MSc Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery

Start date(s)
September 2023
Study mode
Full-time (1 year)

Tuition fees 23/24

Home (full-time, per year): £9,710

International (full-time, per year): £17,400

About this course

Gain hands-on lab experience, carry out novel research and enjoy excellent employment prospects on the MSc Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery.

  • Explore the process of discovery and development of new drugs and the quality control 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

This new course has been developed in association with industry leaders and promotes a critical awareness of the most recent advances in the field of Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery.

This programme is aimed at chemists and graduates with a chemistry background who have a passion for drug creation and at industrialists interested in moving newly developed drugs into the mass manufacturing arena. 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.


Experienced course tutors offer specialist training in preparation for careers in the diverse areas of the pharmaceutical industry.

You will learn to use industry-standard apparatuses, including chromatographic equipment and spectrometers, tableting and particle sizing equipment, computing laboratory, molecular modelling software and thermal analysis equipment – including dynamic differential scanning calorimetry – plus chromatography, LC-MS and NMR instruments.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

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  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The programme offers cutting-edge, research-based training to enable you to become a qualified pharmaceutical scientist ready for employment in the pharmaceutical and related industries. The course is ideal if you want to work in drug discovery, development and manufacturing. You can look forward to excellent employment prospects in roles within drug design, lead compound discovery, formulation science, process development and product manufacture at large pharmaceutical companies, as well as specialist small and medium sized enterprises.

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The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

"It has been great to meet heaps of different people from different backgrounds. It’s not a little bubble; everyone…

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core modules

Biomolecular Research Skills and Data Analysis
20 credits

The aim of this module is to equip you with the necessary skills to effectively search for information, critically appraise and analyse data, report scientific data and communicate research findings.

Analysis, Structure and Function of Therapeutic Agents
20 credits

This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills to apply analytical chemistry to the characterisation of pharmaceutical ingredients and predict their behaviour from their chemical structure.

Preformulation Strategies
20 credits

This module will equip you with the core skills to examine the physical and chemical properties of pharmaceutical ingredients and predict their influence on in vitro and in vivo behaviour.

Research Project
60 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to conduct an independent, in-depth study of an agreed topic of research, carried out in an appropriate manner over a 12-week period.

Approaches to Drug Design
20 credits

This module aims to enable you to develop an integrated understanding of the principles underpinning drug discovery process and the approaches and rationale of drug optimisation.

Drug Delivery and Formulation
20 credits

This module will provide you with knowledge and skills to master the principles of pharmaceutical formulation and advanced drug delivery methods.

Product Development and Control
20 credits

The aim of this module is to equip you with the core knowledge and skills to understand and apply the principles of good manufacturing practice to the production and quality control of pharmaceutical products.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

In semester 1 the majority of teaching will take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and in semester 2 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The taught sessions of the Research Methods module only runs weeks 1-6. All 20-credit core modules feature 40-45 hours scheduled activities, which you are expected to attend. For the research project (which runs May to August) you will be expected to attend full time i.e. 9am-5pm.

Teaching methods

The stimulating and challenging curriculum is delivered through lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, laboratory work and a four month research project with expert supervision.

Applied learning

This course includes a 12 week, full-time research project. During your independent research project, you will be appointed a LJMU-based Supervisor and an Industrial Supervisor if you are carrying out your project externally.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

You will be assessed via examinations and coursework. Coursework assignments will include scientific reports, poster and oral presentations, paper reviews and your project dissertation.

Course tutors

I enjoy helping people and making a difference to people’s lives.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

You will study at the Byrom Street site in the University’s City Campus. With an ongoing £12 million investment in laboratory facilities here and state-of-the-art research facilities in the newly developed Life Sciences building, you’ll enjoy a first class study environment.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a good honours degree in a science-related discipline


  • equivalent professional qualifications and experience

Please contact our admissions team if you are unsure whether your qualification is relevant.


Additional Information

  • IELTS score 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson Pearson PTE Academic 64 (minimum 59 in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • International students should check if they require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because 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. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.