This programme provides vocational training in the theoretical, clinical and laboratory aspects of toxicology.
You will learn about the nature and mechanism of adverse effects of chemicals such as those found in industry, in the household, in agriculture, in medicine and those that occur naturally in the environment. We give particular emphasis to molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity and to risk assessment.
Good UK Honours degree or overseas equivalent
A minimum of 2.1 or equivalent for EU/overseas degrees or a minimum of 2.2 or equivalent for home/EU degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Microbiology, Zoology/Animal Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Science, Physiology, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Medical Science. Graduates not fully meeting the criteria but with at least two years approved postgraduate experience may also be considered.
We accept a range of qualifications
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
provide a broad, modern training in the theoretical and practical aspects of toxicology
prepare individuals to collate, interpret and communicate toxicological information
provide an opportunity to study at the cutting edge of research in a chosen specialist field of toxicology in clinical practice, industry or academia
develop student awareness of the importance of toxicology to industry, health, the environment and society
The MSc is of 12 months duration commencing late September and can be take either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. It comprises six 20 credit taught modules and a 60 credit research project. There are two taught modules in both semester 1 and 2 that run in parallel and are taught on Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday respectively making the course suitable for part-time students who can take one module each semester over a 2-year period:
Module 1 Metabolism and Mechanisms of Toxicity
Module 2 Forensic, Clinical and Occupational Toxicology
Module 3 Assessing Toxic Potential
Module 4 Regulatory Science and Toxicology for the 21st Century
Twenty credits of generic and specific training is embedded throughout the taught modules reinforcing teaching and providing a wide variety of transferable skills. A final synoptic exam encourages the development of an integrated view of the subject. During the year you will make several site visits to establishments involved in toxicological research and development. International experts from outside the university make a substantial contribution to the taught modules and the material covered is driven by the needs of industry for toxicology training.
This takes place over 12 weeks from May to August and is an opportunity for the student to select a research topic from their area of interest. Projects can be based in the University, a research institute, a hospital, an environmental agency or in industry in this country or overseas. They can be laboratory based, computer based or literature/survey based. So a wide variety of exciting opportunities are available but in all cases students will investigate a toxicological problem in depth and write a detailed report of their findings for submission.
Collaborating organisations have included:
Cancer Research Campaign laboratories
the Regional Toxicology Unit
the Health Protection Agency
the MRC Toxicology Unit
the MRC Institute for Environment and Health
the National Center for Toxicological research, Jefferson, USA.
There is an industry sponsored prize awarded annually for the best project dissertation
The success rate of students on the MSc in Toxicology programme is approximately 95% and the career opportunities are excellent. Even in times of economic hardship toxicology remains a necessary and important area for funding. The current concern over environmental safety adds to these opportunities.
Those completing the programme in recent years have been employed, for example, in:
the pharmaceutical industries
contract research laboratories
government bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive, Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency
NHS Poisons Units
water research establishments in pollution control
hospital and research laboratories