Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry Diploma, MSc, PG certificate

Entry requirements:
2:2 +
1 year
2-5 years
Start date:
October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Study area:



in the UK for Chemistry

Guardian University Guide 2018


Our Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry programme will provide you with training in pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, drug synthesis, and methods to identify potential drug targets and drug candidates, and methods, to assess the biological activities of drug compounds.

The MSc in Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry is your opportunity to specialise in this fascinating and vitally important field that focuses on the biochemistry, pharmacology, design, analysis and delivery of pharmaceutical substances, including the development of safe and effective drugs.

Working in our state-of-the-art laboratories and taught by academic staff who are active in research, you will enjoy access to a broad range of scientific instrumentation including: 400 MHz, 500 MHz, solid-state and benchtop NMR spectrometers, single crystal and powder X-ray diffractometers, a high resolution inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer, GC-MS and linear ion trap LC-mass spectrometers, ion mobility spectrometers, gas and liquid chromatographs and tunable nanopore sensors.

You will also benefit from our new £17 million STEMLab, offering the most advanced and up-to-date laboratories for students across a range of disciplines and further investment in laboratory space scheduled to open in 2018.

There is a Research Training Project, which is based either on placement in industry or with a research group in the Chemistry Department. The projects commence in May and continue through until September.

What makes this programme different?

  • Access to a broad range of scientific instrumentation
  • New £17 million STEMLab
  • Research training project 

Who should study this programme?

Our Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry programme is designed for graduates in chemistry or a closely related discipline who wish to contribute to drug development in the pharmaceutical industry.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (2:2 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification in chemistry, biochemistry or a closely related subject.

English language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not. Find out more on our English language requirements page.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

What you'll study

The modules in our Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry programme are designed to give you an in-depth understanding of the biochemistry, pharmacology, design, analysis and delivery of pharmaceutical substances, and to develop your research skills.


Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry programme covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

Compulsory modules

Research Methods – 15 credits

Literature searching in chemical or environmental science; statistical evaluation of data in analytical science and transferable skills useful for personal and professional development.

Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism– 15 credits

Processes involved in the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs; kinetic modelling of these processes, test systems available and application of this information to drug development.

Drug Targets, Drug Design and Drug Synthesis– 15 credits

Processes involved in the design and development of drugs; case studies of drug discovery and development,evolution of synthetic routes, molecular targets for drugs and how interactions with them induce their effects; experimental methods to detect and quantify potentially useful activities in new chemical entities.

Spectroscopy and Structural Analysis – 15 credits

Instrumental methods for analysis of inorganic and organic materials, including: X-ray powder diffraction; IR, Raman, UV-Vis, fluorescence, NMR; thermal methods (combustion analysis, TG, DTA, DSC); interpretation of mass spectra. Principles, problem-solving and determining structures from mixed sets of spectroscopic data.

Professional Skills and Dissertation – 30 credits

Information retrieval, preparation of a dissertation (literature review) and project planning in preparation for project module; health and safety; the analytical process; quality systems overview: ISO 9000, ISO 17025, GLP; quality assurance; auditing; proficiency testing; intellectual property.

Research Project – 60 credits

Student specific research training project focussed on the discipline in the award title, including planning and execution of a research or development work programme designed to address specified aims as agreed with the project supervisor, based in industry or at the University.

Optional modules

You can also choose two optional modules from the following optional modules

Separation Techniques – 15 credits

Methods and application of the principal analytical separation techniques, including gas and liquid chromatography, electrophoretic techniques, and their applications in pharmaceutical, bioanalysis, environmental, food and related areas.

Mass Spectrometry and Associated Techniques – 15 credits

Principles of molecular and elemental mass spectrometry, combined chromatography-mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry, and their applications in bioanalytical science and proteomics.

Innovations in Analytical Science – 15 credits

Literature review and presentation on a recent innovation in analytical science and its impact on the scientific landscape.

Innovations in Medicinal Chemistry – 15 credits

Literature review and presentation on a recent innovation in medicinal chemistry and its impact on the scientific landscape

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by a combination of examination, coursework and class presentations as well as a dissertation on an agreed topic.

How you'll study

Independent study
Group work
Practical sessions

Your personal and professional development

Our Department of Chemistry is committed to helping you develop the skills and attributes you need to progress successfully in your chosen career.

Future career prospects

The Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry MSc provides training which is highly relevant to working in drug design and development in the pharmaceutical industry, the wider chemical industry and in other fields.

Graduate destinations

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • 3M, Analyst
  • Industrial Textiles & Plastics, Technical Assistant
  • Leading Edge – Brunei, Marketing Executive
  • Novartis, Pharmacist
  • Pfizer, Materials Scientist

Your personal development

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • Communicate, negotiate, and co-operate with peers, academic and technical staff both orally and in writing.
  • Apply problem solving skills relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have been made on the basis of limited information
  • Apply numeracy and computational skills including error analysis, order of magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
  • Plan and execute all work in accordance with good Health and Safety practice
  • Select and apply appropriate technology from a range of IT sources to evaluate and present results and ideas to a professional standard.
  • Work effectively to resolve difficulties and conflicts when working has part of a team.
  • Manage time and effort in the organisation of work and studies.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Our students