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Drug Discovery and Development MSc

This programme provides a broad overview of the drug discovery and development process and is designed for graduates in science-based subjects as preparation for either PhD-level research or a career in the pharmaceutical industry or with a government regulatory body.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£11,670 (FT)
£23,020 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

Entry Requirements

A second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or higher in a related subject such as pharmacy, pharmaceutical science, pharmacology, physiology, physical science, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, chemical engineering, genetics, material sciences, or a medical degree (MBBS), or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

You will gain hands-on experience of molecular modelling and computer-based drug design, and analytical and synthetic techniques and be exposed to modern platforms for drug discovery and methods of drug synthesis.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • The Process of Drug Discovery and Development I
  • The Process of Drug Discovery and Development II


  • Students choose two from the following four options:
  • Anticancer Personalised Medicines
  • New Drug Targets in the CNS
  • Pharmacogenics, Adverse Drug Reactions and Biomarkers
  • Advanced Structure-based Drug Design


All students undertake a laboratory-based research project which is assessed at the end of the year by a written report and oral presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars supported by the Blackboard e-learning system and practical classes. Assessment is through a combination of written examination and coursework. The research project is assessed by written report and oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Drug Discovery and Development MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Students who complete the Drug Delivery and Development MSc will progress on to careers in the various aspects of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries including research, product development and manufacturing, clinical trials and regulatory affairs.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Lectures and seminars from industry-based scientists and visits to industrial and biotechnological research laboratories are key features of this programme.

Our graduates include international students from 24 different countries

The programme covers marketing, licensing and the regulatory affairs that form an integral part of the development process

Student / staff ratios › 99 staff including 42 postdocs › 117 taught students › 133 research students

Department: School of Pharmacy

Degree reviews

Staff review

"I enjoy teaching, particularly the opportunity to engage with graduate students in statistical science and to help them become more confident and interested in this branch of mathematics. I work on a variety of applied and methodological projects in biostatistics. On the applied side, I contribute statistical expertise to collaborative projects in medical science, such as clinical trials, and large cohort studies in areas such as rheumatology, ophthalmology and neuroscience."

Aidan O'Keefe

Statistics MSc, Statistics (Medical Statistics) MSc, Drug Discovery and Development MSc
UCL Statistical Science

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This programme is designed for graduates who have completed first degrees in a wide range of science subjects and wish to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry or enter into research.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of Drug Discovery and Development
  • why you want to study Drug Discovery and Development at graduate level
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme at the UCL School of Pharmacy
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree and how this programme meets these needs
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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