Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDPHASCA - MSci Pharmaceutical Science

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award MSCI Integrated Masters Level Masters
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Higher Education
Total credits for course 485
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Biosciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 4 YEARS  
Part-time 9 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The Pharmaceutical Science pathway is intended to integrate the fundamentals of chemistry and the biological sciences to produce graduates with the ability to design and use molecules to accomplish specific diagnostic and curative tasks, to develop materials for medical uses and to develop analytical strategies for measuring appropriate parameters for a wide range of applications in the characterisation of individual molecules and of complex systems. The material will be delivered by a range of mechanisms designed to allow the student to maximise the use of their preferred learning style (traditional lecture/tutorial sessions, guided independent learning, use of IT-based material such as VLOs, peer-assisted sessions).

At Level 7 the course is designed to offer opportunities for advanced study in drug discovery technology, therapeutics and process development, pharmaceutical analysis, drug delivery systems, formulation technologies, quality assurance, quality by design and process analytical technologies. This programme is also suitable for those already working in industry and research facilities who have an aspiration to develop their knowledge in the design and synthesis of drugs and address the industrial pharmaceutical technologies and control that affect how these drugs are made available for health care.

Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Online progress tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Exams in several modules are delivered as online exams.

Feedback will be delivered online and through provision of tutorial questions and answer sessions and other formative exercises.

Practical skills exercises at each level are used to monitor proficiency at experimental work. Assessment of Data handling skills are embedded in practical reports, problem solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations.
The level 7 Project provides the ultimate measure of experimental and other practical skills. The excellent Science Centre also provides an unrivalled facility in which to carry out the level 7 Project module. The MSci Project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a viva exam, designed to allow the student to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding.

Students have access to the Learning Centre. It provides specific group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive and regularly reviewed range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. In addition, there ‘all access’ areas on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge in Benwell Road and the newly fitted interactive teaching spaces in the Roding building. These areas come with comfortable seating and IT facilities.

Course aims

In broad terms, the aims of the MSci honours Pharmaceutical Science course would be to produce graduates capable of working successfully in the pharmaceutical industry. To that end, the course aims to provide an intellectual base by improving the students’ understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and biology and using this to explore the influence of molecular structure on the effectiveness of therapeutic agents. It also aims to provide the knowledge and understanding needed to develop synthetic strategies to produce desirable structures. In order that the students can function effectively in a laboratory environment, the course aims to develop to equip students with the intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of scientific data. The course will enable students to become effective learners/practitioners by developing a variety of higher level personal skills and capabilities. To that end students are trained to plan, execute and write up a project at the masters level

More generally, the course aims to develop an awareness of the ethical implications of modern scientific work and develop skills of self-evaluation and analysis to enhance career development.

Course learning outcomes

For levels 4 to 6, the QAA outcomes for Chemistry and Pharmacy have been utilised, to generate the generic area(s) for each specific outcome. The learning outcomes up to Level 6 are as follows:

1. A knowledge and understanding of the physical and chemical properties of elements and compounds and the ability to analyse critically how they react and interact on a molecular basis, and a knowledge and understanding of biochemical reactions;
2. A knowledge and understanding of the chemistry underpinning the design and mode of action of therapeutic agents and of the delivery systems for such agents and design appropriate delivery systems for selected agents;
3. A knowledge and understanding of analytical techniques and the ability to apply these techniques in the determination of the structure of a compound and/or the composition of a specified sample, including regards to validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and reproducibility;
4. The practical skills necessary to safely carry out experiments such as might be required of a competent professional pharmaceutical scientist viz the ability to devise and carry out reactions to synthesise specified compounds and to identify and perform the analytical measurements needed to characterise multi-component systems;
5. A knowledge and understanding of the diverse modern industrial applications of pharmaceutical science and of the role of the pharmaceutical scientist in Industry.
6. An understanding of the application of mathematical systems to model the behaviour of chemical systems and the ability to employ these to solve specific problems.
7. The ability analyse different situations and devise approaches to solving problems showing a high level of understanding and reasoning and providing their own interpretation of information;
8. The skills necessary to provide a realistic assessment of their own level of achievement and devise strategies for ensure their personal development is fitted to their career goals.
9. The ability to communicate a subject clearly and accurately orally, and in a variety of forms of written English;
10. The ability to employ a full range of investigative skills which can be applied to any set task; use analytical and reviewing skills in order to produce accurate summaries based on a body of literature.

By the end of the course (and therefore satisfactory completion of Level 7) the student is expected to have developed:

Knowledge and Understanding
-An advanced systematic knowledge of the theoretical aspects of scientific topics studied, and an awareness of current issues and insights;
-An ability to apply knowledge in new contexts and in practical settings involving drug discovery, synthesis, analysis, drug delivery systems, formulation, process development, manufacturing and quality systems in pharmaceutical industry;
- The capacity to design, execute and critically evaluate research relevant to pharmaceutical science and drug delivery systems.

