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Medicine & Health
Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
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Pharmacology and Drug Discovery

Coventry University
On campus
 1299 Points
1 Year

Program Description

This master’s course aims to provide the training and development necessary to meet the demand for highly skilled scientists within the expanding and global bioscience sector. It can lead to a wide range of careers including academic, commercial, industrial and healthcare applications of pharmacology.

The course has been designed to respond to the increasing demand for suitably trained professional pharmacologists, essential to speed up the critical task of translating basic laboratory medical research into commercially-ready medical biotechnology and drugs that can be used to diagnose and treat patients. As well as relevant biotechnical innovations associated with pharmacology and drug discovery, classical clinical trial design and health-outcomes research, the course also encompasses an emerging area of science that is known as ‘Translational Medicine’.

Translational medicine requires a new breed of pharmacologist who can apply basic science knowledge and skills to experimental study design, management and data analysis, and who understands the legislation and other regulatory procedures surrounding disease treatment. Our course is designed to provide such specialists by applying basic and clinical science to topics including diagnosis, understanding and treatment of disease, supported by our excellent staff, research expertise and laboratory facilities.

Our multi-million pound, state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building features a suite of analytical and biological laboratories where you can gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge industry techniques.

Entry Requirements

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Research Techniques in Pharmacology

This module combines computational biology, bioinformatics and pharmacology to develop your technical skills in pharmacology and drug discovery. A further, important, aspect of this module is to provide a thorough grounding in quantitative skills in pharmacology including statistics. A development of your awareness and the critical analysis of current literature is also fulfilled in this module through regular workshops and tutorials.

Principles of Pharmacology and Drug Discovery

The module will aim to provide you with an understanding of the drug discovery process from identification of novel targets to the introduction of new drugs into clinical practice.

The module will enable you to explain how novel targets for drugs are identified, understand current drug screening methods with respect to their desired activity and appreciate the limitations of both pre-clinical and clinical screening methods using contemporary examples. Students will also encompass information needed to introduce a new drug to clinical practice including the function and operation of the Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and post-approval drug monitoring and surveillance.

Current Topics in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery

This module aims to provide you with an overview of translational medicine from an academic, commercial, public sector and global perspective. You will use real life case studies as examples of translational medicine. The topics will emphasise new and/or pipeline drugs including biologics, cell-based therapies and devices. The module will also allow you to appreciate novel approaches using primary research data/methodologies to design pre-clinical and clinical studies, with a specific focus on enhancing the discovery of new therapeutic agents for specific patient groups.

Drug Discovery: from Bench to Bedside

This module aims to provide an experience which tracks the drug discovery process from target identification and initial ligand screen, through in vitro cell toxicity assays, culminating in the use of METIman to observe the effects of the drugs in a life size, fully wireless, human simulation under artificial intelligence control.

Critical Review in Pharmacology

This module is designed to consolidate theoretical knowledge and practical skills developed in previous modules and develop your skills as critical readers of scientific literature. You will be instructed on the critical review process and will have opportunities to practice this skill through discussion groups with your peers and tutor, before embarking on your own critical evaluation of a published scientific research article in pharmacology and drug discovery.

Pharmacology Scientific Presentation

The aim of the module is to allow you to utilise your knowledge of contemporary/advanced pharmacology and drug discovery, and discuss challenges in treatment of diseases. You will utilise your entrepreneurship skills, gained in the Global Professional Development module, to consider a suitable market. You will present their ideas in the form of a scientific poster at a School Symposium.

Global Professional Development - Entrepreneurship

The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to critically assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and other domains of management, such as strategy and leadership. You will gain an understanding how entrepreneurial thinking can enhance organisational performance and leadership through the application of a more enterprising mind-set. By drawing on a wide range of scenarios, tasks and debates, this module will explore a range of entrepreneurial archetypes to help you explore your own entrepreneurial profile and potential.

Research Principles and Preparation (MSc Pharmacology and Drug Discovery only)

This module aims to provide a detailed consideration of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific/clinical hypothesis. You will apply these to the design of an individual research experiment in a chosen area.

Research Project (MSc Pharmacology and Drug Discovery only)

You will be required to carry out a series of investigative, analytical or experimental studies in your selected field within biomolecular sciences and present your findings in a scientific manner.


The scientific knowledge and skills you should acquire during the course can also be a useful basis for a career in:

  • teaching
  • technical and scientific writing (such as medical writing or writing for the media)
  • clinical trials
  • drug registration
  • patenting or monitoring
  • medical publishing or other information services
  • regulatory affairs or sales
  • marketing

A wide range of job opportunities exist, including:

  • Clinical research manager
  • Clinical scientist
  • Human resources manager
  • Patent attorney
  • Pharmacologist
  • Project manager/director
  • Public relations officer
  • Regulatory affairs associate
  • Research scientist
  • Sales representative
  • Medical writer

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