Pharmaceutical Medicine - 9370

Program Summary

Faculty: Faculty of Medicine


Campus: Sydney

Career: Postgraduate

Typical Duration: 2 Years  

Typical UOC Per Semester: 12

Min UOC Per Semester: 6

Max UOC Per Semester: 24

Min UOC For Award: 48

View program information for previous years

Program Description

NOTE: This entry is subject to change. If you have specific queries, please contact the Pharmaceutical Medicine office ( for further information.

The Master of Pharmaceutical Medicine program is designed for those experienced professionals with advanced knowledge who wish to enter the Therapeutics industry (pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical technology industries) or those who wish to deepen their understanding of their chosen career path. It provides a deep understanding of the principles of therapeutic product development, regulation and use.

The program is offered online and will take a minimum of one year full-time equivalent to complete.

The Master of Pharmaceutical Medicine will be awarded to students who successfully complete the coursework identified below. The program consists of six core courses plus two electives. Within the core courses, there are choices for 3 of the core courses. It may be taken part time (four sessions) to complete. The elective courses shall be selected from those that are available in the particular session, provided pre-requisite and timetabling constraints are met.

To fulfil the program requirements students must satisfactorily complete six core courses plus two electives, each worth 6 units of credit.

Program Objectives and Graduate Attributes

The discovery, development and marketing of medicines has become a highly organised interdisciplinary team activity. Members of such teams need to be literate in all aspects of pharmaceutical medicine ranging from procedures for identifying lead compounds through to the full development of the product including preclinical studies, clinical trials and the legal, regulatory and ethical issues relevant to marketing and on-going vigilance of the medicine. The aim of this course is to enable people working in the field of developing and using pharmaceutical substances to obtain such expertise by providing core and elective materials in a distance-learning format. Since interchange of ideas is an essential part of any educational activity, the course will include interactive assignments with specific tutors and group discussions where students come together for tutorials, workshops and practice sessions, and generally to interchange ideas.

Learning Outcomes
Assessment will be based on the ability to apply principles to problem solving. There will be minimal emphasis on memorisation of factual material. Both written exams and assignments will be based on scenarios i.e. case-type situations that require the exercise of comprehension, judgement, and an understanding of the issues involved.

Education and Assessment
Will be based on high-quality information delivery, application of this information through assignment work, and written examinations. This will form the platform for the assignment work that will be based mainly on the primary (i.e. research) literature. A key feature of assignment work will be development of critical appraisal skills for research papers. This will be supported by the on-line learning system, Moodle, which provides all course information including assignment work, student questions and answers, chat rooms, etc. Students will study course material at their own pace. There will be webinars for each course and two weekend workshops per Session. Tutors will be available for Q&A by email.

Program Structure

Program Overview
Pharmaceutical medicine is the medical scientific discipline concerned with the discovery, development, evaluation, registration, monitoring and medical aspects of developing medicines for therapeutic treatment. The programs provide scientific and other professional staff working within the pharmaceutical industry, government, academia and relevant professions with high-level education in the scientific, legal, ethical, regulatory and social issues relevant to the discovery, evaluation, registration and promotion of medicines. Students will develop an understanding of business principles, be able to communicate effectively and act in an ethical manner with respect to all aspects of the development of therapeutic products.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the program, students should have acquired all of the following learning outcomes:

1. Advanced disciplinary knowledge and practice
Graduates will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of pharmaceutical medicine and the development process for new therapeutic products and apply their knowledge to new developments and approaches within this area.

2. Enquiry-based learning
Graduates will have the ability to ask the appropriate questions, find relevant information using their digital and information literacy skills and develop the required plans and documents to facilitate their contributions to the development and maintenance of therapeutic products.

3. Cognitive skills and critical thinking
Graduates will be able to understand, critically appraise and apply information and literature in the discipline of pharmaceutical medicine to inform development of new therapeutic products or strategies for success of new and existing products.

4. Communication, adaptive and interactional skills
Graduates will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate complex, relevant subject matter relating to pharmaceutical medicine to diverse audiences. They will have the appropriate skills of flexibility and adaptability in working collaboratively with others in teams to achieve specified outcomes in a time-bound environment. Graduates will show leadership and initiative in areas of their focus within pharmaceutical medicine.

