MSc (Pharmaceutical Science & Technology) Programme

Aging population and medical literacy has spurred Singapore’s pharmaceutical market growth at 5.4% annually, with medicine sales experiencing annual growth of 5.7% and expected to hit $2.2 billion by 2028.

From 2011 to 2015, the government committed $16 billion to develop Singapore into a global research and development hub, through the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2015 Plan. To maintain the momentum, additional $19 billion have been invested from 2016 to 2020 in the RIE2020 plan. Advanced manufacturing and engineering, as well as health and biomedical sciences are among the 4 strategic domains.

Overall, the biomedical pharmaceutical sector accounts for about 5% of Singapore’s National GDP and is set to remain an important economic driving sector for the country.

Singapore has built world-class infrastructure for bioscience R&D and manufacturing and successfully positioned itself as Asia’s Innovation Capital in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences sector. Excellent infrastructures, such as the Tuas Biomedical Park, has attracted major pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical companies to Singapore. Abbott, AbbVie, Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi among others, have manufacturing sites in Singapore. These companies manufacture a broad range of products, encompassing active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), drug products, biologics drug substances and nutritional products. The forms of pharmaceuticals have changed, from small molecules to biotechnological products. Biologics manufacturing, in particular, has made major progress in Singapore, with Baxter, Lonza, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche announcing up to US$2 billion investment. AbbVie’s combined API and biologics manufacturing facilities in Singapore represent an investment of $400 million.

With Singapore being a leading biomedical sciences hub in Asia, companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, MSD and Roche have also located a range of their commercial activities, encompassing supply chain management, regulatory affairs and medical affairs, in Singapore.

It has been shown that there is a constant and strong demand for skilled workforce in the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry, in the areas of formulation, process and product development, quality assurance, and regulatory affairs, etc. The National University of Singapore’s Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Science & Technology (MPST) programme aims to address this gap in manpower training. To make our students relevant in the future pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry, we have adopted a broad-based approach in our curriculum, to encompass the various stages of pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical development.

Prospective students who are already working in or aspiring to enter the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry are invited to apply for this programme. Currently, the programme is only available in the part-time mode and students are allowed up to 4 years to complete the programme. Upon graduation, the graduates are capable of contributing in various aspects of the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry, ranging from research, formulation, processing, manufacturing, quality assurance, product management and regulatory compliance.

The Department sees the importance to keep abreast with the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical industry and has taken the effort to restructure the curriculum, and update the contents with new modules introduced for students to read, in order to ensure the continued relevance for the graduates. In addition, the MPST programme name has been revised to MSc (Pharmaceutical Science & Technology). The purpose is to align the naming of all our programmes in the area of Pharmaceutical Science, namely BSc (Pharmaceutical Science) and Minor in Pharmaceutical Science. As such,

  • Candidates from AY2018/2019 cohort onwards will follow the revised MPST programme name, i.e. MSc (Pharmaceutical Science & Technology)
  • Candidates in AY2017/2018 cohort and cohorts before AY2017/2018, will follow the programme name, i.e. MSc (Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology)

Updated as of May 2019

Prospective students will have two pathways towards the MPST programme:

A) Direct admission route

B) ‘Stackable’ route (including Graduate Certificate)

Note: Students who have started on a selected pathway are not allowed to switch over to the other route.

Pathway A)      Direct Admission Route B)      ‘Stackable’ Route (including Graduate Certificate)
To be admitted directly into the MPST part-time programme, candidates must be holders of at least a 2nd Class Lower Honours classification (or equivalent) in one of the following degrees, or their equivalent:

–          Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Chemistry, or

–          Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences, or

–          Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Food Science & Technology, or

–          Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Applied Chemistry (Drug Option), or

–          Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (Honours), or

–          Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) (Honours)

 

Candidates, who do not have Honours classification in the degree pre-requisites as stipulated above, may apply for admission with GRE results.

Candidates, who hold equivalent degrees from overseas universities, may apply for admission with GRE and TOEFL results. Such candidates, if found suitable, would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Candidates will require a relevant degree as listed under direct admission requirements. Students who do not fulfil the degree requirement outright can appeal with justification, and the case will be reviewed individually.

