module specification

MS7048 - Advanced Drug Formulation Technologies (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Advanced Drug Formulation Technologies
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
70 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
90 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 60%   Unseen examination (2 hours)
Coursework 40%   Presentation (20 minutes)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is designed to provide students with (a) an in-depth understanding of current and (b) emerging formulation technologies for optimising dosage forms, (c) the mechanisms by which these therapeutic agents exert their mode of action (d) and the various routes of drug administration that can be exploited to maximise drug interactions. Also, it will aid students with an understanding of how to identify and critically evaluate the key factors and stages involved in designing formulations; enable students to appreciate the importance of the manufacturing process and the stability of drug formulation in the overall development of new products, and to enable students to examine selected ethical issues surrounding drug development and delivery.


Pharmaceutical preformulation, excipient selection and formulation of conventional and emerging dosage forms including oral (for example, immediate release, controlled release) parenteral (sterile), transdermal/dermal, pulmonary/nasal, ocular delivery, intrauterine system and biotechnology products.

Age appropriate formulation design and evaluation of the associated key factors.

Implement design and formulation strategies to render insoluble drugs more amenable for formulation.

Statistical design approaches to formulation development – Design of Experiments (DOE).

Physico-chemical stability of formulations including drug-excipient interactions. Principles of biopharmaceutics (drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion).

In-vitro testing of pharmaceutical dosage forms and in-vivo correlation.

Drug formulation design case studies.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject matter through lectures, practicals, tutorials and workshops. Students' ability to prepare and interpret subject-specific data, and problem solving exercises will be developed through directed reading and tutorial-based exercises. Students will be expected to reflect on the examination of the current development of methodology in drug delivery systems, which includes an awareness and appraisal of the ethical issues that govern their implementation.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:

  1. Define and provide a detailed explanation of the role of preformulation and formulation design.
  2. Critically evaluate strategies for formulation development with reference to specific routes of administration and target patient populations.
  3. Research and critically evaluate emerging and cutting edge drug delivery technologies for optimising dosage forms.
  4. Discuss in detail the anatomical and physiological factors that affect drug bioavailability.
  5. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the methodologies for in-vitro testing of pharmaceutical dosage forms and the interrelationship with in-vivo measurements.
  6. Define, distinguish, and evaluate the various modes of decomposition of drugs.