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Drug Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology

Duration: 1 year
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: MSc
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Life Sciences
Apply Download course booklet


This full-time Master's programme provides a comprehensive overview of drug safety practices within the drug development process.

It addresses key aspects of preclinical drug evaluation through the study of:

  • Drug discovery and development
  • Safety pharmacology
  • Mechanisms of drug-induced toxicities
  • Regulatory affairs
  • Bioanalytical sciences

It will give you state-of-the-art training in preclinical toxicology, with an emphasis on the molecular in vitro and in vivo aspects of toxicology and safety pharmacology assessments.

As part of the programme you will undertake an original research project that will be the basis of your dissertation.

Delivered at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, an internationally renowned research institution, the programme gives you the skills you need for a career in the pharmaceutical industry or regulatory bodies, along with the foundations for PhD study.

Drug toxicology and safety pharmacology lies at the heart of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and demand for highly skilled practitioners in this field is extremely high.

QS World University Rankings 2017


"The course contains the perfect balance between theoretical learning in lectures and hands-on experience by putting our theoretical learning into practice. It has helped spark a greater in-depth interest and knowledge into science and science-related research."

MSc Drug Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology

Why Bradford?

The Institute of Cancer Therapeutics is a purpose built facility within the University of Bradford’s City Campus.

The ICT contains facilities for cancer drug design, synthesis, pre-clinical pharmacology and Phase I trial PKPD laboratory support. The four floors of the building provide space for chemistry, cancer pharmacology and translational research in addition to commercial activities.

The close link with the adjacent Centre for Chemical and Structural Analysis (Analytical Centre) allows further drug development and formulation work to be conducted as an addition to any projects conducted by the Institute.

The Institute has extensive laboratories for cancer drug design and development, including dedicated Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) facilities, modern medicinal chemistry facilities, a Bio-Imaging suite and co-located incubator and commercial space.


QS World University Rankings 2016

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 or above in a related scientific discipline e.g. Biosciences, Chemistry, Biomedical, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological, or Toxicological Sciences
  • Applications are also welcome from candidates with non-standard qualifications, who have significant relevant experience; each case will be considered on its merits

English language requirements:

IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The programme delivers a combination of theoretical learning and hands-on laboratory experience in a number of key aspects of biomedical, pharmacological and toxicological laboratory techniques.

Key elements of scientific analysis, such as critical appraisal and analysis and presentation of data, are also included.

Core Modules

Preclinical Models for Drug Evaluation (Semester 1)

This module will help you develop a critical appreciation of the range of in vitro and in vivo experimental models which play a key role in the screening and progression of new therapies.

Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology (Semester 1)

In this module, you will develop an in-depth knowledge of the subject of safety pharmacology; and a critical understanding of the role of toxicology in the context of drug development.

Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity (Semester 2)

An overview of molecular mechanisms leading to drug toxicity and improving clinical success rate by eliminating their impact.

Critical Appraisal of a Current Topic in Cancer Therapeutics and Toxicology (Semesters 1&2)

In this module, you will choose from a range of cutting edge topics, and will conduct independent literature research and analysis to write a critical appraisal of your selected topic. Support is provided in academic skills, professional development planning, and time management.

Practical Skills for Research (Semesters 1&2)

Overview of some of the most important experimental techniques used in drug discovery.

Research Project in Cancer Therapeutics and Toxicology (Semester 3)

10-week laboratory-based, individual, original scientific research project carried out in the under direct supervision of a member of drug discovery team.

Your Optional Modules Include

Case Studies in Drug Discovery (Semester 2)

Overview of the discovery and development process for specific medicines currently on the market or soon to be introduced.

Experimental Design (Semester 2)

This module provides a comprehensive understanding of experimental research planning and design and helps you develop autonomy in design, planning and execution of experiments.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

You'll learn through lectures, tutorials, student-led seminars and laboratory investigation, plus self-directed learning.

Assessment consists of exams and coursework. An important component is the final dissertation derived from the research project.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Career prospects

The programme gives you the skills you need for a career in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials, or regulatory bodies, along with the foundations for PhD study.

Drug toxicology and safety pharmacology lies at the heart of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and demand for highly skilled practitioners in this field is extremely high.

The majority of our students find employment in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Covance, Envigo, Cyprotex) as well as the clinical setting ( e.g clinical trials at St James Hospital, Leeds). A number of overseas students have returned to their country of origin and have taken high profile positions in the regulatory environment. In addition, many of our students have continued their education and progressed to PhD study (e.g. Universities of Oxford, Leeds, Liverpool, and Bradford).


You will be taught by a team of experts in their field, who bring their research knowledge into the classroom.

Find out more on our Research website.

Celebrating 50 Years: 50 Stories

Professor Laurence Patterson talks about Bradford’s longstanding expertise in cancer medicines discovery and development, and explains how researchers are working hard to find novel cancer treatments:


Explore our simulation suite using this 360° interactive tour:

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU - £7,960
  • International - £18,480

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

Student profiles

Hear what our students have to say about the course:

Manisha Prabhakar says: "The course contains the perfect balance between theoretical learning in lectures and hands-on experience by putting our theoretical learning into practice, in the form of lab practicals throughout Semester 2." Read more from Manisha here.

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.