MSc Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT) / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Developed in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, the four pathways of our MSc in Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT) are postgraduate-level training programmes designed for scientists and managers working in the pharmaceutical industry and NHS in the fields of product development, manufacturing and quality assurance.


  • Clinical Trials:   This is ideal for those wishing to specialise in this key area and is of relevance to those working in the NHS, as well as in industrial settings.
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology: We work with the Pharmaceutical Microbiology Interest Group (PharMIG) on the content and curriculum of this programme, ensuring that it is recognised as a leader within the field.
  • Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing: Our programme is delivered in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Licensing Group, enabling you to learn from leaders in networking and the legal field.
  • Industrial Pharmacy: This programme covers the industrial pharmacist role from formulation through to QA and QC, and also regulatory affairs and lean processes (including Six Sigma).

Many of our units have been developed to support those seeking to build their QP portfolio and our team includes QPs who are willing to support your development through this pathway.

You can also take individual units as standalone CPD courses. Please contact us for further details of the units that can be taken.

We offer a three-day summer school in June each year to allow you to meet fellow students and your tutors while attending workshops to support your learning and development in the units. You are strongly encouraged to participate in this event as a valuable face-to-face opportunity to engage with our team of expert tutors. It has been observed that those students who do engage with the event do better in their assessments in general.

For our Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing pathway, we offer a two-day winter school held in London that covers the units within this key course for business development executives.

Additional course information

Below are some links that may be useful if you're thinking about studying PIAT.

Coursework and assessment

Example dissertation titles

Below are examples of previous dissertations undertaken on the PIAT course.

  • 'Comparison of the Chemical and Physical Stability of Three Different Dry Powder Inhalers containing Salmeterol Xinafoate and Fluticasone Propionate' - Joanne Ridgway
  • 'Simulation of Modelling of Clinical and Pre-clinical Trial Supply Units' - Robert Jones
  • 'Evaluation of Inspection Efficiency in a Sterile Vial Manufacturing Process' - Julia Deacon
  • 'The Use of a Compaction Simulator in Preformulation' - Richard Iain Bell
  • 'An Evaluation of the Impact of the Environmental Protection Agency on the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry' - Michael G Bizzell
  • 'Physical Characterisation of a Multi-particulate Dosage Form using an Image Analysis System' - David K Brown
  • 'Commissioning and Validation of a Small-scale Manufacturing Facility for the Production of Aseptically-prepared Products and the Subsequent Validation for a Specific Product Line' - Sarah Dawson
  • 'Formulation of a Bioequivalent Immediate Release Tablet Preparation' - Roland T Green

Course unit details

All units start in April and October. View units specific to each of the four pathways below and see the course units table for links to more information:

Industrial Pharmacy

  • Basic Principles - The physicochemical principles of dosage form design (PHAR71010)
  • Preformulation Studies 1 - Physicochemical aspects of drug substances and excipients (PHAR71020)
  • Oral Solid Dosage Forms - 1 (PHAR71040)
  • Oral Solid Dosage Forms -  2 (PHAR71070)
  • Liquid and Semisolid Dosage Forms - Formulation and process development (PHAR71050)
  • Management Tools (PHAR71060)
  • Lean Processes (PHAR71080)
  • Pharmaceutical packaging (PHAR71100)
  • Regulatory Affairs (PHAR71110)
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering (PHAR71120)
  • Quality Control Laboratory Testing (PHAR70130)
  • Safety, Health and Environment (PHAR70140)
  • Inhalation Dosage Forms (PHAR70150)
  • Product Development Management (PHAR70160)

Clinical Trials

  • Introduction to Clinical Trials (PHAR72010)
  • Setting up and running Clinical Trials (PHAR72020)
  • Pharmacovigilance (PHAR72070)
  • Scientific and Medical Writing (PHAR70710)
  • Clinical Trials for the NHS (PHAR72090)

Pharmaceutical Microbiology

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Technology (PHAR71300)
  • Water Aspects (PHAR71310)
  • Microbiological Environmental Monitoring & Control (PHAR71320)
  • Sterile Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (PHAR71330)
  • Quality Assurance in Microbiology Laboratories (PHAR71340)
  • Engineering Principles for Pharmaceutical Microbiologists (PHAR71350)
  • Application of Microbiology in Biopharmaceuticals (PHAR71360)
  • Antimicrobials (PHAR71370)

Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing

  • Introduction to the Healthcare Industry (PHAR71400)
  • Business Development Operations (PHAR71410)
  • Financial Aspects of Business Development and Licensing (PHAR71420)
  • Legal Issues in Business Development Contracts (PHAR71430)
  • Negotiation and Interpersonal Skills (PHAR71440)
  • Marketing and Commercialisation (PHAR71450)
  • Intellectual Property Rights (PHAR71460)
  • Research and Development and Manufacturing (PHAR71470)

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Quality Control Laboratory Testing (PIAT 13) PHAR70130 15 Optional
Safety, Health and Environment (PIAT 14) PHAR70140 15 Optional
Inhalation Dosage Forms (PIAT 15) PHAR70150 15 Optional
Product Development Management (PIAT 16) PHAR70160 15 Optional
Scientific and Medical Writing PHAR70710 15 Optional
Basic Principles (PIAT 1) PHAR71010 15 Optional
Pre-formulation Studies 1 (PIAT 2) PHAR71020 15 Optional
Solid Oral Dosage Forms (PIAT 4) PHAR71040 15 Optional
Liquid and Semi-Solid Dosage Forms (PIAT 5) PHAR71050 15 Optional
Management Tools PHAR71060 15 Optional
Solid Oral Dosage Forms 2 (PIAT 7) PHAR71070 15 Optional
Lean Processes (PIAT 8) PHAR71080 15 Optional
Pharmaceutical Packaging (PIAT 10) PHAR71100 15 Optional
Regulatory Affairs (PIAT 11) PHAR71110 15 Optional
Pharmaceutical Engineering (PIAT 12) PHAR71120 15 Optional
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Technology (PMAT 1) PHAR71300 15 Optional
Water Aspects (PMAT 2) PHAR71310 15 Optional
Microbiological Environmental Monitoring & Control (PMAT 3) PHAR71320 15 Optional
Sterile Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (PMAT 4) PHAR71330 15 Optional
Quality Assurance in Microbiology Laboratories (PMAT 5) PHAR71340 15 Optional
Engineering Principles for Pharmaceutical Microbiologists (PMAT 6) PHAR71350 15 Optional
Application of Microbiology in Biopharmaceuticals (PMAT 7) PHAR71360 15 Optional
Antimicrobials (PMAT 8) PHAR71370 15 Optional
Introduction to the Healthcare Industry (PLG 1) PHAR71400 15 Optional
Business Development Operations (PLG 2) PHAR71410 15 Optional
Financial Aspects of Business Development & Licensing PHAR71420 15 Optional
Legal Issues in Business Development Contracts (PLG 4) PHAR71430 15 Optional
Negotiation & Interpersonal Skills (PLG 5) PHAR71440 15 Optional
Marketing and Commercialisation (PLG 6) PHAR71450 15 Optional
Intellectual Property Rights (PLG 7) PHAR71460 15 Optional
Research & Development and Manufacturing (PLG 8) PHAR71470 15 Optional
Introduction to Clinical Trials (CT1) PHAR72010 15 Optional
Setting up and running Clinical Trials PHAR72020 15 Optional
Pharmacovigilance - post marketing surveillance PHAR72070 15 Optional
Clinical Trials for the NHS PHAR72090 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 35 course units

What our students say

Charles Adesuyi (graduate July 2019)

The PIAT program broadened my scientific knowledge and has been invaluable in my career to date.

Prior to commencing the program, I found that there were scientific terms bounced around by my colleagues that were unfamiliar to me. This prompted my search for a postgraduate course to improve my scientific knowledge. Colleagues from my previous employment had also undertaken the PIAT program and found it beneficial and so I enrolled.

The modules are taught by expert tutors and are relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. They were strongly applicable to my role as a formulation manager. I moved jobs whilst on the program to a business role and had the opportunity to select business modules to support this role. My scientific knowledge increased, and the unfamiliar scientific terms became known and understood.    

I would recommend PIAT to scientists/managers. Though, it is challenging and requires dedication, commitment, experience and completion of the 8 units in addition to a Masters thesis, the experience is rewarding and I found it a personal achievement.


You will be able to access the online library and a range of other facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

You can also take individual units as standalone CPD courses. Please contact us at for further details of the units that can be taken.