5. Global Outlook
Graduates will have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the global arena in which therapeutic products are developed, regulated, priced and marketed.

6. Ethics
Graduates will reflect on and critique the role of ethics in the therapeutics industry and develop a personal ethical framework for working within the discipline of pharmaceutical medicine.

Education and Assessment
Assessment will be based on the ability to apply key principles to problem solving. The design of assessment tasks will be based on a thorough comprehension of the current developments in the therapeutics industry as well as on scenariobased learning exercises that require an understanding of the issues involved.

Program Structure
A total of 8 courses are to be taken from the following core and elective courses:

1. PHAR9101 Introduction to the Therapeutics Industry
2. PHAR9121 Pharmacovigilance
3. PHAR9122 Medical Affairs
4. Regulatory Affairs stream: EITHER PHAR9104 Regulatory Affairs OR PHAR9113 International Regulatory Affairs
5. Clinical Trials stream: EITHER PHAR9120 Clinical Trials OR PHAR9116 Clinical Trial Management
6. Health Technology Assessment stream: EITHER PHAR9114 Health Technology Assessment in Australia OR PHAR9115 Advanced Health Technology Assessment
7 and 8. 2 elective courses from remaining PHAR9xxx courses or elective courses - see below

PHAR9xxx elective courses
1. PHAR9111 Pharmaceutics
2. PHAR9117 Cancer Therapeutics
3. PHAR9118 Therapeutics
4. PHAR9124 Pharmaceutical Medicine Internship

Up to one (1) elective from outside the School of Medical Sciences may be taken in the final year of study as approved by the relevant Program Authorities and Course Convenors.

The program is flexible and allows students to choose related courses to contribute to a particular area of focus, or choose a wider range of courses that reflect diverse interests.

Areas of focus include Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Trials or Health Technology Assessment.

Course Selection
Proposed pathways for different areas of focus are shown below.

Area of Focus – Regulatory Affairs
For students completing the degree part-time in 2 years the recommended progression would be:
S1, Y1: PHAR9101, PHAR9122
S2, Y1: PHAR9104, PHAR9120
S1, Y2: PHAR9113, PHAR9114
S2, Y2: PHAR9121, PHAR9111/PHAR9117/PHAR9124/OTHER

Area of Focus – Clinical trials research
For students completing the degree part-time in 2 years the recommended progression would be:
S1, Y1: PHAR9101, PHAR9122
S2, Y1: PHAR9104, PHAR9120
S1, Y2: PHAR9116, PHAR9114
S2, Y2: PHAR9121, PHAR9111/PHAR9117/PHAR9124/OTHER

Area of Focus – Pharmacoeconomics
For students completing the degree part-time in 2 years the recommended progression would be:
S1, Y1: PHAR9101, PHAR9122
S2, Y1: PHAR9104, PHAR9120
S1, Y2: PHAR9114, PHAR9118/OTHER
S2, Y2: PHAR9115, PHAR9111/PHAR9117/PHAR9124/OTHER

Entry Requirements
The entry criteria are as follows:

- a 3 year undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline plus relevant industry experience (see below for definition)
- a 4 year undergraduate degree or higher qualifications in a cognate discipline.

Cognate discipline is an undergraduate degree in one of the following disciplines:
- biomedical/biological sciences
- pharmacy
- nursing
- veterinary science
- chemistry/medicinal chemistry
- medicine
- other (case-by-case basis)

Relevant experience is defined as:
- one year full-time equivalent experience in a medical department position at Associate level or above in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry (such as Medical Information Associate, Regulatory Affairs Associate, Pharmacovigilance Associate, Clinical Trials Associate, etc), a contract organisation (eg, clinical research, regulatory, economic evaluation, medical) or a clinical trials unit
- one year full-time equivalent position within a relevant government department (such as State or Federal Department of Health, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator or other relevant regulatory authority).

Evidence requirements will be a CV plus an employer-provided statement of service in relation to professional experience.

Academic Rules

Students enrolled in the Master of Pharmaceutical Medicine may exit early at the Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine (program 5371) or the Graduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical Medicine (program 7370) if they meet the requirements of these degrees. Please refer to the Program Structure above and contact the Pharmaceutical Medicine office ( for further information.


For information regarding fees for UNSW programs, please refer to the following website:  UNSW Fee Website.
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