Pharmaceutical Science MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)



Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

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Focus on advanced pharmaceutical skills including dosage, approaches and techniques, before moving on to the pathway of a drug from initial discovery to extensive clinical trials and regulatory approval. Let our SuperLabs and Nanotechnology Research Lab become your workspace as you carry out safe, ethical experiments while meeting world-class pharmaceutical standards.

Full description


We've worked closely with industry to ensure our course meets the need for enhanced skills by employees within pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing. Once you graduate, you could work within the pharmaceutical industry as a formulation, quality control or production scientist. Or you might decide to make a career in regulatory affairs and research, or in a government regulatory body while involving yourself in licensing and post marketing surveillance procedures. Other career choices could be in the medical publication industry, academia, technical support, food or cosmetic industry. If you'd like to continue your studies in research or further education, Anglia Ruskin offers a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate research degrees including MPhil or/and PhD in Pharmaceutical Science, and in Biomedical Science.

As an MSc Pharmaceutical Science graduate you'll be eligible to apply to join the Royal Pharmaceutical Society after spending 2 years in a suitable Pharmaceutical Scientist role.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Advanced Pharmaceutics
    You’ll be taught by specialists in drug delivery while you gain knowledge and practical skills to critically assess the design, formulation process and use of formulation of solid, semi-solid and liquid dosage. You’ll get hands-on when you investigate pharmaceutics-related problems to generate new data. In addition to the traditional dosage drug dosage forms, you’ll investigate advanced drug delivery approaches and systems such as vesicular carriers, dendrimers, solid lipid nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, nanoemulsions and microspheres. You’ll also cover the use of biodegradable polymers in various drug delivery applications. While developing your understanding of physicochemical interactions and incompatibilities, you’ll become confident in practical decision making for effective medicine, the development of appropriate analytical techniques to assess dosage form stability and drug release profile.
  • Drug Design and Discovery
    Focus on the development pathway of a drug from its initial discovery to extensive clinical trials and regulatory approval. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge of the processes of finding a new target causing the disease, applying virtual and experimental models for compound/drug screening, identifying leading drug candidate for further development and performing pre-clinical research activities. You’ll cover the pre-formulation aspects of pharmaceuticals such as pH solubility and stability profiles, partition coefficients, determination of pKa, polymorphism, and compatibility studies of active ingredients and excipients. You’ll discuss the principles of instrumental chemical analysis of drugs and develop awareness of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP).This will ensure that you are establishing proper quality systems and ethical considerations, while constantly comparing to real-life industry examples.
  • Research Studies
    Designed to provide you with a critical overview of the main methodologies and designs applied to research within medical science, professional practice, regulation and policy, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the theoretical dilemmas and research skills needed for industry. Together, we'll explore the overarching research framework including both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, data collection methods, issues of rigor and data analysis approaches. We'll also look at reviewing published literature, critiquing studies and understanding the methodology of systematic reviews, and ethical issues relating to research conduct and use, and research governance. Our module will provide a framework within which to select, evaluate and justify the research methods chosen for your research project.
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Quality Principles
    Develop wider knowledge of the integral parts of the pharmaceutical industry including research, development, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales. You’ll cover the considerations needed to plan, design, construct, validate, and operate complex manufacturing facilities. You’ll also study and debate the practical applications of Good Design Practices (GDPs) including compliance with applicable safety, health, environmental regulations and current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). You’ll attend seminars which are delivered by pharmaceutical industry practitioners on issues in principles of quality assurance (QA) and quality control tests (QC), as well as understanding documentation, audit and test procedures you’ll need in your career. Finally, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to apply Pharmaceutical Quality by Design (QbD) bases on the application of product and process sciences to provide accelerated regulatory submission pathways for new applications.
  • Major Project
    The major project is at the centre of the Masters award and allows you to demonstrate your creativity and apply the skills and concepts you’ve learned in the previous modules. You’ll take the opportunity to carry out an in-depth study in a related specific area of your choice and interest. We’ll encourage you to carry out your major project with an industrial partner to gain real-life experience and contacts in the field. During the project you may generate intellectual property, defined as an idea, invention or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else.


Although they vary, our assessment strategies are all carefully designed to challenge you so that you expand your critical and creative thinking, as well as your problem-solving skills. The assessments will enable you to demonstrate that you can synthesize existing knowledge, accumulate new knowledge, and will evidence the development of your professional practice.

As well as our MSc in Pharmaceutical Science, we also offer two intermediate awards – a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate. If you’re taking the full Masters course then you’ll also need to complete a dissertation.

This course does not have any optional modules. Modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (per year)


UK students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (per year)


International students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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