Drug Discovery and Development

Duration
6 months
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2021/22
UK:
PGCert: £4,350 full-time

International:
PGCert: £8,160 full-time
More details for fees and funding.

 

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Designed with input from leading pharmaceutical industries, the PGCert Drug Discovery and Development provides comprehensive training in the drug discovery and development process. 

 

 

Across 3 modules you will gain knowledge of initial target identification, target validation, preclinical development, all the way through to clinical trial designs, thus providing a line of sight from patient to drug target.

With an overview of some of the key therapeutic areas including respiratory and inflammation, oncology and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, you will gain an understanding of what makes a successful drug and opportunities for re-purposing of existing drugs from one therapy area to another. 

You will learn of the latest research techniques used in target identification studies and in both in vitro and in vivo target validation.  Preclinical development of candidate therapeutics will cover both small molecule and biological approaches and drugs screening approaches for small molecule and biological drugs.

This programme is suitable for

  • Undergraduates and PhD students with a biomedical science background wishing to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Post-doctoral research scientists wishing to move from academia to a career in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Research scientists already employed in the pharmaceutical industry who require training for career advancement

Programme Structure / Timetable:

Modules on the programme are taught in two-week blocks, two weeks full-time per 20 credit module. Modules take place in October, November, and February.  

 

Why study this course?

  • Designed with input from leading pharmaceutical industries including AstraZeneca and GSK.
  • Postgraduate certificate with 3 modules of 20 credits each allows for rapid re-training opportunity.
  • Covering the whole drug discovery process from initial target identification through to clinical trials embeds an understanding of the critical line of sight between patient and drug target.
  • Provides knowledge of multiple therapeutic areas including respiratory and inflammation, oncology and cardiovascular, thus providing an understanding of opportunities for drug re-purposing and a more modern mechanistic view of drug areas. Knowledge across different therapeutic areas is desired by pharmaceutical industry. This is because it is common to switch from one therapeutic are to another, and also because of the shift towards “mechanism” based drug discovery. The drive to re-purpose drugs also requires individuals with an understanding of mechanisms that are common across therapeutic areas.
  • You will be studying in a leading UK Russell Group (research intensive) University with world leading academics, researchers and clinicians with experience of the pharmaceutical industry.

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Modules

Module 1: Target Identification, Validation and Preclinical Development (20 credits)
This module will provide you with the technologies and approaches used to identify and validate drug targets through to candidate drug nomination. Providing a clear line of sight back from the patient to the target, you will learn the importance of consideration of the patient population when selecting the right target. Approaches to target validation will cover in vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo models. Different drug classes will be covered including small molecules and biologicals, and how this relates to the target and the patient population.

Module 2: Current and Emerging Drugs in Key Therapeutic Areas (20 credits)
This module will provide an understanding of what makes a successful drug. Taking a mechanistic approach the module will cover the key therapeutic areas and consider what are the pathways that have historically been considered targetable and what are the new therapeutic entities emerging. Through this mechanistic approach you will gain cross therapy area knowledge and an understanding of drug re-purposing

Module 3: Rationale for Clinical Trials, Key Concepts and Features (20 credits)
This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of why clinical trials have become so important in the evaluation of healthcare, social care and public health interventions. Whilst providing an overview of the different phases of clinical trials, the module will focus on the fundamental features of definitive randomised controlled trials. Key decisions surrounding the design of trials, such as methods of randomisation, blinding and sample size, will be explored. The module will also introduce key statistical concepts applicable to the design, analysis and interpretation of trials. By the end of the module you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognise when a clinical trial is needed and contribute to the design of a subsequent trial.

How To Apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Satisfactory completion of a relevant science subject first degree with at least 2:1 classification.

International Requirements



International Students

English language requirement

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component).

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

This programme is ideal for undergraduates and PhD students with a biomedical science background wishing to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry, post-doctoral research scientists wishing to move from academia to a career in the pharmaceutical industry, and research scientists already employed in the pharmaceutical industry who require training for career advancement.

In recent years it has become much more common for people to switch between academic and industry careers (in both directions). Therefore, this course will enhance the employability of individuals by providing them with the transferrable skillset and cross-sectorial training to conduct a career in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in academia.
Knowledge across different therapeutic areas is desired by pharmaceutical industry. This is because it is common to switch from one therapeutic area to another, and also because of the shift towards “mechanism” based drug discovery. The drive to re-purpose drugs also requires staff with an understanding of mechanisms that are common across therapeutic areas.
The course will also equip individuals with the key concept of “line-of-sight” from patient to target, which has become a key concept that the pharmaceutical industry look for in potential employees to combat late stage drug failures.

The course will provide individuals with knowledge of new drug classes, which is critical given the growth in market share and clinical trial candidates of biological based drugs and RNA based therapeutic entities.

The global growth of the pharmaceutical sector has accelerated in recent years, with both India and China rapidly growing their presence in global pharmaceuticals. There is therefore a strong international demand for individuals trained in drug discovery.

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