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Postgraduate Research 2021

Pharmacy

School of Pharmacy | MPhil
Entry Year
Academic Year 2021/22
Entry Requirements
2.1

Overview

The School of Pharmacy focuses its research activities on key areas of the pharmaceutical sciences and clinical and primary care aspects of pharmacy. Our research spans a wide range of scientific and professional disciplines. It is characterised by being multidisciplinary, internationally-connected and, ultimately, relevant to patients.

The School achieved an excellent result in REF 2014, we have 92% of our research falling within the highest quality 4* and 3* categories. We are now one of the leading centres for pharmaceutical research in the UK. The School is also committed to research excellence. This is achieved through continual review of research standards, strategic recruitment and development of external and internal collaborations. The School has a broad portfolio of high quality research income and School staff publish widely in leading journals and present their work at national and international conferences.

Our research focuses on making real-world improvements for patients through our expertise in pharmaceutical science and practice and is grouped into 5 themes with associated areas of activity which are mainly funded by UK and European Government sources, leading medical charities and the pharmaceutical industry.

1. NANOMEDICINE AND BIOTHERAPEUTICS

This area looks at the development of novel technologies and targeted therapies for advanced healthcare solutions including anticancer therapeutics, nano delivery of macromolecules; proteases in disease and natural peptides.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/NanomedicineandBiotherapeutics/

2. PHARMACEUTICAL MATERIALS SCIENCE AND FORMULATION

This activity centres around the design, development and industrial translation of novel systems for patient-focused administration of difficult-to-deliver drugs including; HIV prevention and multipurpose prevention technologies; solid dosage forms and microneedles.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/PharmaceuticalMaterialsScienceandFormulation/

3. DRUG DELIVERY AND BIOMATERIALS

The area looks at the development of materials which interface with the body and provide enhanced functionality, such as drug delivery, infection resistance or monitoring of levels of drug or host markers in 3 main areas, Photoactive Biomaterials, Polymeric Medical Devices and Sensor Development.

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/DrugDeliveryandBiomaterials/

4. INFECTION AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

This comprises basic and clinical research to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of infection, in particular Respiratory Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Stewardship and Novel Antimicrobials and Anti-Infective Biomaterials

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/InfectionandAntimicrobialResistance/

5. HEALTHCARE DELIVERY AND MEDICINES OPTIMISATION

This area encompasses the development and implementation of interventions that improve the health outcomes of patients in primary and secondary care including Systems of Healthcare Delivery; Quality of Care in Vulnerable Populations and Clinical Paediatrics

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Research/ResearchThemes/HealthcareDeliveryandMedicinesOptimisation

Pharmacy Highlights
Career Development
  • 98% of the MPhil graduates were employed by pharmaceutical industries within one year of graduation.
World Class Facilities
Internationally Renowned Experts

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
School of Pharmacy works closely with both local and global pharmaceutical companies. This ensures a successful pipeline for the development of novel emerging healthcare technologies, designed specifically to deliver patient benefit.

Research Themes
NANOMEDICINE AND BIOTHERAPEUTICS

Research in this theme is focused on the development of novel technologies and targeted therapies for advanced healthcare solutions. Activities are concentrated on the development of unique genetic therapies and delivery systems that can be applied for the detection and treatment of cancer, the development of novel strategies for the detection, characterisation and inhibition of proteases implicated in chronic diseases, the isolation and characterisation of bioactive peptides for potential therapeutic use and computational biology for drug design and molecular modelling.

Research Themes
PHARMACEUTICAL MATERIALS SCIENCE AND FORMULATION

Research in this theme is focused on the design, development and industrial translation of novel systems for patient-focused administration of difficult-to-deliver drugs. Activities are concentrated on the development of formulations to address major global issues around sexual and reproductive health, use of hot melt granulation and polymer extrusion/injection moulding technologies to produce solid dosage forms, multi-layered and targeted drug delivery systems, the use microneedles for transdermal drug delivery, patient monitoring and vaccine delivery, implantable delivery systems and ocular therapeutics.

