MSc Toxicology 12 months Postgraduate Program By Heriot-Watt University |Top Universities
Program Duration

12 monthsProgram duration

Tuitionfee

26,976 GBPTuition Fee/year

Scholarship

YesScholarships

Main Subject Area

ToxicologyMain Subject Area

Program overview

Main Subject

Toxicology

Degree

MSc

Study Level

Masters

Study Mode

On Campus

Overview

Toxicologists assess the adverse, harmful effects that substances have on human health and the environment. Toxic substances can be natural resources such as arsenic and mercury, generated by living organisms such as microorganisms, algae, and shellfish, or generated by humans. Man-made sources include unintentional substances such as pollutants from traffic as well as industrial chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Toxicologists play an important role in making our lives more sustainable, by considering safety when designing new substances or by identifying safer alternatives.


This MSc programme will provide you with an advanced understanding of the multidisciplinary field of Toxicology. You'll learn about the fundamental principles of Toxicology, the harmful effects that different substances (e.g., chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, drink, pollutants,) have on human health and the environment, how the safety and sustainability of substances is assessed and improved through design strategies, what regulations exist to protect human health from the harmful effects of substances, as well as topical and emerging issues in Toxicology.


Over recent years, there has been a desire to transition away from animal testing in Toxicology and the generation of data using new approach methodologies (NAMs) means that the knowledge and skills required by toxicologists is changing. You will learn why alternative (non-animal) approaches are being increasingly used for hazard identification to make Toxicology testing more ethical, quicker, predictive, and potentially cheaper when compared to more traditional animal (mammalian) tests.


You will learn how to critically appraise the quality of existing literature and communicate scientific concepts and research findings to different audiences. You'll gain skills that enable you to work as a Toxicologist in sectors such as academia, Government, and industry to meet the current growing global demand for trained Toxicologists. The UK currently tackles the regulations and policies related to substance safety, which was previously provided by the EU pre-Brexit, and is desperately seeking trained Toxicologists. The knowledge and practical skills you will gain through this master's degree, will make you highly sought after upon graduation.


Our expertise

Heriot-Watt University is recognised internationally for studying the toxicology of particles, fibres, pollutants, nanomaterials, and advanced materials. These research outputs have been widely published (over 200 papers), and have been used to inform: 

  • UK and EU funding priorities,
  • the development of regulations, 
  • updates to global guidance on strategies to reduce reliance on animal testing for regulatory purposes.

Your learning environment

You will learn about the world leading, state of the art Toxicology research that is being performed at Heriot Watt University. We offer hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops. You will gain practical experience of performing cytotoxicity (cell death) and genotoxicity (DNA damage) assays, learn about cell culture, and become competent at using light microscopes. You will also complete a desk or lab-based research project.


Customise your learning

Taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, you'll get to know and build relationships with the teaching staff and academics. You'll be assessed by coursework, exams, and your dissertation, and will receive support and feedback throughout the programme.


You'll gain practical and numeracy skills relevant to the discipline and wider transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, organisation, and problem solving, which will enable you to be employed as Toxicologists in sectors such as industry, Government and academia in both laboratory and non-laboratory roles.


Industry

We work closely with industry to ensure our course content reflects the needs of industry and employers. This means you'll gain the right blend of knowledge, practical skills and soft skills enhancing your employability.


You will learn from world leading toxicology experts and receive guest lectures from international industry, government and regulators to give real life examples of how toxicology studies are performed and how Toxicology data is used. 


As part of the programme, we will discuss topical issues in Toxicology to introduce emerging issues in the field and encourage you to identify potential solutions to current and future challenges. For example, we will discuss how we have worked with industry to; 

  • assess the toxicity of nanomaterials to promote the safe and responsible development of nanotechnology, 
  • develop new approach methodologies (NAMs) to decrease the reliance placed on animal testing, 
  • investigate the potential harmful health effects of pollutants released from different sources,
  • assess the toxicity of mixtures and evaluate the toxicity of micro- and nano-plastics to human health and the environment.

Program overview

Main Subject

Toxicology

Degree

MSc

Study Level

Masters

Study Mode

On Campus

Overview

Toxicologists assess the adverse, harmful effects that substances have on human health and the environment. Toxic substances can be natural resources such as arsenic and mercury, generated by living organisms such as microorganisms, algae, and shellfish, or generated by humans. Man-made sources include unintentional substances such as pollutants from traffic as well as industrial chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Toxicologists play an important role in making our lives more sustainable, by considering safety when designing new substances or by identifying safer alternatives.


This MSc programme will provide you with an advanced understanding of the multidisciplinary field of Toxicology. You'll learn about the fundamental principles of Toxicology, the harmful effects that different substances (e.g., chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, drink, pollutants,) have on human health and the environment, how the safety and sustainability of substances is assessed and improved through design strategies, what regulations exist to protect human health from the harmful effects of substances, as well as topical and emerging issues in Toxicology.


Over recent years, there has been a desire to transition away from animal testing in Toxicology and the generation of data using new approach methodologies (NAMs) means that the knowledge and skills required by toxicologists is changing. You will learn why alternative (non-animal) approaches are being increasingly used for hazard identification to make Toxicology testing more ethical, quicker, predictive, and potentially cheaper when compared to more traditional animal (mammalian) tests.