If the modular courses that the candidate has taken comprise a complete graduate certificate, he/she will be conferred a graduate certificate, upon meeting a CAP requirement of 2.50.

At any point in time between completing 5-9 modules of the MPST requirement, students could apply for MPST candidature by transferring credits and grades obtained from relevant individual modular courses or graduate certificate(s), in accordance with NUS credit transfer policy. Students must fulfil a minimum CAP of 3.00 to be eligible for MPST candidature. The validity period of the transfer is not more than 5 years for each modular course taken, or for each graduate certificate conferred.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about modular courses (stand-alone courses), click here.

Updated as of May 2019

For application, please apply online via http://www.science.nus.edu.sg/graduate-studies/coursework-overview/application-information

 

Closing date for August (Semester 1) intake : 15 March of the same year

Closing date for January (Semester 2) intake : 15 September of the previous year

 

 

Important note:

The University has not engaged any external agencies to undertake graduate student recruitment on its behalf. Candidates interested in our graduate programmes are advised to apply directly to the University and not through any agents. Candidates who apply through agents will not have any added advantage in gaining admission.

Updated as of May 2019

For AY2019/2020 cohort and onwards

Candidates admitted into the MPST programme must read and pass a total of 10 modules (40 MC), comprising 5 core modules and 5 elective modules:

Core/Elective Modules in the MPST Programme Structure (from AY2019/2020 cohort onwards) Modular Credit (MC)

MPST

 

Modular Courses

(‘Stackable’)

5 Core Modules (20 MC)
PR5211 Pharmaceutical Analysis IV 4
PR5217 Formulation Science 4
PR5218 Methodologies in Product Development^
(CAPSTONE module)
^ New title/name of module w.e.f. AY2020/2021
4
PR5198 Graduate Seminar Module in Pharmacy *new* 4
PR5304 Fundamental Topics in Pharmaceutical Science *new* 4
5 Elective Modules (To be chosen from any of the following; 20 MC)
Graduate Certificate (Pharmaceutical Process and Technology) modules
PR5213 Pharmaceutical Process Validation 4 2, 3
PR5214 Advances in Tablet Technology 4 2
PR5216 Advances in Drug Delivery 4  2
PR5220 Bioprocess Technology 4  2, 3
PR5225 Preformulation Science *new* 4  2, 3
Other modules
PR5219 Product Quality Management 4
PR5224 Pharmacoepidemiology *new* 4
PR5230 Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 4
GMS5011 Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Regulation 4 1 1, 4
GMS5012 Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls 4 1 1, 4

 

The modules may not be offered every academic year/semester. Please note that the list of modules offered in an academic year/semester is subject to changes.

 

1 GMS5011 and GMS5012 are offered by Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE), Duke-NUS Medical School.
2 Relevant Modular Courses (5 choose 3) that may be stacked towards the Graduate Certificate in Pharmaceutical Process & Technology
3 SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) funded Modular Courses SSG funding eligible for claim period 10 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2020
4 SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) funded Modular Courses SSG funding eligible for claim period 05 Sep 2018 to 30 Sep 2020

For AY2018/2019 cohort

Candidates admitted into the MPST programme must read and pass a total of 10 modules (40 MC), comprising 3 core modules and 7 elective modules:

3 Core Modules (12 MC)

  • PR5211 Pharmaceutical Analysis IV
  • PR5217 Formulation Science
  • PR5218 Practical in Product Development – Lab rotation

 

7 Elective Modules (To be chosen from any of the following; 28 MC)

  • PR5212 Advanced Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
  • PR5213 Pharmaceutical Process Validation
  • PR5214 Advances in Tablet Technology
  • PR5216 Advances in Drug Delivery
  • PR5219 Product Quality Management
  • PR5220 Bioprocess Technology
  • PR5221 Molecular Targets in Drug Discovery
  • PR5224 Pharmacoepidemiology   *new*
  • PR5225 Preformulation Science   *new*
  • PR5230 Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
  • PR5302 Regulation of Drug Development OR GMS5011 Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Regulation
  • PR5303 Good Regulatory Practices OR GMS5012 Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls

 

The modules may not be offered every academic year/semester. Please note that the list of modules offered in an academic year/semester is subject to changes.

