Further Information

UCL School of Pharmacy
29/39 Brunswick Square
London WC1N 1AX
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 20 7753 5831



Coursework from selected individual topic areas supports and supplements the taught component of the MSc in Drug Discovery. These will be described by the member of staff responsible, and the format, length, outline of content and context expected for written material and the deadline for submission will be carefully explained. Typical examples of coursework are:

Case Study

Students are given specific topics to research and retrieve information each week for 3 weeks. Students are expected to prepare notes and collect references. In week 4, students write a report using data given to them about a potential new statin. This is a 3 hour "open book" session with published material available and freedom to visit library.  Students hand in their report for assessment at the end of the 3 hours.

Portfolio of Molecular Modelling

Students are provided with a chosen 3 dimensional structure of a protein complexed with a drug. Each student has their own structure which must be analysed using molecular graphics and modelling tools. Students have to produce a file with molecular graphic images to demonstrate their ability to: visualize protein - ligand complexes; analyse interactions between a ligand and protein, and build and optimize small molecules.

Poster presentation on drug - target interactions

Students working in pairs will be allocated a specific drug-drug target interaction. Each pair will analyse this interaction using their molecular modelling expertise and appropriate software and produce a poster presentation. The poster should provide background information about the selected drug target. The use of information about interactions between that target and drugs in different complexes is required to provide understanding of important intermolecular interactions for that particular target.

Practical write-ups

Students produce written reports on each of the practical classes.

Problems in Functional Group Chemistry and Chemical Calculations

MCQs and a calculations test improve students’ proficiency in these areas

Bioassays for HTS Report and Presentation

Each student is assigned a bioassay on which they write a short report of its mechanism and use in high throughput screening. Each student makes a 5 min presentation to the class.

Analysis of Clinical Data Trial

Students are provided with data taken from a clinical trial of a drug. Methodology is included but no interpretation of the data. Students have to present the data in the form of graphs and figures and interpret the data and draw conclusions in a report of approximately 2000-3000 words.

Critical Analysis of Research Publication

Students are provided with a research publication in which authors report on the discovery and characterisation of a novel drug moleculle.  A critical review of methodology, data and contribution to the field together with proposal for future experiments is required in a report of 2000-3000 words.


All modules are assessed by an end of module examination. These take place in January for tem 1 modules and May/June for Term 2 modules and modules which span the full academic year.

Research Project

A major component of the MSc degreeis the research project. Projects are assigned in February and are supervised by an academic member of staff in the Department of Pharmaceutical & Biological Chemistry. Projects are unique and usually complement the particular research activities of the supervisor. Laboratory work (which can be undertaken either in the supervisor’s laboratory in the School or possibly externally e.g. GSK or AstraZeneca) is undertaken between May and September. Students are expected to develop their own research ideas and experimental series in discussion with their supervisor and complete a comprehensive literature review to supplement their work. Results are written up and submitted as a dissertation and presented in an oral presentation at the end of the year.

Page last modified on 07 nov 13 08:39