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Pharmaceutical Technology and Medicines Control

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: MSc
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Life Sciences
Apply Download course booklet


This programme is unique as it combines the study of pharmaceutical technology, including pharmaceutical sciences, and medicines control.

It has been designed to provide you with an advanced theoretical knowledge of sciences that are related to disciplines in pharmaceutical sciences, and give you the skills you need for laboratory work in this area.

These disciplines include the development of pharmaceutical formulation, with particular emphasis on the technology used in the pharmaceutical process and the development and production of medicines. This focus leads to an emphasis on the processes and procedures for clinical trials that are needed for licensing and regulation.

Medicines control is an important element of this programme. It encompasses drug regulations, drug licensing, drug testing, and safety. You will learn about the key processes involved in structured enforcement and inspection standards through the application of quality assurance. You will also gain knowledge and develop skills related to pharmaceutical supply chains and pharmacovigilance, including the safe and proper use of medicines.

You'll also have opportunities for hands-on experience in applying analytical and characterisation techniques such as liquid chromatography (LC) and gas chromatography (GC) combined with tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) detection, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and near-infrared (NIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and Raman spectroscopy.

QS World University Rankings 2017


"I've met lots of wonderful people and had lots of fun. For nights turned into mornings and friends became family and dreams that will definitely come true – cheers to that".

Mohamed Mousa
MSc Pharmaceutical Technology, 2015

Why Bradford?

This interdisciplinary programme has been developed to meet the current and future requirements of the global pharmaceutical industry. It will provide you with a valuable range of skills that fully prepare you for a competitive career or further postgraduate research studies. 

At Bradford, you'll benefit from:

  • A strong interdisciplinary approach to broaden your thinking horizons and improve your professional abilities

  • Hands-on experience of using pharmaceutical particle technologies such as hot melt extrusion, spray drying, freeze drying, nanomilling and characterisation techniques such as X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, particle size analysis, NIR, NMR, Raman spectroscopy and online rheology

  • Hands-on experience of pharmaceutical processes and product design

  • Use of a wide range of facilities for practical classes, and research projects where you will have access to sophisticated state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and equipment

  • Involvement in applied research projects, which are supervised by leaders in the areas of pharmaceutical research

  • Industrial visits to pharmaceutical companies including big Pharma in the UK, which give you the opportunity to interact with pharmaceutical industrial experts

Wider benefits associated with joining the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences include:

  • Research underpins and informs much of our teaching. Our excellence in research was highlighted in the recent Research Excellence Framework (UK) assessment, in which 92% of our highlighted research was classified as internationally excellent or world leading

  • The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences is known for translating research into technology and products, and is responsible for a number of spin-out companies including Bradford Particle Design, Lena Nanoceutics Ltd and CrystecPharma

  • We have strong links with pharmaceutical companies and research institutes of global repute

  • Graduates from our programmes have an excellent employment record, and Pharmacy alumni have risen to be leaders in pharmaceutical organisations and businesses in the UK and around the world

Entry requirements

Acceptance to this Master’s programme requires a first degree with Honours or equivalent (2: 2) in a relevant area such as Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Integrated Science, Chemical Engineering, Pharmacy, Pharmacology or Pharmaceutical Sciences.

For North American students a GPA of normally 2.5 and above on a scale of 4.0 is required, or equivalent.

Candidates with certain two year’s work experience and a degree below the 2:2 will also be considered.

English language requirements:

If your native language is not English, you will need to pass a test in English approved by the University before you can be admitted. The International English Language Testing System test (IELTS) administered by the British Council is the test which is preferred by the University.

You will need to achieve an overall score of at least 6.0, with at least 5.5 in each of the four sub-tests (speaking, listening, reading, writing). Testing facilities are available at most British Council overseas offices. When you take the test, you should ask for a copy of your Test Report Form to be sent to the University.

Alternative English language tests include:

  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE-A), for which you will need to achieve an overall score of at least 55, with at least 51 in each of the four sub-tests
  • TOEFL, for which you will need to score at least 80 on the internet-based test, with sub-tests not less than Speaking 20, Listening 17, Reading 18, Writing 17

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The programme structure is modular and the taught components run over two semesters (September to January then late-January to May), with the research project taking place between May and August.

In the first semester you will take three core modules worth 60 credits. In the second semester you will take two core modules (which constitute 40 credits) and you will have the choice of two option modules (worth a further 20 credits). The research project is worth 60 credits.

You need 60 credits for the Postgraduate Certificate and 120 credits for the Postgraduate Diploma. To be awarded an MSc you will in addition need to successfully complete your research project worth 60 credits.

Core Modules

Quality Assurance and Medicine Safety (Semester 1)

This module covers the principles of Quality Assurance including Quality Control & Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and develops knowledge & understanding of current regulatory procedures in the licensing of medicines.

Science of Solid Dosage Forms & Advanced Pharmaceutical Technologies (Semester 1)

This module covers the properties of the solid state and its effect on the development of solid pharmaceutical dosage forms. There is a particular focus on particle engineering and the current technologies.

Process Analytical Technologies (PAT) & Quality by Design (QbD) (Semester 2)

This module covers the principles of Quality by Design (QbD), Process Analytical Chemistry (PAC) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) and applications in pharmaceutical product development and quality assurance.

Critical Appraisal of a Current Topic in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Semester 2)

This module allow students to develop a critical awareness and a comprehensive understanding of research being undertaken by other scientists in a specific topic in pharmaceutical sciences.