You will learn how to critically appraise the quality of existing literature and communicate scientific concepts and research findings to different audiences. You'll gain skills that enable you to work as a Toxicologist in sectors such as academia, Government, and industry to meet the current growing global demand for trained Toxicologists. The UK currently tackles the regulations and policies related to substance safety, which was previously provided by the EU pre-Brexit, and is desperately seeking trained Toxicologists. The knowledge and practical skills you will gain through this master's degree, will make you highly sought after upon graduation.


Our expertise

Heriot-Watt University is recognised internationally for studying the toxicology of particles, fibres, pollutants, nanomaterials, and advanced materials. These research outputs have been widely published (over 200 papers), and have been used to inform: 

  • UK and EU funding priorities,
  • the development of regulations, 
  • updates to global guidance on strategies to reduce reliance on animal testing for regulatory purposes.

Your learning environment

You will learn about the world leading, state of the art Toxicology research that is being performed at Heriot Watt University. We offer hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art laboratories and workshops. You will gain practical experience of performing cytotoxicity (cell death) and genotoxicity (DNA damage) assays, learn about cell culture, and become competent at using light microscopes. You will also complete a desk or lab-based research project.


Customise your learning

Taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials, you'll get to know and build relationships with the teaching staff and academics. You'll be assessed by coursework, exams, and your dissertation, and will receive support and feedback throughout the programme.


You'll gain practical and numeracy skills relevant to the discipline and wider transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, organisation, and problem solving, which will enable you to be employed as Toxicologists in sectors such as industry, Government and academia in both laboratory and non-laboratory roles.


Industry

We work closely with industry to ensure our course content reflects the needs of industry and employers. This means you'll gain the right blend of knowledge, practical skills and soft skills enhancing your employability.


You will learn from world leading toxicology experts and receive guest lectures from international industry, government and regulators to give real life examples of how toxicology studies are performed and how Toxicology data is used. 


As part of the programme, we will discuss topical issues in Toxicology to introduce emerging issues in the field and encourage you to identify potential solutions to current and future challenges. For example, we will discuss how we have worked with industry to; 

  • assess the toxicity of nanomaterials to promote the safe and responsible development of nanotechnology, 
  • develop new approach methodologies (NAMs) to decrease the reliance placed on animal testing, 
  • investigate the potential harmful health effects of pollutants released from different sources,
  • assess the toxicity of mixtures and evaluate the toxicity of micro- and nano-plastics to human health and the environment.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate

3.3+
6.5+
You will have at least a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject (Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Toxicology).
1 Year
Sep

Tuition fee and scholarships

Domestic Students

10,736 GBP
-

International Students

26,976 GBP
-

One of the important factors when considering a master's degree is the cost of study. Luckily, there are many options available to help students fund their master's programme. Download your copy of the Scholarship Guide to find out which scholarships from around the world could be available to you, and how to apply for them.

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More programs from the university

From top 10 rankings to opportunities to study abroad, there are many reasons to choose Heriot-Watt.  Here are just a few of them.

A rich heritage
We are proud that since our foundation in 1821 we have been outward-looking pioneers of education, in pursuit of knowledge to the benefit of society and the world.

Become a global student
Heriot-Watt provides you with the opportunity to become a global student both at our UK campuses and internationally. On our Edinburgh Campus you’ll find that about one-third of our students are from countries outside the UK, bringing a real international flavour to our community. This mix of people provides a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and build friendships that stretch across the globe.

We also encourage students to take part in our global student programme, Go Global, by participating in an Inter-Campus Transfer, Exchange or Erasmus+ for a semester or year of their degree.

A world-class reputation
We are world-renowned for excellence in teaching and research. We are ranked 235th in the world and 32nd in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2024), and almost 90% of our research outputs are classed as world-leading and internationally excellent (REF 2021). View our rankings.

Strong links to business and industry
Our taught programmes and research are informed by the needs of business and industry. We actively facilitate collaborations and partnerships, building strategic alliances and promoting knowledge transfer.

Globally employable graduates
Global companies actively seek out our graduates as they are work-ready. Our programmes are designed to ensure that students receive a relevant, careerorientated education. As a result, more than 95% are in employment or further study six months after completing their programme.

Worldwide network
When you join Heriot-Watt you become part of a global family. We have around 123,000 alumni worldwide. The Watt Club was founded in 1854 and is the oldest graduate club in the UK. Lifetime membership is automatic upon graduation from Heriot-Watt and is free to all graduates of the University.

Heriot-Watt is one of the world’s leading universities with strong links to international business and industry driven by our established reputation as a top research-led institution. Heriot-Watt is world-renowned for conducting ground-breaking research which is relevant to business and industry. We aim to find radical innovations and solutions to real world challenges for the benefit of society.

We offer over 180 Postgraduate courses that will provide you with the knowledge to solve real world challenges. There are around 2,400 postgraduate students studying at our Edinburgh Campus. It is a friendly, welcoming place, where you will have the opportunity to meet with students from all over the world.

Heriot-Watt is regarded as a top UK university across a range of subject areas. The QS World’s University Rankings ranked Heriot-Watt 302nd in the world, 39th in the UK and 7th in Scotland. 

The international outlook of our university has been ranked 37th in the world, 13th in the UK and 3rd in Scotland by Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.  This is based on the percentage of the university's international staff, the level of international co-authorship of academic papers and the percentage of international students studying with the university.  The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide named Heriot-Watt University ‘International University of the Year 2018’.

REF 2014 named Heriot-Watt in the top 25% of UK universities, with 82% of our research ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent. We ranked 9th university in the UK and 1st in Scotland for research impact. View our rankings.

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