Programme structure

The Master ́s Programme in Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety takes two years of full-time studies to complete. The academic activities conducted based on a personal study plan sum 120 credits (ECTS).

The curriculum of the programme includes advanced studies in Pharmacy (including Master’s thesis 30 ECTS). Optional studies in related disciplines can be included in a degree. It offers joint compulsory courses and optional courses from three focused study tracks. Students may also select studies on a cross-disciplinary basis, in case their interests require combining courses from different study tracks.



1st year fall semester:

MPHARM-001 Master of Science competence Portfolio, 0 ECTS

MPHARM-002 Drug development and use, 25 ECTS:

  • MPHARM-002A Discovery and preclinical evaluation of drug candidates, 11 ECTS
  • MPHARM-002B Pharmaceutical product development and rational use of medicines, 11 ECTS
  • MPHARM-002C Statistical methods and reasoning in pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical health services research, 3 ECTS

MPHARM-003 Research orientation 5 ECTS

After the compulsory studies of the first semester, each student continues their studies according to a personal study plan and chooses a study track. The three study tracks are designed to assist in tailoring the optional study elements according to the specific interests of the student.

Study tracks: 1) Drug design and pharmacology, 2) Drug delivery and development and 3) Medication safety and effectiveness.

1st year spring semester:

Compulsory methodological studies (according to the chosen study track), 10 ECTS:

  • MPHARM-008 Quantitative methods for pharmaceutical research, 5 ECTS (tracks 1 & 2)
  • MPHARM-009 Introduction to research methods in drug discovery and development – theory, 5 ECTS (tracks 1 & 2)
  • MPHARM-010 Introduction to Medication Safety and Effectiveness Research Methods, 10 ECTS (track 3)

MPHARM-005 Literature review 9 ECTS

MPHARM-004 Research ethics, 1 ECTS 

Optional studies 10 ECTS (list of possible courses provided in the 2nd year curriculum)


2nd study year Fall semester + Spring semester

MPHARM-006 Master´s thesis 30 ECTS (incl. 5 months research work and seminars)

Topic-specific advanced studies 30–40 ECTS. Examples of applicable courses (chosen according to the study track and upon availability):

  • MPHARM-011 Physical Pharmacy, 5 ECTS (highly recommended for study track 2)
  • MPHARM-012 Internship, 5–10 ECTS (1–2 months of full time work or equivalent duration as part-time work in a private company, public sector organization, foundation or society in Finland or abroad)
  • MPHARM-013 Research seminars in medication safety and effectiveness, 5 ECTS
  • MPHARM-014 Literature Review in medication safety and effectiveness, 5–10 ECTS
  • MPHARM-015 Introduction to pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-004 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology Methods, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-204 Biological drugs II, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-211 Introduction to molecular modelling for life science students, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-214 Basics of Clinical Trial Research, 3 ECTS
  • PROV-216 Molecular pharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-308 Cells – biomaterial interactions, pharmaceutical and medical applications, 3 ECTS
  • PROV-403 Natural Products as Medicines, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-407 Advanced Immunology, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-409 Recombinant DNA technology in therapeutic protein engineering - lecture course, 1 ECTS
  • PROV-410 Recombinant DNA technology in therapeutic protein engineering - exercise and wetlab course, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-501 General methods in pharmacology, in vivo methods, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-502 Neuropharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-503 Selected topics on clinical pharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-601 Organic chemistry in molecular biosciences and pharmacy B, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-602 Medicinal chemistry, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-603 Drug metabolism, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-607 Microfluidics and nanotechnology for pharmaceutical applications, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-705 Controlled Release Drug Delivery, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-708 Solid state analysis of pharmaceutics, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-709 Introduction to spectroscopy, 5 ECTS
  • PROV-910 Marketing authorization of drug products and pharmacovigilance, 5 ECTS
  • TMED-601 HealthTech Linkage, 10 ECTS
  • TMED-106 Novel applications for precision medicine, 2 ECTS
  • NEU-603 Laboratory animal science, 2–5 cr
  • TMED-906 Epidemiology, 2 cr

Also other applicable optional courses may be included (agreed with the supervisor).

Transferable skills (each student chooses 0–10 ECTS according to their own interest, examples):

  • MPHARM-016 Career planning and working life orientation, 1 ECTS
  • SUST-002-PHARM Sustainable Health, 2 ECTS
  • TMED-901 Career Development, 3 ECTS
  • Language studies (eg. Academic Writing in English, or of free choice)

According to the student’s personal interests, it is possible to include credits from other faculties and degree programmes within University of Helsinki into her/his personal study plan.