Clinical Drug Development MSc
This MSc offers specialised training in biomedical science with exposure to leading research scientists, biotechnologists and the pharmaceutical industry. It provides a foundation for a career in drug development and a comprehensive programme in research methodology, the translation of basic research into therapies and the governance and social implications of health research.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £13,060 (FT)
- £24,860 (FT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
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: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
Students develop practical understanding of research methods in biomedical science and knowledge of cutting-edge research alongside practical experience in laboratory, clinical or epidemiological research. They develop the ability to evaluate scientific literature and gain an appreciation of ethical and governance requirements of research, including 'Good Clinical Practice' principles. Graduates of this MSc go on to have successful careers in both academia and in industry.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma consisting of six core modules (120 credits) is offered.
A Postgraduate Certificate consisting of two core modules (60 credits) is offered.
- Drug Discovery I
- Drug Discovery II
- Statistical Methods in Research
- Ethics and Regulation of Research
- Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Advanced Pharmacology and Therapeutics
There are no optional modules for this degree.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practicals, small-group seminars and laboratory work. Assessment is through presentations, essays, examination and the research project and dissertation.
Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (CBRC) bursaries may be available for this programme.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
The programme provides an ideal foundation for graduates who wish subsequently to undertake a PhD in biomedical science, and provides key transferable skills for those wishing to pursue careers in drug development.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Clinical Trial Practitioner, Barts Cancer Institute
- Clinical Research Assistant, Alberta Children's Hospital
This programme runs within the School of Life and Medical Sciences, one of the most highly rated medical research organisations in the UK. Close links with clinical colleagues in the UCLH group of hospitals provides cutting-edge medical expertise and links to world-leading clinical research. Graduates of the programme have pursued careers in the pharmaceutical industry and medicine, and a significant proportion go on to study for PhD degrees at UCL and other institutions worldwide.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Division of Medicine has as its mission the performance of innovative, high-quality biomedical research and excellence in graduate teaching.
This MSc programme provides an opportunity for students to develop theoretical knowledge, understanding and practical skills in research methodology. These include statistical methods applied to medical research, drug development in a specific biomedical area or health specialty, and the ethics and governance of applied health research.
Over the course of the year, students will have the opportunity to build a network of contacts from both academia and industry, improving their future career prospects.
Department: Division of Medicine
Student / staff numbers
› 411 staff
including 84 postdocs
› 133 taught students
› 193 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Medicine
80% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"UCL is an inspiring place to work. In particular the depth of experience and research activity across such a broad range of disciplines offers the opportunity for genuine world-class collaborations.My research is directed towards combating infection in acute decompensation liver disease patients (AD). I do contribute to PhDs and MScs programmes. My research group consists of a post-doctoral research fellow, 3 PhD students, a data manager, clinical research nurse and clinical trial team at the UCL Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit. My work identified the first molecular mechanism (elevated Prostaglandin E2, (PGE2) to explain immune suppression in AD patients (Nature Medicine).This is the largest interventional study currently recruiting worldwide in patients with advanced liver disease at 30 hospitals (866 patients) throughout the UK. This will complete September 2018."
Dr Alastair O'BrienMedicine MPhil/PhD, Clinical Drug Development MSc,
UCL Medical Sciences
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students who wish to gain the skills necessary for world-class healthcare research. Many of our students are doctors, allied health professionals or graduates in biomedical science who wish to pursue a lifelong career in academic health research.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
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.
- Dr Simon Yona, Programme Tutor