Researcher with microscope

MSc/PgDip/PgCertPharmaceutical Quality & Good Manufacturing Practice

Why this course?

This part-time course enables suitably-qualified pharmaceutical industry employees to:

  • acquire the necessary knowledge base to submit themselves for nomination as a Qualified Person (QP)
  • develop relevant academic knowledge and skills at postgraduate level
  • develop research and investigative skills in the area of pharmaceutical quality and good manufacturing practice

The course is provided in a unique collaboration between:

  • Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS)
  • NSF Health Sciences (formerly known as NSF-DBA and David Begg Associates (DBA))

NSF-Health Sciences are leading experts in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries offering training, consultancy and auditing services.

You’ll study

You’re required to complete six of the NSF-DBA modules for consideration for the Postgraduate Certificate. For the Postgraduate Diploma you need to complete twelve modules.

Modules run over a 21-month period as a series of 13 one-week residential courses. You complete additional study before sitting examinations for the award of the Certificate or Diploma.

The Diploma can be converted to the MSc by completion of a research project which is normally undertaken at your workplace.

The course is by part-time study only.


The course is based on the syllabus in the European-approved 'Qualified Person' (QP) study guide as used in the pharmaceutical industry.

The course content includes all the diverse elements required to ensure that each batch of a medicinal product meets the quality requirements of the relevant product and manufacturer's licences. This includes:

  • an understanding of the pharmacology and chemistry of the product's active and other ingredients
  • a knowledge of how the product was manufactured
  • how the product delivers the drug in the patient's body
  • how the patient's body is expected to handle the drug by way of excretion and metabolism

You’re also made aware of the statutory framework which is applied in the control of the manufacture and distribution of medicinal products.


The Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS) offers an excellent environment for research and teaching. It’s located in a new building with several laboratories. All are fitted with modern equipment.

Teaching staff

Lecturers include:

  • NSF-DBA staff
  • personnel from the regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry
  • University of Strathclyde staff with expertise in pharmaceutical quality

Course content

Learning & teaching

Each module consists of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • laboratories
  • discussion groups
  • relevant visits

The cohesion of the student group rapidly develops as all participants are generally working in some aspect of quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry. As such, the informal aspects of each module can become an important part of the knowledge-gathering process.


Modules are assessed individually. You’ll sit formal examinations. MSc students write and submit for examination a thesis based on their research project.

Entry requirements

You should hold a relevant degree in a pharmaceutical, biological or chemical discipline or equivalent.

You’re required to have attended and completed the required number of Qualified Person (QP) or QLP modules with NSF-DBA Ltd.

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 - MSc £5,300
  • 2017/18 - PgDip £2,100
  • 2017/18 - PgCert £1,100

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - MSc £5,300
  • 2017/18 - PgDip £2,100
  • 2017/18 - PgCert £1,100


  • 2017/18 - MSc £9,100
  • 2017/18 - PgDip £3,700
  • 2017/18 - PgCert £1,800

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.


Gaining knowledge and skills will enhance your career progression in the pharmaceutical industry.

Contact us


Registration with the University for the PGCert/PGDip/MSc is separate from enrolment with NSF-DBA Ltd.

You should complete the University online application form using the link below. You’re asked to upload documents including:

  • Degree certificate or evidence of equivalent learning
  • Evidence of English Language proficiency if English is not a first language (IELTS 6.5)

Pharmaceutical Quality and Good Manufacturing Practice

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

Pharmaceutical Quality and Good Manufacturing Practice

Qualification: PG Diploma, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

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