Postgraduate Chemistry students

Multidisciplinary Science for Next-Generation Therapeutics 

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
LocationSouth KensingtonWhite City
ECTS: 90 credits
This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

This course will develop your expertise in multidisciplinary drug discovery research, and provide you with a deep understanding of the current global state of drug discovery.

About the course


This MRes programme is a one-year stand-alone course that will develop your expertise in multidisciplinary drug discovery research. It will also provide a deep understanding of the current global state of drug discovery together with radical insights into future directions from leaders in the field.

You will graduate from the course with a solid knowledge of the drug discovery process, from emerging technologies and drug target selection through to clinical trials and regulatory aspects.

You will also be challenged to develop your own ideas on how to focus academic and industrial research to meet the pressing challenges of drug discovery.

At its conclusion, you are expected to be ideally placed to apply your knowledge in industry or to undertake doctoral studies in multidisciplinary drug discovery.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

The course consists of an eight-month interdisciplinary research project, and a taught component on drug discovery science, including lectures, research seminars and group discussion sessions.

You also attend Journal Club, which is an assessed transferable skills module that aims to develop presentation skills, whilst encouraging scientific debate and providing the opportunity to broaden scientific knowledge.

At each Journal Club meeting you will work in a group and make a presentation about a seminal high impact paper. This will be followed by a chaired discussion/debate about the paper.

You will be assessed on your ability to organise the presentation in a logical manner, the use of clear PowerPoint slides, the clarity of the presentation and its scientific content.


Taught modules currently offered include:

Module 1 - Introduction
  • Standard Drug Discovery Model
  • Small molecule drugs
  • Biologicals
  • Molecular Interactions in Proteins and Enzymes
  • What makes a good drug?
Module 2 – The right targets
  • Overview on target validation
  • Systems Approaches in Drug Discovery
  • Chemical Genetics
  • Target selection and Biomarkers
  • Protein modelling strategies
Module 3 – The right drugs
  • In silico drug design
  • Structural biology for drug design
  • Bioanalytical Techniques
  • High throughput screening
  • High content screening
  • Re-purposing drugs
  • Fragment-based drug design
  • Whole animal imaging
  • Gene therapy
Module 4 – In the clinic
  • Getting drugs to market
  • Financing and protecting drug discovery
  • Designing Clinical Trials
  • Current therapeutic challenges in...
  • Infection
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation and COPD
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
Module 5 – Forming an opinion
  • Keynote lectures from high profile guest speakers covering past, future, and frontiers of the field

Multidisciplinary research project

The major component of the course is an eight-month long multidisciplinary research project on drug discovery and development, to be written up as a thesis.

You will select a research project from a range of proposals submitted by collaborating staff, and jointly supervised by at least one physical scientist and one scientist from the biomedical sciences or industry; the lead supervisor will be based at the College.

The projects are based entirely in the research laboratories of the supervisors, allowing you to benefit from interaction with postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers from each discipline.

You will also present your research findings at a one-day MRes conference held at the beginning of September, which counts towards your overall assessment.

Satisfactory progress is monitored by a mid-term progress report completed by you and your supervisors. The course directors will regularly request feedback regarding your project progress, logistics and effectiveness of split site working, and will offer additional support whenever necessary.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in a relevant subject, particularly in subjects such as chemistry, pharmacy, physics, biochemistry and medicine.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification. 

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirements

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply onlineFor full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most of our postgraduate courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full. We therefore recommend applying early to avoid disappointment, especially students who will also be applying for funding or applying for a visa.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course. Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support team website.

Further information

Find out more, including detailed course content: