Hull York Medical School partners with RB to offer MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development

3 December 2019
Students and researchers in a lab with Hull York Medical School

This innovative MSc programme has been designed to provide students with an understanding of the entire development journey of a clinical drug – from ‘bench to bedside’ and beyond

Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull have partnered with leading global health, hygiene and home company RB to offer an MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development.

This innovative MSc programme has been designed to provide students with an understanding of the entire development journey of a clinical drug – from ‘bench to bedside’ and beyond.

Through the new programme which commenced in October 2019, students will have unique access to RB’s state-of-the-art healthcare Science and Innovation Centre in Hull, as well as taught sessions delivered by University experts alongside specialists from RB, and contact with an industrial mentor.

Students will develop a deep foundation of knowledge in the principles of pharmacology through being taught by experienced research academics at Hull York Medical School alongside scientists and leaders from RB and experienced clinicians within the NHS. This will ensure they develop their understanding of the drug development process – from first principles within the laboratory setting, to testing in clinical trials, right through to the translation of drugs into the clinical setting.

Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull said:

'At the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School we are focused on tackling some of the biggest health challenges facing society – improving diagnosis, treatment and care of a range of conditions. We are delighted to be working with one of the world’s leading consumer healthcare companies RB and believe that together we can attract the next generation of clinical and academic researchers and equip them with the skills to develop new drugs to manage health, potentially even addressing conditions for which there is currently no solution.'

Pharmacology is the science underpinning the action of drugs within biological systems, and its reach and impact are vast, playing a vital role in medicine, nursing, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Dr Simon Calaminus, Programme Director for the MSc Pharmacology and Drug Development at Hull York Medical School said: ‘We are enormously proud to offer an MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development.  By working with RB students on our programme will learn the fundamental principles of pharmacology, the impact of drugs on the major organ systems and, importantly, how to ensure new clinical drugs are introduced into the clinical setting where, following trials and testing, they can make a difference to patients’ lives’. 

Aimed at aspiring clinical researchers, as well as those wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying principles of how drugs work and how to develop new drugs, the programme is built around core modules which 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 fundamental importance of clinical trials.

Dr Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer for RBs - Health Relief, Wellness and Hygiene categories adds:

'We are delighted to be the founding corporate partners for the MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development. Hull is home to our global centre of excellence for health, where we research, develop and manufacture many of our iconic brands.

'By working with Hull York Medical School, we are helping to shape the development and delivery of the curriculum to equip tomorrow’s researchers with invaluable industry insights and experience.  This knowledge is useful to those entering clinical and academic careers, as well as those aspiring to work in industry.'

The programme will be run from the Medical School’s Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease at the University of Hull campus, whose academic and clinical researchers are focused on research programmes to increase understanding of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, as well as developing new therapeutic approaches to wound healing, fertility and airway inflammation.

The University’s Hull Health Trials Unit, which was launched in 2018, will also 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.

Students will then finish their programme by conducting a significant research project in either basic or applied pharmacology to generate novel and cutting-edge research findings – with support from the programme team to increase their chances of getting their work published.

Sam Spenceley, one of the first students to join the programme says:

'I chose this course as I previously worked in a lab as an analyst and I wanted to understand in more detail what it was I was doing and why in order to progress into research and development as a career. I saw this as a great opportunity to do so - learning pharmacology and the development process from start to finish.

'The partnership with RB is very beneficial and shows practical implication of the course too, how your knowledge is applied in a working environment. I am finding the MSc is really interesting so far and it is building a good foundation of knowledge to bring everyone on the course from differing backgrounds to the same level of understanding.

'The lecturers provide a lot of detailed information directly relating to your assignments, giving you the guidance and knowledge needed for self-directed learning.'

Further information about the MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development can be found on the Hull York Medical School website.