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Drug Design MSc

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Part-time is on-site for two years.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£13,850 (FT)
Overseas:
£26,380 (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 Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a lower 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

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:

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight core modules (120 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is also offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is also offered

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a 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.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Bioinformatics and Structural Biology
  • Target Identification and High Throughput Screening
  • Cheminformatics and Computer Drug Design
  • Biological Molecules as Therapeutics - Antibodies, siRNA, and Stem Cells
  • Biophysical Screening Methods, Protein NMR and Phenotypic Screening
  • Fragment Based Drug Design (FBDD)
  • Target Selection - Scientific Grounds
  • Target Selection - Commercial and Intellectual Property

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an independent research project which can take the form of a wet lab or dry lab computational or modelling based project.

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

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. 

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Division of Medicine Postgraduate Taught Bursaries

Note:
Deadline: 31 July 2020
Value:
£5,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK, EU, Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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

Careers

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.

Employability

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is ranked 7th in the QS World University Rankings 2018 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

Department: Division of Medicine

Application and next steps

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020