The University of Hertfordshire and Melbourn Scientific have entered a collaboration to develop a new M.Sc. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in an effort to address the skills shortage faced by UK pharmaceutical companies. The new degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences launched in October 2012 and currently has applications open for 2013. The course is heavily practice-based, allowing for specialization in product formulation and development as well as pharma analysis, and can be completed on a part-time basis.
Melbourn Scientific’s chief executive officer, Mark Hammond, said, “Well-trained and a motivated staff is crucial to our success both as a company and as part of ‘UK Plc,’ being able to offer a high quality, reliable and responsive service enables us to compete on a world stage. Continuous professional development is part of this and I am a strong believer in work placements and day-release to build up skills. Unfortunately we have seen a reduction in the number of universities able to offer these opportunities both to students and to those already in employment.
“When Darragh asked for our input in developing the M.Sc. syllabus, it was the first time we had worked so proactively with a university to identify the exact skills needed from the scientists we recruit. The course now includes a specific module on regulatory affairs that we thought was vital to our industry,” added Mr. Hammond.
Dr. Darragh Murnane, associate dean of the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University, said, “By partnering with local companies, we feel we can provide currency of knowledge to our students and really prepare them for the workplace. Additionally, we can play a part in supporting the pharmaceutical industry develop its workforce.”