Toxicology is the study of the interactions between potentially harmful substances, living organisms and the environment. It is a wide-ranging subject that encompasses many biological and chemical disciplines including biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, molecular biology, pathology and immunology.
This world-recognised programme acts as a route into toxicology for graduates with suitable scientific backgrounds.
Toxicologists participate in the assessment of environmental safety and ensure the safe manufacture, use and disposal of chemicals. They also investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying any toxic effects of pesticides, food additives, medicines and other chemicals.
The MSc Toxicology programme at Surrey was established in 1973 as a collaborative venture with the MRC Toxicology Unit, the British Industrial Biological Research Association and Shell Research Ltd. Since that time, over 500 students have attended this programme, with many of them now holding senior positions in toxicology all over the world.
Why study Toxicology at the University of Surrey
• Toxicology research at Surrey has an international reputation. In the last Research Assessment Exercise (2008), Toxicology formed part of the submission ranked 2nd out of 63 institutions for subjects allied to medicine, building upon the maximum rating that we achieved in the previous two assessments. Hence, Toxicology research at Surrey has been independently assessed as ‘world class’ over the last fifteen years.
• Toxicology teaching at Surrey has also been assessed as excellent. The HEFCE Quality Audit Agency Teaching Quality Assurance Panel described our MSc programmes as ‘of very high quality, a view endorsed by employers, external examiners and students’, and went on to say that ‘postgraduate students achievement is excellent’.
• Our collaborating institutions provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about current best practice, ensuring they always meet the requirements of potential employers.
• We work closely with a number of other organisations that provide considerable support for the teaching on the programme, as well as the potential for visits to these establishments and project placements.
• This programme gives suitably qualified graduates a broad appreciation of the many aspects of toxicology, focusing on the molecular mechanisms of chemically induced toxicity and the assessment of toxicological hazards.
• You will gain invaluable practical experience in a wide range of techniques and procedures in use for the investigation of toxicological phenomena.
• You will be able to integrate information and skills learned throughout the programme and use this knowledge to identify and investigate toxicological problems.
• You will possess a high level of skills in the presentation of toxicological information, both orally and in writing.
• You will have sufficient knowledge for employment in government, regulatory agencies and industrial or research laboratories, as well as the potential to embark successfully on a higher research degree programme, such as a PhD.
• Graduate employment rates are extremely high, with over 80 per cent of graduates being in employment within six months of finishing their programme.
Our Toxicology programme will show you how chemicals are processed by living organisms and how toxicity arises at the molecular level. It will enable you to identify hazards arising from exposure to chemicals, evaluate the risks posed and to communicate them to the public and scientific communities. It prepares you for employment and further education in all aspects of practical and regulatory toxicology. There has always been a great demand for our graduates, many of whom now occupy senior positions in toxicology all over the world.
You will be based at the University throughout the taught programme and, in addition, will make visits to industrial and medical toxicology laboratories at regular intervals. These visits are an integral part of the MSc programme, consisting of formal lectures and demonstrations, and will greatly enhance your understanding of the role of toxicology in the workplace. To enhance your practical skills, you will undertake a three-month practical research project at either the University or one of the collaborating institutions.
Applicants should hold a medical degree, veterinary degree, or a good honours science degree in a subject with strong biological, biochemical or chemical content. Non-graduates with appropriate professional or other qualifications may be admitted. Applications from candidates of exceptional merit, but who lack suitable formal qualifications, will be considered, but such candidates may be required to take an entrance examination. Selection is based upon a candidate’s application and references, with candidates resident in the UK normally invited to attend an interview.
English language requirements
Candidates for whom English is not their first language will normally be required to have IELTS 7.0 or above (or equivalent).
Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.