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Drug Development Science MSc

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The Drug Development Science course is a highly flexible study programme designed for those working in or seeking to work in the field of drug development. The course aims to provide students with expertise and skills in all aspects of medicine development, including preclinical testing, clinical development, drug regulation and drug safety.

Key benefits

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

  • The study programme is compliant with both the PharmaTrain initiative of the European Commission and thus allows international transfer of credits.

  • Components of the course are taught by members of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory authorities giving you insights and up-to-the- minute knowledge of drug development.
  • Highly flexible course with a part-time option that will allow you to study around your work schedule.

  • Delivered by leading experts from the academic staff of King’s College London who work closely with the biopharmaceutical sector and the regulatory authorities.

Key information

Application status Open

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

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK MSc180 credits/ECTS 90

Course intake 20

Course leaders

Dr Stuart Jones


Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

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


Forming a medicine from an active molecule is a multidisciplinary process. It is an activity that requires a large budget and takes several years to achieve. Importantly, it requires those who contribute to the activity to have a good working knowledge of whole development process.

The Drug Development Science MSc eqiups indivduals with the knowedge ad skills to manage drug development projects and make critical decisions during the development of a medicine. It has been framed in such a manner that it will enhance the skills of those working in the pharmaceutical industry, who wish to take a leadership role in drug development and those who currently work in aligned clinical or scientific disciplines and wish to enter this field.

Through a series of taught postgraduate level modules, it will bring participants into contact with world class scientists and clinical experts, who have developed active molecules for human use. Each module lays down a foundation of current practice and allows the participants to put this knowledge into practice, through practical drug development problem based exercises.

The MSc 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 full-time, 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. 

Further literature

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.


Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations.  Forms of assessment may typically include written essays, presentations and on-line examinations.  Coursework contributes approximately 66% and examinations approximately 34% to your final mark.


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. 


Year 1

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

Required Modules

You are required to take: 

  • Preclinical Science (15 credits)
  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits)
  • Biological and Advanced Therapies (15 credits)
  • Drug Safety & Ethics (15 credits)
  • Clinical Drug Development (15 credits)
  • Drug Development Statistics and Data Management (15 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits)


Optional Modules

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

• Drug Regulatory Affairs (15 credits)

• Healthcare Market Place (15 credits)

• Healthcare Technology Assessment (15 credits)

Part time students are recommended to take two to three 15 credit modules (30-45 credits) a year. The choice of module order will be dependent on the student’s experience and previous qualifications. 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 programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest that you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Documents check
Minimum requirements   A medical degree (MBBS or equivalent) or a 2:1 first degree in pharmacy, pharmacology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry or related subject, or overseas equivalent. Applicants without a degree but with relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis. Employment within a relevant industrial environment would be advantageous but is not essential. We will require two satisfactory references. If you have completed your degree in the last three years, one of your references should be an academic reference. Overseas applicants should bear in mind that, as this is a part-time programme, they will not be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

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

PLEASE NOTE - For standalone modules and part-time study, we accept applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. 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.

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.

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.
Reference Yes One reference is required, professional references 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

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.

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: £17,970 per year (MSc, 2021/22), £6,660 per year (PGDip 2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £27,900 per year (MSc, 2021/22), £17,700 per year (PGDip 2020/21)
  • Part time Home fees: £8,550 per year (MSc, 2020/21) £3,330 per year (PG Cert 2020/21), £6,660 per year (PGDip 2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £8,550 per year (MSc, 2020/21) £8,850 per year (PG Cert 2020/21), £17,700 per year (PGDip 2020/21)

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 deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, 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/expenses

In addition to the costs above, 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 

  • Graduation costs

  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

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 a medicines development field, opening up job opportunities that might have previously been beyond their reach and enhancing their value to their employers. Previous students have gone on to work in regulatory agencies, clinical research companies, leading pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and pharmaceutical contract research organisations.   




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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