology
15 Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG012 Cardiovascular Science
15
Term 2
Thurs
MEDCG015 Rheumatology
15
Term 2
Thurs

Part-time

Students on the part-time programme must take the above modules, totalling 180 credits, over two years. 

Suggested Schedule for attendance on one day per week:

Year 1

75 taught credits:

Core Modules
Credit Value
Term Day
MEDCG003 Drug Discovery I
30 Term 1
Tues
MEDCG001 Statistical Methods in Research 15 Term 1
Tues
MEDCG004 Drug Discovery II
30 Term 2
Tues

Year 2

45 taught credits + the Research Project:

Core Modules
Credit Value
Term Day
MEDCG002 Advanced Statistical Methods
15 Term 2
Thurs
MEDCG005 Ethics and Regulation of Research 15 Term 1
Thurs
MEDCG099 Research Project
60 Term 3
n/a
Specialist Modules (choose one)      
MEDCG009 Respiratory Medicine 15
Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG010 Gastroenterology and Hepatology 15
Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG012 Cardiovascular Science 15
Term 2 Thurs
 MEDCG015 Rheumatology  15  Term 2  Thurs

Research Projects

This is an example of projects taken by our current students: 

 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

Postgraduate Diploma

The Postgraduate Diploma comprises all of the taught modules from the full MSc, without the independent Research Project. It is designed to allow students to complete it within 9 months by attendance on two days only. Students registered for the Postgraduate Diploma must take eight core modules totalling 120 credits:

Core Modules
Credit Value
Term Day
MEDCG003 Drug Discovery I
30
Term 1
Tues
MEDCG001 Statistical Methods in Research
15
Term 1
Thurs
MEDCG016 Study Design in Research
15
Term 1
Tues
MEDCG005 Ethics and Regulation of Research 15 Term 1
Thurs
MEDCG004 Drug Discovery II 30
Term 2
Tues
Specialist Modules (choose one)
Credit Value Term Day
MEDCG008 Cost Benefit Analysis
15 Term 2
Thurs
MEDCG009 Respiratory Medicine
15 Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG010 Gastroenterology and Hepatology
15  Term 2 Thurs
MEDCG012 Cardiovascular Science
15
Term 2
Thurs
MEDCG015 Rheumatology
15
Term 2
Thurs

Careers

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 calender of events.

This MSc 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 Lectures

Some of our key lectures have included:

  • Formulating a scientific question
  • Modelling diseases
  • First into man
  • Surrogate Markers in Clinical Trials
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical Trial Design
  • Risk and toxicology
  • Regulation
  • Genome
  • Malaria
  • Inflammation
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Angiogenesis/Hypoxia
  • Gene and Cell Therapy
  • Obesity

*please note that lectures are subject to speaker availability each year.

Page last modified on 27 mar 14 15:21