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Nanomedicine MSc/PgDip



The application of science and technology at the nano-scale is revolutionising medicine in the 21st Century – enabling us to understand many diseases leading to new insights in diagnostics and therapy and contributing to the development of new generations of medicinal products.

Increasing demand and awareness of applications of nanotechnology in medicine has resulted in the emergence of a new discipline, namely nanomedicine which is now growing at a rapid rate – already solving many challenges faced within various professional bodies, such as healthcare systems, government agencies and industrial companies.

Developed in response to industry and society demand – Cranfield’s unique Nanomedicine course is the first of its kind within the UK and Europe to bridge the gap between nanotechnology and medicine, providing students with advanced knowledge, skills and practical experience of the principles, technology and applications within this exciting area.

  • Course overview

    Nanomedicine MSc is part of the Advanced Biosciences MSc Programme.

    Due to the interdisciplinary aspect of nanomedicine it is imperative that professionals working within this field or related fields possess the appropriate knowledge and skills required of both nanotechnology and medicine. This unique course has been designed to precisely fulfil this requirement.

    Our MSc will provide you with advanced knowledge, skills and practical experience of the principles, technology and applications within the exiting field of nanomedicine in a number of specialist areas including:

    • Nanotechnology & microsystem
    • Nanobiosensors
    • Nanomaterials
    • Nanopharmaceuticals
    • Nanotoxicology & risk perception
    • Bioinformatics
    • Medical diagnostics & devices
    • Medical marketing & business
    • Clinical research
    • Human biology
    • Disease states & biomarkers.

    Nanomedicine MSc is made up of three components:

    • A formal taught component comprising ten modules
    • Core Principles Integration
    • Individual Research Project.
  • Individual project

    The four-month individual research project can be carried out within industry or academia and for part-time candidates it can be undertaken in your place of work. This key part of the course allows you to apply the research skills acquired during the taught phase of the course to a practical problem in Nanomedicine and acts as an opportunity for you to meet potential future employers.

    This element constitutes 40% of the overall mark. 

  • Core principles integration

    This element brings together the major themes of the MSc, leading to a conceptual awareness of key aspects within Nanomedicine. 

    This element constitutes 10% of the overall mark.

  • Modules

    The formal taught component of this course comprises ten compulsory modules. Each module is two weeks in duration, consisting of one week of lectures, practical work, site visits and one week for private study. Part-time students attend the first week of each module but may continue with course assignments at a suitable time. This element constitutes 50% of the overall mark.


    • Analytical Technology

      To provide detailed and specialist information on analytical techniques and their applications in biomedical analyses.


      The module covers:

      • Wet techniques in Analytical Chemistry
      • Spectroscopic techniques such as UV. FT-IR and Raman
      • Chromatography Methods such as LC, HPLC and Gas
      • Mass Spectrometry
      • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR)
      • Atomic Force and Scanning Electron Microscopy (AFM and SEM)
      • Electrochemistry
      • Molecular Modelling
      • Chemical Databases.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Outline the scope of analytical chemistry and its application
      • Describe key analytical technologies and their application in bioscience research
      • Apply the principles of molecular modelling to protein chemistry and drug discovery
      • Retrieve information from a chemoinformatics database.
    • Biomedical Basis of Disease

      To overview the key causes and mechanisms of disease, and how these relate to prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Wider issues such as socioeconomic impact will also be discussed.


      The module covers:

      • Cause and molecular/cellular progression of key diseases including infectious, inherited diseases, immunological diseases and cancer
      • How pathogenesis relates to symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
      • Ageing
      • Diseases impacting on Western versus developing societies
      • Social and economic factors of disease including the role of health services and other organisations.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Describe key human diseases using appropriate terminology
      • Relate clinical symptoms to disease progression and outcome
      • Indicate potential routes for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention
      • Source appropriate literature and information in relation to the intended learning outcomes above and discuss in a scientific context.
    • Bioscience and Society

      To provide students with the opportunity to explore the wider ethical, legal and social issues in Advanced Biosciences and potential future advances.


