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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MSc Biopharmaceutical Development

Programme code:MSC-BSGS/BDUCAS code:
Duration:20 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Professor John Colyer Contact

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

Normally a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a Biological Sciences subject, Bioprocessing or Biochemical Engineering, but relevant experience may be taken into account.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

The Masters Bioscience Exam Board

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

Subject benchmark statements for biological sciences Masters programmes do not exist. However, students will be expected to demonstrate the characteristics embodied in the QAA Qualifications Frameworks level descriptors for Masters degrees (

Programme specification:

The programme will:
Provide a comprehensive and integrated understanding of the industrial pathway of biological drug discovery, development and exploitation. Training will focus on the development of specialist technical skills and theoretical knowledge required to work in the biologics industry and apply this training in a regulatory environment.

On completion of the programme, students will be prepared to take up a range of biologics medicine development roles in a biotechnology, contract manufacturing, contract research organisation or pharmaceutical company globally and enhance the value they add to that organisation with immediate effect.

The programme is distinct from other biological sciences Masters courses within the UK in the following ways:

1. The programme has been designed and will be delivered in full partnership with a leading, multinational CRO to increase the pool of scientists trained in biologics drug development. The programme is distinct in combining academic and industrial expertise from concept, design to delivery, providing a powerful platform for supplying the biologics sector with a highly skilled workforce and a pool of future researchers and innovators in this field.
2. The model is unique in that the programme is 18 months duration, the first six months comprising taught modules followed by a 1-year (paid) work and research placement. For candidates planning a career in industry, the programme will serve as an excellent bridge between high level academic training and the practice of these technical skills within industrial processes.
3. The programme is structured so that modules will stand-alone, and can be taken individually or in combination. This will facilitate uptake by staff in employment (particularly new) who wish to accelerate their training through registering on the modules for continuing professional development (CPD).
4. The programme will provide a substantial amount of practical hands-on training. In the first six-months, all students will complete the "practical skills for a regulatory environment" module. Working in small teams; students will acquire knowledge and experience in the theory and application of cutting edge research technologies and of applying them in a regulatory-compliant way. This module will provide the basis for further more enhanced practical training that will take place during the placement.
5. The programme will challenge students to think creatively, solve problems and develop strong communication and teamwork skills. Teaching format will be tailored to develop these essential core competencies. There will be extensive use of case studies to illustrate theoretical and practical concepts and multiple opportunities to work in teams; including the opportunity to lead a team.
6. The students’ interpersonal skills and professionalism will be enhanced through engagement with external speakers, through activities delivered outside of the academic environment, and by the professional atmosphere generated by the course delivery tactics. Students during the practical module and the IND project will be mentored by an employer (industrialist) working within the biopharmaceutical sector.

Year 1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BIOL5164MBiopharmaceutical Development Pathway5 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5180MBiopharmaceutical Drug Discovery and Pre-clinical testing20 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5181MManufacturing Biopharmaceuticals15 creditsSemester 1
BIOL5267MBiopharmaceutical Development: Clinical10 creditsSemester 2
BIOL5269MCommercialising Biopharmaceutical Products10 creditsSemesters 1 & 2
BIOL5280MIntegrated Drug Development Plan20 creditsSemester 2
BIOL5320MPractical Skills for a Regulatory Environment20 creditsSemesters 1 & 2

Year 2 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory project module:

BIOL5396MResearch Project80 credits1 Apr to 30 Apr

Year - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Last updated: 23/08/2017


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