Teaching/learning strategies and methods:
A range of teaching methods will be employed including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals and self-directed learning. Problem-solving and literature analysis exercises will be included. Research skills are developed through the Level 6 literature based project, and also through the ‘Research Project module’ at Level 7.

Summative assessment of the students’ work is based on elements drawn from the whole range of their learning experience. The variety of assessment methods include problem solving assignments, unseen tests, practical work and reports, poster and seminar presentations, dissertations and unseen examinations. The coursework assessment elements are used formatively where possible, and additional formative assessments will be used in support of students’ development.

Cognitive skills
By the end of the course the student is expected to have developed higher-level skills that are reflected in their ability to:
- Assimilate information and developing ideas on issues, methodologies or process development;
- Explain how a working hypothesis may be devised and tested within the constraints of a pharmaceutical context;
- Critically analyse different situations and problems showing a high level of understanding and reasoning and providing their own interpretation of information;
- Organise and apply knowledge in a logical and systematic manner appropriate to the purpose or question in hand.

Teaching/learning strategies and methods:
Topic presentation in taught units will be largely evidence-based; areas of relevant current developments will be highlighted. Quantitative methods are taught explicitly in the ‘quantitative analysis’ and ‘spectroscopic methods’ modules, and are embedded in other taught units. The Research Project provides an opportunity to utilise knowledge gained throughout the course in pursuit of an individual, self-directed and focussed investigation.

Cognitive skills are summatively assessed by, inter alia, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, problem solving exercises, essays requiring the ability to sustain an argument, and the Research Project (MSci only) and its oral defence. Poster and seminar presentations provide scope for both peer assessment and immediate formative feedback.

Transferable Skills
By the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Display the interpersonal skills required to work in a scientific, particularly laboratory, based environment;
- Implement an advanced information search and extract relevant information;
- Communicate a subject clearly and accurately orally, and in a variety of forms of written English;
- Select and obtain information and to interpret that information, drawing conclusions from and recognising the limitations of the available data;
- Employ a full range of investigative skills which can be applied to any set task;
- Use analytical and reviewing skills in order to produce accurate summaries based on a body of literature.

Teaching/Learning Strategies and Methods:
Communication skills will be developed through formative feedback of student work, and analysis of published literature. Use of appropriate technologies pervades all the modules. There is a significant element of independent learning in all modules. Self-evaluation of work follows on from the critical, evidence-based approach adopted in the taught units.

All assessment is in oral or written form, and throughout the course emphasis will be placed on development of both general communication skills and also on the requirements of formal scientific writing. Systematic and consistent referencing will be a requirement. Use of technology is implicit in all work requiring literature exploration, and in the written or oral presentation of work. Use of laboratory equipment is also heavily dependent on computer skills.

Subject-specific Practical Skills
Students should be able to demonstrate development of practical skills through:
- Experience of advanced or novel practical methodologies;
- The application of knowledge to practical problems, including test selection and the design of appropriate experimental protocols with due regard to safety and quality control issues;
- Experience of IT software and databases e.g. in drug discovery, therapeutics, formulation, drug delivery systems, bioinformatics and molecular modelling, and in searching biological, chemical and pharmaceutical literature;
- Comprehension and application of technologies in discovery, formulation and manufacture of modern medicines;
- The organisation and execution of practical work in an extensive Research Project (MSci only).

Teaching/Learning Strategies and Methods:
Practical laboratory skills will be taught through hands-on-experience, reflection and problem solving in laboratory sessions. Some observation of demonstration material will also be utilised.

Formative assessment is given continuously during the sessions in the dialogue between the demonstrating staff and the students. Practical skills will be assessed in the Research Project and the Laboratory Practice module by the results obtained and their contribution to the overall standard of achievement.

Principle QAA benchmark statements

No explicit statement exists for Pharmaceutical Science. Chemistry/Pharmacy content (where appropriate) would relate to QAA threshold statements.

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation.
Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the Level 7 project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations.
Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes the option to take either a 15 credit Work Placement module at level 6 or a 30 credit Sandwich Placement module between level 5 and level 6. Students are not allowed to register for both these modules.

Course specific regulations

CY4001 Laboratory Science
CY4002 General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry
CY4003 Cell and Molecular Biology
CY4005 Concepts in Chemistry
CY5008 Organic Chemistry
CY5011 Drugs: Delivery and Action
CY5051 Quantitative Analysis
CY5062 Spectroscopic Methods
CY5009 Inorganic Chemistry
BE5058 Metabolism
BE5060 Microbiology
BE5059 Molecular Biology
BE5061 Human Immunity
CY6P01 Research Project
CY6011 Formulation and Quality Assurance of Medicines
CY6053 Natural Products
CY6054 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CY6063 Medicinal Chemistry
CY6010 Inorganic Chemistry
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science
CY6051 Systems Pharmacology
CY6065 Neuropharmacology
CY6W54 Work Placement
CY6W04 Sandwich Placement
MS7048 Advanced Drug Formulation
MS7032 Drug Delivery Systems
MS7029 Drug Discovery Technology
MS7050 Pharmaceutical Analysis
CY7P01 Research Project for Pharmaceutical Science

The course conforms to both the University’s Undergraduate Scheme and the University Academic Regulations.