      The module covers:

      • Ethical discourse as related to the biosciences
      • Regulatory and legal framework for the biosciences
      • Initiatives for research and implementation of findings
      • Case studies for discussion
      • Communication of research.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Critically evaluate the role of bioscience research and its impact on society
      • Discuss the legal and regulatory requirements surrounding bioscience developments
      • Demonstrate an ability to communicate information on research potential and subsequent findings to both scientific and lay audiences.
    • Business Principles

      To introduce students to general principles of business/industry.


      The module covers:

      • Business strategy
      • Competitive advantage
      • Raising investment
      • Intellectual property
      • Negotiation and selling skills
      • Market research.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Outline the procedures for starting a business
      • Define intellectual property and discuss how this is exploited
      • Discuss the importance of market research in the success of a business
      • Use negotiation skills.
    • Exploratory Data Analysis and Essential Statistics using R

      To provide an overview of important concepts in statistics and exploratory data analysis. The module introduces the main concepts in analysing biological datasets using the R environment, as well developing bespoke scripts for multivariate analysis such as principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering.


      The module covers:

      • Introductory statistics – averages, variance and significance testing
      • Exploratory data analysis (PCA, HCA)
      • An introduction to R.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Devise basic R programs to meet given specifications
      • Discuss the applicability of different statistical techniques and be able to implement them appropriately
      • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the need to integrate statistics into experimental protocol design.
    • Nanopharmaceuticals

      To provide an overview of nanopharmaceutical sciences from principle to applications and future perspectives.


      The module covers:

      • Drug discovery, including combinatorial chemistry and synthesis on the molecular and macromolecular scale
      • Pharmaceutical production and quality assurance
      • A perspective of nanopharmaceuticals - from the bench to the surgical patient
      • Design and use of nanopharmaceuticals
      • Regulation of nanopharmaceuticals and devices
      • Clinical status and future opportunities.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Describe fundamental concepts of modern pharmaceutical science and technology
      • Discuss the design and use of nanopharmaceuticals
      • Define the regulation and quality assurance processes required in nanopharmaceuticals
      • Evaluate the potential of emerging nanotechnology in the field of pharmaceuticals
      • Critically discuss the assumptions, implications and challenges of nanopharmaceuticals.
    • Nanotechnology and Medical Devices

      To demonstrate the applications of nanomaterials as highly sensitive, miniature devices for medical diagnostics.

      To illustrate how nanotechnology can be applied to improve precision and effectiveness of drug targeting and delivering, to reduce toxicity and increase effectiveness of drugs in cancer and other diseases.


      The module covers:

      • Medical nanomaterials
      • Nanotechnology in molecular imaging and tissue engineering
      • Biosensor and nanobiosensor concepts
      • Nanobiosensors for medical diagnostic
      • Nano-devices for drug delivery and theranostics
      • Nanostructure design.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Propose how nano-sized devices can be applied medically
      • Describe use of nanotechniques in molecular imaging and tissue engineering
      • Define the relationship between the application of the nanobiosensors and the choice of the transducer
      • Critically evaluate how medical nanomaterials are utilised for drug delivery and theranostics
      • Outline key aspects of nanostructure design.
    • Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine

      To introduce the field of nanomedicine, and how nanostructuring influences properties, production and applications of nanomaterial.


      The module covers:

      • What is nanomedicine?
      • Introduction to the concepts and techniques of nanotechnology
      • Fabrication, manipulation and analysis of nanomaterials
      • Bionanotechnology
      • Introduction to nanoethics and regulations relating to nanotechnology
      • Introduction to the potentials, applications and challenges of nanomedicine
      • Overview of nanomedicine markets and business aspects.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Define the concept of nanotechnology and its application to medicine
      • Critically discuss the potential for nanomedicine and related business aspects
      • Describe basic techniques for nanomaterial fabrication and analysis.
    • Nanotoxicology and Risk Management

      To illustrate the potential harmful effects on humans and other organisms after exposure to a substance, outline the relevance of toxicological studies, the use of predictive toxicology, the relating risk perception and management, and the implications for nanomaterials.


