9 Jun 2020 Achieve Your Career Goals with an IMU MSc in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry

The decision to continue one’s studies at postgraduate level is an exciting prospect and every student will have their own reasons to embark on this journey. Driving factors may include personal development, improve employability, or career progression. Students can enrol to study full-time or part-time, hence the best time to undertake postgraduate study will depend on each student’s circumstances and goals. It is increasingly common to work while studying as a way to fund the study while keeping current in their practice.

Joanna Tan Lay Hsien shares her experience as a Master of Science in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry student.

Joanna Tan Lay Hsien, a full-time pharmacist at a government hospital and a postgraduate student is such an example. Tan is currently pursuing the Master of Science in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (MAPC) degree programme at the International Medical University (IMU). The IMU MAPC is a mixed mode master’s programme comprising of 21 credits of coursework and 22 credits of research. The main reason which drove her into embarking on this journey is to increase her knowledge and develop skills in areas which she is interested in. Tan shares that having a relevant postgraduate degree is a tool which will put her at an edge towards achieving her future career goals.

Currently in the final semester of the programme, she is in the process of completing her research project. Having chosen a research project in the area of drug discovery, her research involves synthesizing novel 5-(substituted)-1,3-dithiazolidine-2,4-diones molecules, followed by the in vitro evaluation of their biological activities. Molecular docking approach was used to determine the effectiveness of the 5-(substituted)-1,3-dithiazolidine-2,4-diones molecules as α-glucosidase inhibitor.

“In this research project, I have polished my skills on interpreting data output from computer aided drug design (CADD). The molecular docking had really raised my interest in this field and made me realize the importance of this technique in the drug discovery process. There is a shortage of researchers with expertise in CADD, a skill which is crucial in the pharmaceutical industry as well”, shared Tan.

Having to juggle work and study, however can be challenging. “As my programme is a full-time course, most of the classes is scheduled over the weekends. However, I do find it challenging when you have to spend most of your weekends coming over for classes but I find it somewhat useful when you are able to clear all the doubts easily with all the very passionate and responsible lecturers. Besides that, IMU did help in rescheduling those classes that I am not able to attend due to my work some of the days”.

“With this small step taken in pursuing this master’s degree, I do hope that the skills and knowledge I had learned will be of a great help for me in changing the field of my career in future. I believe that it will bring me greater opportunities to explore the different careers in healthcare. To those who are considering to pursue your master’s degree in this field, I think it would be great choice to start with IMU as IMU offers both masters by mixed-mode and research. It is a tough journey, but I think it is something you will be able to go through with the help and guidance from the faculty”.

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