Drug Design MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This MSc offers a comprehensive guide to all aspects of modern day drug design. It is taught by research scientists, clinicians and industry experts. Our graduates have progressed to undertake or obtain PhDs or medical studentships, or have found employment in both the private and public sector.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£14,700
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£29,400
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject from a UK university 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: Standard

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. International Preparation Courses

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

ATAS statement

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

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

The programme covers all aspects of drug design, including genomics, bioinformatics, structural biology, cheminformatics, molecular modelling and fragment-based drug design, drug target selection, intellectual property and marketing. New therapies and research areas such as antibodies, siRNA, stem cells and high throughput screening are covered. Students will develop essential skills such as research methods and techniques of drug design.

Find out more about this degree: WIBR Teaching

Who this course is for

This MSc is suitable for life science graduates in biological sciences, chemical sciences and pharmacy who wish to obtain a broad understanding of the drug design process, either to establish a career in drug design and related industries, or to pursue further PhD or medical studies in this field.

What this course will give you

UCL is ranked 8th in the QS World University Rankings 2022 and is located in the centre of one of the world's finest cities. UCL is one of Europe's best and largest centres for biomedical research.

This degree taken at the internationally renowned UCL Division of Medicine is supported by the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, where we have pioneered multidisciplinary research with a particular emphasis on translating that research into useful clinical benefit. Our research expertise includes: medicinal chemistry, computational drug design, neuronal development and signalling, cell cycle control, intensive care medicine, stem cells, mitochondrial biology and cancer.

Find out more about this degree: WIBR Teaching

The foundation of your career

Graduates from this programme have progressed to PhD/medical studentships at different universities and research institutes around the world, including Oxford, UCL, Grenoble, EMBL, and in the USA and China. Many alumni have secured positions in research teaching and technical sales in the private and public sectors.

Employability

The programme will provide a good background for students looking to establish a career in drug design/discovery and related industries (biotech, pharma, national research laboratories and NHS agencies), and for industry professionals seeking to gain a greater understanding of new methodology. The knowledge and transferable skills delivered will also be useful for those intent on further PhD or medical studies.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, self study, practical sessions and discussion groups. The research project forms one third of the programme. Each of the taught modules is assessed by unseen written examination (50%) and coursework (50%). The research project is assessed by the dissertation and viva.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is also offered. A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is also offered

Modules

Full-time

In this programme, you will take eight core taught modules in the first two terms. This will allow you to learn the essential concepts, theory and practises of drug design and discovery. During this period, transferable skills will also be learned through many different individual and group activities, such as oral and poster presentation, literature review, essay writing, attending conferences and scientific talks. The concepts and skills will prepare you to go forward to do your research project in term three. The research project will allow you to have real research experiences and practices in a UCL or industry setting. The research project can be wet laboratory based or computer/informatics based. The research project spans a minimum of three months.

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 is subject to change.

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

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

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

Virtual Open Event in the Division of Medicine

Watch a replay of our previous virtual open event for the following programmes in the Division of Medicine: MSc Advanced Biomedical Imaging, MSc/MRes Clinical Drug Development, MSc/MRes Drug Design, MSc Precision Medicine. Find out more about the programmes, why you should come to UCL, and the ground-breaking research in this department.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £14,700
Tuition fees (2022/23) £29,400

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

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

Division of Medicine Bursaries are not applicable to the MSc Obesity and Clinical Nutrition, MSc Clinical and Public Health Nutrition, MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition or MSc Drug Design.

Students should check UCL's website for information on broader schemes. 

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

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 Drug Design at graduate level
  • why you want to study Drug Design 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 in any application cycle.

Got questions? Get in touch

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