Research Themes
DRUG DELIVERY AND BIOMATERIALS

Research in this theme is focused on the development of materials which interface with the body and provide enhanced functionality, such as drug delivery, infection resistance or monitoring of levels of drug or host markers. Activities are concentrated on the development of new methods for fabricating materials for medical device manufacture including biomaterials with enhanced anti-infective and biocompatibility properties. Sensor research focuses on sensors immobilised in biocompatible scaffolds, blood-free diagnosis/patient monitoring using microneedles and developing point-of-care tests for microbial infection.

Research Themes
INFECTION AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE
Research in this theme is focused on improved prevention, detection and treatment of infection. Activities are concentrated on preventing the development of antimicrobial resistance through improved antimicrobial stewardship, improved detection of infection using molecular and sensor based technology, prevention of infection using novel anti-infective biomaterials and enhanced infection prevention and control strategies and improved treatment of infection through discovery of novel antibiotics and antibiotic adjuvants and markers for better evidence-based decisions on antibiotic selection.

Research Themes
HEALTHCARE DELIVERY AND MEDICINES OPTIMISATION
Research in this theme is focused on the development and implementation of interventions that improve the health outcomes of patients in primary and secondary care. Activities are concentrated on improving systems of patient care in all health care sectors with a focus on the appropriateness of prescribing in chronic disease and in care home residents with dementia, and medication adherence in children.

PhD Opportunities
The School of Pharmacy at Queen’s is acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK. We are currently ranked the #1 School of Pharmacy in the UK for Pharmacy and Pharmacology Research
(Times and Sunday Times good university guide 2019)

MPhil opportunities are available in:
•Nanomedicine and biotherapeutics
•Pharmaceutical materials science and formulation
•Drug delivery and biomaterials
•Infection and antimicrobial resistance
•Healthcare delivery and medicines optimisation

Research Impact
Our research focuses on making real-world improvements for patients through our expertise in pharmaceutical science and practice. REF 2014 showed that 92% of the School’s submitted research fell within the highest quality 4* and 3* categories, with 44% classed as world-leading 4* research.

The School of Pharmacy has a long-standing track record in undertaking research which has had impact on healthcare and wellbeing for the population. Our work has led to the development of a local anaesthetic cream formulation, the creation of spin-out companies, devices to help prevent the spread of HIV and a new type of pharmacy-led service which improves the prescribing of medication for older people. We constantly strive to do research which will have applications in society and improve the delivery of health care. One example of our high impact research includes the BREATH project led by Professor Lorraine Martin.

Research Projects
Materials & Advanced Technologies for Healthcare (MATCH) is an interdisciplinary research initiative comprising leading researchers from the Schools of Pharmacy, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biological Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences and Nursing & Midwifery.

Our research is centred on the key question: “How can we use advanced technologies to significantly improve healthcare outcomes?” We connect researchers along the development pathway and follow a unique “Molecule to Patient” approach. Currently, single-stranded strategies are applied to development and use of new healthcare products. Without a holistic approach, medicines are wasted, patients suffer avoidable adverse effects, or go untreated. Greater interaction between those involved in identifying novel therapeutic targets, drug discovery, materials science, pharmaceutical formulation, manufacture, diagnosis, prescribing and medicines utilisation is a significant unmet need. If addressed, this stands to have major impact in the care of all patients, but especially the very young and old, representing the populations in which medicines may present the greatest risk, but have maximum benefit. We take an innovative dual approach, firstly by developing the underpinning technologies, secondly by exploiting the possibilities that these technologies present to maximum clinical and commercial advantage by selecting the best target areas and understanding patient factors.

Research Success
The research profile produced by the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) showed that 92% of the School’s submitted research fell within the highest quality 4* and 3* categories, with 44% classed as world-leading 4* research, confirming the School's reputation as an internationally-leading research centre. Excellence across the School of Pharmacy is evidenced by our consistent ranking as one of the top pharmacy schools within the UK. Globally we are rated within the top 100 Schools of Pharmacy.

Career Prospects

Introduction
Most of our MPhil graduates have developed a successful career in pharmaceutical industries while others continued to pursue a PhD Degree within the University or in other high-ranking universities nationally or internationally. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability.

