Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
EducationMaster's and PhD degree programmesMedical Pharmaceutical Sciences
Header image Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences

Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences

How to design more effective and needle-free pulmonary vaccines? How can we better measure drug toxicity for humans? How can we fight antibiotic resistance?

How can we use Big health care data to improve preventive drug programmes? How can we optimize chronic drug use in ageing populations? How can we develop a business case for a new drug and determine costs of pharmaceutical programmes?

If you have a pharmaceutical bachelor or bachelor from chemistry or biomedical sciences with pharmaceutical elements, this two-year Master's degree programme will enhance your career in the exciting world of the drug development life cycle! We cover all drug-related elements, from basic target discovery to molecular drug design, from analysis of drugs and biomarkers to pharmacological design of applications, from toxicology and biopharmacy to clinical pharmacoepidemiology, post marketing surveillance, policy and business.

An unique asset of the master of medical pharmaceutical sciences is that the lectures and research take place in an interdisciplinary Life Sciences environment from chemistry to statistics, from biology to medicine, from epidemiology to economics, management and business, all situated within walking distance. Learning research by actually doing it is a second unique asset, and students will have the opportunity to design two large research projects according to their needs and talent. Teaching professors from the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (see http://www.rug.nl/research/grip/) as well as from the University Medical Center Groningen all work closely together, which is considered unique worldwide.

Lecturers will supervise you while you are independently performing experiments and go through the whole process of conducting a scientific drug-related study. The programme therefore is an excellent preparation for a succeeding PhD programme in the biological, medical or pharmaceutical sciences or for a career in industry, as a consultant or policy maker. You will be in the lead to design your own research programme or may choose a clear track which will prepare you or specialist positions.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
60611
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Our Pharmacy education has been ranked number 1 among students in the Netherlands since 2015
  • Awarded 'Top Rated Programme' label (Keuzegids Masters 2017)
  • Groningen drug research and education is among the best in the world
  • Unique interdisciplinary cooperation between preclinical, pharmaceutical, medical and economical research fields, with teaching professors within walking distance
  • Research and education cover all drug/vaccine-related aspects that are relevant to the drug development life cycle
Programme

You will be in the lead to design your own research programme or may choose a clear track which prepares you for specialist positions. Most students choose a clear track. We offer three unique research tracks:

1) Pharmacoepidemiology - The science that focuses on issues of drug/vaccine use in patients and the beneficial and side effects in populations, applying clinical trials and observational Big Database studies. 2) Toxicology and Drug Disposition - Focuses on adverse drug reactions and pharmaco- and toxicokinetics of drugs. 3) Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering – Focuses on novel strategies for drug target-identification, drug development, and formulation.

Courses
Academic Skills
Colloquium (5 EC)
Colloquium
Drug Development (5 EC)
Electives/Optional modules (10 EC, optional)
Essay (drug-related) (5 EC)
Master modules / Track specific modules (15 EC)
Research Project 1
Research Project 2

Curriculum

2-year programme; Credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Programme options
General research programme (track)

Design and tailor your own two-year research programme of master modules, electives and research projects in the wide scope of pharmaceutical research covering the drug development life cycle.

Toxicology and Drug Disposition (Research track) (track)

Studying the safety of drugs is an important part of drug development.

The toxicity of a substance is determined by the interactions of a substance at a molecular level, including interaction with receptors, enzymes, DNA and membranes in the body. In addition, the formation and detoxification of reactive metabolites and the level of exposure of the target tissues are important factors for toxicity. Exposure is largely determined by pharmacokinetics (toxicokinetics in case of toxic substances), which includes the rate and extend of absorption, distribution, metabolism including conversion into reactive metabolites and detoxification, and excretion. This field of study is often called ADME-Tox (Absorption, Disposition, Metabolism, Excretion – Toxicology).

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6179&ocasysyear=2019

More information about this option

Pharmacoepidemiology (Research track) (track)

The vast array of available drugs and vaccines accentuate a clear need for drug designers, regulatory officers, pharmacovigilance experts, at the one hand.

But there is also a need for pharmacists and other health care workers at the other hand, to know the determinants and health impact of drug use in ageing populations. Pharmacoepidemiology is the scientific area that through valid research advances the understanding of these topics. The specific track “Pharmacoepidemiology” covers the basics of the field by combining, basic medicine, pharmacy, epidemiology, biostatistics and demography. Further, the track allows for broadening expertise in laboratory drug sciences during a research project. It addresses pharmacists and pharmaceutical industry professionals who are involved with drug development or post-marketing surveillance as well as other professionals in the health care sector with an interest in drug epidemiology.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6180&ocasysyear=2019

More information about this option

Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering (Research track) (track)

Pharmaceutical engineering is a fast growing science and it requires novel strategies for target-identification, drug development, and formulation.

Are you interested in designing new drugs or biologicals, or in new ways to formulate them? The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, resistance to antibiotics and an ageing population require new views on drug development, as the current treatment arsenal provides insufficient disease-modifying capacity. The track Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering offers education in the most recent developments in these areas.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://www.rug.nl/ocasys/rug/vak/showpos?opleiding=6181&ocasysyear=2019

Science, Business and Policy (track)

Interested in the business side of science? You can combine this Master's programme with the Science Business & Policy profile. The SBP profile includes a six-month internship as a scientific advisor.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions, often as a second research project. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy, or related research fields focusing on knowledge and skills at the interface of molecular and cellular biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences).

Information about admission possibilities and requirements for students from a Dutch HBO institute is published on: http://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Transfer options

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Pharmaceutical SciencesVU University AmsterdamNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Bio-Farmaceutische WetenschappenLeiden UniversityNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
PharmacyUtrecht UniversityNo additional requirements
BiologyUtrecht University

Additional requirements

More information:

Accessible with programme Molecular Life Sciences; minor in Pharmacy or other pharmaceutical courses

PharmacyUtrecht UniversityNo additional requirements
Study programmeOrganizationTransition
PharmacyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

Additional requirements:
  • knowledge minimum
More information:

Accessible with the major Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences. There are additional requirements for the majors Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Life Sciences.

BiologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

There are additional requirements for the majors Biomedical Sciences and Molecular Life Sciences

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Biomedische WetenschappenAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Minor in Pharmacy, or other pharmaceutical courses

BiologyAll Research universities

Additional requirements

More information:

Minor in Pharmacy, or other pharmaceutical courses

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
Molecular Life SciencesRadboud University Nijmegen

Additional requirements

More information:

Minor in Pharmacy, or other pharmaceutical courses

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/msc/language-requirements for all the necessary information about required language tests.

previous education

Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacy, or related research fields focusing on knowledge and skills at the interface of molecular and cellular biology, organic chemistry and biochemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences. Laboratory experience and proof of academic scientific writing skills (such as thesis or research report) are required. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master programme for which you applied.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 15500full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

During the degree programme you will learn and practice academic skills such as retrieving and systematic reviewing relevant literature on your topic, formulating hypotheses, design and perform experiments, and interpret, present and scientifically report your results.

The programme therefore is an excellent preparation for a succeeding PhD programme in pharmaceutical, biological, or medical science (approx. 60%) or for a career in industry (approx. 30%), as a consultant (5%) or policy maker (5%). More than 80% of the students find a job within 6 months after their studies and we have a strong linked in alumni network of more than 100 ex-MPS students that can help you to find a job. What is more important, in the Groningen area the “Life Cooperative” combines efforts of tens of small and larger businesses with more than 2,100 fte personnel working in the area of medical-pharmaceutical research and business, and is growing fast.

We also offer students who want to seek for a career abroad a global atmosphere, with small international academic student communities, which will prepare you for challenging global job positions.

When you have finished the Master's programme in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences you have multiple career options. You are optimally prepared to start a research career but you can also choose for a position that links science to business and policy. We have a strong Linked In network of former MPS students who can help you with preparing your career and finding job positions.

Researcher (usually as a PhD) in a variety of organizations:

* Universities
* Academic and general hospitals
* Pharmaceutical, biomedical and food industries

Positions linking medical pharmaceutical sciences to a business or policy strategy in:
* Governmental and semi-governmental institutions such as the Medicines Evaluation Board or the Ministry of Health and Welfare
* Societal and patient organizations, and the Life Cooperative

Research

Groningen Drug Research is among the best in the world

Research focuses in the Master's degree programme in Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences:

Research mainly concentrates on drug design, synthesis, production and analysis, drug targeting and delivery, pharmacology, engineering of drug applications, toxicology, pharmacokinetics, biopharmacy, pharmacoeconomy and –epidemiology, and clinical pharmacy.

And much more. Please have a look at the websites of the research institute related to the programme, the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy.

If you prefer a less research oriented programme, you may choose the 'Science, Business and Policy' profile. This profile prepares you for professions in a commercial, policy making and/or societal organization.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourNijenborgh 9More information
Master's WeekBroerstraat 5More information

Contact

If you want to know more about the programme Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences, please contact:

  • sciencemasters@rug.nl (For international students who are interested in a Campus Tour or have other practical questions)
    Email: sciencemasters@rug.nl
  • Academic Advisor (For questions regarding the programme)
  • Reinoud Gosens (Professor of Translational Pharmacology - for questions Pharmaceutical Design&Engineering track)
    Email: r.gosens@rug.nl
  • Inge de Graaf (Senior lecturer of Drug metabolism and Toxicology - for questions Toxicology & Drug Disposition )
    Email: i.a.m.de.graaf@rug.nl
  • Eelko Hak (Professor of Clinical Pharmacoepidemiology - for questions Pharmacoepidemiology track)
    Email: e.hak@rug.nl
  • 
						Testimonial of Koen Pouwels

    I still benefit from the interdisciplinary and hands-on character

    – Koen Pouwels
    Read more

    What I truly like about the MPS programme is that you can tailor your programme to match your own interests and skills. I still benefit from the interdisciplinary and hands-on character of the Master at my current job as mathematical modeller and health economist at Public Health England in London.

    I am still working on several questions that are being addressed during the Master, including how we can fight antibiotic resistance, how to make optimal use of Big data to improve healthcare and how to assess the potential economic value of new drugs. The opportunity to design and perform two large research projects in areas of your choice allows you to make a better informed decision about your future career path. These research projects learned me what I like to do most and inspired my further career choices. By providing the opportunity to work with and learn from various experts from pharmacy and medical sciences, the programme offers an excellent preparation for a future career in academia, government or industry.

    Close
  • Watch this videoClose
  • 
						Testimonial of

    Development stages of drugs

    Read more

    When choosing your degree it is important to know which ground of the development stages of drugs you will cover within your future programme.

    Our education and research covers a great deal of the last development stages, as you can see in the following diagram: http://www.rug.nl/fse/beta-studie/testimonials/development-stages-groot.jpg

    Close