Pharmaceutical Analysis MSc

Why choose this course?

This course enables you to gain a recognised qualification that will further your career in the pharmaceutical industry or public services, while also providing an excellent foundation for a further research degree. You will gain a strong background in the theory of analytical techniques used in pharmaceutical science and how to apply them to complex problems in an industrially relevant context. You can choose to combine your studies with training in the fundamentals of management theory.

The Pharmaceutical Analysis MSc (pathway not including Management Studies) provides exemption from Part A of the Mastership in Chemical Analysis, which is the statutory qualification for a public analyst.

Pharmaceutical Analysis MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years 1 day a week September 2020

Pharmaceutical Analysis with Management Studies MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week, plus selected weekends for Management Studies pathway September 2020
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week, plus selected weekends for Management Studies pathway plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years 1 day a week, plus selected weekends for Management Studies pathway September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • The option of the Management Studies pathway is ideal if you aspire to a management role within the pharmaceutical and allied industries.
  • The pathway without Management Studies provides exemption from Part A of the Mastership in Chemical Analysis for a public analyst.
  • Through an independent project you will be able to research an area of interest in depth, possibly at an industry placement or as collaborative research with other laboratories.

Accreditation

The Pharmaceutical Analysis MSc (not including Management Studies) provides exemption from Part A of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Mastership in Chemical Analysis, which is the statutory qualification for a public analyst. 

What you will study

You will gain key skills in the specialised area of pharmaceutical analysis, including good measurement and scientific practice, evaluation interpretation of data, and other professional and organisational skills. In addition to studying core analytical techniques and their applications, you will be introduced to various pharmaceutical technologies, for example, formulations and topics such as clinical pharmacokinetics.

You may be offered a placement within industry (depending on your results and project availability) where you will carry out your independent research project.

The Management Studies option enables you to explore the fundamentals of management theory within the commercial and public sectors.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Modules

Management Studies pathway modules

Core modules

Molecular and Atomic Spectroscopy

30 credits

This module introduces the main spectroscopic techniques used in industry, e.g. UV/Vis, FTIR, Mass Spectrometry, NMR, AES, AAS and X -Ray methods and later progresses to the more advanced designs and applications, eg MS/MS, FTMS, TOF, sector and quadrupole mass analysers, 2D NMR, LCMS, MALDI, Atomic Fluorescence and ICPMS/AES.

Separation Science

30 credits

This module introduces students to the principles and theory of separation science and its application in the laboratory including solvent extraction, high performance liquid chromatography, gas/liquid chromatography, centrifugation, gel and capillary electrophoresis and hyphenated techniques.

Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technology

30 credits

The module is intended to ensure that students are aware of the processes by which a drug is formulated into a medicine. It examines the effect that formulation decisions have on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines, and on the pharmaceutical industry's business model. It includes the principles of pharmaceutical analysis and the application of pharmaceutical analytical techniques (both routine and non-routine) for the design, process- and quality-control of manufactured pharmaceuticals and process-intermediates. It is designed to enable students to review instrumentation choices when confronted with pharmaceutical issues and to select the appropriate tool(s). It also looks at the emerging quality assurance concepts of process analytical technology and quality by design. The module aims are:

  • To analyse aspects of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing including process analysis.
  • To extend the students' knowledge of total quality management and apply it to the analytical laboratory in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • To provide current examples of the applications of the techniques studied in this course specifically to pharmaceutical problems.
Statistics and Quality Systems

30 credits

The module introduces students to the role of statistics and quality systems in modern analytical science. It demonstrates how a thorough understanding of statistical concepts, the analytical process and the quality systems and quality management paradigms collectively enable the consistent and reliable interpretation of analytical chemical data to support the economic requirements of a business organisation. The module aims are:

  • To define analytical chemistry and the criteria that distinguish it from other sciences.
  • To describe and appraise the analytical process in a systematic manner and emphasise the purpose of each stage.
  • Provide the rationale for the use of statistics in chemical analysis and experimental design and the skills required to perform statistical testing and interpretation of chemical data manually, via a calculator and with software.
  • To enhance students knowledge of the planning and development of quality systems in the analytical laboratory.
Project

60 credits

This module involves a research- or industry-based in-depth research project. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, utilising analytical and laboratory skills.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Prepare a realistic and coherent project proposal, formulate aims and objectives and plan your own time to achieve stated objectives.
  • Critically evaluate the current literature.
  • Carry out appropriate experiments in a safe manner (applying COSHH) and generate reliable data suitably analysed and apply appropriate statistical tests.
  • Communicate the results of the project in a coherent report and in oral and visual manner.

