Huddersfield is first in England for professionally qualified teaching staff

Drug Discovery and Business Strategy MSc 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

About the course

You will learn the processes involved in discovering a new drug and incorporated business strategies. You will study various analytical tools and techniques employed in drug discovery and, after completion of the course, will be expected to have the skills needed to start-up new businesses offering specialised services in drug discovery or join drug discovery teams within the pharmaceutical industry.

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


1 year full-time

Entry requirements

Minimum of 2:2 UK honours degree or equivalent in pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry or other biological sciences such as biochemistry, pharmacology and physiology with adequate English proficiency. Applicants whose first language or language of instruction is not English will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.0 overall with no lower than 6.0 in writing and reading will be considered acceptable (or equivalent).


Admissions Assistant
Tel: 01484 473867

Places available:
(this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

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Course content

This course is offered on a modular basis.The course will take one year full-time, starting September, and will comprise two standard terms for most of the modules.


This comprises four 15-credit Masters level modules that offer knowledge and skills around various analytical tools and techniques employed in drug discovery. These modules will provide you with the necessary laboratory skills needed in a routine drug discovery program, including personalised medicines, pharmacogenetics and molecular pharmaceutical techniques and their application in drug discovery and design.

Drug Design and Development

An introduction to pharmacogenomics will be extended to an in-depth appreciation on how genetic variations are inherited and can be applied to pharmacogenomic analysis, i.e. how genetic variations affect human drug response and how this area will become an essential component in developing new medicines. The module will also explore the application of biomarkers to stratified or personalised medicine. Both pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics influences of drugs will be covered, such as inter-patient variation in the expression of drug metabolising and activating enzymes; as well as differences in the expression of drug targets such as receptors, genes, enzymes and growth factors. Biometric analysis such as bioinformatics will be explored through the understanding of the development of the Human Genome Project (HGP) and its relevance to ‘-omic’ technologies (genomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics). In addition, different model systems that are used to identify and develop biomarkers and drug target identification will be covered. The module will use a series of lectures, workshops and tutorials to encompass these topics and areas of learning. This will involve several expert lectures including external consultants and scientists.


Extended experiments to develop, compare and assess methods for analytical problems carried out in small groups with joint report and oral presentations.

Data Treatment and Analysis

Basic statistical theory underlying the analysis and treatment of univariate and multivariate chemical, forensic, pharmaceutical and biological laboratory data.

You will be able to chose one of the following optional modules offering a range of advanced analytical tools, including electron and atomic force microscopy, electrochemical techniques, thermal analysis, advanced separation techniques and NMR and mass spectroscopy.

Instrumental Methods and the Analysis of Solids

The practical modules provides you with the practical skills necessary for a wide range of analytical techniques in chromatography and instrumentation giving you the practical exposure and experience to tackle problems and the ability to select the most appropriate analytical techniques. You then be able to develop, compare and assess methods for analytical problems by carrying out various laboratory exercises in small groups or on your own. This module is assessed by handing in weekly practical reports and a oral and poster presentation.

Advanced Separation Techniques

This module introduces the theoretical basis and current and future developments in analytical separation techniques. Areas covered range from solid phase extraction; theory of chromatography; gas chromatography (GC); high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); capillary electrophoresis (CE), asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) and sedimentation velocity in the analytical ultracentrifuge (SV-AUC). Tutorials are provided to support the lectures.

NMR Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry for Analytical Scientists

This module provides both a broad and in depth coverage of NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. There is a large emphasis on developing your knowledge of the two techniques and you will be exposed to the most recent advances in instrumentation and their applications. You will explore advances in NMR design through a written assignment and you will also be able to demonstrate your ability to interpret spectral data in an exam.


This comprises four 15 credit Masters level modules that will provide a range of skills needed for starting and running a business and developing its business strategy.These modules will include the main pillars of business management such as: Finance, Budgeting, Marketing, Human Resources, Organisational Behaviour and Enterprise Strategy.

