MSc Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Our MSc in Pharmaceutical Technology and Quality Assurance is aimed at pharmacy, health and biomedical professionals working in 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, production, quality control, role of the qualified person, medical gas testing 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.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.

Deadline for applications:

1st September


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.

There will be a combination of remote study and face-to-face sessions. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but for 2023/24 they were as follows:

Remote study dates:

  • Foundations of PTQA: 16, 23, 30 October and 6 November 2023
  • Basic Intro to Radiopharmacy (optional dependent on experience): 18 January 2024
  • Intro to Radiopharmacy: 22-26 January 2024
  • Intro to Aseptics: 19-21 February 2024
  • Intro to Production and Quality Control: 18-20 March 2024

Face-to-face study dates:

  • Introduction: 20-21 September 2023
  • Foundations of PTQA: 27-28 November 2023
  • Intro to pharmaceutical science 2: 15-19 April 2024

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 (30 credits) - Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science 2 (30 credits):
  • Radiopharmacy
  • Aseptics
  • Production/QC

Course content for year 2

You will complete two course units:

  • Advanced Pharmaceutical Science 1 (30 credits) 
  • Advanced Pharmaceutical Science 2 (30 credits)

You will choose from the following subjects within the course units:

  • Advanced QA
  • Aseptics
  • Clinical trials
  • Medical gas testing
  • Preparation for practice
  • Production
  • Quality control
  • Radiopharmacy
  • Research methods
  • Role of the Qualified Person

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
Introduction to Pharmaceutical Science 2 PHAR61730 30 Mandatory
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
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

What our students say

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


Face-to-face teaching will usually be delivered from the Core Technology Facility. There may be some practical sessions taking place on the University campus.

Disability support

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