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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 2024
Location University of Hull
Student examining fluorescence microscopy image


Book a one-to-one appointment with the Programme Directors

We're delighted to be able to offer a number of online one-to-one appointments with the Directors of our MSc in Pharmacology and Drug Development, Dr Simon Calaminus and Dr Nguok Nie Su. If you have any questions about the programme, or would like to discuss your circumstances, please book using the links below:

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.

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.

The MSc programme is built around five core modules, with two optional modules. These modules will give you 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.

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. The project, which can be lab or non lab based, will be supported by clinical and industry supervisors in the Centre for Biomedicine, which has a strong record of producing 3/4* publishable work.

This programme is aimed at applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, including clinical, pharmaceutical, biomedical, life or basic sciences, to create a unique, stimulating and collaborative environment. 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.

Although you will be based in the Centre for Biomedicine and benefit from the academic, educational and industrial expertise within this department, you will also be taught by leading scholars from additional departments such as the Hull Health Trials Unit, and other leading clinical and industrial experts. The 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.

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.

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.

Course content


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

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.


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
Tania Bernardes


I had a great experience on the programme, and left with a huge knowledge about how drugs work within biological systems. I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering applying.
Research Assistant/Technician at Hull York Medical School, University of Hull

Tania Ludmila Pires Bernardes

About the programme

Career prospects

Through studying this Masters programme, you will have the opportunity to develop key skills essential for effective design, delivery and interpretation of laboratory and clinical data. This skill set is key for multiple roles within the industrial, medical and academic sectors, both in the UK and internationally.

Within industry this MSc is likely to open job opportunities in drug safety, quality, regulation and compliance as well as Consumer Safety, Quality Managers, Clinical data associate, or clinical data managers, alongside the more traditional lab roles. Please see the student testimonials for examples of where our students have been employed.

Through studying this Masters, you will also develop the skills to further your academic career by pursing a PhD.


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 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 (from January 2015): 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)
  • WASSCE: C5

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Fees listed are for 2024 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: £12,480
  • Part-time (2 years): £6,240

International (including EU)

  • Full-time: £29,400
  • Part-time (2 years): £14,700 (Please note that the part-time study option is only available to those international students who do not require a visa to study in the UK)

Applicants who are self-funded and assessed by the University of Hull as paying the overseas tuition fee rate are required to pay a non-refundable deposit at the point of offer to secure a place for 2024-entry. A place will not be guaranteed until the full deposit has been received. The University reserves the right to stop accepting deposit payments once course places are full and, as a result, may defer an offer to the next available intake. Find out more about the University of Hull Tuition Fee Deposit.


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.

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 2024.