This Master’s course provides the training and development necessary to meet demand for highly skilled scientists within the expanding and global bioscience sector. It can lead to a wide range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of pharmacology.
The course has been designed to respond to the increasing demand for suitably trained professional pharmacologists, essential to speed up the critical task of translating basic laboratory medical research into commercially-ready medical biotechnology and drugs that can be used to diagnose and treat patients. As well as relevant biotechnical innovations associated with pharmacology and drug discovery, classical clinical trial design and health-outcomes research, the course also encompasses an emerging area of science that is known as ‘Translational Medicine’.
Translational medicine requires a new breed of pharmacologist who can apply basic science knowledge and skills to experimental study design, management and data analysis, and who understands the legislation and other regulatory procedures surrounding disease treatment. Our course is designed to provide such specialists by applying basic and clinical science to topics including diagnosis, understanding and treatment of disease, supported by our excellent staff, research expertise and laboratory facilities.
Biology degrees have been provided at Coventry University for over 40 years and it is ranked within the top 20 universities in the UK for Biosciences in the Guardian University Guide 2017. Our multimillion pound, state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge industry techniques.
This Master’s course is designed to expand your knowledge of pharmacological, molecular, biochemical, cell biological and genetic techniques underpinning modern pharmacology and drug discovery and how they can be used to solve real world problems and benefit society.
The programme is composed of a combination of modules which progressively build to the award of Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) or Master’s. Core subject areas include cellular molecular biology, genetics, protein biology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, numeracy, statistics and computing and a range of practical laboratory techniques.
We provide hands-on practical experience of both laboratory and bioinformatics techniques. You will be trained in pharmacology research strategies and gain an understanding of the nature of business based on bioscience knowledge and research, opportunities for innovation, and regulatory requirement constraints, intellectual property and ethical issues.
Why choose this course?
This Master’s is intended for life science graduates from both home and overseas who wish to develop their knowledge and skills in biosciences with an emphasis on pharmacology. It aims to produce scientists who can pursue a range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of pharmacology; it also provides an excellent foundation for those wishing to undertake research at PhD level.
You will have the opportunity to study a broad range of pharmacology at a theoretical and a practical level, gaining hands-on experience in pharmacological techniques. You will also have the opportunity to develop a range of transferrable and research skills that can expand your knowledge and enhance your employment potential, including the chance to apply to undertake a relevant Life Sciences internship. The six-month internship provides practical experience in a host organisation and should increase your awareness of current developments in the sector. Internship opportunities are available to all students but subject to availability, grades and application.
You’ll be taught by an experienced teaching team with extensive experience of laboratory research in pharmacology, physiology, molecular biology, small-molecular inhibitors of viruses and ageing. Faculty will bring their professional and research expertise into their teaching through the use of contemporary case studies.
There is a focus on developing laboratory and other scientific skills, so laboratory sessions form a substantial component of the learning experience, enabling you to learn key experimental techniques and to develop essential experimental, data handling and reporting skills required in biological and other careers. Other scientific skills, such as literature researching, information technology, bioinformatics, data processing and the use of statistics are integrated within the course.
Our practical, vocational approach to teaching has resulted in high levels of student satisfaction among ‘Biology and related Sciences’ students – 95% overall compared to a sector average of 83% in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTSE) 2016.
If you choose the extended ‘With Professional Experience’ route, you will have the opportunity to gain substantive professional experience and have the option of applying for an internship with a host of different organisations or participate in supervised, campus-based projects. Internships are being organised with, for example, Cambridge Scientific Solutions, Lytegro, Warwick Ventures, Tickle’s Pickles and Severn Trent.
International experience opportunities
This course attracts like-minded students from all over the world, who are seeking to improve their scientific and laboratory skills in pharmacology, using British standard equipment and gaining extensive practical laboratory time. As such, you’ll find yourself part of a multicultural learning environment, working alongside students who will share their own professional and personal experiences.
You will benefit from being taught by a diverse range of staff with different international experiences. Some modules have external speakers who have an international research background. Coventry University is committed to providing students an international experience, so you will also have the opportunity to take part in the Global Leaders programme.
The MSc Pharmacology and Drug Discovery programme is specifically designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required for a career within the pharmacology and drug development arena and there are many opportunities, both the UK and internationally.
A large number of pharmacologists are employed by companies in the pharmaceutical industry, where they are involved in discovering and developing drugs and carrying out clinical trials. Pharmacologists may also work for contract research organisations (CROs) or academic departments within universities on research projects. There are also opportunities within government laboratories (including environmental agencies), charity-funded research organisations, such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), and with other research institutes.
The scientific knowledge and skills you should acquire during the course can also be a useful basis for a career in teaching; technical and scientific writing (such as medical writing or writing for the media); clinical trials; drug registration, patenting or monitoring; medical publishing or other information services, regulatory affairs or sales and marketing.
A wide range of job opportunities exist, including:
- Clinical research manager Clinical scientist
- Human resources manager
- Patent attorney
- Project manager/director
- Public relations officer
- Regulatory affairs associate
- Research scientist
- Sales representative
- Medical writer