MSc Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT)

Year of entry: 2022

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Overview

Degree awarded
MSc/PGDip/PGCert
Duration
MSc 60 months PGDip 48 months PGCert 24 months max
Entry requirements

You need to have a degree-level scientific qualification to be registered on the PGDip or MSc in industrial pharmacy or pharmaceutical microbiology.

If you do not already have this qualification, you can join the course on a CPD (continuing professional development) basis in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences to start and later transfer to the PGDip or MSc once you have proved your ability by successfully completing four units.

Some of the units require advanced level knowledge of physical and organic chemistry, biology and mathematics. All units require some work and experience within the industry.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc N N N Y

Course overview

  • Develop skills in industrial pharmacy from the fundamentals of formulations and applications of different dosage forms to quality control and clinical trials, and/or pharmaceutical microbiology from monitoring and control to water aspects and antimicrobials.
  • Fit study around your other commitments thanks to the part-time distance learning nature of this course.
  • Choose from over 25 study units (none being compulsory).
  • Gain industry-recognised qualifications from a leading university and training relevant to Qualified Person recognition.
  • Study at a university ranked 5th in the UK and 14th in the world for pharmacy and pharmacology (QS World University Rankings 2021).

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2022, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (part-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): £1,850 per 15 credit module
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £1,850 per 15 credit module

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Telephone
(+44) 0161 543 4699
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/pharmacy/
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

You need to have a degree-level scientific qualification to be registered on the PGDip or MSc in industrial pharmacy or pharmaceutical microbiology.

If you do not already have this qualification, you can join the course on a CPD (continuing professional development) basis in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences to start and later transfer to the PGDip or MSc once you have proved your ability by successfully completing four units.

Some of the units require advanced level knowledge of physical and organic chemistry, biology and mathematics. All units require some work and experience within the industry.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS : minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 22 in each component)

In certain situations regarding international students, we may require you to take the IELTS or TOEFL as further evidence.

See further information about requirements for your country .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other entry requirements

You will require regular access to a modern personal computer (Windows or Mac) with a stable internet connection.

You must also have the ability to:

  • navigate the Blackboard learning management system to locate teaching and learning materials and to access and submit assessments (with initial basic training);
  • work efficiently with Word or alternative word processing software;
  • use the internet to search websites and access the University library;
  • navigate e-learning programmes and complete short training courses such as a mandatory course about academic malpractice;
  • download PDF or work through online learning materials.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the application and selection section for details of the supporting documents we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

All applications must be submitted online.

What do I need to apply?

Please submit the following documents with your online application form:

  • two references on letter headed paper or sent from work emails. We do not contact referees directly;
  • official degree certificates (with translations if not in English) if you have already graduated;
  • official university transcripts (with translations if not in English);
  • a personal statement of approximately 300-500 words about why you wish to take this course, how it will affect your personal and professional development, possible units of interest on the course and your planned approach to making time to study. This statement should refer to your current role;
  • full CV including voluntary experience;
  • proof of English language proficiency (if required).

All international students must upload a scanned copy of their passport.

We prefer you to have one academic and one professional referee. If there are problems in getting an academic reference you can apply with two professional referees. We're unable to send offers until two references have been received.

To be on track to receive any type of award, you must complete a minimum average of two units per year. For the PGCert, four units should be in completed in two years, while the PGDip requires eight units in four years and the MSc eight units in four years, plus an extra year for the dissertation.

When should I apply?

The two intakes are in September and January. All applications must be submitted before 27th August and 10th December, respectively.

When will I hear about my application?

You will receive a letter/email from us, usually within two weeks of submitting your application, which will inform you of the status of your application. If successful, you need to go online to accept the offer.

When can I take my next unit?

You can start mid-September and mid-January. In the first year of study we limit you to one unit per semester, but in subsequent years you may take on up to two units per semester. We have fixed submission deadlines at midday on 10th January for September starts and midday on 9th May for units started in January. You must complete a minimum average of two units each year to stay on track to receive an award.

Do I need a degree?

While most of our students have a first degree in a scientific subject, we know that many people working in the pharmaceutical industry have experience directly relevant to their engagement in postgraduate study. We can accept applications if you have no first degree in a scientific subject, initially on a CPD basis. If you show an ability to study at postgraduate level and wish to continue, we can transfer you to MSc or PGDip after you have successfully completed four units.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

All international students must upload a scanned copy of their passport as part of the application process.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful, you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Developed in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, the courses is postgraduate-level training designed for scientists and managers working in the pharmaceutical industry in the fields of product development, formulations, manufacturing and quality assurance.

The courses' tutors are carefully selected and over 20 are experts who have forged highly successful careers in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pathways/Awards

  • Industrial Pharmacy: This programme covers the industrial pharmacist role from formulation through to product development, QA and QC, and also regulatory affairs and lean processes (including Six Sigma).
  • 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.

There is a free choice of more than 20 units with none being compulsory. The name of the award you receive will be determined by the relative number of units taken from the two pathways above (either one of them or a combination of the two). 

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

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 advise you on your development through this educational programme.

We offer a three-day annual workshop event each year to allow you to meet fellow students and your tutors while attending workshops to support your learning and development in the units. The event is scheduled to take place in October for the 2021-22 academic year. You are strongly encouraged to participate in this annual 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.

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

The PIAT course has a broad selection of units within these pathways:

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)
  • Introduction to Clinical Trials (PHAR72010)
  • Scientific and Medical Writing (PHAR70710)
  • Clinical Trials for the NHS (PHAR72090)
  • Introduction to the Healthcare Industry (PHAR71400)
  • Research and Development and Manufacturing (PHAR71470)

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)

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 (BDL 1) PHAR71400 15 Optional
Negotiation & Interpersonal Skills (BDL 5) PHAR71440 15 Optional
Research & Development and Manufacturing (BDL 8) PHAR71470 15 Optional
Introduction to Clinical Trials (CT1) PHAR72010 15 Optional
Clinical Trials for the NHS PHAR72090 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 28 course units

What our students say

David Leslie (graduate 2020)

'I enrolled on the PIAT course in the early stages of my career as an Analytical Scientist at Quay Pharma. Senior members of the team at Quay had benefitted from the course and believed it helped advance their careers. The course appealed to me because of the access to study materials and because I'd be taught by experts in their respective fields. PIAT gave me an opportunity to build expertise, allowing me to greater understand the fundamentals of working in the laboratory setting. This allowed me to progress quickly in my role and become more confident in my abilities. Furthermore, PIAT gave me access to study other sides of the industry that I may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. I was able to use the learnings from these units to give myself a wider understanding of the industry. Also the range of units available allowed me to tailor the course to suit my career path.'

Charles Adesuyi (graduate 2019)

'The PIAT programme broadened my scientific knowledge and has been invaluable in my career to date. Prior to commencing the course, 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 programme and found it beneficial, and so I enrolled. The units were strongly applicable to my role as a formulation manager. 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, the experience is rewarding and I found it a personal achievement.'

Facilities

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.

Careers

Career opportunities

Our alumni have used the learning and opportunities gained from this course to advance their careers in a range of roles and areas.

Some have moved to management positions, while others have taken on roles with more responsibility, becoming team leaders, heads of projects or responsible for new and larger areas, regions or territories.

As part of the course, our students build networks of contacts and join a growing community of leaders within the industry.

Associated organisations

An associated organisation is the Pharmaceutical Microbiology Interest Group (PharMIG).