Finance for Managers

This module enables you to develop an understanding of the purposes and uses of financial information, together with the ability to use quantitative skills to improve performance management and decision making within an organisation.

Marketing Communications

This module examines the strategic nature of marketing communications, and the role of planning and evaluation. You will be introduced to relevant marketing communication theories and concepts; with emphasis placed on social media/digital marketing, and the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). Assessment for this module is based on an individual assignment.

Managing People in Organisations (F/T)

Managing People in Organisations is an extremely practical module which introduces critically analyses and evaluates key elements of Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour to enable effective deployment of people within organisations. A strategic exploration of the global context within which people work and are managed is also carried out through a range of organisational behaviour concepts and theories.

Strategic Management

This module provides you with a substantial body of knowledge relating to the principles of strategic management in particular the two broad areas of techniques for analysing organisations and their environments and the identification of appropriate strategic choices. You will be encouraged to practice analyses and strategic designs throughout the delivery of the module.


This will be a major project in pharmaceutical business strategy that will start from the first term and will run throughout the year to allow the time needed for an extensive 60 credit module of independent study and research.

Pharmaceutical Business Project

The overall aim of the project is to integrate the learning across the modules and apply the knowledge into business practice. You will be expected to develop a business plan for a novel pharmaceutical formulation/product or novel themes around drug discovery and present it to a panel of expert for a thorough scrutiny and assessment.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Career opportunities

This course you will enable you to learn the necessary skills needed to start-up new businesses offering specialised services in drug discovery or join drug discovery teams within the pharmaceutical industry.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught by staff from the Department of Pharmacy and the School of Applied Sciences, many with experience of working with large pharmaceutical companies in new product introductions and product development. All staff will bring their research expertise to their teaching so you have insight into the latest developments in the field. You will also be taught by staff from the Business School who have background degrees and professional working experience of product management and marketing within the pharmaceutical industry, which makes a unique blend of expertise across the schools to deliver this course.

We will use a range of teaching and learning approaches to help you develop your knowledge and skills; including seminars, tutorials, lectures and case studies. You will have access to state-of-the art facilities across the School of Applied Sciences and the Business School within the Huddersfield Campus.

Modules have different teaching and assessment strategies and the aspects of teaching and assessment will be supported by real-life pharmaceutical examples. Students will gain significant laboratory experience and confidence whilst they are studying on this course as they are exposed to many new analytical instrumental techniques and/or pharmaceutical production equipment. You will also be shown how to use computers, statistics and various computer packages and will be required to present posters and talks as part of the assessment programme for a number of modules on this course. You will also get the opportunity to engage with professionals and guest speakers. Students will apply the knowledge gained throughout the course by systemically developing a business strategy and use their skills to pitch their business plan to potential investors and collaborators, amalgamating their expertise in sciences and business acumen.

We are the UK's only university where 100% of permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the full-time tuition fee for UK and EU postgraduate students at the University of Huddersfield will generally be £5,100 (see Fees and Finance for exceptions). Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are interested in studying with us on a part-time basis, please visit our Fees and Finance pages for part-time fee information.

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.


The University provides a team of specialist tutors and advisers in the Business School to ensure that the overseas students adapt quickly to life at the University of Huddersfield and leave with the best possible degrees. The program consists of two strands, Student Support and Learning Development. All overseas students pursuing an MSc in the Pharmaceutical Business suite will have the access to this support program.

The Student Support Program is designed to provide all international students with day-to-day support with life and studies in UK and offers regular programme of events to help students meet some of their peers and make the most of their time on campus. Moreover, the Learning Development Program helps all students to raise their academic achievements by offering regular timetabled classes to support students in adapting to the UK higher education conventions, developing their academic skills and providing extra help with academic writing and language skills. These sessions focus on developing students' understanding of the requirements of assignments, developing academic reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills, managing workloads, working independently, and developing confidence and interaction with other students, staff and wider university community.

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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