Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industrial Practice MSc - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industrial Practice (Placement pathway (24 months))

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time with Placement PCJ71001 240 credits and 120 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Programme Leader

ANTONIJEVIC Milan (Chst Chm Eng)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • Develop a new generation of highly skilled pharmaceutical scientists that can apply subject-specific knowledge in employment setup with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Provide resources and support for the development of digital capabilities, employability and transferable skills.
  • Create a learning environment to enhance the knowledge and skills of students so that they can develop, integrate, synthesise and apply the systematic and broad understanding of relevant and state-of-the-art pharmaceutical science concepts to solve more complex problems.
  • Develop highly effective individuals who can interrogate and integrate diverse sources of scientific literature alongside other information sources, in order to design and develop methods for investigation and analysis, including in areas at the forefront of knowledge and outside their current specialist knowledge.
  • Stimulate the development of advanced experimental and investigative skills, project planning, including, as appropriate, evaluation of ethics, hazards and environmental effects and appreciation of costs.
  • Develop individuals with a great understanding of globalisation and cultural differences who can work in different settings and respond to different challenges making them resilient to immediate changes at the same time being mindful of the environmental impacts and sustainability.
  • Provide practice opportunities to enhance the learning process by year-long industrial placement where students will be able to put in practice their taught knowledge and develop industry-related skills.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Write both a CV and a cover letter with the appropriate tone, content and format. PT MSc
Reflect on career goals and the employability skills needed to achieve those goals. K MSc
Identify and comprehensively appraise typical practical problems in processing in the current pharmaceutical/formulation sector. KCT MSc
Demonstrate an understanding of the delivery of small molecules and macromolecules through various routes of administration KPT MSc
Critically evaluate important aspects and steps taken when developing a formulation KCT MSc
Comprehensively present the basic concepts of chemistry, biochemistry and physiology integrate in drug metabolism and how metabolism influences drug action. KCT MSc
Understand the main analytical techniques used in product development and analytical control, their applications, advantages and limitations. KT MSc
Statistically evaluate, validate and appraise the integrity and quality of obtained data and the effectiveness of analytical methods. KPT MSc
Demonstrate self-organisational ability and plan experiments methodically. CPT MSc
Demonstrate clear, autonomous, scientific ability to conduct research and development in academic and industrial environments. CPT MSc
Systematically and comprehensively evaluate experimental outputs and present them in a concise, scientific, and informative manner. KCPT MSc
Demonstrate the ability to work according to the professional expectations and expected codes of behaviour of the industry/company within which the placement is situated. CPT MSc
Reflect and evaluate the skills, knowledge and personal development gained from the completion of the Industrial Practice placement. KPT MSc
Critically analyse how scientific and practical contexts of practice can impact the advancement of their professional practice. KPT MSc

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time with Placement

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over two academic years, consisting of 240 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Year 2 (full-time with placement - 2 years) - FHEQ Level 7

Module code Module title Status Credits Semester
CHEM045 INDUSTRIAL PRACTICE Compulsory 60 Cross Year

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme embeds and supports these developments.

1. Employability
Employability is at the core of this programme, intending to deliver learning and other relevant skills that nurture career-ready graduates that employers will seek. The embedding of employability throughout the programme is detailed within each module descriptor. To summarise, these elements of the course can be identified and elaborated as:
- Specialist module content focusing on current knowledge and industrial standards in the pharmaceutical field.
- Carefully designed laboratory-based learning sessions to mimic real-life situations providing students with skills required by any employers.
- The involvement of expert staff, the majority with practitioner backgrounds provides an excellent opportunity to engage with professional expertise and provide students with the opportunity to discover current developments and challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing.
- Elements of employability and transferable skills embedded in varied teaching, learning and assessment strategies as mentioned previously teaching is often conducted in the laboratories where learning and informal assessment with direct feedback take place. Finally, some skills are assessed while using the same environment.
- The laboratory tasks are fostering both independent and collaborative working leading to the development of critical thinking, the ability to link theory with practice, and reflect on ones own practice, all of which are desired and valued employability skills.
- Involvement with planning, conducting, and evaluating research projects develop the following, often considered the most desired employability skills, ownership of work, responsibility for achieving the intended outcomes, ability to critically analyse the outcomes and suggest solutions in order to meet the aims.
- Year in the industry will enable those who enrol on this programme and attend the year in the industry to further explain on above skills and develop additional skills such as being managed, following instructions, reporting, negotiating, presenting, justifying etc.
- The programme has developed an overall learning environment to develop our graduates' necessary employability skills.

2. Digital Capabilities
Digital literacy and digital capabilities are the key aspects of the employability of graduates in the pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmaceutical companies are investing immensely in IT, namely sophisticated programmes/tools and monitoring systems, to be adequate and meet the ever-growing demands of Total Quality Management (TQM). Therefore, it is inevitable to state that this programme is based on equipping students with digital capabilities.
Throughout their journey, students will learn to utilise the University's VLE and a range of other digital resources and online databases. Therefore, programme content will require and cultivate a level of digital skill and ability that is demonstrated through engagement with the content and learning materials, assessments, and online library catalogues. All teaching materials and key content will be available in multimedia through SurreyLearn. Beyond generic student engagement with the module content, delivery, and learning materials, a number of modules across the programme will offer particular opportunities for developing specific digital capabilities.
This will occur through:
- The teaching content (some examples are software for driving analytical equipment and formulation instrumentation, data evaluation, statistical analysis, remote access of the instruments, molecular modelling etc.) and assessment methods.
- practical engagement with digital environments, platforms, and techniques.
- synchronous and asynchronous online delivery.
- digital communication (e.g. Teams).
- research software packages and the use of Virtual Reality technology in Pharmaceutical Analysis and QA/QC module.
- MS Office for presenting the outcomes of their research in the form of a digital report, presentation or dissertation.

