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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BIOL5346M Research Project Biopharmaceutical Development (Part-time)

80 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Alasdair Pickles

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Aug (24mth) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

A first degree (BSc hons) in a Biological Sciences subject, Bioprocessing or Biochemical Engineering: class 2(i) or above or acceptable equivalent.
Full-time employment in a relevant industrial company engaged in biopharmaceutical work or similar throughout the module.


BIOL5123MDrug Discovery and Development Pathways
BIOL5325MPractical Skills For A Regulatory Environment (part-time)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

An integral part of the programme is a period of practical research (80 credits) through which students gain in-depth practical experience of at least one technical function of the drug development process (discovery, manufacturing, pre-clinical testing, clinical safety and efficacy). This may be a novel technique or an enhancement of work they are already currently engaged with at the company at which they are employed. The focus of the project will be defined by the student’s employer and would normally be aligned with their regular employment duties. Supervision arrangements: all students will already have an industrial supervisor/line manager (primary supervisor) and they will also be assigned an academic supervisor. There will be regular meetings with the primary project supervisor with the student maintaining a pro forma record of the outcome of meetings. The projects will commence following successful completion/passing of the pre-requisite modules. Assessment of projects will be finalised by the end of the 24 month period. Assessment will be through an initial literature review and a final dissertation and an oral presentation on their research work. Students will also be expected to maintain a portfolio reflecting on their skills development during the placement year.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- provide in-depth practical training and research experience in an area of biological drug discovery or development;
- provide experience of applying student learning within a professional work environment;
- Provide the opportunity to develop a broad portfolio of transferable skills that improves and enhances the student’s career within their own company and the biopharmaceutical employment sector.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students should be able to:
- design, plan and execute an independent, in-depth research project in an area of biological drug development;
- apply cutting-edge knowledge and practical techniques of the biological drug development process in an industrial setting;
- demonstrate an understanding of the legal regulatory framework and its implementation in biological drug development;
- demonstrate an understanding of the commercial and cultural environment in which they have worked;
- demonstrate a range of scientific and transferable skills including those associated with teamwork, problem-solving, project management and communication;
- demonstrate an awareness of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for a career in biological drug development.


This module is designed to provide students with experience of practical research and work through the completion of a 24 month work placement. The placement will involve a substantial research project (80 credits) completed at the industrial company at which they are currently employed. Through the project, students will gain in-depth practical experience of at least one technical function of the drug development process (pre-competitive research, discovery, manufacturing, pre-clinical testing, clinical safety and efficacy). In addition, the placement will provide substantial opportunities to enhance a range of transferable skills including developing professional relationships with others, teamwork, and communication skills.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Preparation Class18.008.00
Private study hours166.00
Total Contact hours634.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)800.00

Private study

24 month placement will be part-time work. Of the 24 months, 80 credits (800 hours) will be devoted to the research project. This includes the design, planning and execution of the work, data analysis and write-up as well as any associated supervisory meetings. The part-time research project will only be undertaken by students currently in full-time employment at a biopharmaceutical-related company.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Project supervision meetings. Meetings with the primary supervisor will take place as required over the 24 month period. Meetings with the secondary supervisor will take place quarterly.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectDissertation of no more than 15,000 words80.00
Research ProposalResearch Proposal & Literature Review10.00
Oral Presentation(Following at least 6 months from start6 of module10.00
Reflective logOngoing compilation of portfolio including a reflection of skills development0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Reflective log is a pass/fail component and must be completed satisfactorily to pass the module, otherwise a V code will be applied to the module.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 27/07/2022


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