The course content focuses on the discovery and development of large molecule drugs: monoclonal antibodies, biosimilars, antibody-drug conjugates and gene therapies. Added to this is practical hands-on training in the technologies that underpin the discovery and development pathway. You’ll receive training in protein purification, characterisation, formulation and assessment of binding function and the use of cell-based assays to look at drug potency.
The course is 12-months long, taught on campus at the University of Leeds. It aims to provide you with an understanding of the many functions that contribute to the discovery and development of a successful drug and how they are coordinated and integrated to bring new drugs to market in a timely and economic fashion.
You will be taught by academics and qualified industry professionals, with a strong emphasis on the integration of ideas, approaches and technologies in the development of a biological drug.
In the first semester, you will cover an introduction to the field, the management of intellectual property and its importance to the industry, the discovery, manufacturing and non-clinical testing of biopharmaceuticals. Across semesters 1 & 2 students will receive practical laboratory training relevant to the industrial setting. This will combine hands-on training in protein purification, characterisation, formulation and assessment of binding function and the use of cell-based assays to look at drug potency with data analysis and reporting.
In the second semester, you will explore clinical trial design, product commercialisation and develop an integrated drug development plan. Much of the learning is performed in teams, working on projects within each module, delivering project outputs authentic to the industry (reports to clients, submissions to regulators, papers for the Board, proposals for investment). You’ll be working at the forefront of your field in the areas of science that support drug development. You will therefore be exposed to learning that emphasises how knowledge is being applied in an industrial context. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop a strong skills-set valued by industry and academia, including problem-solving strong communication, teamwork and project management skills.
In the third semester, you will conduct a substantial research project in the research laboratories of the University of Leeds. The project, ~4 months full time, will be relevant to the biopharmaceutical industry in areas such as:
engineering of biomolecules
developing of biopharmaceuticals
identification of druggable targets in human disease
biophysical properties of biopharmaceuticals
engineering effective gene therapies
gene editing as a therapeutic strategy
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biopharmaceutical Development MSc in the course catalogue
Drug Discovery and Development Pathways
Commercialising pharmaceutical products
Biopharmaceutical Drug Discovery and Non-clinical testing
Biopharmaceutical Development: Clinical
Integrated Drug Development Plan
Practical Skills for a Regulatory Environment
Bioscience MSc Research Project
Learning and teaching
The learning and teaching on the course have been constructed to prepare you to work in industry or academia.
This course will challenge you to think creatively, solve problems and develop strong communication and teamwork skills. You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods, including formal lectures, interactive workshops and practical classes.
You’ll use authentic, industry and academic case studies to illustrate theoretical and practical concepts and will have multiple opportunities to work in teams, including the opportunity to lead a team.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
A variety of assessment types are used throughout this course, all of which resonate with the activities of professional scientists within the industry. This will include submissions to regulatory authorities, client reports and presentations to industry panel members.
You will write reports and make presentations individually or as part of a team, and you will be cross examined following delivery of reports to expand, clarify and extend your description of a topic. Many of the assignments are interdisciplinary in nature and require clear and justified decision-making to form a coherent plan or proposal.
There are no written exams, all the assessment is performed by in-course assignments including a dissertation report arising from the research project work. A viva voce (on your experimental work) forms part of the practical skills module.
Choose your independent advanced research project from a wide list of topics, which are designed to offer you an immersive individual research experience, as well as the opportunity to contribute to science in an area you are passionate about.