By the end of their journey, students will therefore have engaged with multiple opportunities to develop and think critically about, their digital capabilities, their digital presence and identity through online interactions, and their understanding of the digital impacts on modern pharmaceutical sciences.

3. Global and Cultural Capabilities
Human wellbeing and health are of global importance which was demonstrated recently in the joint global efforts to fight the COVID pandemic. The story of globalisation, and global and cultural aspects are at the core of this programme which recognises and understands the significance and impact of diversity. Educational tasks in this programme are designed to develop graduates with a critical appreciation of the global, cultural, social, political, historical, and comparative contexts within pharmaceutical sciences and beyond. Furthermore, an ethnically diverse student body will only enhance understanding and ease the development of global and cultural awareness. This is achieved through, for example, module content and delivery, peer to peer learning, the range of assessment strategies, and the creation of a community of learning in which students are encouraged (and at times modestly rewarded) for supporting one another and to see the benefit of this. Individually and collectively these approaches are intended to encourage critical thinking and discussion in relation to these defining issues (including recognising and understanding different international approaches to comparable social problems).
It is expected that students will be actively encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from their own backgrounds and cultures, respect and value different experiences and perspectives, and come to appreciate the value of recognising and appreciating diverse perspectives. Students are therefore expected to embark on the programme with an open mind and a willingness to learn, to engage in discussion, and to broaden their understanding of these aspects of the subject area, and the lived experiences of others. The development of critical thinking skills, empowering students with the ability to recognise ethnocentrism, giving students the confidence to identify and challenge inequalities and discrimination, and fostering empathy are important aspects of this programme. By the conclusion of the programme, students are expected to have gained specialised and applicable knowledge that will enable them to situate information in relation to their own lives and the lives of others, and will be supported throughout to achieve this, for example, through the range of information sources students will be expected to engage with, decolonisation of the curriculum, and via the inputs associated with meeting the needs of diverse learners.
Finally, students will also have the opportunity to engage with the year in industry with all of the active and engaging global and cultural experiences that this inevitably brings to the student experience.

4. Sustainability
Being an important feature of everyone's life, sustainability is in many instances a familiar subject. Even so, sustainability is promoted and embedded within the programme to reflect on the societal needs in addition to the University of Surrey Sustainability agenda. The sustainability is recognised throughout this programme, from a macro to a micro level, involving embedded understanding of the concept of sustainability in modules, understanding ethical considerations, having the ability to recognise and challenge social inequality, developing a sense of shared responsibility, and understanding globalisation.
Given the practical elements of this programme, developing student understanding of the sustainable use of physical non-recyclable resources is also important. In addition, aspects of recycling and environmental aspects of pharmaceutical processing will be enhanced through their learning experience and critical appraisal of the technologies, processes and chemicals used during their project. They will be asked to comment on direct impacts these may have on the immediate environment as well as more globally if adopted as part of the industrial operations. In addition, the dissertation also provides a significant opportunity for students to consider ethics in depth, as they individually engage with the respective ethical considerations of their independent research projects. In doing so, they are not only able to demonstrate their own abilities as a future leader but can use such skills and thinking across other areas (for example, to enhance their employability). By the end of the programme, it is expected that students will have developed confidence in their own ability to tackle societal inequalities and promote inclusive and sustainable practice in the future.

5. Resourcefulness and Resilience
Knowing that this programme is aimed predominantly at the international market, resourcefulness and resilience will be key to the success of students and will bring added value to their degree. The majority of students would naturally need to get out of their comfort zone, join different society and make the double leap, from undergraduate to postgraduate studies and to the different educational systems. In their journey, students will be fully supported and guided throughout. However, student engagement requires independence, perseverance, and the development of self-efficacy, which underpin becoming a genuinely resourceful person.
The range of modules and the need to integrate into various types of classroom settings, practical activities, individual and collaborative tasks, and online environments, will help to facilitate students self-management skills. Specifically, high levels of active and independent learning will be evident throughout the programme. In contrast, other aspects of the teaching, learning, and assessment across the programme will be collaborative for example drug design and manufacturing elements giving students the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, problem-solving, risk assessment, negotiation, adaptability, and team-working, whilst requiring them to share and articulate experiences and ideas, and to be supportive and empathetic to others. In addition, as part of the authentic learning experience, students may face uncomfortable learning situations but will be supported to develop their capabilities to adapt and manage these difficult scenarios. The learning process will enhance their resilience and confidence when confronted with challenges later on in life.
MSc sciences project will have the development of student resourcefulness and resilience at its heart. It will enable students to gain particular skills in leadership, resourcefulness, and problem solving through the navigation of ethical considerations, and working in a professional and collaborative partnership with their dissertation supervisor.
Upon completion of the programme, students will have benefited from a network of support, and will have become independent and resourceful learners who are able to appropriately apply confidence, reflection, critical thinking and analysis, and problem-solving skills.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.