PhD Studentships Available - 2000/2001
Postgraduate Research and Taught Degrees
The School of Pharmacy in Manchester, established in 1883, is one of the oldest Schools of Pharmacy in the country. However pharmaceutical education pre-dates this formal inception as a University subject at the Owens College, now the University of Manchester. John Dalton, FRS, who established the Atomic Theory, taught a course of pharmaceutical chemistry in Manchester starting in 1824. The building in which the current School of Pharmacy is housed contains the laboratory in which the element vanadium was first isolated pure in 1865 by Sir Henry Roscoe investigating why the blue solutions from which copper and cobalt were extracted from the Alderley Edge sandstone mines, located just south of Manchester, did not decolourise when the copper was precipitated out by zinc. Whilst we are located in this historic building, the School has modernised sequentially and provides a cutting edge environment for postgraduate study in pharmacy and allied pharmaceutical sciences. The School is one of the largest departments in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy. Research training in the School takes place in a truly multidisciplinary environment, our research themes being increasingly planned strategically with input of skills and expertise from several research groups. The research of the School was assessed in the last Research Assessment Exercise (1996) as 5A, with all academic members of staff research active. Research funding is obtained from a broad range of sources including the major research councils (MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC) and charities (Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research Campaign, Association for International Cancer Research), government agencies (Department of Health, MAFF) and the pharmaceutical and allied industry.
Quality of Teaching in the School
As a result of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Subject Review visit to the School over the period of 18th to 21st October, 1999, the School was awarded a perfect score of 24 points out of 24. The degrees assessed at Manchester were the undergraduate MPharm, the postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Clinical Health Services Pharmacy, and the distance-learning modular PIAT MSc (PIAT stands for Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training). Further information on the quality of teaching in the School is available.
Types of Postgraduate Qualifications Offered
Our training programme occurs under the umbrella of the GSSEM (the Graduate School in Science, Engineering and Medicine), a cross-faculty infrastructure responsible for all science and medicine-based graduate education and research training.
Research Degrees: We offer the research degrees of M.Phil. (normally 1 & 2 years duration) and Ph.D. (normally 3 years). These are primarily research-based but all entail a substantial taught element, including not only generic transferable skills, such as use of information technology, but also more subject-specialist and techniques-oriented courses.
Taught Qualifications: The School provides a taught Masters degree and diploma in Clinical and Health Services Pharmacy as well as an M.Sc. by distance learning for the pharmaceutical industry (through schemes known as PIAT, Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training, and PEAT, Pharmaceutical Engineering Advanced Training, the latter joint with UMIST and supported by BBSRC). The School is also home to the national Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) which provides continuing professional development to all 18,500 community pharmacists in England. National administration and educational development are based at the Centre's head office in the University; a network of 90 local tutors is located throughout England.
Research in the School of Pharmacy is divided into two major areas, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy Practice. We regard Pharmacy as an integrated discipline and do not divide it into separate 'Departments', increasingly introducing students into multidisciplinary programmes. Both general and more specialised research seminars and group meetings occur weekly, at many of which students and postdoctoral researchers present their work. In addition to a programme of outside speakers from academia and industry, the School has a Distinguished Lecture in Pharmaceutical Sciences Series, where internationally eminent scientists lecture and interact with our students. We also have a number of Visiting Professors who give postgraduate lectures/courses and spend time with students and postdoctoral staff.
It is our policy to look beyond the School itself for research activity. Many of our research programmes are interdisciplinary, often joint with other Departments in the University and many with Research Institutions and Industry. Associated with these are frequent joint research meetings; students and research staff also attend many of the numerous research seminars across the University. There are also strong interactions with industry, with frequent visits and discussions, involving students. Staff, including postgraduates, are often seconded to other labs throughout the UK and sometimes abroad. The School is also home to the Centre for Applied Pharmacokinetic Research, established in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry to provide research and training in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics in response to an increasing industrial need. Research projects within the Centre are generic in nature and chosen to be of mutual interest to all partners.
Staff of the Pharmacy Practice Group hold joint appointments with the National Primary Care R & D Centre housed in the University and the largest Health Services Research Unit of its type in the U.K. Clinical appointments are also held in Manchester Teaching Hospitals and primary care facilities.