Research Project (Semester 3)

This module develops your ability in the scientific research method to give you a comprehensive understanding and expertise in the area of your chosen project including the use of appropriate technical methods and instruments/equipment.

Your Optional Modules Include

Fundamentals of Drug Delivery (Semester 1)

This module covers drug delivery systems stability testing, physico-chemical principles that determine the routes of drug delivery, and principles of dosage form design.

Solid Analysis (Semester 1)

This module will provide you with specialist knowledge in the principles and application of XRD and thermal analysis.  This covers: sample preparation, instrumental fundamentals and design, including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

Management of Global Pharmaceutical Supply (Semesters 2)

This module covers the principles of operations, supply chain and quality management, from raw materials sourcing through to the customer, including how to design and manage a sustainable supply chain.

Separation Science and Mass Spectrometry (Semester 2)

This module will provide you with specialist knowledge in the principles of separation science and mass spectrometry.  This covers: sample preparation, instrumental fundamentals and design, including case studies related to applications in specialist areas and recent advances.

Imaging (Semester 2)

This module will provide you with specialist knowledge in the principles and application of imaging and microscopy, including light microscopy, confocal, atomic force and TEM/SEM.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

A wide variety of teaching and learning methods are employed to engage you in developing your subject knowledge and understanding including:

  • formal lectures
  • laboratory practicals
  • demonstrations
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • laboratory investigations
  • critical appraisal
  • coursework assignments
  • directed study

The programme will progress from structured learning led by lectures and practicals, through to more seminar-based learning and to the individual research-based dissertation and project.

Different methods of assessment will be used as appropriate to the learning outcomes, including written examinations, oral presentations, experimental coursework reports, and, most importantly, an MSc dissertation.

Career support and prospects

Career support

We organise external speaker events and industry visit days, which offer valuable insights into industrial professions and interaction with experts from the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition, our Career and Employability Services provide professional advice, online resources, careers and recruitment guidance and one-to-one support on:

  • Career planning
  • Job and placement opportunities
  • Networking
  • CV preparation
  • Application forms
  • Interview techniques

Career prospects

Graduates from our MSc Pharmaceutical Technology and Medicines Control programme progress into PhD research and employment in the pharmaceutical industry in various areas such as formulation and drug development, manufacture and production, pharmaceutical analysis, quality assurance and quality control.

The programme enhances graduate employment prospects, and opens up opportunities in government regulatory agencies, drug procurement and distribution centres.

Recent graduates have secured positions such as:

  • Pharmaceutical Scientist and Lab analyst at Abbott, United Kingdom
  • Regulatory Officer at the Food & Drug Board, Ghana
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist, Analytical Research Department at Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Jordan
  • Assistant Lecturer, Garyounis University, Libya

Awarded studentships from universities in the UK to undertake PhD studies:

  • Mohamad Al Jammal: undertaking PhD studies in the area of skin drug delivery, University of Huddersfield
  • Ammar Almajaan: undertaking PhD studies in the area of solid dispersion at the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast
  • Amjad Selo: undertaking PhD studies in the area of pharmaceutical characterisation at the University of Nottingham
  • Osama Mahmah: undertaking PhD studies in the area of Chemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield

Study Support

We have a commitment to strong pastoral care for all of our students, which includes a Personal Tutor for all students, regular contact hours for tutor groups and our supportive student service teams who are always ready to help with any questions and provide the advice that you need.

In addition to standard study support through taught sessions, our Virtual Learning Environment allows students to access resources, participate in group work and submit work from anywhere in the world 24/7.

University central services are rich with support teams to assist students with every aspect of their journey through our degree programmes. From our Career and Employability Service, through our strong Students' Union, to our professional and efficient Student Finance team, there are always friendly faces ready to support you and provide you with the answers that you need.

We offer a range of courses for applicants who require English language support.  All students have access to free English language support classes for the duration of their studies. There are also drop-in sessions for students, as well as a full programme of English Language/ Academic Skills workshops.  


This programme is mainly delivered by the Medicines Development and Pharmaceutical Sciences (MDPS) research group. The academics within this MDPS research group are also associated with one or more cross-departmental and cross-faculty research groups and centres. The major research themes of the group are within pharmaceutical sciences and medicines development.

The strong research component of the course provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your scientific creativity and originality in applying your new-found knowledge and skills to develop ideas that are essential to the good pharmaceutical scientist.

Several students have published their research work in high quality journals. Papers published by MSc Pharmaceutical Technology students include:

  • M.KH. AL-Jammal, Y. Al ayoub, K.H. Assi., (2015). “Development and Validation of Microemulsion High Performance Liquid Chromatography (MELC) Method for the Determination of Nifedipine in Pharmaceutical Preparation’’, Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta, 6, 347.
  • O. Mahmah, R. Tabbakh, A. Kelly, A. Paradkar., (2014). “A comparative study of the effect of spray drying and hot-melt extrusion on the properties of amorphous solid dispersions containing felodipine’’, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 66, 275-284.


You will have access to sophisticated state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment for practical classes and MSc projects. These include:

Processing Technology

  • Hot melt extrusion
  • Spray drying
  • Freeze drying
  • Nanomilling

Characterisation techniques

  • X-ray diffraction
  • Thermal analysis [Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)]
  • Range of spectroscopic instruments such as NMR spectrometers, infrared, near-infrared spectrometers Scanning electron microscope (SEM)

Separation Technologies

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Gas and liquid chromatography
  • Liquid chromatography– mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU - £7,960
  • International - £18,480

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.