For AY2017/2018 cohort and before

Candidates admitted into the MPST programme must read and pass a total of 10 modules (40 MC), comprising 6 core modules and 4 elective modules:

6 Core Modules (24 MC)

  • PR5301 Food and Drug Laws
  • PR5302 Regulation of Drug Development
  • PR5303 Good Regulatory Practices
  • PR5213 Pharmaceutical Process Validation
  • PR5217 Formulation Science
  • PR5218 Practical in Product Development – Lab rotation

 

4 Elective Modules (To be chosen from any of the following; 16 MC)

  • PR5211 Pharmaceutical Analysis IV
  • PR5212 Advanced Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
  • PR5214 Advances in Tablet Technology
  • PR5216 Advances in Drug Delivery
  • PR5219 Product Quality Management
  • PR5220 Bioprocess Technology
  • PR5221 Molecular Targets in Drug Discovery
  • PR5224 Pharmacoepidemiology *new*
  • PR5225 Preformulation Science *new*
  • PR5230 Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research

 

The modules may not be offered every academic year/semester. Please note that the list of modules offered in an academic year/semester is subject to changes.

Click here for the module descriptions

As the programme progresses, the Department will introduce new modules to suit the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

Updated as of May 2019

A summary of the tuition fees payable for the MPST programme (via Direct Admission Route and ‘Stackable’ Route) is shown below, for Academic Year 2019/2020 cohort and onwards. Besides tuition fees, students are liable to pay Student Services Fees (SSF)1 as well.

Pathway4 A) Direct Admission Route   B) ‘Stackable’ Route (including Graduate Certificate)

Full programme fee of S$45,000 (before GST)2, payable in 4 equal instalments over 4 regular semesters.

 

 

 

 

*Terms and conditions apply

Full course fee for each modular course is S$5,400 (before GST)3.

– SC/SPR students may be eligible to receive course fee subsidies for SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) funded modular courses (SSG funding eligible for claim period 10 Oct 2018 to 30 Sep 2020 or 05 Sep 2018 to 30 Sep 2020).

 

*Terms and conditions apply

1 SSF is payable for every regular semester, subject to prevailing rates.

2 For updates on SSF for matriculated students, please refer to Registrar’s Office website at http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/education-at-nus/graduate-education/fees.html#MiscellaneousStudentFees.

3 For updates on SSF for CPE students, please refer to NUS SCALE website at http://scale.nus.edu.sg/.

4 Students who have started on a selected pathway are not allowed to switch over to the other route.

For Academic Year 2018/2019 cohort and before, tuition fees payable for the MPST programme remain unchanged.

All fees shown here are in Singapore dollars.

All fees are payable every regular semester, unless specified otherwise.

The University reserves all rights to review fees as necessary and adjust accordingly without prior notice.

Updated as of May 2019

I do not have the equivalent degrees stated in the admission requirements, but I have some years of working experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Am I eligible to apply for the MPST programme?

Ans: Interested applicants with relevant working experience may apply for the programme, even though they may not have the equivalent degrees. The Department welcomes applicants, who are enthusiastic to upskill themselves in the pharmaceutical field, and the admission committee will review the suitability of each applicant based on their background and merits for admission.

For direct admission to the MPST programme, I do not have the required honours degree and I would need to take the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) test. When I went to the GRE website (www.ets.org/gre), I saw that it has option for GRE General Test and GRE Subject Test. May I know which test should I register for?

Ans: You should register for the GRE General Test. A satisfactory GRE score will be necessary to grant admission into the Master’s programme.

Verbal: 500 (153)
Quantitative: 700 (155)
Analytical Writing: 3.5

Effective 1 Aug 2011, there are updates to the GRE scoring system. For more information please visit: http://www.ets.org/gre/institutions

Note that GRE scores are only valid for 2.5 years.

For direct admission to the MPST programme, when do I need to submit a TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) score?

Ans: If English Language is not applicant’s native language or the medium of instruction for undergraduate degree programme, applicants will have to submit the TOEFL scores. Alternatively, applicants may also submit IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as it is equivalent to TOEFL scores. Note that TOEFL and/or IELTS scores are only valid for 2.5 years. The minimum TOEFL score is 580 (Paper-based Test); 260 (Computer – based Test) and 85 (Internet-based Test). The minimum IELTS score is 6.

What is the ‘stackable’ route towards the MPST programme?

