Chemistry students

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
ECTS: 90 credits

South Kensington
White City

Course Directors
Dr Ed Tate
Dr Matthew Fuchter

Open to applications
Students and staff give an introduction to the course
View entry requirementsApply now


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.

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.

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.


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


Module 1


  • 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

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.

Tuition fees and funding

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

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2017 entry

Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)

2017 entry

Postgraduate Master's loan

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


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.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.


We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.


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 requirement (all applicants)

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.

How to apply

All applicants must apply online.

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 courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

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.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

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

Chemical flasks

Contact us

T: +44 (0)20 7594 2678

Imperial students

Applying for your visa

Visit the International Student Support website for information on applying for a visa.

Imperial students


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