      The module covers:

      • Principles of Toxicology
      • Acute and chronic toxicological end-points in mammals
      • Target organ toxicology
      • Various models used in toxicological hazard and risk assessment
      • Cellular and molecular response to nanoparticles
      • Biodistribution of nanoparticles
      • Estimation of dose and exposure in nanoparticles
      • Neurotoxicity of nanoparticles
      • Environmental sources and effects of nanoparticles
      • Carbon nanotubes - possible toxicity
      • Risk assessment: society and risk
      • Nanotechnology and risk management
      • Governance and regulation of nanotechnology use.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Describe the range of effects that can be caused by exposure to a wide range of chemicals and other hazardous materials in environmental and occupational settings
      • Identify the key target organs that can be particularly affected by specific toxicants
      • Evaluate models available to investigate the potential for chemical substances to cause harm, and how they can be employed strategically to undertake hazard/risk assessment
      • Define risk in the context of understanding perception, attitudes and communication
      • Critically evaluate the potential hazards presented by nanomaterial use.
    • Research Design and Methodology

      To provide a systematic understanding of processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific hypothesis.


      The module covers:

      • Developing a hypothesis, aims and objectives
      • Experimental design
      • Laboratory research methodology
      • Qualitative research methods
      • Design of human subject research
      • Background and Information Sources
      • Sources of Funding
      • Data handling and presentation
      • Scientific writing.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Develop a hypothesis for a novel research problem
      • Formulate aims and objectives as a route to solving a hypothesis
      • Identify appropriate funding sources for a project
      • Distinguish between and describe quantitative and qualitative research methods
      • Recognise and use appropriate data presentation techniques
      • Present and discuss results in a manner appropriate to publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
  • Assessment

    Modules - a piece of coursework which may take the form of a portfolio, essay, exam, lab report and poster or oral presentation. Core Principles Integration - a written and oral assessment. Individual Research Project - submitted thesis and oral presentation of the thesis.

  • Start date, duration and location

    Start date: October

    Duration: One year full-time, two-three years part-time

    Teaching location: Cranfield

  • Overview

    Our MSc provides students with the understanding of how nanotechnology impacts upon new medicinal products, drug discovery and drug delivery and how the practice of medicine uses nanotechnology.

    Our MSc in Nanomedicine is informed and kept up-to-date through extensive industry-led research and consultancy activities in nano – ensuring its relevance and industry focus. Designed in collaboration with the Institute of Nanotechnology () this course provides graduates with an MSc that holds an excellent reputation within industry, credibility and high relevance to current industry challenges.

    Our students come from the UK and a combination of European and International countries. You’ll therefore experience working closely with people from different cultures and backgrounds – essential skills for your future career.

    There are 15 places available on this course – class sizes are kept relatively small to help create an interactive environment and to ensure each student receives excellent support from our academic team.

  • Informed by industry

    Our MSc in Nanomedicine benefits from input from an industry advisory panel (with representatives from commercial organisations and non-commercial organisations) who help to ensure the course maintains its real-world relevance at the marketplace and industry focus, making successful students highly sought after in the employment market.

  • Your teaching team

    • Dr Jeff Newman (Programme Director)
    • Dr Yi Ge
    • Dr Iva Chianella
    • Dr Kal Karim
    • Dr Sophie Rocks
    • Dr Huijun Zhu
    • Dr Qi Zhang
    • Mr Richard Moore, Scientific Director, Institute of Nanotechnology
    • Professor Shervanthi Homer-Vanniasinkam, Honorary Senior Chair and Visiting Faculty Member, The General Infirmary at Leeds

    In addition students benefit from a programme of visiting lecturers from industry.

  • Facilities and resources

    Course specific facilities

    Cranfield Health laboratories include the facilities and equipment needed for the design, synthesis and analysis of nanomaterials/ nanocomposites and their biological and medical evaluation.  

    Health and Bioscience facilities

    Part of a £30 million investment by the University and on a par with those found in the commercial sector. Our state-of-the-art laboratories are used for contractual research that we do for companies, which feeds into our own forward-thinking research, and in turn, informs our cutting-edge teaching programmes.