Learning Outcomes

A research degree offers students an opportunity to develop their capacity for independent research and critical thought. An MPhil allows students to explore an area of interest, developing skills to solve theoretical and practical problems within the field. Undertaking a research degree will enhance a student’s written and oral communication skills, providing the essential skills required for academic and industry positions.

Course structure

There is no specific course content as such. You are expected to take undertake 10 days of formal training which includes health and safety, laboratory techniques, academic writing etc… All students are closely supported by the school to obtain quantitative and qualitative data using a range of research methods. You will be expected to carry out your own research under the guidance of your supervisor, postdoctoral team and PhD students.

Over the course of study you can attend postgraduate skills training organised by the Graduate School.

To complete an MPhil qualification you will be required to submit a thesis and to attend a viva voce [oral
examination] with an external and internal examiner to defend your thesis.

An MPhil programme runs for a standard period of 2 years with a minimum of 1 year.

The MPhil is open to both full and part time candidates and is often a useful preparation for a PhD study
or a career within pharmaceutical industry.

If you meet the Entry Requirements, the next step is to check whether we can supervise research in your
chosen area. We only take students to whom we can offer expert research supervision from one of our
academic staff. Therefore, your research question should align with those of our academic staff. More
details can be found via the website:

https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/Connect/AcademicStaff/.

Application Process
If you identify a potential MPhil supervisor, select the “Make an MPhil enquiry” tab, and complete the required fields. Your potential supervisor or the admissions team will aim to respond within a working week.

Following initial discussions, and assuming you meet the eligibility criteria, potential students will need to make a formal application for MPhil study via the link below. This application will require a brief outline of the proposed research project. This can be agreed with your potential supervisor during initial discussions.

https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php

If you have difficulty identifying or contacting an appropriate supervisor, please contact Dr Jonathan Coulter (j.coulter@qub.ac.uk) or Ms Claire Lyttle (c.lyttle@qub.ac.uk ) who will be happy to help.

Assessment

Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process normally takes within 3 months of first registration, termed the Initial Review.

The Initial Review requires students to present their work in the written format to their supervisor. The feasibility of the project and the research plan will be reviewed by the supervisor.

The final assessment of the MPhil degree is both written and oral. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.

Feedback

Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.

