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:

Master of Science competence Portfolio, 0 ECTS

Drug development and use, 25 ECTS:

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

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:

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

Literature review 9 ECTS (will be incorporated in the Master’s thesis)

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

Master´s thesis 30 ECTS (incl. 5 months research work and a final seminar)

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

  • Physical Pharmacy, 5 ECTS (highly recommended for study track 2)
  • Internship, 5–10 ECTS
  • Research seminars in medication safety and effectiveness, 5 ECTS
  • Literature Review in medication safety and effectiveness, 5–10 ECTS
  • Introduction to pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance, 5 ECTS
  • Drug metabolism, 5 ECTS
  • General methods in pharmacology, in vivo methods, 5 ECTS
  • Marketing authorization of drug products and pharmacovigilance, 5 ECTS
  • Introduction to molecular modelling for life science students, 5 ECTS
  • Molecular pharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • Neuropharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • Selected topics on clinical pharmacology, 5 ECTS
  • Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology Methods, 5 ECTS
  • Basics of Clinical Trial Research, 3 ECTS
  • Microfluidics and nanotechnology for pharmaceutical applications, 5 ECTS
  • Organic chemistry in molecular biosciences and pharmacy, 5 ECTS
  • Medicinal chemistry, 5 ECTS

Also other applicable optional courses may be included.

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

  • Career planning and working life orientation, 1 ECTS
  • Sustainable Health, 2 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 degree programmes within University of Helsinki into her/his personal study plan.