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

How can we use Big data to improve preventive drug programmes? How can we optimize chronic drug use in aging populations? How can we develop a business case for a new drug?

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 pharmacology, from toxicology and biopharmacy to clinical pharmacoepidemiology, post-marketing surveillance, policy, and business.

A 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 as well as from the medical sciences 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 career in industry, as a consultant, policy maker or a succeeding Ph.D. programme in the biological, medical or pharmaceutical science. You will be in the lead to design your own research programme or may choose a clear track which will prepare for specialist positions.

Programme options

  • General research programme (graduation 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 lifecycle.

  • Toxicology and Drug Disposition (Research track) (specialization)

    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 extent 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).

  • Pharmacoepidemiology (specialization)

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

    But there is also a need for pharmacists and other healthcare workers, on the other hand, to know the determinants and health impact of drug use in aging 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 the minor 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 healthcare sector with an interest in drug epidemiology.

  • Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering (specialization)(specialization)

    This 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 aging population require new views on drug development, as the current treatment arsenal provides insufficient disease-modifying capacity. The specialization Pharmaceutical Design and Engineering offers education in the most recent developments in these areas.

  • Science, Business, and Policy (profile)

    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.

    Admission requirements

    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 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


    Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at: for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

    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.

    Language requirements

    IELTS overall band 6.5
    TOEFL paper based 580
    TOEFL computer based 237
    TOEFL internet based 92

    Tuition fees

    EU/EEA 2018-2019 € 2060 full-time
    non-EU/EEA 2018-2019 € 14350 full-time

    Application deadlines

    Type of student Deadline Start course
    EU/EEA students 01 May 2019 01 September 2019
    non-EU/EEA students 01 May 2019 01 September 2019

    Job prospects

    During the degree programme, you will learn and practice scientific developing 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 career in industry, as a consultant, policy maker or a succeeding Ph.D. programme in the biological, medical or pharmaceutical science.

    We furthermore offer students 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 LinkedIn network of former MPS students who can help you with preparing your career and finding job positions.

    Researcher (usually as a Ph.D.) 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

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
24 months
2,060 EUR
per year, EU/EEA students. € 14350 non EU/EEA students/per year.
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