Ans: The ‘stackable route’ is for students who had completed individual modular courses and who subsequently decide to pursue the MPST degree by crediting the relevant modules taken.

To be eligible for the ‘stackable’ route, candidates will require a relevant degree as listed under direct admission requirements. Students who do not fulfil the degree requirement outright can appeal with justification, and the case will be reviewed individually.

At any point in time between completing 5-9 modular courses of the MPST requirement, a student could apply for MPST candidature by transferring credits and grades obtained from relevant individual modular courses or graduate certificate(s), in accordance with NUS credit transfer policy. The student must fulfil a minimum CAP of 3.00 to be eligible for MPST candidature. The validity period of the transfer is not more than 5 years for each modular course taken, or for each graduate certificate conferred.

I intend to pursue the MPST degree via the ‘stackable’ route and would like to start by taking modular courses. What is the minimum entry requirement for taking modular courses?

Ans: The minimum requirement for reading a modular course is a Bachelor’s without Honours classification in one of the following degrees, or their equivalent:
• Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, OR;
• Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences, OR;
• Bachelor of Applied Science in Food Science & Technology, OR;
• Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Chemistry (Drug Option), OR;
• Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, OR;
• Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering)

Where can I find more information about the modular courses offered by the Department?

Ans: The modular courses are made available under the NUS Continuing Education and Training (CET) catalogue at NUS School of Continuing and Lifelong Education (SCALE) http://scale.nus.edu.sg/.

Modular courses offered by the Department in AY2019/2020 Semester 1 are PR5211, PR5217, PR5213, PR5220, PR5225. Please note that the list of modules offered in an academic year/semester is subject to changes.

How do I apply for the modular courses offered by the Department?

Ans: Application for modular courses is to be done via NUS SCALE. For more details, please visit NUS SCALE website http://scale.nus.edu.sg/.

For NUS alumni, click here.

For Public, click here.

For enquiries regarding application, fees, subsidies and payment for modular courses, please contact SCALE at lifelonglearning@nus.edu.sg or 6601 8888.

May I know when classes are conducted?

Ans: Typically, classes are conducted on weekday evenings and/or Saturdays.

May I know what is the required Cumulative Average Point (CAP) for continuation and graduation?

Ans: The MPST programme is a part-time coursework-based programme. A student pursuing a Master’s degree by coursework must achieve a minimum CAP of 3.00 to be eligible for graduation. To continue in a Master’s programme, a student may not have:
• CAP below 3.00 (but ≥ 2.50) for three consecutive semesters; or
• CAP below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters.

For more details, click here.

It is mentioned that either original scrolls/transcripts should be provided for application. May I know will the original documents be returned to the applicants?

Ans: Supporting documents, originals or photocopies (which have been certified true copies), submitted for application will not be returned to applicants.

Certified True Copies of scrolls/transcripts have to be submitted in place of originals. May I know whom should I approach to certify the photocopies?

Ans: NUS graduates will have to approach the Student Service Centre (http://www.nus.edu.sg/osa/ssc/) to certify their documents. For foreign graduates, if you wish to submit your transcript together with your application form, the official transcript must be enclosed in a SEALED envelope with its flap bearing the security seal of the university and the signature of the Registrar or his representative. You are responsible for requesting your transcript from the university concerned. Please use the enclosed Transcript Request Form within the Application Forms for this purpose. If you have attended more than one university, you should make photocopies of the Transcript Request Form as required.

I graduated from NUS with a Bachelor’s Degree. Do I need to submit originals/photocopies of the scrolls/transcripts for application? Can the Department refer to my information internally?

Ans: Applicants, who are alumni of NUS, will still be required to submit the required supporting documents just like other applicants.

Upon graduating from the MPST programme, can I be a registered pharmacist with the Singapore Pharmacy Council (SPC)?

Ans: This is a Master’s degree programme in Pharmaceutical Science and Technology and is not a recognized degree for registration as a pharmacist in Singapore.

What will be the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) accreditation for this course for candidates who are registered pharmacists? Will CPE points be given by modules taken or by semester?

Ans: CPE accreditation for this programme will follow the guidelines stipulated by the Singapore Pharmacy Council (SPC). You may contact SPC (https://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/spc) directly for more details.

Updated as of May 2019