MSc Drug Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology
Discovery and development of new drugs and medicines is a complex and multidisciplinary process. In order to successfully develop these therapeutics we must first understand both their mechanism of action, and more importantly assess their potential to cause adverse or damaging effects upon the body. Assessment of these effects and characterisation of their mechanistic basis is a central and legal requirement within drug discovery and development.
This is a very dynamic and current discipline involving profiling of both known and novel mechanisms of secondary drug action, which in principle can lead to the success or failure of new therapeutics.
Our aim is to provide an industry relevant course and equip students for careers or research in the development and safety assessment of new medicines. The course will address key aspects of preclinical drug evaluation through the study of drug discovery and development; safety pharmacology; mechanisms of drug-induced toxicities; regulatory affairs and bioanalytical sciences.
The Masters in Drug Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology is a one-year programme. In addition to lectures and tutorials, it includes practical laboratory based study and seminars provided by scientists from regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies. You will also undertake case studies and critical appraisals of current drugs or techniques appropriate to this discipline.
Graduates in Drug Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology have excellent employment prospects. This Masters programme provides knowledge and training applicable to a wide range of careers within the pharmaceutical industry or medicinal research.
All students will study a common programme covering the following areas:
- Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology
The topics of toxicology and safety pharmacology, the principles of risk assessment, and the role of safety pharmacology in the drug development process and the methodology associated with drug evaluation.
- Preclinical Models for Drug Development
The use of experimental biological models in drug development including in vitro cell models, the development and use of in vivo models, ethical issues associated with animal testing with reference to the NC3R's strategy to improve these methods.
- Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity
The molecular mechanisms underlying potential drug toxicities, methodology for identifying molecular mechanisms, and importantly the development of alternative strategies to in vivo testing for identifying and predicting drug safety.
- Research and Analytical Methods
This module focuses on advanced laboratory techniques involved in preclinical drug development and evaluation. The module is assessed by a portfolio which demonstrates critical understanding and application of the techniques studies.
- Critical Appraisal
This module involves critical appraisal of the scientific literature on a current topic in safety pharmacology.
- Research Project
An individual scientific research project covers one-third of the credits of the MSc Safety Pharmacology course.
Entry requirements: 2:2 or above in a related scientific discipline e.g. Biosciences, Chemistry, Biomedical, Medical Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological, or Toxicological Sciences. Applications are welcome from candidates with non-standard qualifications who have significant relevant experience - each case will be considered on its own merit.
English language requirements for international students: IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the subtests.
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