The aim of the Master’s Programme in Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety is to provide a comprehensive overview of the life cycle of drugs and their use. The programme combines research-oriented studies and high-quality pedagogical methods, with international faculty into a unique environment. The academic activities in the personal study plan provide 120 credits (ECTS), the equivalent to two years of full-time studying. The target degree earned by the studies is Master of Science.

The ageing population and the need for rapidly evolving medication solutions are factors that highlight the growing role and need of experts in pharmaceuticals, their use and regulatory processes in society.

In the Master’s Programme in Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety, you will:

  • acquire a comprehensive overview of the life cycle of drugs and their use.
  • get a unique perspective of Green and Sustainable Pharmacy as well as essential knowledge for managing the global sustainability challenge.
  • be trained for research and development (R&D) oriented positions and as professionals for healthcare regulatory, management, policy-making and pharmaceutical industry positions.
  • earn a Master of Science degree from a programme hosted by the Faculty of Pharmacy, a top-level drug research institute, with an extensive network of partners and considerable external research funding.

Do you want to conduct multidisciplinary life science and public health studies as a member of a scientifically vibrant academic community? Do you have career goals in academia, pharmaceutical industry or public sector authorities dealing with drugs and medications? Are you interested in becoming a professional in pharmaceutical sciences and seek for an education that is more research oriented than the Master of Pharmacy degree? Then this programme might be something for you.

A Bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for being eligible to apply. Applications are welcome from motivated and skilled candidates with a broad range of backgrounds, but the expectation is that successful candidates have sufficient prior knowledge in pharmacy or life science in order to complete the education in two years.

The scope of the Master’s Programme in Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety is 120 credits (ECTS), the equivalent to two years of full-time studying. The target degree earned by the studies is Master of Science.

The two-year curriculum of the programme starts with a core study module on drug development and use, common for all enrolled students. In addition, the first semester studies include courses for acquiring transferable academic skills as well as an induction to our research themes. The students are encouraged to take an active role in becoming oriented with the research that is carried out in the department right from the beginning of the studies.

Starting from the second semester, each student will conduct studies according to a personalised study plan. Guidance is available from a nominated faculty member acting as a supervisor throughout the studies. To assist the tailoring of the elective elements of the curriculum, courses are organised under three study tracks:

1. Drug design and pharmacology

Goals of the study track:

  • to understand drug discovery process.
  • to acquire expertise in pharmacology and widely used screening and experimental models therein.
  • to understand drugability approaches; chemical (small/large/biological molecules) or physical of combined.

2. Drug delivery and development

Goals of the study track:

  • to understand the scope of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME), pharmacokinetics and toxicology studies.
  • to understand research carried out at the cutting edge of drug delivery: nanomedicine and other topics related to rational design of drug delivery mechanisms.
  • to understand the reasoning and the range of preclinical and clinical studies.

3. Medication safety & effectiveness

Goals of the study track:

  • to understand the principles and methods of medication safety risk management and pharmacovigilance.
  • to understand principles and methods in effectiveness research and economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals and medication safety procedures in healthcare.
  • to understand principles and methods for applying real-world data (RWD) in medication safety and effectiveness research.

The student may also choose studies in an interdisciplinary manner according to her/his own interests. The personal study plan may also include courses from other Master’s programmes at the University of Helsinki or studies conducted during an international exchange period.

The aim of the master’s thesis is to develop skills for independent scientific work and critical evaluation of scientific data.

The master’s thesis in the programme consists of a literature review (10 credits) and a research project (30 credits) under the supervision of a principal investigator within the faculty.

In addition to the research groups operating in the faculty, students are encouraged to explore the possibility of finding their thesis project within our extensive collaborative networks or suggest a topic of research according to their own interests.

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. More than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.  

Read more about the life and benefits as a student at the University of Helsinki.

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