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This online programme will provide you with the stimulus, guidance and knowledge to develop a career around new approaches to drug discovery.

You will study the challenges in developing novel drugs; the science underlying emerging fields of drug discovery; the application of new ideas to the field; how drug discovery relates to real-world health problems; the commercial aspects of drug discovery; and potential future developments.

The programme offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.

Career opportunities

You will enhance your career prospects with marketable analytical and presentation skills.

This is a distance learning programme taught entirely online via a virtual learning environment. You will learn through a variety of teaching methods, including online tuition, peer-to-peer discussion and individual study.

You will take six taught courses in each of the two first years of the MSc – a mixture of compulsory and optional courses. In your final year you will pursue a research project leading to a dissertation.

You can take individual courses for continuing professional development purposes, or follow a single year of part-time study to qualify for a Certificate, two years to achieve a Diploma, and three years for the MSc. We can offer you a fast-track option to complete the MSc in two years, or you can spread your degree programme over a maximum of six years, through intermittent study, allowing you to plan your study around work and other commitments. You can expect to spend between around seven and 13 hours a week on your studies, depending on your chosen schedule.

Compulsory courses

  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • High Throughput Drug Discovery
  • In Silico Drug Discovery
  • Introduction to Modelling Biological Systems
  • Measuring Drug Binding
  • Modelling Metabolic Pathways
  • Molecular Modelling
  • Professional Skills in Drug Discovery
  • Structure Determination of Drug Targets
  • Systems Approach to Modelling Cell Signal Transduction

Optional courses

  • Chemistry for Drug Discovery
  • Computing Skills for Drug Discovery
  • Druggable Systems
  • Introduction to Biological Kinetics

Online learning

Our award-winning online learning technology enables you to interact with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your home or workplace. You will have the same access to our staff as you would if you were on campus. Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources but they get the opportunity to become part of a supportive online community.



Program requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, medicine, molecular biology, pharmacology or related sciences. A background in physics or mathematics may also be considered. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 CAE score: (read more) Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever. 75 (Grade B) TOEFL iBT® test: 92 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
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