The aim the of MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences programme is to provide an academically challenging and vocationally relevant education and training in pharmaceutical sciences, both theoretical and practical. Students will acquire an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of the subject, and achieve learning outcomes that enable them to be able to appreciate and apply acquired knowledge, skills and technological understanding primarily for the benefit of the pharmaceutical and related industrial sectors in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.
This course is designed to provide an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of core areas of pharmaceutical sciences, including drug discovery, development, formulation and delivery, quality assurance and evaluation of drugs, analysis of medicines and medicinal natural products and pharmaceutical instrumental methods. The course increases the awareness of ethical issues and scientific integrity in the pharmaceutical sciences. It will provide you with the chance of specialisation in one of the core specialisms of pharmaceutical sciences through elective modules. As an MSc student you will learn how to formulate hypotheses, design and conduct a research project, analyse research data, and report results of research to peers.
This is an on-campus course, with a 12-week research project at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ulster University, UK.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content will be taught through a combination of lecture material, practicals and online / on-campus discussions/tutorials, all of which will be supported online by our academic course team and eTutors and by on-campus technical staff. Self-directed and independent learning will also be encouraged and supported throughout the module.
ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK
Essay question (2000 words) on an analytical technique and its application in pharmacy and pharmaceutical science.
Set exercise based on HPLC Simulator software for compounds of pharmaceutical relevance.
Given a spectral dataset for a set of substituted quinoline and coumarin compounds the student is tasked with elucidating the molecular structure of an 'unknown' member of the series. Complete spectral interpretation is required for each of the given infrared, EI mass spectra, 1H and 13C NMR spectra (5000 words).
Within this module feedback will take the form of:
Introduction of learning objectives in the module and each online lecture presentation by the module coordinator/lecturer
Online discussions and debates with online communication tools
Tips on how to approach assignments Specific comments on students’ work, progress and performance through online communication
Specific written comments on student's work to help indicate progress and develop understanding Guidance and advice on academic progress from assigned Studies Advisor(s) and other staff
100% Coursework 0% Examination
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
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Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
This module provides the foundation for undertaking of scientific research. The design of experimental investigation is discussed. The module requires the the development of a research hypothesis through critical evaluation of published literature, completion of problem-based assessments and a research proposal. The latter incorporates issues relating to ethical and professional subjects in pharmaceutical sciences. Consideration is paid to the means for exploiting pharmaceutical sciences research commercially.
Instrumental Methods in Pharmaceutical Sciences
This module helps students to develop an understanding and expertise in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of pharmaceutical products and GLP.
Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery
This module provides a thorough understanding of the scientific principles of how medicines are developed, manufactured, and brought to the market place through the process of discovery, development and approval of drugs.
Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems
This module introduces the principles and procedures of the industrial manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, and provides the students with relevant knowledge and skills to apply basic physicochemical principles and preformulation information to the design and production of stable pharmaceutical dosage forms. It also includes modern approaches to drug delivery systems.
This module provides practical laboratory experience in pharmaceutical analytical techniques and experience in research philosophy, planning, generation and evaluation of data, and reporting in pharmaceutical sciences.
Standard entry conditions
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
An honours degree in subjects such as Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biomedical Sciences or in a course that has significant amounts of chemistry and biology from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
This postgraduate programme is tailor-made to meet the demands of employers in the pharmaceutical industry sectors. It is suitable for those who wish to follow careers in pharmaceutical and related industries and also as academics in various universities to enhance and promote education in the pharmaceutical sciences area. As the proposed programme will have significant amounts of research elements, it is assumed that a number of postgraduate students from this programme may choose further postgraduate research studies such as a PhD.
Work placement / study abroad
Fees and funding
Fees (total cost)
Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and EU Settlement Status Fees
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Additional mandatory costs
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.