Drug Action and Design
- Cellular and molecular biology including: structural biology; enzyme and protein biochemistry; gene expression and nucleic acids research
- Medicinal chemistry including: rational drug design; molecular graphics; synthetic and combinatorial chemistry; peptide synthesis; high-field NMR spectroscopy
- Experimental oncology including: tumour biology and therapeutics
- Anticancer drugs; antibacterials; antibiotics; antiparasitics including: antitrypanosomal and antileishmanial drugs
- Pharmaceutical microbiology; biofilms; microbial physiology
- Phytopharmacy; pharmacognosy
Drug Delivery and Pharmacokinetics
- Diagnostics and nanotechnology
- Formulation; micelles and polymers; bio-responsive delivery systems; liposomes
- Immunodetection systems
- Dose form design, gastrointestinal tract targeting
- Population pharmacodynamics
- Drug analysis and metabolism including cytochrome P450
- Pharmacokinetics; physiological modelling
- Sparse data analysis
Pharmacy Practice and Drug Usage
- Pharmacy in primary health care, including community pharmacy
- Prescribing and decision-making
- Pharmacoeconomics; health economics
- Sociology of pharmacy and medicine usage
- Pharmaceutical care
Some Typical Postgraduate Courses Provided
Below is a selection of postgraduate courses available within the School. There are many more available in other sectors of the GSSEM for specialist needs and we encourage our students to make appropriate use of these.
- Pharmaceutical Sciences, an Overview
- Organic and Biological Spectroscopy
- Rational Drug Design
- Solid Dose Forms
- Phytopharmacy and Alternative Therapies
- Polymeric Drug Delivery
- Novel Drug Delivery Systems
- Management as Applied to Pharmacy
- Basic Computing and Information Technology
- Microbial Physiology: towards relevant and reproducible experiments
- Data Analysis
- Clinical and Experimental Pharmacokinetics
- Pharmaceutical Care
- Forensic Science
The School is well-equipped for a wide range of pharmaceutical and related research. Many specialist laboratories have been refurbished over the past 10 years. We have well-equipped laboratories for bioinformatics, molecular graphics, organic synthesis, protein isolation and enzymology, peptide synthesis, HPLC, LC-MS and capillary electrophoresis, NMR spectroscopy, category 2+ laboratories for microbiology, cell culture and fermentation, genetic engineering (including PCR and site-directed mutagenesis), facilities for physical measurements on polymers, for gamma-irradiation, nanotechnology, laser analysis, cell biology including 2 flow cytometers, radiolabelling and metabolic studies, computation and data analysis and for animal research. In addition, as part of a strong GSSEM in a full-service University, our students have access to a complete range of the most modern major instrumentation (e.g. mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, whole-body and high-field NMR spectroscopy, protein crystallography) with appropriate expertise on-site. All of our research laboratories have on-line access to library and to other databases (e.g. SEQNET, Medline, Beilstein) and to the Internet.
Departmental Training Policies
The GSSEM oversees and accredits all programmes, ensures quality supervision arrangements, monitors the progress of all (currently approx. 1300) graduate students in the GSSEM and co-ordinates the provision of facilities, skills courses and interdisciplinary programmes. Within the School of Pharmacy, postgraduate student progress is monitored by a dedicated Postgraduate Tutor. Student training involves an Advisor system with regular meetings, written progress reports, oral presentations, vivas, formal structured course-work, seminar attendance, courses in research techniques and specialist courses. We provide excellent training facilities and close supervision with feedback on supervision and progress through regularly meetings with Supervisor and Advisor. The Postgraduate: Staff Liaison Committee meets regularly to ensure good communication.
Students attend courses and seminars in the School and in other Departments/Faculties, greatly aided by the structure of the GSSEM. In the first year students take a formal training programme with GSSEM courses in Personal and Professional Transferable Skills (15 credits, equivalent to 60h of student effort in aspects of word processing, databases, spreadsheets, patenting and intellectual property rights) plus a further 45 credits of advanced knowledge and research techniques over the rest of their course chosen from more subject-specific courses run both within the School and in other Departments and Faculties. All postgraduate student demonstrators must attend a 2-day, specifically targeted, GSSEM-provided course on appropriate teaching skills. All Pharmacy postgraduate students attend a tailored course on information retrieval facilities and techniques. Attendance at approved Research Seminars/Conferences can also provide credits. As part of their training and assessment, presentations of their research are made by all first-year and third year postgraduate students, attended by postgraduate students and academic staff. Throughout the course, each student maintains a folder of their "Record of Achievement", which records attendance, progress and achievement, and is audited each year. Students are encouraged to present their work at national and international meetings.
M.Sc. in Clinical and Health Services PharmacyEntry for 1999 is currently suspended
The aim of this programme is to develop pharmacists who can act as role models in both the performance and future development of clinical services. The initial stages of the programme serve to enhance students' clinical knowledge, teaching them how to optimise drug therapy and develop their problem-solving skills. A variety of health services issues is explored in relation to the delivery of pharmaceutical care. These issues include health economics, patient perspectives on health and organisational influences in health care. The research project extends students' training in research methods through the application of these skills to a novel area of pharmacy practice.
