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Professional Doctorate in Pharmacology and Biotechnology MSc/PgDip/PgCert

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

This course increases your knowledge and skills in pharmacology and biotechnology to increase your competitiveness in the job market or complete research at PhD level. If you are already employed, this course can help you to further your career prospects.

The course is delivered by internationally recognised academics who are involved in biotechnology and pharmacology research. Research projects include studying the manipulation of proteins and their application to Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, ion channels and the development of novel drugs from natural products.

You learn in detail how drugs act at the molecular and cellular level and then how biotechnological techniques are used to produce new drugs. Examples include developing new and effective treatments for diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis.

You also gain experience of the latest techniques used by the pharmaceutical industry to produce and study the effects of novel drugs.

The course gives you

  • up-to-date knowledge of cellular and molecular pathology of various human diseases
  • the basis of therapeutic rationales for treating diseases and their development
  • an advanced understanding of recombinant DNA technology and how it is used to produce drugs
  • experience of the latest practical techniques, such as cell culture, quantitative PCR analysis, cloning, western blotting, and analytical techniques such as HPLC and mass spectrometry
  • the transferable and research skills to enable you to continue developing your knowledge and improve your employment potential.

Course structure

The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits. 

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.

Core modules:

  • Cell biology (15 credits)
  • Fundamentals of pharmacology (15 credits)
  • Molecular biology (15 credits)
  • Biotechnology (15 credits)
  • Professional development (15 credits)
  • New approaches to pharmacology (15 credits)
  • Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)

Optional modules:

  • Applied biomedical techniques (15 credits)
  • Cellular and molecular basis of cancer (15 credits)
  • Pharmaceutical drug development (15 credits)
  • Human genomics and proteomics (15 credits)


Assessment is mostly by written examination and coursework including problem solving exercises, case studies and input from practical laboratory work. Research project assessment includes a written report and viva voce.


The course improves your career prospects in areas of • biomedical sciences • medical research in universities and hospitals • the pharmaceutical industry • biotechnology companies • government research agencies.

You also develop the skills to carry out research to PhD level in pharmacology and biotechnology.

Recent MSc Pharmacology and Biotechnology graduates jobs include • project specialist at PAREXEL • quality assurance documentation assistant at Vifor Pharma • PhD at the University of Manchester • clinical research associate at AstraZeneca • workplace services analyst at Deloitte India (Offices of the US) • regulatory compliance specialist for Selerant • senior product executive at PlasmaGen BioSciences.

Visit the Pharmacology and Biotechnology MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally one of the following:
• a minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in a biological subject, or equivalent
• a professional qualification of equivalent standing to the above, for example MIBiol by examination, FIMLS
• other qualifications such as an HND, HNC or unclassified degree in a biological subject plus significant relevant work experience

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent.

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Recipient: Sheffield Hallam University

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