Modules required for interim awards

The cores for the award of MSci (Hons) are listed in the course structure. For intermediate awards, any combination of the modules from the course spec would be appropriate.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Undergraduate Skills which constitute much as the substance of personal development planning. Students will undertake to produce their personal development plan (PDP) during their undergraduate career or in the workplace. PDP can include other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life.

PDP is designed to allow students to articulate the skills developed during their undergraduate career and encourages them to critically reflect on their learning experience, to set new personal and academic goals and evaluate progress made in achieving those goals. PDP activities will be specifically incorporated into core modules on the course to ensure all students undertake reflective practises throughout their course of study.

Progress with Undergraduate Skills and Level 7 Skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. This process assists students in developing as independent learners, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This will be of benefit throughout their future career. One module at each level will be used to specifically develop employability and reflective activities. At level 4 this is CY4001 – Laboratory science and at level 5, CY5062 – Spectroscopic methods. At level 6, CY6P01 – the literature based Research project module is used – which requires research of the topic, planning and executing reflective activities, analysis of results and re-evaluation of the direction of the work provides an appropriate forum to emphasise the importance of reflection and of the skills (both transferable and subject-specific) gained during the course. These aspects are developed more fully in the Level 7 Research project module, CY7P01.

The option exists for students to undertake an additional 30 credit module CY6W04 Sandwich Placement module to enhance employability. This would normally be undertaken between level 5 and 6, this would extend the period of study. For part-time students in appropriate employment they can complete the module over an extended period during their degree rather than take a year out.

Students at all levels will take part in tutorials designed to facilitate discussion on what has been learnt in order that reflective learning will contribute to identifying objectives, success criteria, and action plans that can be included in PDPs.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Graduates in Pharmaceutical Science are equipped to take up employment in pharmaceutical research, development, analysis, formulation or product registration. They could also pursue careers in medical research in hospital and public health laboratories and in the food, water and agricultural industries. The analytical, numerical and communication skills developed on the course are also in demand in non-science-based careers such as accountancy, journalism and marketing. The course is also a good preparation for a career in teaching.

Career opportunities

Following successful completion of this course you will be able to go into roles relating to:

  • the formulation and manufacture of pharmaceuticals
  • pharmacovigilance
  • drug safety
  • regulatory affairs

There is also a strong emphasis on developing transferable skills throughout the course, equipping you with extensive analytical and mathematical skills, which would allow you to pursue roles in teaching, finance, management and more.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BCC in three A levels including grade B in chemistry (or a minimum of 104 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Progression Diploma or Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits)
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)

You will be considered on a case-by-case basis if you hold relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience.

You will also be considered if you are currently completing Level 4 (Year 1) or 5 (Year 2) from an appropriately matched Pharmaceutical Science BSc course and would like to transfer to an MSci.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this integrated master’s degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing Pharmaceutical Science (including foundation year) BSc (Hons).

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2019/20 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 30 Jun 2019 Last validation date 30 Jun 2019  
JACS codes 100423 (pharmaceutical chemistry): 100%
Route code PHASCA

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CY4001 Laboratory Science Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
CY4002 General and Organic Chemistry Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
CY4003 Cell and Molecular Biology Core 30        
CY4005 Concepts in Chemistry Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM

Stage 2 Level 05 October start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CY5008 Organic Chemistry Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE PM
CY5011 Drugs: Delivery and Action Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
CY5051 Quantitative Analysis Core 15 NORTH AUT WED PM
CY5062 Spectroscopic Methods Core 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
BE5058 Metabolism Option 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
BE5059 Microbiology Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
BE5060 Molecular Biology Option 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
BE5061 Human Immunity Option 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
CY5009 Inorganic Chemistry Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM

Stage 3 Level 06 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CY6011 Formulation and Quality Assurance of Medicines Core 30        
CY6063 Medicinal Chemistry Core 15        
CY6P01 Research Project Core 30        
CY6053 Advanced Organic Chemistry Alt Core 15        
CY6055 Natural Products Alt Core 15        
CY6010 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry and Materials Option 30        
CY6010A Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Option 15        
CY6051 Systems Pharmacology Option 15        
CY6061 Advanced Bioanalytical Science Option 15        
CY6065 Neuropharmacology Option 15        
CY6W04 Sandwich Placement Option 30        
CY6W54 Work Placement Option 15        

Stage 4 Level 07 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
CY7P01 Research Project for Pharmaceutical Science Core 60        
MS7032 Drug Delivery Systems Core 20        
MS7048 Advanced Drug Formulation Technologies Core 20        
MS7029 Drug Discovery Technology Option 20        
MS7050 Pharmaceutical Analysis Option 20