Core modules

Separation Science

30 credits

This module introduces students to the principles and theory of separation science and its application in the laboratory including solvent extraction, high performance liquid chromatography, gas/liquid chromatography, centrifugation, gel and capillary electrophoresis and hyphenated techniques.

Pharmaceutical and Analytical Technology

30 credits

The module is intended to ensure that students are aware of the processes by which a drug is formulated into a medicine. It examines the effect that formulation decisions have on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicines, and on the pharmaceutical industry's business model. It includes the principles of pharmaceutical analysis and the application of pharmaceutical analytical techniques (both routine and non-routine) for the design, process- and quality-control of manufactured pharmaceuticals and process-intermediates. It is designed to enable students to review instrumentation choices when confronted with pharmaceutical issues and to select the appropriate tool(s). It also looks at the emerging quality assurance concepts of process analytical technology and quality by design. The module aims are:

  • To analyse aspects of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing including process analysis.
  • To extend the students' knowledge of total quality management and apply it to the analytical laboratory in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • To provide current examples of the applications of the techniques studied in this course specifically to pharmaceutical problems.
Manufacture and Clinical Trials of Medicines

30 credits

This module introduces you to the different phases and types of clinical trials and the associated legal, regulatory and ethical issues. This includes statistical data analyses and how to manage and review clinical trial data in relation to evidence-based medicine. The technology and application of the manufacture of various medicine formulations are discussed and the place of biotechnological products introduced. The module also covers elements of medicines regulation with particular reference to the UK and European Union. Regulations are dealt with both within a general framework and specific areas including manufacturing, dealing with specialist products, regulation in clinical use, and licensing. The module aims are:

  • To develop an understanding of the testing of medicines and medical devices in human volunteers and patients, and role of statistics and clinical data management.
  • To facilitate review of results from drugs under test or in therapeutic use, to make judgement of these data and to make valid recommendations or warnings where appropriate.
  • To enable students to undertake detailed review of the progress of medicinal products from instigation to patient.
  • To allow design of improved systems of production, testing and control of medicaments including the different types of clinical trial.
Business in Practice

30 credits

This module runs on Saturdays.

This module is aimed at the practical needs of students from different academic contexts such as, but not limited to computing, science, medicine, biotechnology and the health services who are aspiring team leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs in business within the context of the commercial, public, voluntary, or academic sector.

The module introduces and uses activities and problem-solving to investigate business topics ranging from finance, accounting, budgeting, and marketing, to organisational management by developing the leadership skills to meet business challenges and cope with its complexity.

Project

60 credits

This module involves a research- or industry-based in-depth research project. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, utilising analytical and laboratory skills.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Prepare a realistic and coherent project proposal, formulate aims and objectives and plan your own time to achieve stated objectives.
  • Critically evaluate the current literature.
  • Carry out appropriate experiments in a safe manner (applying COSHH) and generate reliable data suitably analysed and apply appropriate statistical tests.
  • Communicate the results of the project in a coherent report and in oral and visual manner.
Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Tier 4 visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A good honours degree in chemistry, pharmacy, life science, pharmaceutical science or a related subject such as pharmacology or biomedical science. Other degrees will be considered on an individual basis.
  • If you do not hold a degree in one of the relevant subjects listed above, significant relevant experience will be considered. Applicants with alternative qualifications will also need appropriate experience in analysis.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1 Management pathway

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 577 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1223 hours
Year 1 Management pathway
  • Scheduled teaching: 564 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1236 hours

Year 1 Core pathway: 32% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Year 1 Management pathway: 31% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Core pathway

Management pathway

Core pathway
  • Coursework: 50%
  • Exams: 32%
  • Practical: 18%
Management pathway
  • Coursework: 54%
  • Exams: 24%
  • Practical: 22%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside MPharm students..

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, and Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry

The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry is well known for the high quality of its undergraduate and postgraduate courses. These include full- and part-time foundation programmes.

