MSc in Drug Discovery and Pharma Management

For graduates in science-based subjects who wish to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry with a management or business development role.


This one-year course combines a broad overview of the drug discovery and development process with a deeper insight into the regulatory and commercial aspects of management in the pharmaceutical industry.

The model for drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry is changing. “Me too” products, may no longer be commercially viable. Pricing of new products and market access is becoming more difficult. Today major companies are looking for more innovation from outside their own laboratories. AstraZeneca are publicly stating that they expect to buy 40% of their science externally in future. Merck and Pfizer say their growth will be from small product deals or acquisition of smaller enterprises. In this environment research scientists can be involved in evaluating the business potential of their science as well as generating the science itself. There will be real opportunities for business development and scientific enterprise.

This programme contains the science core of the MSc in Drug Discovery plus an introduction and advanced level modules addressing Business Management. It is led by Dr Mike Munday, UCL School of Pharmacy, and Professor Nigel Ratcliffe (UCL School of Pharmacy Visiting Professor, Head of Keele University School of Pharmacy, and former Vice President of Regulatory and Commercial Affairs at Astrazeneca). The course provides a broad overview of the drug discovery process from drug target validation through the identification of lead compounds and their pre-clinical and clinical development into active drugs and medicines, clinical trials and regulatory affairs. The course specializes in management training and awareness and Strategic Partnering and Business Development skills.

Course Details
Length and Mode  12 months full-time
Calendar  Starts in late September
Number of Places  up to 40

Module information (PDF)

Deadline for applications
31 July 2015

Apply online
Funding and Scholarships information

Further information
Dr Michael R Munday BSc, DPhil (Oxon)
Tel:  +44 (0)20 7753 5875