We have scientists and clinicians working together on all aspects of pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy. This spans the fundamental understanding and concepts of drug action, the discovery of new drugs and development of medicines, the clinical management and rationale use of medicines, through to the professional role of the pharmacist in improving public health.
As a postgraduate research student studying for an MPhil or PhD, you will be based within the School of Pharmacy and a research institute in the Faculty of Medical Sciences relevant to your proposed research. Our research institutes are as follows:
- Cell and Molecular Biosciences
- Cellular Medicine
- Health and Society
- Genetic Medicine
- Cancer Research
If your research involves clinical components there may be a partnership with the NHS.
The School of Pharmacy's focus is on multidisciplinary translational research, work that is relevant to real life. We combine world-class laboratory and clinical research facilities with an open environment where scholars, clinicians and researchers benefit from working side-by-side. You will spend your time within research teams led by experts in their field, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.
We offer MPhil and PhD supervision in the following research areas:
The discovery and development of new small molecule therapeutics with improved disease selectivity and reduced systemic toxicities, through the use of rational drug design and synthesis, lead optimisation, and preclinical evaluation in cellular disease model systems. We are particularly interested in the development of cancer prodrugs with tumour specific activation and reduced systemic toxicity, and novel therapies for improved treatment of infective diseases including Dengue and other haemorrhagic fever viruses and Tuberculosis, amongst others.
Improved Strategies for the Treatment of Chronic Pain
Understanding the molecular mechanisms that generate and maintain the symptoms and processes of chronic pain, and its translation to effective strategies for pain control, including opioid treatment.
Understanding the pathways that allow hormones to control epithelial ion channel activity and physiological action, particularly the control of sodium channel activity in the distal nephron and consequent hypo/hyper-tension.
Safety Pharmacology and Discovery Toxicology
Development and utilisation of new preclinical tools for identification of therapeutics with potential safety liabilities, particularly novel clinically relevant cell models and systems for detection of effects upon the heart.
Pharmaceutics and Chemical Principles of Dosage Form Design
Pharmaceutical formulations to deliver active molecules to treat disease. We have active research on intermolecular interactions, nanoscale pharmaceutics and nanotherapeutics, including dosage form design from intermolecular interactions, and delivery of biopharmaceuticals. In particular research is focused on:
- determining strategies for improving drug solubility and altering materials properties to enable effective drug delivery and the production of enhanced medicines.
- supramolecular Pharmaceutics, particularly inter/intramolecular interactions and kinetics leading to, during and after self-assembly of small organic molecules.
- fundamental and translational nanomedicines
- understanding and improving drug delivery via the subcutaneous, inhaled and intravitreal routes of delivery
Pharmaceutical Public Health
The role of community pharmacy as a central fulcrum to address health inequalities and behaviour change in relation to smoking, alcohol and substance misuse, sexual health and obesogenic behaviours, amongst others. As the community pharmacy is the most frequent point of contact for patients and public within the wider primary healthcare team, we evaluate the dynamics and interactions of this relationship and the potential role for pharmacy within the early diagnosis of disease and improvements in public health.
Rational Medicines Use
The safe and efficient use of medicines in primary and secondary care is central to the role of every pharmacist. However, medicines are becoming increasingly complex and patients are being given more preventative medicine focused at improving their health, which poses clear risks and significant potential for complications. Rationalisation of medicine usage crosses care boundaries, applies both within primary and secondary care, and furthermore at the care interface. We investigate prescribing habits and the mechanisms to support patients who may take complex medicines for a significant portion of their life
Patient Safety and Health Information Technology
Medication errors can result in patient injury or death, and are preventable. These errors can occur at the stages of ordering, transcription, dispensing and administration. We conduct studies around key technological advances targeted towards intercepting these errors and improving patient safety. Our research focuses on evaluation of specific health information technology prevention strategies throughout the medication use process, with a particular emphasis on health information technology, including its broader implications for medical care and policy. We also explore the different types and causes of errors that occur during the prescribing process when using electronic systems, providing national and international recommendations for their improvement.
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Student blogger Lydia's story of why she chose to take on postgraduate study.
published on: 18 June 2018
Student blogger Hannah tells us her story about the support she received from Newcastle University.
published on: 13 June 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School.
Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School
Our Medical Sciences Graduate School is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. We can help and advise you on a variety of queries relating to your studies, funding or welfare.
Our Research Student Development Programme supports and complements your research whilst developing your professional skills and confidence.
You will make an on-going assessment of your own development and training needs through personal development planning (PDP) in the ePortfolio system. Our organised external events and development programme have been mapped against the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to help you identify how best to meet your training and development needs.
Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership
The Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and offers:
- researchers the opportunity to address scientific biosciences questions
- an exceptional programme of research training, emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of modern biology
- the latest technologies and facilities to deliver world-class results
Each year we award fully-funded studentships across the partnership on the following research themes:
- Agriculture and Food Security
- Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
- Bioscience for Health
- World Class Underpinning Bioscience
Fees & Funding
The fees displayed here are per year.
MPhil, PhD, MD
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £4,800 - £15,300
Part time: £2,400 - £7,650
Full time: £21,000 - £31,500
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.
A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent. Further research experience or a master’s degree would be advantageous.
A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
English Language Requirements
To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).
Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.
You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.
There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.
UK/EU students should contact:
Medical Sciences Graduate School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7002
International students wishing to discuss these opportunities may contact:
International Student Recruitment Officer
Faculty of Medical Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 4841