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Medical Affairs MSc

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Work towards a career engaging with the wider medical community on core issues related to medicines.

Here at King’s, you’ll have access to some of the world’s top minds in pharmaceutical medicine to help you understand the development, commercialisation and regulation of medicines and how to engage with healthcare professionals and support their education.

You’ll study alongside current industry employees and learn directly from leading industry figures. Learning medical affairs in this exclusive format will put you in an excellent position for a rewarding career in this sector of growing importance within the pharmaceutical industry. Currently, the number of vacancies is rising 15% a year.

Key Benefits

  • Quality education designed to fit the needs of industry and delivered by leading academics and practising industry expert

  • The only course of its kind – gain an edge over other applicants in this growing field 

  • King’s is renowned for pharmacy and pharmacology, ranked 13th in the world (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) 

  • Study core modules alongside students from MSc courses in Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Development Science – it’s even possible to transfer if another course suits you better

  • We’re a PharmaTrain accredited centre of excellence, offering state-of-the-art training in medical affairs and course credits that transfer internationally

  • Study full time or part time to suit your lifestyle, whether you’re a recent graduate or have already started your career

Key information

Application status Open

Duration Full-time: one year, part-time: two – six years

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Course leaders Dr Stuart Jones

Further details

Course contact for further information

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine

Department School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences



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Course detail


Medical Affairs is concerned with the development and lifecycle management of medicines.

This course builds from a foundation appreciation of the preclinical and clinical, research and development knowledge and activities that are required for a new medicine. Students then study the specific importance of specialist medical affairs areas, which includes - communication with healthcare payers and providers, Phase 4 clinical trials, patient centricity, the commercialization and marketing of medicines, global health bodies (e.g. World Health Organisation), healthcare professional bodies (e.g. General Medical Council), trade bodies (e.g. Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry & European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations), corporate social responsibility, and the range of national and international standards and regulations that cover the supply, sale, and reporting of patient safety data with medicines.

The course has been constructed to allow those individuals who have a basic foundation in science or medicine to expand their knowledge and skills’ base and hence, empower them to make critical decisions during the development and lifecycle management of a medicine.

The course is made up of compulsory and optional modules, and students may gain experience of medical affairs through a placement in industry.

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

Course purpose

  • Learn about the whole lifecycle of medicines, from pre-clinical development to Phase 4 trials to sales and marketing

  • Choose to specialise: communication with and education of healthcare practitioners, pharmacoepidemiology and global issues relating to medicines, or ethics and professionalism

  • Develop a strong research mindset, with opportunities to get your dissertation published and presented at meetings

  • Network throughout the course and gain practical experience, including an optional one-week placement in the Medical Affairs Department of a pharmaceutical company

Course format and assessment


You’ll learn from expert researchers and senior employees of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies. Your classes will feature a mixture of lectures, seminars, discussion and individual research.

As part of your course, you’ll also complete an individual research project. Picking from a range of cutting-edge subjects, you’ll work with a specialist in the area, benefitting from their supervision and guidance.

As well as the core modules common to all three MSc courses, the Medical Affairs MSc also offers the specialist module Principles of Medical Affairs, and two out of the three optional modules Practical Medical Affairs, Ethics and Professionalism, and Pharmacoepidemiology and Global Affairs.

The course is assessed by exams after you complete each module, together with a dissertation project.


Lectures, seminars and feedback


Per 15-credit taught module

The total contact time for each

15-credit taught module is 30 hours. These sessions will include lectures, teacher-led and student-led group discussions based on the main areas of study.

Each 15-credit taught module:

2-4 hours pre-reading 30-40 hours researching and writing assignments, and 10-20 hours preparing for an MCQ exam.

Dissertation module

Throughout the year, you can expect to receive approximately 80 hours’ tutorials, supervision of dissertation research, plus ad hoc academic tutor meetings including assignment feedback.

Approximately 200-300 hours researching and writing.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


The primary method of assessment for this course is a combination of assignments and on-line examinations. The MSc course also requires a project based in the area of medical affairs.

Coursework contributes approximately 66% and examinations approximately 34% 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.


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. 

Regulating Body

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students.


Year 1

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

You can read about the modules in more detail here.

Required Modules

You are required to take:

  • Preclinical Science (15 credits)

  • Advanced Clinical Pharmacology (15 credits)

  • Clinical Drug Development (15 credits)

  • Drug Development Statistics and Data Management (15 credits)

  • Biological and Advanced Therapeutics (15 credits)

  • Principles of Medical Affairs (15 credits)

  • Design and Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use (60 credits)


Optional Modules

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

  • Practical Medical Affairs (15 credits)

  • Pharmacoepidemiology and Global Affairs (15 credits)

  • Ethics and Professionalism (15 credits)

Required Modules
Optional Modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

Medical Affairs Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  2:1 A Bachelor’s science degree with 2:1 honours is normally required. Applicants with a 2:2 (or overseas equivalent) will be considered where they offer significant work experience in a related field. 
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


Personal statement and supporting information

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

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

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: £13,380 (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: £27,900 (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: £6,690 (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: £13,950 (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 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 your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 

  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 

  • Library fees and fines 

  • Personal photocopies 

  • Printing course handouts 

  • Society membership fees 

  • Stationery 

  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses and to the placement

  • 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

Within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, medical affairs is a growing role. And with the global focus of the course, you’ll have the expertise to work anywhere.

With no other Medical Affairs MSc courses available at any other university in the world, you’ll be joining an exclusive group of graduates trained by some of the top minds in the field.

After completing this course, you’ll have covered the spectrum of sub disciplines within medical affairs and will be able to apply for a wide array of jobs. Whether you recently graduated from your undergraduate degree or you’ve been working for a few years, this course is an ideal next step towards an exciting role in the pharmaceutical industry.



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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