About your course
Train as a pharmaceutical scientist at Liverpool John Moores University on this Masters-level Drug Discovery and Design course. Gain hands-on laboratory experience, carry out novel research and enjoy excellent employment prospects.
- Explore molecular chemistry and the drug creation aspect of the pharmaceutical industry as you train to become a qualified pharmaceutical scientist
- Gain hands-on experience in relevant laboratory techniques with a 12 week research project
- Benefit from LJMU's £12 million investment in state-of-the-art laboratory facilities
- Enjoy excellent graduate employment prospects
- Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
The advanced theoretical background coupled with practical involvement in each module and an in-depth research project, will allow the student to be a well-rounded pharmaceutical analyst and practitioner in their chosen area of study.
Introduction to the School
The multidisciplinary School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences is one of the oldest providers of Pharmacy education in the world and has been delivering industry-relevant courses since 1849.
We guarantee all of our students a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and 24/7 access to extensive resources.
The School offers high quality education and training in areas including Pharmacy, Applied Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Forensic Science and Biochemistry.
We also have an established reputation for supporting postgraduate students returning to education after a break and for delivering professionally-orientated courses that can be studied alongside full time employment.
All of our courses are influenced by the latest research, ensuring that course content is at the forefront of developments in the field. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, some 68% of LJMU’s health-related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.
Why study this course at LJMU?
Developed in association with industry leaders, this specialist course promotes a critical awareness of the most recent advances in the field of Drug Discovery and Design.
The programme is one of two new Masters courses offered by the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
The Pharmaceutical Manufacture and Control course targets industrialists interested in moving newly developed drugs into the mass manufacturing arena, this programme however is aimed at molecular chemists with a passion for drug creation.
In the first semester, students on both programmes study together to gain a solid grounding in Pharmaceutical Science and its various branches.
The course offers an integrated, stimulating and challenging programme of study, informed by contemporary research and responsive to the changing nature of the pharmaceutical industry.
Programme outline and structure
Enhance your subject knowledge and gain hands-on experience with this new Masters course, taught by tutors with personal industry experience and strong manufacturing connections.
Completing a PG Cert by the end of the first semester on this course, you will devote the next semester to Diploma level study and then undertake a 12 week laboratory project for the final part of your MSc.
There are opportunities for topic specialisation and the chance to undertake cutting edge research.
You will learn in a supportive, flexible academic environment, studying at the Byrom Street site, right in the heart of Liverpool city centre.
The School's laboratories are currently undergoing a £12 million upgrade. Here you’ll find chromatographic equipment and spectrometers, tableting and particle sizing equipment, computing laboratory and state-of-the-art molecular modelling software, electron spin resonance spectrometers and thermal analysis equipment, including dynamic differential scanning calorimetry plus chromatography, LC-MS and NMR instruments.
In terms of independent study support, the Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semesters, is located just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
- Research Methods
Gain the necessary core skills to effectively design, plan, perform and report scientific research.
- Analytical Techniques, Structure and Function in Organic Molecules
Understand the application of analytical chemistry to pharmaceutical materials and the effect of functional group chemistry on both the structure and consequent properties of relevant molecules.
- Physicochemical Properties of Therapeutic Agents
Understand the physical and chemical properties of both small molecules and macromolecules and how these influence their in vitro and in vivo behaviour as active pharmaceutical ingredients.
- Medicinal Chemistry
Understand the application of medicinal chemistry to the drug discovery process and the requirement for a modern synthetic approach to the supply of relevant molecules.
- Natural Products
Understand various aspects of chromatographic, spectroscopic and assay techniques and approaches pertinent to natural products drug discovery, and the chemistry of natural products.
- Research Project
Complete an independent, in-depth, 12 week scientific study related to the pharmaceutical sciences.
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
The programme is delivered via lectures, workshops and tutorials and is supported by extensive online learning materials.
You will also have the opportunity to develop your practical skills and gain first-hand experience of industrially relevant techniques via structured laboratory sessions and a 12 week research project.
Throughout the programme you will need to demonstrate initiative and present original work reflecting your problem-based learning and self-directed study.
You will reflect on and communicate your research findings, receiving appropriate support as you build the knowledge, understanding and skills to become a successful independent learner.
Staff research interests
The School carries out research in a number of areas, under the direction of internationally recognised researchers.
Specialist topics include:
- Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research focussing on prevention and cure of human diseases
- Delivery and Formulation especially focussing on nanopharmaceutics
- Biomedical Sciences focussing on oncology, toxicology, cell-signalling, immunity and infections
- Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis
- Chemoinformatics focussing on prediction of toxicity, ADME properties and pharmacological activity
- Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics focussing on various aspects of clinical pharmacy
We offer researchers access to outstanding facilities and exceptional expertise. Research funding is obtained from sources including the British Council, Research Councils, Department of Health, European Commission, Swiss Government and, reflecting our particular interests in the applied aspects of the subjects, directly from industry.
We are also part of an established international network of university research groups with associates in Bangladesh, India, China, France, Libya, Spain, Slovakia, Iran, Thailand and beyond.
Entry requirements (Home)
You will need an Honours degree (minimum 2:2) in a chemical, biological or related science.
Industry experience: Please contact the Faculty Admissions team for more details.
You will need a good degree in a chemical, biological or related science plus an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each category.
Entry requirements (International)
LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website.
For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.
6.5 (Min. 6.0 in each component)
58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email to LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
Postgraduate loans for students from England, Wales and the EU
Postgraduate Masters loans are available for those studying in the 2017/18 academic year. The new government loans, of up to £10,280, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses. To be eligible part time courses need to be studied at 50% intensity. Personal Eligibility is based on your age, your residency and if you have studied at Masters level previously.
Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to:-
Postgraduate Loans for students from Northern Ireland
The Northern Irish government is also introducing a loan for students commencing postgraduate study from September 2017 onwards. Unlike the loan for students from England and Wales this scheme offers a loan for tuition fees only with no funding available from the NI government for living costs. The loan for tuition fees will be paid direct to LJMU.
The maximum loan for those starting in 2017 is £5,500 per course. Please note this means in some instances the loan will not cover your tuition fees in full and you will need to make alternative arrangements to pay the balance as well as source funding for your living costs.
LJMU Alumni Award
Alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.
Earn While You Learn
Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
This programme offers a coherent and progressive education, providing the cutting edge, research-based training required to become a qualified pharmaceutical scientist ready for employment in the pharmaceutical and related industries.
You can anticipate excellent employment prospects. Many applicable roles exist within molecular design, lead compound discovery and API synthesis at large pharmaceutical companies as well as specialist small and medium sized enterprises.
Although the majority of graduates will go on to secure employment in industry, concentrating on drug development, you may choose to progress to further study.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes