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Clinical Pharmacology MSc

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The Clinical Pharmacology course will give you the skills to design, analyse, interpret and report clinical research and clinical trials. It focuses on understanding what a drug is doing to the body (pharmacodynamics), what happens to a drug in the body (pharmacokinetics), and how drugs work in terms of treating a particular disease. It is designed for scientists, physicians, clinical scientists and allied health professionals interested in the clinical development process. 



Key benefits

  • King’s is ranked 13th in the world for Pharmacy & Pharmacology (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020).

  • Lectures delivered by a mixture of academics and leading industry experts from the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Coordinated study programme with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians curricula.

  • Accredited PharmTrain centre of excellence which allows international transfer of credits

  • A vibrant cohort of participants, studying both full-time and part-time.

  • Modules with blended learning, integrating the latest learning technologies with face-to-face teaching.


Key information

Application status Open

Duration MSc full-time: one year, MSc part-time: two-six years

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Course intake 20

Course leaders

Dr Stuart Jones


Further details

Course contact for further information Programme Officer +44 (0)20 7848 4683 • Before you apply: via our Enquiry Form at www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/contacts.aspx#admissions • After applying: use the messaging service at http://apply.kcl.ac.uk

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department Department of Pharmacy & Forensic Science School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences



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Course detail


Clinical Pharmacology is the study of how drugs influence human physiology and the way the body responds. This understanding forms a vital part of the clinical development of new medicines. In the process of drug development, clinical pharmacologists are particularly important in understanding how the drug influences the natural physiological processes, as well as disease pathology and hence, they have a large role in designing clinical investigations, monitoring patients, exploring pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic relationships and testing medicines in specific patient populations. The theme has been constructed to allow those individuals who have a basic foundation in either pharmacology and/or clinical science to expand their knowledge base beyond their initial field of specialisation and hence, to empower them to make critical decisions during the development of a medicine.

The taught postgraduate level modules provide the ability to enhance both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Clinicians are drawn from King’s College and King’s Health Partners to provide a balanced perspective in this field. The courses emphasise the integrated learning of pharmacological principles and clinical practical competence with medicines development.  The course is made up of compulsory and optional modules. 

The course is made up of optional and required modules.

The MSc pathway requires modules totalling 180 credits to complete the course, including 60 credits from a dissertation of around 15,000-18,000 words. 

If you are studying the MSc, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying for the MSc qualification part-time, your course will take up to six years to complete. 


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Waterloo Campus. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select. 

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment. 


Course format and assessment



We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. There are 30 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops per module. Each module requires two to four hours of pre- reading and also exam preparation.

For the MSc project there are approximately 80 hours of tutorials, plus supervision of dissertation research and ad hoc academic tutor meetings. Students could spend 200 to 300 hours researching and writing a dissertation.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of coursework and online examinations. The MSc course also requires a research and dissertation based in the area of clinical pharmacology.

Coursework contributes approximately 50% and examinations approximately 50% to your final mark.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they are subject to change.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits:




Required Modules

MSc Pathway

You are required to take: 

  • Preclinical Science (15 credits)

  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits)

  • Biological and Advanced Therapies (15 credits)

  • Clinical Drug Development (15 credits)

  • Drug Development Statistics & Data Management (15 credits)

  • Theory and Practice of Pharmacokinetics (15 credits)

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules (MSc Pathway)

You are required to take two of the three options, that may typically include:

  • Drug Development Pharmacology (15 credits)

  • Practical Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits)

  • Exploratory Drug Development (15 credits)

Part-time students are recommended to take two to three 15 credit modules a year (30-45 credits). The choice of module order will be dependent on the student’s experience and previous qualifications and students are recommended to discuss their best options with the course director.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to- date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Optional Modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

Clinical Pharmacology Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1 Minimum entry requirements are either a medical degree (such as an MBBS) or a 2:1 first degree in pharmacy, pharmacology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry or related subject. In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

Work experience
Employment within a relevant industry would be advantageous but is not essential. Those without a degree but with extensive work experience will be considered on an individual basis.
International requirements  

Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.

International applicants should bear in mind that, as this is a part-time programme, they will not be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa.

English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements. 


Application procedure

PLEASE NOTE - We accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year for standalone modules and the part-time study mode. However, please bear in mind that all modules are filled on a first-come-first-served basis so it is advisable to apply as soon as possible.

All applicants will need a degree in a health or biomedical science related discipline, and relevant work experience. We will need two references. We would not normally interview potential students, but reserve the right to if deemed necessary.

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Potential students are encouraged to speak by phone to one of the course organisers to determine whether or not they would be able to complete the course.

Overseas applicants who will require a visa to enter and study in the UK should note that they will be unable to obtain a Tier 4 student visa for standalone modules or part-time study. A visa can only be obtained for the full-time study option of this programme.

Please contact Hayley Kelly at pharm-med@kcl.ac.uk for application instructions.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One reference is required: this should be academic, but a professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Application closing date

MSc - Full time:

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

MSc, PGCert, PGDip - Part time:

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: MSc - £17,970 per year (2021/22); PGDip £11,400 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: MSc - £27,900 per year (2021/22); PGDip £17,700 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home fees: MSc - £5,700 per year, PGDip £5,700 per year, PG Cert £3,330 per year (2020/21);
  • Part time overseas fees: £8,850 per year: MSc, PGDip, PG Cert (2020/21);

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

    If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 

  • Library fees and fines 

  • Personal photocopies 

  • Printing course handouts 

  • Society membership fees 

  • Stationery 

  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

  • Graduation costs


Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

It is expected that students who complete this course will be able to work in the pharmaceutical industry or in the clinical research arena. It is anticipated that modules and their international recognition will open up job opportunities that might have previously been beyond their reach and enhance their value to their employers. A clinical pharmacologist supports the discovery and development of new medicines, and improving understanding of existing ones. The Clinical Pharmacology Scientist aids in all aspects of medicine management. They provide specialist advice to healthcare professionals regarding medicines interactions and form a key part of groups aiming to translate novel therapeutics into medicines. 




Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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