The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Utrecht University is responsible for innovative teaching in the fields of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences, and carries out high-quality research, both in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and in adjacent fields. The research themes are often inspired by social questions, in particular those relating to healthcare. The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences follows an active policy with regard to the protection and exploitation of knowledge, and also acts as a centre of knowledge for social organisations.
The Department offers three programmes: the Bachelor’s programme in Pharmacy, the Master’s programme in Pharmacy and the Master’s programme in Drug Innovation. As part of the Bachelor's program in Pharmacy also an English taught program in pharmaceutical sciences, the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is offered. The Department has more than 1,000 students, who benefit from its innovative teaching methods and its close ties with professional practice. Students acquire not only the knowledge, but also the practical skills that they will need as pharmacists, in an active and independent manner. Besides acquiring knowledge and skills, students learn to think academically, to assess information critically and to cooperate with each other, as well as developing both practical and communication skills. From early on in the programme, students are taught to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice.
The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has developed an Honours Programme which provides extra challenges for those students who find the regular programmes not challenging enough. Read more about our Honours Programme.
Our teaching approach
Modern methods of teaching, such as problem-based learning and project work, help students to make these skills their own. In the department, students have access to books, videos, CD-ROMs, computers and the internet to facilitate independent learning. After completing the programme, students will meet all the requirements of an expert in medicines, applying the skills they have acquired either in a pharmacy or in a research position. More about our teaching approach.
The Bachelor’s programme in Pharmacy offers students a broad foundation in the pharmaceutical and natural sciences, enabling them to become acquainted with work as a pharmacist or pharmaceutical researcher.
The Master’s programme in Pharmacy trains students to become a ‘basic pharmacist’: an expert in medicine who, based on scientific insights, is able to play an active role in healthcare. The teaching programme is built around the core functions of a pharmacist in healthcare, in industry and in research – guidance on medication, medicinal policy, preparation, management and delivery of drugs and pharmacy business management.
Although our knowledge of diseases is growing, the number of new innovations in medicine is beginning to decline. However, with pioneering techniques, researchers are trying to reverse this trend. This is important, because drugs developed and used in the last century (e.g., antibiotics and mental health drugs) have proven to be effective and cheap remedies for major illnesses.
The College of Pharmaceutical Sciences is an unique international BSc research training programme in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Students will learn about developing innovative drugs, especially for diseases of the central nervous system and the immune system. Besides this unique content, the educational format is also unique: students work in projects on real-life pharmaceutical problems.
The Master’s programme in Drug Innovation (in English) trains biomedical and biochemical students who later wish to apply their skills to pharmaceutical research. Research in this field is multidisciplinary, and so research projects may be carried out in the fields of medicine, biology, chemistry or pharmacology.
The European program in Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology (Eu2P) is an online training program which aims to improve the understanding of benefit and risk of medicines to all stakeholders. It offers courses with specialties in benefit assessment, regulatory aspects, risk quantification, benefit/risk assessment, public health and risk communication organized in seven domains. Utrecht University leads Domain 5 which includes modules related to the benefit/risk assessment of medicines and pharmacoeconomics. All courses are delivered in English and through a unique and innovative Eu2P e-learning platform.
The program is open to academic students, to health care professionals from academia, industry and regulatory bodies as well as to non-specialists. Eu2P trainees can custom their training program to obtain certificates, a full master's or a PhD. The diplomas are jointly awarded by public and private partners in the Eu2P consortium which is funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). Find more information at www.eu2p.org