Postgraduate taught 

Precision Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation MSc

Precision Medicine and Pharmacological Innovation header image

This programme is open for applicants domiciled in Scotland.

This unique, prestigious and fully-funded MSc programme (tuition fee waiver; eligibility criteria apply) is awarded by the Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Strathclyde, in collaboration with the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh. The programme focuses on the current and future needs of the Life Sciences sector and is delivered in conjunction with the Precision Medicine Scotland - Innovation Centre (PMS-IC) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow and multiple private sector partners. Project placements in this MSc programme are increasingly seen by our biotechnology and industry partners as an effective means of assessing and recruiting new, high quality graduate employees.

Why this programme

  • The programme will cover aspects of commercial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, together with the principles which underpin the emerging science at the interface between genetics and pharmacology.
  • Students will be given the unique opportunity to undertake an industry placement as their main project. This fantastic opportunity will be offered by partner commercial organisations/companies and universities. Previous partners include Epidarex, LGC NHS Scotland, Roche and Thermo Fisher Scientific.Medicine ranking 2nd in the UK
  • This vibrant environment, coupled with Scotland’s tradition of excellence in clinical research and significant recent investment in the new science of Stratified Medicine make it the ideal place to acquire the transferrable skills required for a successful and fulfilling career in 21st century biomedicine. 
  • Students on the programme will undergo theoretical and practical training in state-of-the-art research processes, enabling an appreciation of how to apply novel stratified approaches, together with clinical pharmacological, regulatory and ethical principles to the optimisation of future clinical research and therapeutic practice.
  • Students will also gain an understanding of statistical methods used to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of new treatments, and direct experience of how all of these techniques are applied by academic and industrial researchers in the development of new medicines.
  • The five stakeholder universities, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Strathclyde, Dundee and Edinburgh are internationally recognised as leaders in biomedical research, hosting highly collaborative and productive groups with the requisite expertise in pharmacology, clinical trial methodology, pharmacogenomics, and life sciences.
  • Following successful completion of the programme a joint master’s degree will be awarded.
  • This vibrant environment, coupled with Scotland’s tradition of excellence in clinical research and significant recent investment in the new science of Stratified Medicine make it the ideal place to acquire the transferrable skills required for a successful and fulfilling career in 21st century biomedicine.
  • Precision medicine and pharmacological innovation holds huge potential in the timely development of new treatments for human disease. It is among the most important concepts to emerge in 21st century clinical science and will be a crucial component of the global drive to increase the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of new treatments.
  • Watch our latest Ask Your Academic webinar to find out more about this programme.
  • I have enjoyed studying the Precision Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation MSc as it has widened my understanding of targeted therapies. Ultimately, I feel it has consolidated my learning from my undergraduate in pharmacology through expanding on the processes of taking a drug from the bench to bedside. Different modules have focused on identifying drug targets, raising funds for research and development, and the process of receiving clinical approval which has given me a wide understanding of drug development. My Masters project has been a great opportunity to apply this knowledge and to enhance my lab and data analysis skills." – Nicola Gaimster, current MSc Precision Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation student

Programme structure

This MSc degree is awarded jointly by the Universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Strathclyde.

Courses included in this programme are delivered by these three institutions as well as the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh.

Students will be offered a choice of base institution, either Glasgow or Aberdeen. Each base campus has its own programme structure; however students from both campuses will study courses covering three themes totalling 120 credits.

For the most up to date information on the courses available at each campus please contact

Core Courses

Commercialisation of Science

Choose at least one from the following:


Application of Evaluation and Research Technologies

Choose at least one from the following:

Project and Assessment

The project will account for the remaining 60 credits. All projects will either have an industrial placement or a project which addresses an industrial need. Examples of project titles can be found here.

The programme will include an opportunity for all students to present the outcomes of their projects to an audience of other students, academics and industry representatives. Assessment will consist of submission of a dissertation and presentation.

Having graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc Pharmacology, I was looking for a Masters programme that would build on my areas of interest. I found the MSc Precision Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation course and immediately decided this course offered the mixture between taught topics and industrial placement I was looking for. The range of topics covered within the course such as Clinical Trials and Governance of New Therapeutics has been incredibly useful in my post university career. Personally, the industrial placement was the highlight of my Masters experience. I worked with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in the development of Machine Learning techniques that could be utilised to benefit patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This experience inspired me towards a career in healthcare focusing on healthcare data and the importance of quality assurance." – Ruth McPherson, MSc Precision Medicine & Pharmacological Innovation Graduate

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Graduates will be able to pursue careers in a variety of academic and industrial areas including clinical research, preclinical lab-based research, business development with expert knowledge in life sciences and bioinformatics/biostatistics. 

Many graduates from this programme have gone on to work in global companies as well as SMEs working in life sciences research.

Example job titles include:

  • assistant scientist
  • clinical trials project manager
  • field application scientist
  • lab specialist
  • medical writer 
  • research associate
  • scientist - ips cells
  • trainee clinical vascular scientist (NHS)

A number of graduates have gone on to graduate entry to Medicine programmes and into PhDs in Medicine, Biotechnology, Immunology and Precision Medicine. 

Fees & funding

Tuition fees for 2024-25



  • Full-time fee: £10650

Please note the tuition fees for this programme are covered by the SFC funding (pending applicant eligibility).

Additional fees

  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £370
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £350
  • Registration/exam only fee: £170

Entry requirements

Candidates must normally possess one of the following:

  • at least a second class honours degree in Life Sciences including Pharmacy/Pharmacology, Genetics and Biochemistry from a university in the United Kingdom; or
  • a qualification deemed by the Joint Management Committee to be equivalent to the above; or
  • professional or industrial experience deemed appropriate by the Joint Management.

Please note that applications are considered incomplete and will not be sent to the reviewers until the following documents are uploaded:

  • Personal statement highlighting your career goals and how this programme will help you achieve them. Your personal statement must include the campus where you would prefer to be based, Glasgow or Aberdeen. To be attached within SFC funding form.
  • CV
  • 1 satisfactory supporting academic reference letter (must be academic).
  • Academic transcripts to date
  • Completed SFC funding form

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test
  • IELTS One Skill Retake accepted.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

TOEFL (ibt, mybest or athome)

  • 79; with Reading 13; Listening 12; Speaking 18; Writing 21
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 59 with minimum 59 in all subtests
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 7
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 6 with Reading: 21-24 Listening: 15-17
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 6.

Trinity College Tests

  • Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office using our enquiry form

International students

We are proud of our diverse University community which attracts students and staff from over 140 different countries.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We cannot accept applications any other way.

Please check you meet the Entry requirements for this programme before you begin your application.


As part of your online application, you also need to submit the following supporting documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • One reference letter on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process.

You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload supporting documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

For more information about submitting documents or other topics related to applying to a postgraduate taught programme, see how to apply for a postgraduate taught degree

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately; they are also available within the help section of the online application form. 

If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application, see Application System Help.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.

Reference: Please provide one reference. This should typically be an academic reference but in cases where this is not possible then a reference from a current employer may be accepted instead. Certain programmes, such as the MBA programme, may also accept an employer reference. If you already have a copy of a reference on letter headed paper then please upload this to your application. If you do not already have a reference to upload then please enter your referee’s name and contact details on the online application and we will contact your referee directly.

Application deadlines

September 2024

  • International & EU applicants: 26 July 2024
  • UK applicants: 16 August 2024
Apply now

More information about this programme