MSc Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT) / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Business Development Operations (PLG 2)

Unit code PHAR71410
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will cover the key operational area within business development and licensing, including topics such as portfolio management, due diligence, project management and deal implementation. This unit also focuses on technology transfer issues and the role of alliance managers. 


  • To provide an understanding of the full range of business development and licensing operations starting from product portfolio analysis, through partnering and finishing with alliance management.
  • To provide an understanding of the role and understand how business development and licensing works in different types of companies.
  • To assess and evaluate the management of due diligence systems in various types of pharmaceuticals companies.
  • To understand how academic technology transfer differs from business development in companies.
  • To understand the role and challenges of alliance management.

Learning outcomes

  • Assess and evaluate the management of due diligence systems.
  • Understand the relevant regulatory processes which are applicable to medicinal products in the United Kingdom to that of the relevant European Union Directives.
  • Introduce the framework for the development and manufacture of medicinal products on an international level.
  • Provide an appreciation of the role of business development within the corporate structure.


Unit 1:

Portfolio Management, provides an understanding of the risk associated with pharmaceutical development and how companies balance their investments across the portfolio.

Unit 2:

Partnering Processes. This unit reviews the dynamics of the partnering process, the way companies organise themselves and the metrics that apply to the process.  The internal business development operations of different companies, is also addressed. 

Unit 3:

The Due Diligence Process - a critical step in the Business Development process where the risks in a given project are identified and assessed.  This unit covers the criticality of this process as well as considering the metrics and human dynamics.

Unit 4:

Academic Technology Transfer. This unit reviews the key aspects of academic technology transfer and how it differs from business development operations in different companies, is also addressed.

Unit 5:

Research & Development Agreements, provides a description of the licensing and business development aspects arising from R&D collaborations between companies and with universities.  It also addresses issues that arise during drafting of these agreements and how these can be managed.

Unit 6:

Technical Aspects in Licence Agreements.  This unit explains the business rationale and key components of the various agreements that are developed to manage and control deals relating to pharmaceutical manufacture.  It also covers the key factors that need to be reviewed and agreed during contract negotiations.

Unit 7:

Alliance Management.  This unit covers the principles and practices of Alliance Management, the interaction between the “deal-makers” and those who are tasked with creating financial and strategic value from the deal.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Assessed by 1 x 6000 word essay

Feedback methods

Provisional marks and feedback for coursework returned within 15 working days.

Exam marks and final marks returned after ratification at exam board. 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Matthew Shaw Unit coordinator

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