    University facilities

    Library Services

    The Cranfield Library and Information Service on campus offers an extensive collection of books, journals and as well as access to nearly 200 databases and over 8,500 electronic journals.

    Computer Access

    There is 24 hour access to a fully networked personal computer centre on site with cutting edge equipment and fast broadband connections.

    Distance Learning Support

    24 hour distance learning support is provided to all students via ‘Blackboard’, a virtual learning environment to which all students on the course are automatically registered. Blackboard is the primary means of contact by all University staff for information (including course handbooks, timetables and lecture materials). In addition, the Course Director can provide you with email and telephone support, if required.

  • Entry Requirements

    A first or second class honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a scientific discipline such as a science or technology related subject or candidates with appropriate professional experience.

    The course is suitable for new graduates from a science or technology background who are interested in a career within the nanotechnology and medicine industry. The course is also ideal for professionals already working in the industry who would like to train to further their careers. Available on a full and part-time basis the course offers flexibility and support for those who wish to train whilst remaining in employment.

    English language

    If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

    IELTS - 6.5

    TOEFL - 92 

    TOEIC - 800 (Important: this test is not currently accepted by the UK Home Office for Tier 4 (General) visa applications)

    Pearson PTE Academic - 65

    Cambridge English - 180

    Cambridge English: Advanced - C

    Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

    In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

    We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

    Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa will also need to meet the UKBA Tier 4 General Visa English language requirements. The UK Home Office are not currently accepting TOEFL or TOEIC tests for Tier 4 (General) visa applications. Other restrictions from the UK Home Office may apply from time to time and we will advise applicants of these restrictions where appropriate.

  • Fees

    Home/EU student

    MSc Full-time - £9,000


    For taught courses where the registration is 2 years or longer, students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration). For courses lasting less than two years, students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at three month intervals.

    MSc Part-time - £9,000 *

    PgDip Full-time - £7,200

    PgDip Part-time - £7,200 *

    Overseas student

    MSc Full-time - £17,500

    MSc Part-time - £17,500 *

    PgDip Full-time - £14,000

    PgDip Part-time - £14,000 *

    Fee notes:

    • The fees outlined here apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2015 and 31 July 2016 and the University reserves the right to amend fees without notice.
    • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
    • Additional fees for extensions to registration may be charged.
    • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.
  • Funding

    Bursaries may be available, however please be aware that funding will, in most cases, only be discussed once you have secured a firm offer of a place on the course. Please contact the Enquiries Office for further details.
  • Application process

    Application form and, where feasible, a face-to-face or telephone interview.

  • Career opportunities

    The emergence and rapid-growth of the exciting field of Nanomedicine offers successful graduates the choice of a wide variety of career opportunities in key industrial and non-industrial areas such as:

    • Healthcare systems
    • Government agencies
    • Academic institutions
    • Industrial companies
    • Charitable companies or other organisations associated with nanomedicine knowledge.

     There are a variety of positions available to Nanomedicine MSc graduates including:

    • R&D Scientist/ Researcher
    • Government/ Agency employee
    • Regulator
    • Consultant
    • Teacher/ Lecturer
    • PhD in or related to Nanomedicine
    • Marketing Engineer
    • Patent Officer
    • Medical Manager
    • Science/ Medicine Journalist
    • Sales Engineer.

    Cranfield graduates are very successful in achieving relevant work. Some 93% are in relevant employment or further study six months after graduation. For professionals already in industry, Cranfield qualifications enhance their careers, benefiting both the candidate and their employer.

    Cranfield Careers Service

    Our Careers Service can help you find the job you want after leaving Cranfield. We will work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.

    Cranfield Alumni

    Thousands of graduates continue the ‘Cranfield experience’ after they leave by keeping in touch with colleagues and friends through free membership of Cranfield Alumni.

  • Olivier Fontaine

    Olivier Fontaine graduated in Cranfield's Nanomedicine MSc in 2013. He talks about his time at Cranfield; what he enjoyed and how the course content has helped him with his career.