Work in a science laboratory

MScAdvanced Pharmacology

Why this course?

You'll receive the highest-quality teaching in the leading Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences in Scotland by staff dedicated to your personal and scientific development.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences was ranked No. 1 on Research Power in Scotland and 4th in the UK (REF 2014).

This course will provide you with a comprehensive three-part postgraduate life sciences training.

Firstly, unlike many MSc courses, we offer you dedicated training in a broad suite of practical laboratory skills.

Secondly, this is complemented by two unique classes that develop your transferrable skills in statistics, presentations, career development, and ethics, as well as honing your science writing skills and your ability to design experiments and analyse sophisticated datasets.

Thirdly, our taught classes capture the excitement of cutting-edge research fields and you'll be taught by active researchers or practising clinical professionals.

There's a choice of classes that allows you to select a pathway to suit your future aspirations. The MSc Advanced Pharmacology has a special focus on how drugs and other chemicals affect the body in health and disease. You'll explore the development of new and improved medicines and the treatment of disease.

What you´╗┐'ll study

  • vital transferable skills in statistics, communication, ethics, science writing & critical analysis of data
  • two semesters of postgraduate laboratories, giving you the practical abilities & interpretational skills that will prepare you for your project & future career
  • short optional classes in in vivo biology or drug discovery
  • a compulsory Pharmacology class followed by a choice of either Clinical Pharmacology, or Applied Pharmacology
  • a summer project in an active research laboratory

Future prospects

The course provides the perfect springboard to future training at PhD level or gives you a range of skills and experience that will prove attractive to employers from industry or the health-care provision sector.


The course is taught in the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences. It’s located in our new building with state-of-the-art laboratories.

Course content

Our aim is to provide you with classes that present the cutting-edge of our subject area, delivered using exciting and engaging teaching methods matched to the needs of postgraduate-level students. Please feel free to contact us if you want further details in the meantime.

Compulsory classes

Generic Skills for Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Students
Refine your core skills in statistics, data presentation and career development while also learning about the ethical choices and dilemmas that you might face in your scientific careers.

Find out from the experts what it takes to translate bright ideas in biomedical sciences into patents, business plans and spin-out companies.

Postgraduate Studies in Pharmacology
In this class students will study cutting-edge research on adverse drug reactions, chemotherapy, malaria treatment, bacterial and viral chemotherapy, and gastrointestinal disorders. Learning will be achieved through lectures, tutorials and workshops.
Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research

A unique and innovative class designed with three outcomes in mind:

  • become an expert in the field that you'll study for your summer research project & learn how to write a review paper that aims to be publication quality
  • learn how a scientific research career really works from the experts & then write the outline of a hypothetical research grant application
  • enhance your teamwork on a virtual project to develop a hypothetical drug from high-content screen, through in vivo testing in models, to transcriptomics & human clinical trials & pharmacogenomics. You'll not only learn how to manage a project’s timelines & targets, but also enter the world of big data manipulation and analysis
Research project

Choose from a selection of project topics in Semester 1, engage with your supervisor to plan the work, and then enter the laboratory at the end of May.

Elective classes

In Vivo Biology
This is one of three optional practical classes offered. Gain real practical experience in the safe and ethical application of in vivo research by being trained to Home Office Personal License standard. Discover how in vivo biology has driven the development and testing of new drugs and medical techniques that save and improve human lives.
Drug Discovery
This is one of three optional practical classes offered. The pathway from pathology or biological pathway to small molecule drug candidate is explored in this unique class. Become familiar with the modern laboratory assays and screening approaches used by Big Pharma to develop their blockbuster drugs.
Postgraduate Studies in Clinical Pharmacology

The aims of this class are:

  • to develop understanding of neurodegenerative disorders & the common themes of protein aggregation & inflammation in the brain
  • to develop understanding of the pharmacological control of global activity within the nervous system: epilepsy, anaesthesia & analgesia, use of sedatives & hypnotics
  • to develop understanding of psychiatric disorders
  • to develop understanding of drug dependence
  • to develop understanding of endocrine disease & oral contraceptives
Postgraduate Studies in Applied Pharmacology

The aims of this class are:

  • to develop understanding of adverse drug reactions
  • to develop understanding of cancer chemotherapy
  • to develop understanding of prevention & treatment of malaria
  • to develop understanding of bacterial & viral chemotherapy
  • to develop understanding of gastrointestinal disorders

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and hands-on practical sessions.

If you successfully complete the required taught classes, you can go on to take a laboratory project for the MSc.


Assessment of taught classes is through the following:

  • multiple choice tests
  • computer quizzes
  • problem solving scenarios
  • poster & oral presentations
  • essays
  • formal written exams

The laboratory project is assessed through a written thesis.

Entry requirements

We look for a first or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in a biological or chemical discipline.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 5.5).

We offer comprehensive English Language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.5. Please see ELTD for full details.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £5,000

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £6,000


  • 2017/18 - £18,000

How can I fund my course?

A number of scholarships are available for outstanding UK, EU and international applicants. For details, please visit our scholarship search.

Scottish students

Students living in Scotland can find out more about funding from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

English students

Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


After graduating, you'll be ideally qualified for positions in biomedical and pharmaceutical industries as well as hospitals and universities.

This course provides the background training for a career in:

  • clinical pharmacology
  • pharmaceutical & biotechnology industry laboratory research posts
  • laboratory technical support
  • medical/pharmaceutical/life science sales

Alternatively, you may wish to continue studies for an MPhil or PhD.

Contact us


Advanced Pharmacology

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Advanced Pharmacology

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2018, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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