Recent advances in the knowledge of cell and gene regulation, hormonal action, cell trafficking,
inflammation and other bio-molecular processes have spawned the development of novel drugs
for use in the therapy of a variety of diseases. The disease burden of developing countries such
as Kenya is heavy. Coupled to this is the high cost of treatment. Typical contributors to this
scenario include emerging infectious diseases and rapid development of resistance to current
drug therapies. This calls for concerted efforts to find home grown solutions. In Kenya, a
specialized cadre of scientists equipped with skills in drug discovery and development is
therefore needed to contribute to innovative research that would lead to discovery of new
medicines or advance the understanding of biological phenomena.


  1. Apply the advanced theoretical and practical knowledge in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
  2. Use the enhanced skills and knowledge on how to formulate, manufacture, evaluate pharmaceutical products, carry out bioequivalence testing and conduct clinical trials of pharmaceutical products.
  3. Design novel and innovative research that open new frontiers and generate original knowledge in the chosen area(s) of specialization.  


The PhD in Drug Discovery and Development is intended to provide students with advanced training in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical products. Drug discovery deals with the process of identifying and optimizing chemical compounds into drugs for clinical use. This program will be of particular interest to students who are working in or aspiring to work in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry.


Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry needs to expand so as to meet both domestic and regional demands. Previously, students interested in pursuing postgraduate training in Drug Discovery and Development had to look overseas for training options because they do not exist locally.




The PhD in Drug Discovery and Development shall be a by thesis only.

The programme shall run over a minimum period of six semesters of fifteen weeks each.



The course shall be offered by blended learning comprising of didactic lectures, seminars, class discussions and presentations, and mentored research.



A candidate applying for admission into the programme must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • Holder of a Master of Pharmacy degree of the University of Nairobi or an equivalent degree from an institution recognized by the University of Nairobi Senate.
  • Must be registered by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya or an equivalent regulatory body in their respective country and be in the retention list.
  • Foreign candidates from non-English speaking countries must show evidence of proficiency in English language from a recognized institution.



Intakes are on a rolling basis. For more information on Registration & Admission please click here.


    When To Apply - applications for admission are received on a rolling basis, and you should try to apply as soon as possible after you meet the admission requirements stipulated above. Module II applications may be submitted directly here.

    Application Fees - an application fee of Ksh 3000.00 for Module II applications must be paid for every application.

    Required documentation – copies of your KCSE (or GCSE/GCE) certificate, Bachelor’s degree certificate plus transcripts, Masters degree plus transcripts. You must also submit a certified copy of a picture ID (national identity card, passport biodata page). All uploaded documents must be certified, clear and legible.





    For enquiries, kindly contact the Chairman’s Office via:


    Tel:  +254 020 491 5007



The objectives of the program are to produce experts in Drug Discovery and Development with appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills who can contribute to:

  • Industrial Pharmacy practice
  • Research institutions
  • Governmental Agencies
  • Pharmacy Education
  • Specialized Area Opportunities

    The Department is committed, whenever possible, to providing the students with opportunities to acquire, sharpen their knowledge and gain technical/practical skills to complement their studies in order to enhance their employability in line with the Kenya vision 2030. Attachment is provided to students from recognized learning institutions during their final two years of study.

    Only attachés from Government recognized Training Institutions shall be eligible for intake.

    Students are required to make queries on availability of attachment slots by sending an email inquiry to



   YEAR 1   YEAR 2   YEAR 3    TOTALS 
TUITION   396,000.00    396,000.00   396,000.00  1,188,000.00
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)       7,000.00         7,000.00        7,000.00        21,000.00
THESIS EXAMINATION                    -                        -       50,000.00        50,000.00
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)       4,500.00         4,500.00        4,500.00        13,500.00
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)       1,000.00         1,000.00        1,000.00          3,000.00
CAUTION - (ONCE)       5,000.00                      -                      -            5,000.00
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)       6,500.00         6,500.00        6,500.00        19,500.00
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)       2,000.00         2,000.00        2,000.00          6,000.00
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)       5,000.00         5,000.00        5,000.00        15,000.00
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)       1,000.00         1,000.00        1,000.00          3,000.00
Grand totals   428,000.00    423,000.00   473,000.00  1,324,000.00

A candidate who satisfies the examiners in the thesis examinations shall, on the recommendation of the Committee of Examiners and approval of Senate, be awarded the degree of PhD in Drug Discovery and Development of the University of Nairobi.

A candidate who fails the thesis examination may on the recommendation of the Committee of Examiners and approval of Senate, be allowed to resubmit the thesis after three months. A candidate who fails in the second resubmission of the thesis, shall on the recommendation of the Committee of Examiners and approval of Senate, be discontinued