Duration of programme: Full-time: 12 months
Start date: September
Deadline to apply for September 2013 entry is Friday 2nd August 2013.
Distance learning available: No
Fees for 2013 entry:
UK/EU students: £5,300
International students: £15,600
Fees for 2013 entry have not been confirmed
Application & contact:
Apply for this course online
LHS Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 4161
Fax: +44 (0) 121 204 4187
The programme provides specialist training in the field of pharmacology, as well as promoting skills for career and professional development. The MSc in Pharmacology is designed around a strong theoretical education in basic and advanced pharmacology with practical experience of pharmacological and neuropharmacological techniques in the laboratory. Students will gain insight into receptor theory, molecular pharmacology, neuropharmacology and pharmacokinetics /pharmacodynamics. Physiology will also be taught alongside these elements, facilitating crossover of students qualified in non-biological disciplines to the life sciences. This will allow students to offer skills that cross boundaries and provide an excellent foundation for studies at PhD level.
The course is based around the core Systems Pharmacology module which describes the basics of receptor theory, second messenger actions and autonomic pharmacology. Understanding of fundamental aspects of pharmacology of neuromuscular junction and synaptic function are also delivered via the physiological pharmacology module and the actions of drugs and the nature of receptors are then considered at the molecular level, with a focus on the exciting and important field of neuropharmacology. The Drug Discovery module gives an overview of the pharmaceutical industry; an introduction to receptors and drug action and chemical and biological aspects of evaluation and development of new compounds
The supervised research project will last for approximately four months, and will be at the level expected for first year PhD study. Topics might include, for example, the actions of cannabinoids in cortical synaptic plasticity. Download the course flyer PDF >
The taught modular programme will consider various aspects of pharmaceutical sciences e.g. the biology of disease states, pharmaceutical analytical analysis, pharmaceutical formulation, research methods and exploiting your research. Modules are:
The supervised research project will last for four months and be at the level expected for the first year of PhD studies. Examples of potential topics include computer-based drug design of antimicrobial compounds and chemical synthesis of compound libraries for screening and assay development.
Prospective students must possess a good UK Honours Degree (minimum lower 2nd class) in Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmacology, Physiology, Physical Science, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Genetics, Materials Science, Medicine, or a related field, from a recognised university or an overseas degree recognised by Aston University, plus two references.
International students whose first language is not English must demonstrate a satisfactory command of English language. They should meet our minimum English language requirement by taking one of the following tests:
IELTS. Minimum requirement - 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each area.
TOEFL IBT. Minimum requirement - 100 overall, (21 in listening and writing, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking).
Pearson Academic. Minimum requirement - 61 overall, 59 in each area.
We do not accept a Password test.
Tutorials and workshops provide an opportunity for computer-aided learning of selected topics and also allow discussion of advanced aspects of selected topics, for example, the nature of partial agonist/receptor interactions and quantitative methods in pharmacology.
Assessment is in the form of written examinations, coursework essays and the project report/poster. Examinations usually take place once yearly in summer. Repeat examinations are offered in the summer of the subsequent academic year.
Please note that the course is not accredited by any professional body.
MSc in Pharmacology at Aston is a taught course, designed primarily to introduce fundamental aspects of pharmacology to non-pharmacologists or those with degree qualifications outside the life sciences. As such, whist the course lends itself towards careers in the pharmaceutical industry, it does not provide direct practical training in specific techniques outside of the four-month research project. The course does not offer placements, internships or assistantships at drug companies or in University laboratories.
This is a new course which started in October 2008 and we are not able to provide data on our graduate destinations yet.
- Lectures and seminars are conducted in modern audio-visually equipped lecture theatres and classrooms.
- “Wet” practicals are conducted in newly refurbished laboratories equipped with a range of pharmaceutical and analytical instruments.
- The exceptional quality of research in the School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) has been confirmed in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 3rd out of 63 UK higher education institutions. Projects are conducted alongside established research groups, specialising in biotechnology research.
- Teaching and organisational material is communicated via an electronic learning environment.
- Access to journals is provided via Aston University’s library including a mixture of hard-copy publications and electronic access to several large scientific databases.
Find out more about our Pharmacy teaching staff.