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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MSc Drug Discovery and Development

Programme code:MSC-BSGS/DDDUCAS code:
Duration:12 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Dr Dan Donnelly Contact

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

Normally a 2:1 or equivalent, preferably in chemistry, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, pharmacy or pharmacology subject. Consideration will be given to applicants holding a 2:2 but who have 2:1 level marks in modules relevant to the programme.

Standard English requirements apply.

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

Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

Masters Taught Student Education Examination Board

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

Students will be expected to demonstrate the characteristics embodied in the QAA Qualifications Frameworks level descriptors for Masters degrees ('s-degree-characteristics-statement.pdf).

Programme specification:

The programme will provide an integrated understanding of the pathways of drug discovery, development and exploitation and will highlight the interdisciplinary and 'problem-based' nature of research in this area. Students with a range of relevant undergraduate backgrounds (e.g. chemistry/pharmacology/biochemistry/pharmaceutical science/biomedical science) will be recruited.

The programme’s material will cover the key techniques and methodology used in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to discover and develop new drugs for therapeutic use. After introducing the pharmaceutical business sector from the scientific and commercial perspectives, the programme covers the main scientific background disciplines at undergraduate foundation level in order to ensure the diverse intake of students have studied the key disciplines (organic chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc.) they may have missed in their particular undergraduate programme. There are then two further key semester 1 modules that cover modern drug discovery as well as research planning & communication, providing students with a deeper understanding of core elements of drug discovery alongside training in high level research skills. Additional semester 1 and 2 modules focus on more specialist areas and the acquisition of the technical skills necessary for drug discovery and development. Dependent on the students’ background and interests, these optional modules include advanced topics in chemistry, practical recombinant DNA technology, animal models, cancer drug development, structure-based drug discovery, and clinical pharmacology and human trials. The course material will be reinforced through deductive problems and student-led activities allowing students to exploit a diverse range of skills, to appreciate the advantages and limitations of each research approach, and to be prepared for the necessarily inquisitive nature of research. The approach is highly interdisciplinary, and will equip students to work in such broad-based teams.

Students will cap their Masters programme by undertaking a 60 credit extended research project supervised by research-active academic staff and it is expected that a large proportion of the projects will be interdisciplinary. The world class research facilities and the range of expertise at Leeds means that students will be able to select the research approaches which are most suited to the biological/medicinal chemistry problem in hand. The initial report will require students to appreciate the background to the research problem, to formulate hypotheses, to propose a programme of work and to explain which of the proposed approaches is best suited to address the underlying research problem. The research work will be conducted within the vigorous research atmosphere fostered by the wide range of medicinal chemistry, structural molecular biology and drug-related research at the University of Leeds.

Year1 - View timetable

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

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

BIOL5124MIntroduction to Pharmaceutical Science and Commerce15 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
BIOL5148MResearch Planning and Scientific Communication15 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
CHEM5013MFoundations of Drug Discovery15 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)
CHEM5107MModern Drug Discovery15 creditsSemester 1 (Sep to Jan)

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to choose one 60 credit research project module:

BIOL5393MBioscience MSc Research Project60 credits1 Feb to 30 Sep
CHEM5503MResearch Project for Chemistry-based MSc courses60 credits1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth)

Candidates will be required to study 45 credits from the following optional modules:

BMSC5220MDrug Development: Pre-clinical15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
BMSC5230MAnimal Models in Drug Development15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
BMSC5231MStructure-based Drug Discovery15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
CHEM5608MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (15 Credits)15 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)

Candidates will be required to study 15 credits from the following optional modules:

BIOL5373MProtein Engineering Laboratory Project15 creditsSemesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun)
CHEM5619MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S2)15 creditsSemester 2 (Jan to Jun)
MEDM5231MCancer Drug Development15 credits1 Jan to 30 Apr

Last updated: 11/09/2023 10:50:18


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