MSc Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training (PIAT) / Course details

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

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.


  • 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.'


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.