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MSc in

Pharmacology and Drug Development

Our MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development will provide you with unique and unrivalled opportunities to immerse yourself in the clinical, basic science and industrial aspects of pharmacology – to ultimately push the boundaries of contemporary knowledge in pharmacology and drug development.

Course length 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start date September 2023
Location University of Hull
Student examining fluorescence microscopy image

Postgraduate Online Open Day

7 June 2023

If you're interested in developing your knowledge and skills through postgraduate study, then join us online on Wednesday 7 June 2023 when we will be attending the University of York's Postgraduate Online Open Day.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Online Open Day

About the programme

Pharmacology is the science underpinning the action of drugs on biological systems, and its reach and impact – playing a vital role in medicine, nursing, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Pharmacology therefore touches all our lives.

This programme, based at the University of Hull campus, is aimed at aspiring clinical researchers, as well as those wishing to gain a deep understanding of the underlying principles of ‘how drugs work’ and ‘how to develop new drugs’.

If you are a highly motivated, inquisitive student, looking to push the boundaries of contemporary knowledge in pharmacology and drug development, whilst at the same time extending yourself and boosting your career opportunities in a high achieving academic setting, then this programme is for you.

Our MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development will provide you with unique and unrivalled opportunities to immerse yourself in the clinical, basic science and industrial aspects of pharmacology. In this programme you will gain the skills to play an active role in developing the next generation of drugs – either from first principles in the lab, testing in clinical trials, or taking new products to clinic.

You will be based in the Centre for Biomedicine and learn from experts in their field who are at the forefront of pharmacology and the drug design process. This includes our own clinical trials unit as well as invited speakers from internationally relevant drug companies.

As well as learning from their expertise, you will be challenged to think differently and develop skills to become a self-directed learner – allowing you to continually grow your pharmacology knowledge throughout your career.

The MSc programme is built around core modules that cover the fundamental principles of pharmacology and the clinical relevance of drugs for the major organ systems, whilst demonstrating the drug development process, from initial drug design to understanding the importance of clinical trials.

Through our founding corporate partner Reckitt, a leading global hygiene, health and nutrition company with global brands such as Nurofen and Gaviscon, you will also experience regular contact with an industrial mentor, access to Reckitt’s state-of-the-art Science and Innovation Centre in Hull, and taught sessions delivered by industry employees alongside university colleagues.

The Hull Health Trials Unit will deliver high quality tuition into the principles and process of clinical trials covering a range of crucial topics, including study rigour, participant recruitment, data analysis and interpretation and appropriate regulatory and governance issues associated with modern clinical trials.

You will finish your year with us by conducting a significant research project in either basic or applied pharmacology to generate novel and cutting-edge research findings. We will support you to increase your chances of getting your work published.

Course content


The programme is a 180 credit Master’s programme, with six core taught modules (20 credits each), and a core research project/dissertation (60 credits).


An ideal option for intercalation

The MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development will help give intercalating medical students a deeper understanding and appreciation of prescribing.

In the medical sector, an intercalating MSc can have a significant impact on your application to deaneries and your potential career prospects. Understanding the science of medicines improves prescribing and can also open up career opportunities including Medical Advisors.

Intercalating at Hull York
Student using microscope
Medicine students on a hospital ward at Hull Royal Infirmary
Pipetting in a flume cupboard

Teaching and assessment

How is the programme assessed?

Assessments take place throughout your programme and include oral presentations, essays, portfolio, practical write ups, poster presentations, and project work. Details of these are included with the module information.

There are two types of assessment:

  • Formative assessments: These are designed to provide you with an opportunity to obtain helpful feedback to enable you to develop your understanding of the both the type of assessment and the topic. They do not contribute to the final award mark.
  • Summative assessments: These assessments count towards the final module mark. They take place during and towards the end of each module. Feedback will be given for these assessments to help you understand the mark obtained but also to help with your academic development.

Teaching and assessment

What support is available?

This MSc is intensive and challenging but ultimately hugely rewarding. In addition to the student support services at the University of Hull, we also have our own dedicated student support team providing a range of pastoral services to all our Hull York Medical School students.

This programme develops you to become a self-directed learner – and therefore a lifelong learner. This may be a new skill to you to learn, but you will not be on your own; you will benefit from small teaching groups and high contact hours during your programme, so you always have someone to help you throughout your learning.

Support and wellbeing
Olalekan Ayuba


It’s been a phenomenal couple of years and the programme has given me a wider understanding of the process of drug development and clinical trial protocol. All the tutors are approachable and ready to help to ensure you excel. The degree has given me the ability to rapidly progress my career path with my current employer.
MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development student

Olalekan Ayuba


Entry requirements

Applicants must have previous training in human or mammalian biology (e.g. graduates from medical, biomedical, or biological undergraduate courses), Chemistry/Pharmacology or other related fields with a minimum 2.2 (Hons) degree or equivalent.

Intercalating students

Intercalating medical students must have successfully completed a minimum of three years of an MB BS or comparable medical qualification.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must have one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE: 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components
  • LangCert B2 Communicator High Pass (minimum score 33/50)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees listed are for 2023 entry; fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation as fees are reviewed on an annual basis and may change.

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (Home) or International (including EU) student. Check your fee status on the University of York website.

UK (Home)

  • Full-time: £11,770
  • Part-time (2 years): £5,885

International (including EU)

  • Full-time: £27,200
  • Part-time (2 years): £13,600


There are a number of funding options available to help with costs and support your postgraduate study. To apply for funding, you will need to hold an offer to study at Hull York Medical School.


How to apply

To apply, please submit an online application on the University of York website.

Apply now on the University of York website

You don’t need to complete your application all at once; you can start it, save it and finish it later.

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2023.