Excellent facilities support our teaching - students benefit from new, purpose-built laboratories, equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. Strong links with industry and other key sectors ensure our students are well prepared for today's employment market. These include connections with hospitals and community pharmacies, accreditation from industry bodies, and involvement with active research groups.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

What this course offers you

  • The Pharmaceutical Analysis course gives you a strong background in the theory of analytical techniques. You learn how to apply these techniques to complex analytical problems.
  • You also have the chance to study recent trends in analytical science and the latest analytical techniques.
  • By choosing the Management Studies pathway, it will help to set your scientific knowledge in a vocational context. This makes it ideal if you want to work in a management position within the pharmaceutical and allied industries.
  • The independent MSc research project gives you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
  • You can choose to take it in industry or as collaborative research with other laboratories. For example, past projects have looked at:
    • determining caffeine and its metabolites in human serum samples using GC-MS;
    • the characterisation of sol-gel films as a potential matrix to design an optical biosensor device; and
    • synthesis and use of compounds as probes for biochemical reactions.
  • Visiting speakers and industrial visits support the course and help you contextualise your studies.
  • We regularly review our courses to make sure they remain up to date and that you graduate as a marketable industry professional.
  • The taught courses aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you gain skills in:
    • problem solving and organisation;
    • data collation, review and synopsis;
    • communication (oral, written and electronic);
    • time management;
    • computing; and
    • co-operation and teamwork.
  • The knowledge and skills you gain will allow you to pursue a career in analytical science in a variety of industries or the public sector.
  • A careers and networking event at the end of the course will help you build valuable contacts.
  • We offer flexible timetables and part-time options to help you fit your studies around other commitments. If you are working in industry and want to brush up in a particular analytical area, you can even take individual modules on a stand-alone basis.

Facilities

Our modern teaching environment 

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories, including labs dedicated to pharmaceutical science;
  • new work areas and dedicated laboratories for research;
  • specialist equipment, such as:
    • gas and liquid chromatography;
    • electron microscopy;
    • a range of spectrometers, including mass spectrometers, infrared spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers;
    • nuclear science equipment;
    • thermal analysis;
    • x-ray diffractometers;
    • electrochemical analysis; and
    • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance.

The library offers:

  • subject libraries, plus a free inter-library loan scheme to other libraries in the Greater London area;
  • online database subscriptions; and
  • a growing selection of resource materials.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.


Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

After you graduate

Recent graduates have gone on to a range of roles, including:

  • pharmaceutical analysts in large and SME chemical/pharmaceutical companies;
  • teaching;
  • PhD research;
  • sales and marketing; and
  • managerial.

What our students say

I chose this course because it is very competitive and full of challenges. I believe it is one of the best courses in pharmaceutical analysis in the UK.

The staff reputation is another reason that encouraged me to choose the course, and it was also recommended by a friend who had finished his MSc and PhD at Kingston University. The teaching of the course was great. I learnt a lot here - the teaching was challenging, I really enjoyed the lectures, and the staff were more than magnificent.

The town of Kingston is really wonderful place to live in - the people are so nice and helpful; daily needs are available in the town; and everything that I need as an international student is available. The nature of the town is really wonderful - being on the Thames has a great effect on the town. The town itself is a little bit outside central London, which made Kingston a very good place to study in.

There are a lot of things that make Kingston University special to me - the teaching environment and the great staff; the relationship between students and staff; the new friendships that I made during the course; and finally the new knowledge that I gained, which will help me a lot in finding a good career after graduation.

Ali Athab Alkinani

How we work with industry partners

Our links with industry provide a practical base for our courses. They also help us to ensure your studies are kept up-to-date and relevant to the working environment.

If you choose to study this course, you will benefit from:

  • real-world experience through your MSc project, which you can undertake either:
    • in industry – past students have taken placements in the pharmaceutical industry, forensic labs, analytical consultancies, hospital labs and research labs; or
    • as collaborative research with other laboratories;
  • the latest views from visiting speakers – such as Vicki Barwick from LGC (an independent chemical analysis lab) and Stephen Paton from global pharmaceutical company Ely Lilley
  • industry visits – such as to Cancer Research UK or the Clinical Trials Laboratories Service.

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Research in the Faculty is organised into several research areas, including the Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Group (BPSRG). This is an interdisciplinary group shared by Kingston University and St George's, University of London in which research is organised into the following themes:

  • parasitology and microbiology;
  • haematology/immunology/cancer biology;
  • biomedical, pharmaceutical and instrumental analyses;
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry;
  • clinical pharmacy and advanced drug delivery; and
  • nutrition/exercise and sports science.