Drug discovery and development

Overview

Research in drug discovery and development enables the identification of new drug targets and therapeutics. Postgraduate programmes in Drug Discovery and Development are offered at Victoria University in a collaboration between the Centre for Biodiscovery, the Ferrier Research Institute and the Schools of Biological Sciences and Chemical and Physical Sciences.

These programmes operate on the interface between the fields of chemistry and biological sciences, drawing on the research expertise of the Ferrier Research Institute in drug design and development and on expertise from the Centre for Biodiscovery in the discovery and design of bioactive compounds and the determination of their modes of action.

Students will be provided with a programme of study tailored to their personal skills and interests, with flexibility being offered by the opportunity to undertake directed individual study courses. Alongside the core courses, students will be offered the opportunity to specialise according to their interests, with named specialisations offered in Drug Discovery, Drug Development and Chemical Biology. In addition, the option of a thesis is available for suitably qualified students.

The programme provides graduates with broad knowledge of the processes and activities involved with drug discovery, design and development. It uses a mix of academic and practical skills, and is closely aligned to the needs of pharmaceutical industry in the areas of drug design and development, including bioanalytical, chemical and related industries, nutraceuticals and agrichemicals. It equips graduates to pursue careers in these industries, in the public or non-governmental sectors or to continue to PhD level studies.

Entry requirements

  1. An undergraduate degree in Chemistry or a relevant life science subject such as Biochemistry, Biomedical Science, Pharmacy, Pharmacology or other relevant subject, with a B+ average or higher grade; and
  2. Acceptance by the relevant Head of School.

Requirement 1 may be waived by the relevant Associate Dean for a candidate who has had extensive practical, professional or scholarly experience of an appropriate kind.

Postgraduate Certificate in Drug Discovery and Development (PGCertDDD)

The personal course of study shall consist of 60 points from:

  • DRDG 401; one of CHEM 421, DRDG 402
  • a further 30 points from BMSC 400-441, BTEC 435-441, CHEM 400-441, CLNR 401-405, DRGD 402-403, MBIO 434-440;

Postgraduate Diploma in Drug Discovery and Development (PGDipDDD)

The personal course of study shall consist of 120 points, including:

  • DRGD 401; one of CHEM 421, DRGD 402
  • a further 60 points from BMSC 400-441, BTEC 435-441, CHEM 400-441, CLNR 401-405, DRGD 402-403, MBIO 434-440;
  • DRGD 580

Master of Drug Discovery and Development (MDDD)

The MDDD is a one-year (full-time) 180-point Master’s programme that includes a 60-point research project.

Part 1 consists of:

  • DRGD 401; one of CHEM 421, DRGD 402
  • a further 60 points from BMSC 400-441, BTEC 435-441, CHEM 400-441, CLNR 401-405, DRGD 402-403, MBIO 434-440;
  • DRGD 580

Part 2:

DRGD 561 or 590

The MDDD may be endorsed with one of the following specialisations:

Drug Development: DRGD 401, 402 and 403

Drug Discovery: DRGD 401; one of DRGD 402 or CHEM 421; 15 further points from DRGD 402, CHEM 421, BMSC 432, BTEC 435, MBIO 401

Chemical Biology: DRGD 401, CHEM 421; 15 further points from BMSC 405, 430–433, CHEM 424–425

The option of a thesis is available for suitably qualified students. Students may replace DRGD 580 or 590 with DRGD 595 (Research Thesis) with permission from the Programme Director.

Courses

DRGD 401 - Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery

An advanced course covering target identification and validation, biological assays and use of natural products in the context of drug discovery.

DRGD 402 - Drug Design

An advanced course with a focus on medicinal chemistry and the formulation of active pharmaceutical products.

DRGD 403 - Drug Development

An introduction to advanced-stage development of drugs, synthesis scale-up and cGMP practices, pharmaceutical analytical chemistry, protection of intellectual property and regulatory requirements, including clinical trials.

Contact

For more information, please contact Programme Director Dr Simon Hinkley.