The modules of this programme cover the entire drug discovery and development pipeline, enabling you to develop an integrated and comprehensive understanding of the process.
After introducing the pharmaceutical business sector, the programme begins by providing a foundations module that is tailored to your particular background in order to ensure you have a solid foundation of any key disciplines missing from your undergraduate experience (e.g. organic chemistry, human physiology, pharmacology, ethics, molecular biology, etc.).
At the start of the first semester, you will also be introduced to process of discovering and developing small molecule drugs, peptide drugs and biopharmaceuticals, while also beginning to understand the economic drivers across the pharmaceutical industry and the intellectual property rights required for the creation of economic value. The programme will boost your commercial acumen and leadership skills through undertaking a drug commercialisation project replicating a real-world industry setting.
You will then focus on modern small molecule pharmaceutical discovery in more detail, gaining an in-depth understanding of the process and the underpinning science. Depending on your interests, you can then focus on topics in either medicinal chemistry or preclinical drug trials.
In your second semester, you will also get an understanding of the practical issues that arise within clinical trial design, equipping you with the knowledge of how to design a first-in-human study. You will have the opportunity to choose optional modules, thus allowing you to tailor your degree by having the opportunity to study optional modules including medicinal chemistry, practical recombinant DNA technology, the use of animal models in preclinical development, and structure-based drug discovery.
In your final semester, you will undertake an interdisciplinary extended research project supervised by a research-active academic. Our breadth of expertise and world-class research facilities will enable you to select research approaches which are most suited to the research problem in hand. The project can be conducted within a wide range of research areas, such as medicinal chemistry, structural molecular biology and drug-related research which is fostered at the University of Leeds.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Drug Discovery and Development Pathways
Commercialising pharmaceutical products
Pharmaceutical Development: Clinical
Foundations of Drug Discovery
Modern Drug Discovery
Learning and teaching
The learning and teaching on this course have been designed in order to reflect the current needs and activities performed in the industry, preparing you to be work-ready after you graduate.
You will be challenged to think about creative solutions to complex problems, enhance your interpretation and data analysis skills, improve your ability to communicate information and defend ideas. You will also develop your understanding of legal, economic and social elements affecting the area of drug discovery and development.
The course will follow a blended learning approach. All tutorials, seminars, debates, discussions, data analysis sessions, laboratory sessions, oral/poster presentations and computer-based learning activities will be delivered face-to-face on campus. However, traditional lectures may be delivered via pre-recorded screencasts that offer you flexible access and the ability to study it at your own pace.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
The type of assessment varies by module, but assessment methods may include in-course essays, oral presentations, business reports, annotated bibliographies, SAQ examinations, problem-based assignments, preclinical and clinical trial designs, computational drug design tasks, laboratory reports, ethics reviews, and the main research project dissertation paper.