MSc Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

Our MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance is aimed at pharmacy, health and biomedical professionals working in the technical services for the NHS or private sector organisations who want to update their skills and knowledge while gaining an academic qualification.

This three-year part-time course allows you to choose from a range of optional units to enable you to develop in your chosen field of interest. Some units allow you to learn alongside students from other healthcare disciplines.

Some of the topics covered by the course are radiopharmacy, aseptics, formulation sciences, production and clinical trials.

You will learn from experts from the NHS and industry, who deliver lectures and workshops as part of the course.

You will also be able to apply what you learn in practical workshops and visits to and placements in NHS and industrial environments.


We aim to provide you with an understanding of core principles and features of pharmaceutical science and professional training.   

Successful completion of the course will enable you to:

  • critically apply knowledge of pharmaceutical technology and quality assurance to a range of specialist medicines management areas in pharmaceutical technology and quality assurance;
  • critically analyse evidence to make judgements regarding complex quality assurance issues in pharmaceutical practice;
  • lead on enhancing the achievement of standards and upholding necessary standards and legal requirements in specific areas of practice;
  • apply in-depth knowledge and experience of techniques for evaluating and managing the risk to patients from pharmaceutical technology and quality assurance;
  • take a proactive and self-reflective role in work.

Students who complete the full MSc qualification will achieve the objectives for the PGDip, and will also critically and creatively evaluate current issues in practice and conduct research that advances pharmaceutical technology, quality assurance and decision-making related to patient care. 

Teaching and learning

This is a blended learning course combining distance learning with residential modules. Units will include a compulsory taught component delivered online and in Manchester that is supported by extensive experience achieved in the workplace and on visits to specialist facilities.

We use a blend of online and face-to-face methods. This will include small group tutorials, workshops and experience-based learning. You will have a nominated tutor at the University and your practice base to provide guidance on work-based activities and written assignments.

You will engage in work-based learning and demonstrate this to the academic team by producing portfolios of evidence detailing your experiences gained during each visit or placement.

  • Remote study dates for 2021/2022 are as follows:
  • Introduction: 21 - 22 September 2021
  • Foundations of PTQA: 12 - 14 October 2021
  • Radiopharmacy: 7 - 10 December 2021
  • Formulation sciences: 17 - 19 January 2022
  • Production: 14 - 16 February 2022
  • Aseptics: 7 - 10 March 2022

Face-to-face sessions are planned for 29-30 November 2021 and 28 March to 1 April 2022, subject to COVID status at the time. Offer holders will be kept updated via email.

Coursework and assessment

Each unit has a designated leader who is responsible for individual assessments, under the guidance of the course director. All assessments will be monitored and reviewed by the exam board.

You must satisfy the course requirements in Year 1 before you can proceed to Year 2 of the course.

Course content for year 1

You will take course units covering a wide range of topics within:

  • Foundations of PTQA
  • Radiopharmacy or Production
  • Formulation Sciences
  • Aseptics

Compulsory Components

  • Foundations of PTQA (30 credits)

Optional Components

Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutical Science 2B (30 credits)

  • Radiopharmacy
  • Formulation sciences
  • Aseptics

Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutical Science 2A (30 credits)

  • Production
  • Formulation sciences
  • Aseptics

Course content for year 2

You will complete course units from a selection covering:

Compulsory units

  • Quality control (15 credits)
  • Aseptics advanced (15 credits)

Optional units (choose 2)

  • Medical gases (15 credits)
  • Clinical trials for the NHS (15 credits)
  • Radiopharmacy advanced (15 credits)
  • Pharmaceutical risk management and the role of the QP (15 credits)

Also choose from selected units delivered on the MSc Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT)

Course content for year 3

You will complete your research dissertation.

Course unit details

There is flexibility through the range of optional units to allow you to develop in your chosen specialist field.  Some units also provide the opportunity to learn alongside students from other healthcare disciplines.

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
Foundations of Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance PHAR61780 30 Mandatory
Research Project PHAR61810 60 Mandatory
Quality Control PHAR61900 15 Mandatory
Aseptics Advanced PHAR61910 15 Mandatory
Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutical Science 2A PHAR61790 30 Optional
Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutical Science 2B PHAR61800 30 Optional
Pharmaceutical Risk Mgmt and the role of the Qualified Person PHAR61920 15 Optional
Pharmaceutical Medical Gas Testing PHAR61930 15 Optional
Radiopharmacy Advanced PHAR61940 15 Optional
Clinical Trials for the NHS PHAR72090 15 Optional
Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutical Science 2A PHAR61790 30 Recommended
Displaying 10 of 11 course units

What our students say

Visit the blog to read about recent graduate Stephen Bishop's experience on the course.


The teaching blocks will be held in suitable conference facilities, details of which will be provided prior to each teaching block.  There will be some practical sessions taking place on the University campus.

The usual face-to-face teaching blocks may be delivered online due to Covid-19  Offer holders will be informed via email.

Disability support

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