The M.Sc. comprises four taught modules, a Drug Use Evaluation and a research project culminating in the submission of a full dissertation. The teaching methods used include small group tutorials, workshops and experience-based learning at both the University of Manchester and in hospitals guided by experienced practitioners. The course usually commences each September and is full-time for one year.
Taught Diploma in Clinical and Health Services Pharmacy
The requirements and curriculum for this are identical to those for the M.Sc. described above except that the course is part-time over 2 years and there is no research project involved.
As a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester you will have access to the extensive stock and state-of-the-art IT resources of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. The JRULM, one of the world's great research libraries, is the third largest university library in the UK with about 3.5 million books and nearly 7,000 current periodical titles. Over 250 computers provide access to the most advanced electronic information resources.
The Main Library has loan and reference copies of the books and other materials recommended for courses taught in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Through the University network the computers provide access to word processing packages, courseware, and electronic mail, the World Wide Web and a range of other resources including the databases made available by the Library. There are over 100 such databases, covering virtually every subject. The main scientific and medical databases are available and they provide an easy way to investigate a particular topic. The Library's own World Wide Web site (http:///rylibweb.man.ac.uk) includes news and information about the Library and links to a wide range of Internet resources, including sites relevant to sciences and medicine.
The School of Pharmacy welcomes applications from overseas. The University, a truly cosmopolitan community with nearly 2,500 international students from more than 120 countries, is particularly well equipped to look after its overseas students. The International Office of the University publishes a comprehensive 50-page handbook entitled 'Welcome to the University. A Guide to students from Overseas' which provides a wealth of invaluable information about travel and arrival arrangements, the University and the City of Manchester as well as items on the British way of life, financial matters, climate, health, shopping, child-care and legislation. In addition, the International Students Welfare Officer is available at all times to help students with their problems and to offer advice and information on any topic. Support for overseas students is also provided by the International Society. This society is a thriving centre for overseas students in Manchester which has more students from abroad than any other educational establishment in Britain (outside London). Each semester there is a full and varied programme of social, educational and cultural activities on offer.
As a multidisciplinary environment the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences offers research and teaching in a broad range of topics akin to the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy. This diversity is reflected by the variety of first degrees held by postgraduate students and academic staff which currently include Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Economics, Maths, Medicine, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physics and Sociology as well as Pharmacy. The School operates an equal opportunities policy on admission.
The admission requirements for graduate programmes are varied. For admission to a Doctoral programme you should normally hold a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree or its equivalent in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education. Admission to a Master's or Diploma programme requires an Honours degree in a relevant subject.
Entrance to research programmes usually takes place in September, January, April or July. Taught programmes usually start in September only. To study any programme at the University, you must be proficient in the use of the English language and we can help you make arrangements for preparatory courses on your arrival in Manchester.
Further information on Graduate Study, taught courses and areas of research, along with application forms, can be obtained by contacting the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor as detailed below.
Current fees (1999/2000 academic year) for Home and EU students are £2675, whilst for overseas students the tuition fees for 1999/2000 are £9000 per annum. In addition laboratory fees will be needed and these vary according to the particular discipline and its associated expense. We have a number of competitive bursaries which we use to offset costs for suitably qualified applicants. Part-time study costs are pro rata.
The research councils (BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC) provide a number of competitively offered research studentships covering the costs of tuition and subsistence. Some of these can be joint with Industry, so-called CASE awards, in which the student spends part of their research time in a collaborating industrial laboratory. The RPSGB also provides competitive scholarships for registered UK pharmacists and to apply for these you should contact your proposed supervisor.
For EU citizens there are awards available from the EU, but these need to be applied for well in advance of the proposed start date. Check locally with your current University's European Office. Other useful contact points in your own country are the local office of the British Council as well as your own country's Ministry of Education and, of course, your own undergraduate University. For Commonwealth Students, British Commonwealth Scholarships exist and we have a number of students with these competitive but prestigious awards. All overseas students can compete for ORS Awards which pay the difference between Home and Overseas fees but do not cover subsistence or travel.
Applications and Enquiries
Please send your CV (including names of referees) either by post, FAX or e-mail. Please indicate which degree you would like to apply for. If you are interested in postgraduate research, please indicate which project (see PhD Studentships Available-1999) or project area(s)/ supervisor(s) you are interested in.
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2438
© 2001 School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester