Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPS) is a three-year Bachelor's programme in Drug Development, in which you will be trained how new drugs for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s can be discovered and developed.

Contribute to Society

There is a great medical need for new drugs. Is it your dream to contribute to the development of these new medicines that could improve the health of many people? Do you like having the freedom to choose your own approach when presented with an assignment? Do you thrive whilst studying in small groups together with other motivated students from different nationalities? If so, studying CPS might be just perfect for you!

Drug Development

The College of Pharmaceutical Sciences is an international bachelor's programme in drug development. At the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, you’ll learn what’s needed to develop new drugs. You’ll need to consider the possible target for the drug in the body, the active ingredient structure, as well as the best route of administration of the medicine and how the effectiveness and safety of the new drug should be tested on the patient. To develop a new drug many disciplines come together, such as biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry and biology.

As a drug designer, you need more than theoretical knowledge. You must also be skilled in the lab, as well as have the ability to define a research question and design a plan to respond to it. In addition, you’ll need to collaborate with a variety of professionals and present your results in a scientific journal, or sometimes at an international conference. For this reason, each course also involves a group project, in which you’ll work with fellow students on real-life biomedical problems. As such, you’ll learn to apply the theory of pharmaceutical science to creatively solve these problems. CPS is fully taught in English and therefore open to international students.


At the start of your study, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you throughout the programme, helping you to make choices for your studies. For possible personal matters, you can also visit your tutor or study advisor. Furthermore, due to the small scale of the programme and tight community with a maximum of 50 students, you’re also likely to receive additional support and motivation from other CPS students and peers.

Outstanding University

Studying at Utrecht University means studying at one of the world's best universities. Utrecht University is the best research university in the Netherlands according to the prestigious annual Academic Ranking of World Universities by the University of Shanghai (ARWU). This year (Shanghai Ranking, 2017) Utrecht University is placed 47th worldwide. Utrecht University has been the best ranking Dutch university since the first ARWU ranking was published in 2003.


The CPS is a three-year Bachelor´s programme. Each year is divided into four blocks of 10 weeks. Each block you follow one course of 15 ECTS (credits) or two courses of 7.5 ECTS each.

Teaching Methods

There are different kinds of teaching methods in the courses you attend. An indication of the proportion of these methods in the first year is as follows:

  • Lectures: 10%
  • Tutorials: 10%
  • Practicals: 20%
  • Group work: 30%
  • Self-study: 30%

Facts and figures

Study success

Below you will find the percentage of students that entered the second year of the past three cohorts:

  • 2015: 92%
  • 2016: 88%
  • 2017: 84%

The percentage of students that finished the CPS programme within 4 years:

  • 2012: 100%
  • 2013: 88%
  • 2014: 92%

Career Prospects

CPS graduates have many career prospects, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

Examples of Future Employers

  • Universities and academic hospitals
  • Pharmaceutical or biomedical research institutes, such as Lygature and the Netherlands Cancer Institute
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry
    • Big companies such as Hoffmann-La Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, Pfizer, etc,
    • Smaller companies such as BioMarin, Genmab and PamGene
  • Companies linked to the pharmaceutical industry (pre-clinical/clinical research of drugs, such as NOTOX)
  • Registration authorities (CBG, EMA, FDA)
  • (Scientific) journals
  • Government agencies (RIVM)

To Obtain a Doctorate

Once you have finished your Master’s and would like to continue as a researcher, it is a logical step to become a PhD student. PhD students make an important contribution to the research of Utrecht University. A PhD project lasts four years and during these four years, you will receive a salary.

Possible Careers

Possible career opportunities after finishing CPS followed by a Master’s degree (and possibly combined with a doctorate) are:

  • Biomedical or pharmaceutical researcher
  • Medicinal chemist
  • (Pharmaco)-epidemiologist
  • Clinical research associate
  • Medicines regulator
  • Science-related professions: teacher, journalist, manager, administrator

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less