Clinical Drug Development MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This one-year MSc will deepen your understanding of cutting-edge research currently underway in clinical drug development. Based within the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences, you will gain practical experience in laboratory, clinical or epidemiological research, and graduate with the skills needed for sought-after roles in this specialist field.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper-second class Bachelor's degree in a biological science, medical or healthcare discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

For graduates or professionals in biomedical science, this campus-based MSc provides an in-depth understanding of the latest drug development methodologies, along with practical research experience in your chosen area.

The UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences is one of the most highly rated medical research organisations 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.

As a student on this course, you will gain an in-depth understanding of how to carry out clinical trial design, learn how to develop and implement a successful regulatory approval of medicinal products, and explore how to model different diseases.

Using real life case studies, you will develop expertise in what makes a good drug. You will also become skilled in evaluating scientific literature and gain an appreciation of the ethical and governance requirements of research, including 'good clinical practice' principles. You will also gain practical experience by undertaking a three-month research project, working with UCL's expert scientists.

Graduates of this MSc go on to have successful careers in both academia and in industry.

Who this course is for

This programme is ideal if you are interested in gaining the skills necessary for world-class healthcare research. It is suitable for doctors, allied health professionals or graduates in biomedical science who want to pursue a lifelong career in academic health research or work in the life sciences industry.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • Access to innovative, high-quality biomedical research within one of the most highly rated medical research organisations in the UK.
  • Up-to-date perspectives on trends in disease models, drug targets, knowledge on intellectual property rights, and regulatory activities in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine.
  • Transferable skills in conducting research in clinical and medical science and applying statistical methods to clinical research.
  • Opportunities to work directly with experienced academics and develop projects that will be clinically applicable to your future research interests.
  • Guidance to support you with pursuing further academic study and research activity, such as a PhD.
  • The chance to build a network of contacts from both academia and industry to enhance your future career prospects.

The foundation of your career

Graduates pursue careers in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine. A significant proportion go on to study for PhD degrees at UCL and other institutions worldwide.

I feel at home here. I feel connected. It’s finding something new that really excites me.

Orestis Briasoulis

Orestis Briasoulis

Clinical Drug Development, MSc


A course that offers a combination of theory, practice and innovation, this programme will prepare you for a fast-moving, competitive, and evolving discipline as well as job markets.

You will graduate with key transferable skills for a career in the life sciences industry or have the foundation you need for further research studies, such as a PhD in biomedical science.


There are regular networking opportunities, including events where you can hear from expert speakers. We encourage students to broaden their skills and expand their networks by attending and participating at conferences.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a mix of lectures, practicals, small-group seminars, and laboratory work.

You will be assessed through presentations, essays, written examinations, and your research project module (which you will submit as a dissertation).The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practicals, small-group seminars and laboratory work.

This is a full-time course with a weekly schedule of approximately 17 contact hours and 19 hours of independent learning.

A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six core modules (120 credits) is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of two core modules (60 credits) is offered.


On this one-year course, you will complete six compulsory taught modules and a research project.

In the first term, you will focus on clinical drug discovery, the pharmaceutical industry, trial design, ethics and pharmacology, and therapeutics. During the second term, you will gain a deeper understanding of these concepts.

Alongside this, you will develop transferable skills through individual and group activities.

These concepts and skills will prepare you to develop your independent research project, in which you will conduct real research in a UCL or industry setting. You will submit this as a written piece of work.

If you are considering applying for a part-time route, please contact us for updates.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Clinical Drug Development. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Clinical Drug Development. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Clinical Drug Development.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Where you'll study

Division of Medicine Cruciform building

We have one of the largest concentrations of biomedical scientists in Europe. Among over 100 principal investigators are Fellows of the Royal Society, members of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and Senior Investigators of the National Institute for Health Research. Teaching is split between the Royal Free campus in Hampstead and Bloomsbury campus. For undergraduates, most of the first year will be based at the Royal Free campus, with some practical activities taking place in Bloomsbury. As you progress, more modules are based at Bloomsbury, which means you are likely to build strong familiarity with both of these sites.

Online - Open day

Virtual Event for MSc Advanced Biomedical Imaging, MSc/MRes Clinical Drug Development, MSc/MRes Drug Design and MSc Precision Medicine

The UCL Division of Medicine Team hosts a virtual event where they give a short presentation about the programmes, details on different modules, and what teaching will look like in 2020.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Respiratory Clinical Science MSc (Q&A Session)

This MSc focuses on the study of the scientific and clinical basis of respiratory diseases with all courses and modules directed towards understanding disease and the effects on patients. It will provide you with the tools to develop further careers in the area and create opportunities to interact with researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical experts in respiratory medicine. Please join us to ask your questions about this exciting programme. Speaker - Dr Vitor Teixeira

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300 £8,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (CBRC) bursaries may be available for this programme.

Bursaries are available for several Division of Medicine programmes. Find out if this course is eligible.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Deadline: 14 December 2023
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Division of Medicine PGT Bursary

Deadline: 31 July 2024
Value: £5,000 towards fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Clinical Drug Development at graduate level
  • why you want to study Clinical Drug Development at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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