MSc in Pharmacology and Biotechnology


Program Description

This course enables you to gain a fundamental knowledge of how drugs act at the molecular and cellular level, and how biotechnological techniques are used to produce new drugs.

This is the only Master's course in the UK which combines the subject areas of Pharmacology and Biotechnology. The aim of the course is to provide you with a firm knowledge base to understanding the fundamental aspects of these two distinct areas, with particular reference to the molecular mechanism of drugs actions or to biotechnology applications for diseases.

This course gives you the ability of:

  • Explore the fundamental principles of molecular pharmacology and biotechnology.
  • Enhance your laboratory skills from experimental design through to interpretation of results.
  • Learn how to synthesise new drugs, or produce them from a genetically modified microorganism.
  • Develop as an autonomous learner capable of reflecting on learning, knowledge and professional practices.

This course has been designed to respond to the increasing need for professional pharmacologists and biotechnologists. You’ll learn to translate laboratory medical research into clinical applications, and study topics such as diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of disease. Throughout, you’ll learn to apply medical biotechnology, biopharmaceutics and drugs.

You experience a vibrant, challenging and supportive range of learning activities progressing through the course. The aim of the programme is to give you sound preparation for a career in Pharmacology/Biotechnology.

The core to the program is practical classes where you gain experience in a range of the latest techniques used in pharmacology and biotechnology.

Research and statistics are developed throughout the program and applied to pharmacological/biotechnological case studies. Genomics and Proteomics have been introduced allowing students to apply scientific knowledge to experimental study design, and data analysis.

You learn through:

  • lectures - seminars
  • workshops - tutorials
  • laboratory classes
  • research project

Practical skills are developed throughout the course and you gain experience in molecular biology techniques such as quantitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR), sub-cloning and cell culture. All practical classes are led by academic staff whose research incorporates the latest pharmacological and biotechnological techniques.

In the final trimester, students' apply their skills to a two-month research project based on a staff members' research interest into a current pharmacological or biotechnological application.

Entry requirements

For this course, a relevant degree would be any bioscience-related degree, such as biomedical science, biochemistry, biological science, especially those with pharmacology, biomedical, cell biology, molecular biology, biotechnology or disease-mechanisms content. Applicants from Medicine, Veterinary or Dentistry sciences are also encouraged to apply. A 2:1 in a relevant Honours degree is normally accepted as the entry requirement for the course. Applicants with a 2:2 are also actively encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis.

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognized equivalent.

Core modules may include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • Fundamentals of Pharmacology
  • Applied Laboratory Practice
  • Advanced Laboratory and Research Practice
  • Biotechnology approaches to Pharmacology
  • Research Project

Research project

During this project, you apply your skills and knowledge directly to current research into pharmacology or biotechnology or a combination of both. Practical work will give you a direct experience of performing pharmacology or biotechnology experiments using industry standard equipment for cell culture, quantitative nucleic acid determination, imaging by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. You will be working alongside tutors within the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre to undertake research into cancer, musculoskeletal diseases, human reproduction, neurological disease, medical microbiology and immunological basis of disease.

Optional modules may include:

  • Biopharmaceutical and Drug Discovery
  • Genomics and Proteomics
  • Cellular and molecular basis of cancer
  • Translational Research

Future careers

The course improves your career prospects in areas of:

  • biomedical sciences
  • medical research in universities and hospitals
  • the pharmaceutical industry
  • biotechnology companies
  • government research agencies

You also develop the skills to carry out research to PhD level in pharmacology and biotechnology.

Recent MSc Pharmacology and Biotechnology graduates jobs include:

  • project specialist at PAREXEL
  • quality assurance documentation assistant at Vifor Pharma
  • PhD at the University of Manchester
  • clinical research associate at AstraZeneca
  • workplace services analyst at Deloitte India (Offices of the US)
  • regulatory compliance specialist for Selerant
  • senior product executive at PlasmaGen BioSciences

Duration and fees

  • Start dates: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Fees:
    • EU students 2019/20 academic year £7,200 for the course
    • International students 2019/20 academic year £13,500 for the course
  • Deadline: Request info
Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate ... Read More

Sheffield Hallam University is a welcoming community of students and staff from more than 120 countries. We offer exceptional teaching across 700 programmes at foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree level. With more than 31,000 students, we are among the largest universities in the UK. Read less