Project name School Funding Subject Status Sort Timestamp
Personalised Medicine for Breast and Ovarian Cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cancer, biomarkers, targeted treatment, drug development Professor Helen McCarthy
Supervisor
Professor Helen McCarthy
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Pain assessment and management for people with advanced dementia in long-term care settings
School of Pharmacy | PHD Dementia, pain, long-term care, nursing homes Dr Carole Parsons
Supervisor
Dr Carole Parsons
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
3D Printing & Bioprinting in vascular access for haemodialysis
School of Pharmacy | PHD 3D Printing, Bioprinting, Drug Delivery, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical Technology Dr Dimitrios Lamprou
Supervisor
Dr Dimitrios Lamprou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Microfluidics in Nanomedicine
School of Pharmacy | PHD Pharmaceutical Technology, Biopharmaceutics, Nanomedicine Dr Dimitrios Lamprou
Supervisor
Dr Dimitrios Lamprou
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
To investigate the pharmacological response of senolytics in ovarian cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cancer; cell biology; cell signalling; pharmacology; drug action; Dr Fiona Furlong
Supervisor
Dr Fiona Furlong
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Peptide hydrogels as a long-acting multipurpose drug delivery platform for combined contraception and HIV prevention
School of Pharmacy | PHD Drug Delivery; Peptides; HIV; Hydrogels; Controlled Release Dr Garry Laverty
Supervisor
Dr Garry Laverty
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Enhancing effective dementia care provision by pharmacists in primary care
School of Pharmacy | PHD Older people, dementia, primary care, healthcare professionals, person-centred care, education Dr Heather Barry
Supervisor
Dr Heather Barry
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Developing a controlled release biodegradable platform for nanomedicine delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Prostate Cancer, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery, Radiotherapy Dr Jonathan Coulter
Supervisor
Dr Jonathan Coulter
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
A microfluidic approach to supressing tumour metabolism and enhancing treatment sensitivity
School of Pharmacy | PHD Cancer biology, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery, Hypoxia, Microfluidics Dr Jonathan Coulter
Supervisor
Dr Jonathan Coulter
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of long-acting drug delivery platform (LADDP) to treat chronic disorders
School of Pharmacy | PHD Long-acting drug delivery, controlled release, polymer implants, biologics, protein delivery Dr Raj Thakur
Supervisor
Dr Raj Thakur
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Nanotherapeutics for Improved Ocular Drug Delivery of Biologics
School of Pharmacy | PHD Ocular drug delivery, drug deliver, polymer implants, biologics, protein delivery Dr Raj Thakur
Supervisor
Dr Raj Thakur
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Investigation of changes in gut virome composition associated with of administration of antibiotics
School of Pharmacy | PHD Bacteriophage, virus, microbiome, antibiotics, molecular microbiology, pathogenic bacteria Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Supervisor
Dr Timofey Skvortsov
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Nanoparticle delivery of antibiotics for treatment of pulmonary infection
School of Pharmacy | PHD Liposomes; Cystic Fibrosis; infection; pulmonary delivery; inhalation; antibiotic; pharmaceutics Dr Vicky Kett
Supervisor
Dr Vicky Kett
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
SMART Nanocarriers for Cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD Responsive nanoparticles, targeted drug delivery, cancer nanomedicine Dr Wafa Al-Jamal
Supervisor
Dr Wafa Al-Jamal
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
The development of a Core Outcome Set (COS) for trials evaluating interventions focusing on adherence to appropriate polypharmacy
School of Pharmacy | PHD Adherence, core outcome set, interventions, medicines optimisation, polypharmacy Professor Carmel Hughes
Supervisor
Professor Carmel Hughes
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of a saRNA nano-vaccine for Prostate Cancer
School of Pharmacy | PHD RNA, Vaccines, Prostate Cancer, Nanomedicine, Drug Delivery Professor Helen McCarthy
Supervisor
Professor Helen McCarthy
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Relationship between antibiotic therapy and development of antimicrobial resistance in patients with bronchiectasis
School of Pharmacy | PHD Infection, antimicrobial resistance, PCR, next-generation sequencing, metagenomics, clinical pharmac Professor Michael Tunney
Supervisor
Professor Michael Tunney
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Long-Acting Microneedle Delivery Systems
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microneedles, long-acting drug delivery Professor Ryan Donnelly
Supervisor
Professor Ryan Donnelly
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Microneedle-mediated chemical & electrochemical rapid injection systems
School of Pharmacy | PHD Microneedles, stimuli-responsive drug delivery Professor Ryan Donnelly
Supervisor
Professor Ryan Donnelly
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Selective targeting of proteases for the treatment of chronic airways disease
School of Pharmacy | PHD lung, respiratory, airways, COPD, proteases, cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry Professor Lorraine Martin
Supervisor
Professor Lorraine Martin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
3D-printing of medical devices to treat cardiovascular disease
School of Pharmacy | PHD 3D printing, drug delivery, tissue engineering, medical devices Dr Eneko Larrañeta
Supervisor
Dr Eneko Larrañeta
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Supervisor
Dr Min Zhao
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Novel enzyme inhibitors for chemical biology and drug discovery
School of Pharmacy | PHD organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, carbohydrate chemistry, glycobiology Professor Gerd Wagner
Supervisor
Professor Gerd Wagner
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of precisely engineered nanocrystals for selective tissue targeting
School of Pharmacy | PHD Nanocrystals, Targeting, Lymphatic system, media milling Dr Alejandro J. Paredes
Supervisor
Dr Alejandro J. Paredes
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2
Development of lipid-based nanocarriers using melt extrusion for oral peptide delivery
School of Pharmacy | PHD Peptide, biotherapeutics, nanoparticles, hot-melt extrusion, continuous manufacturing, drug delivery Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Supervisor
Dr Sheiliza Carmali
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Pharmacy Unfunded Pharmacy Open 2

Entrance requirements

Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,500
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,500
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,500
EU Other 3 £22,000
International £22,000

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Pharmacy costs

Additional Costs default message entry 2181

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

How do I fund my study?
1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

3.PhD loans

The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.

4.International Scholarships

Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

Funding and Scholarships

The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.