Study programme

The College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (CPS) is a three-year international Bachelor's programme with courses at honours level. 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. 


View the extensive range of possible (elective) courses. This will give you a good idea of ​​what to expect when putting together your own study programme. Are you already a student? Then your courses may differ from this list. Use the CoursePlanner for your study planning.

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:

Teaching methodPercentage of time spent
Group work30%
Self study30%

Educational schedule 

The programme consists of four compulsory courses in the first year and four compulsory courses in the second year. The rest of the programme you will compose with elective courses in fields of study or subjects that have your interest (possibly abroad). In the final year of the programme you will perform an undergraduate drug(related) research project. 

The first year 

In the first year you will be introduced to the various phases of drug development, the so-called drug pipeline. You will start with a course on the use and effect of drugs in large groups of people (‘Use’). The second course is on the route of drugs in the human body: the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (‘Delivery’). The third course is on the binding of drugs to their target and their effect on the cell (‘Target’). In the last course you will learn how to synthesise new drugs and which molecular properties make them suitable as drugs. 


In the first and second year you are introduced to disciplines such as pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, biopharmaceutics, epidemiology and toxicology. In the third period of the first year, the last period of the second year and in one of the semesters of the third year you can choose elective courses in one or more subjects or fields that interest you. 

The elective courses mentioned earlier on this page are taught by CPS. Many electives by other faculties at the UU or other universities (abroad) are also possible. 

Study abroad 

In the second and third year of your bachelor, you can follow elective courses outside the Netherlands. In case you decide to continue your master education at Utrecht University, you could also do an internship outside the Netherlands. 

Undergraduate research 

Unique of this Bachelor’s programme is that you will do an undergraduate research project in one of the semesters of the third year. You will choose a  project that has your interest at one of the many Life Science research groups at Utrecht University or the University Medical Centre Utrecht. Under the supervision of a scientist, you will perform your own research project. You will apply and continue to develop everything that you have learned in the previous years. 

The video below gives you an impression of the fascinating research by cell biologist and cancer researcher Celia Berkers. As a CPS graduate you can also end up in these research areas after following a suitable master


At the start of your study, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor as your first point of contact in the university for questions or consultation. For personal matters, you can also visit your tutor or the study advisor.

Binding study advice 

Utrecht University uses a binding study advice (BSA) for all Bachelor’s programmes. The binding study advice means that you need to obtain a minimum amount of 45 of the possible total of 60 ECTS in your first year of registration to be able to continue your studies. 

College of Pharmaceutical Sciences students studying in a workgroup setting.