UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences


Drug Development degrees

The Faculty of Medical Sciences offers postgraduate programmes in Drug Design and Development. These degrees will deepen your understanding of cutting-edge research in the field. Based within the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences, you will be taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. UCL is ranked 7th for Clinical and Health in the 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject.

"I had the opportunity to test different novel drugs in cancer"

While studying the MRes Clinical Drug Development, Carolina chose to work with a research group focusing on cancer for her six-month project. She had the chance to work on the trial and research of novel therapies in cancer. Follow her story.

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Our programmes

Join UCL's world-leading academic community working on drug design and development. Our courses cover all aspects of drug discovery, including genomics, bioinformatics, structural biology and more. Our drug development programmes provide in-depth understanding of clinical trials, how to model different diseases, and how to achieve regulatory approval for medicinal products.

Clinical Drug Development, MSc / PGDip / PGCert 

This one-year MSc will deepen your understanding of cutting-edge research currently underway in clinical drug development. 

  • Full-time, 1 year. Part-time, 2 years.
  • Subjects: Drug Development; Medical Science and Applications

Clinical Drug Development, MRes / PGDip / PGCert 

For graduates or professionals in biomedical science, this campus-based MRes provides an in-depth understanding of the very latest drug development methodologies.

  • Full-time, 1 year. Part-time, 2 years.
  • Subjects: Drug Development; Medical Science and Applications

Drug Design, MSc / PGDip / PGCert 

On this full-time MSc, you will develop the essential skills needed in this sought-after field, while exploring robust research methods and the most up-to-date drug design techniques.

  • Full-time, 1 year. Part-time, 2 years.
  • Subjects: Drug Development; Medical Science and Applications

Drug Design, MRes / PGDip / PGCert 

You will study the latest methodologies and approaches to all aspects of drug design. These include drug discovery, computational and structural biology, and more.

  • Full-time, 1 year. Part-time, 2 years.
  • Subjects: Drug Development; Medical Science and Applications

Women reaches for a drug container in a pharmacy storeroom

Why study Drug Development at UCL?

Drug design and development are integral parts of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, giving a solution to the diseases faced in the clinic. The UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences is one of the most highly rated medical research centres in the UK. Through close links with clinical colleagues in the UCLH group of hospitals, you will have access to cutting-edge medical expertise and world-leading clinical research.

Lyubomir Kotopanov

Computer-aided drug design

Lyubo learned how to use software to design new medicines and how to speed up the drug discovery process using machine learning on our MSc Drug Design.

Attendees applaud at a Cancer Institute Event

Many opportunities for my career

Our MRes Clinical Drug Development offered Carolina a substantial placement where she joined an active research group and tested novel drugs in cancer.

Orestis Briasoulis

Finding something new excites me

Orestis explains how his adventures helped him to choose his master's in clinical drug development. Follow his story and why he would recommend the course.

Bursaries available

The UCL Division of Medicine is offering bursaries of £5,000 for master's courses including the MSc / MRes Clinical Drug Development.

Medicine Bursaries

UCL offers a Master's Bursary and Master's Scholarships worth up to £15,000 for those from lower income backgrounds to study a taught master's degree.

UCL Scholarships

UCL student with a laptop smiling


Our drug design and development courses offer a combination of theory, practice and innovation, awarding you with transferable skills for a career in life science or have the foundation you need for further research studies. 

Depending which programme you choose, you will be able to pursue a career as part of a medicinal chemistry group in the life science industry of the UK and other countries. 

As a graduate of this programme, you will be well placed to explore roles in these areas and benefit from global opportunities.

I had the opportunity to do a six-month placement with the Pereira/Acedo (Cancer) Lab, who were really supportive.

They always encouraged me to learn new techniques and to participate in different symposiums at the university.

If you want to focus your career in lab work or go into a PhD, the MRes programme will give you really good research experience.

I had a great time here at UCL. I would recommend the Master of Research programme to anyone who is interested in the field.

Carolina San Pedro Liberal, MRes Clinical Drug Development.

MRes Clinical Drug Development student Carolina outside the Portico building

Did you know?

  • UCL is ranked 7th for Clinical and Health in the 2024 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject.

  • UCL is major contributor to Genomics England. The organisation set up to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project: the whole genome sequencing of c. 85,000 NHS patients affected un rare disorders of cancer. 

  • We have one of the largest concentrations of biomedical scientists in Europe. Among over 100 principal investigators are Fellows of the Royal Society, member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Senior Investigators of the National Institute for Health Research.

A shelf of vintage drug bottles and labels

Our research in Drug Development

As a global leader in medical research, UCL research-focused programmes will deepen your knowledge of the latest drug design methodologies and up-to-date perspectives on trends in disease models, drug targets and regulatory activities in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine.

Cancer can use brute force to manoeuvre

Breast cancer cells hit blood vessel walls with up to 200 times the mechanical force exerted by normal healthy cells, finds Dr Joseph Ndieyira.

Discover why age affects our immune system

Our immune response becomes less effective as we grow older. Thanks to this collaboration we now understand how the body reacts, paving the way for new treatments. 

Our teaching leads

Edith Chan

Prof. Edith Chan

Joseph Ndieyira

Dr Joseph Ndieyira


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