Programme Structure

Meet student Shivani. She shares her thoughts and experiences studying Pharmaceutical Sciences, and reflects on the most surprising, most difficult, and best parts of the programme. 

Study programme

The MSc programme in Pharmaceutical Sciences is a 2-year programme taught in English. 

You must choose to specialise in one of three tracks that are connected to the various phases of the drug development process.


Year 1 Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Drug Discovery and Development Pharmaceutics and Drug Development Pharmacology: From Physiology to Therapy Advances in Medicinal Chemistry Research
Principles of Pharmacology Medicinal and Biostructural Chemistry Individualised Study Unit
Year 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Elective Course Elective Course Master Thesis





Year 1 Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Drug Discovery and Development Pharmaceutics and Drug Development

Pharmacology: From Physiology to Therapy

Contemporary Social Pharmacy

Principles of Pharmacology Methods and Procedures in Clinical Drug Development Elective Course
Year 2 Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Elective Course Elective Course Master Thesis


First year

The content of your first year varies depending on the track you wish to follow. However, all three tracks start with the same three compulsory courses.


All three tracks begin with the compulsory courses in:

These three courses form a common scientific basis regardless of which track you have chosen.

You then follow three compulsory courses specific to your track, which give you a defined scientific profile.



Once you have selected your track, you can select courses from the other two tracks as electives.

The flexibility in choosing electives gives you the opportunity to either focus on similar topics or broaden your educational programme.

It is a good idea to identify your thesis supervisor early in the programme and discuss your choice of electives.


Second Year

In the second year, you take additional elective courses and write your thesis. You can also choose to either join the double degree programme or study abroad.




As part of your electives, you can choose to do a short internship or research project either at the University of Copenhagen or at, for instance, a medical company. 



International experiences are very important for all students pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

In collaboration with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam), the PharmaSchool has established a double degree programme within the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and the MSc in Drug Discovery and Safety at VU University of Amsterdam.

You apply for the double degree programme during the first semester of your MSc programme at UCPH. If you are accepted, you will carry out the first year in Copenhagen taking all compulsory courses and the desired elective courses.

The second year, you study at VU Amsterdam where you will complete your thesis and a number of elective courses. Depending on your study track at UCPH, you can choose the following study plans in Amsterdam.

Track I - Drug Discovery

Molecular Pharmacology (total 60 ECTS)

  • Advanced Pharmacology (6 ECTS)
  • Drug Target Biochemistry and Signaling (6 ECTS)
  • Elective (0‐6 ECTS)
  • Research (42 ‐ 48 ECTS)

Molecular Toxicology (total 60 ECTS)

  • Molecular and Cellular Toxicology (6 ECTS)
  • Advanced Molecular Toxicology (6 ECTS)
  • Elective (0‐6 ECTS)
  • Research (42 ‐ 48 ECTS)

Track II - Drug Development

Molecular Toxicology (total 60 ECTS)

You must choose 2 of the following 3 course:

  • Molecular and Cellular Toxicology (6 ECTS) 
  • Advanced Molecular Toxicology (6 ECTS) 
  • ADMET (6 ECTS)

And also take:

  • Elective (0‐6 ECTS)
  • Research (42 ‐ 48 ECTS)


  • Advanced bioanalytical approaches (6 ECTS)
  • Biopharmaceuticals & Biopharma proteomics (6 ECTS)
  • Elective (0‐6 ECTS)
  • Research (42‐48 ECTS)

Track III - Medicine and Society

Regrettably, the double degree programme is not available in this track.

The final study plan in Amsterdam will be arranged with your supervisor, once you have been accepted to the programme.


When you have passed all exams, you will get a diploma from both universities stating that you have earned the MSc title in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Copenhagen as well as the MSc title in Drug Discovery and Safety from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.



It is possible to study abroad during your degree. Your third semester is best suited for studying abroad. Alternatively, you can choose to write part of your thesis abroad. It is also possible to take a summer course in place of an elective.

Why Study Abroad?

A main objective of studying abroad is to further widen your academic knowledge and network. You are also likely to benefit socially and culturally.

It is a good idea to seek advice from lecturers and the student guidance when planning your studies abroad to find out where to go and how to structure your academic programme. Your lecturers may have academic inputs, international contacts, and may also be able to provide you with references which can prove useful.

Exchange Agreements

The University of Copenhagen has an extensive number of exchange agreements with universities world wide.

Information about partner universities specific to Pharmaceutical Sciences is available through the International Relations Office at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.



Researchers at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Science offer a wide range of thesis subjects that enables you to tailor a programme matching your personal interests.

You can carry out your thesis project in a research group at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology. There are also excellent opportunities to write your industry-based thesis in Denmark or abroad.

Many research groups involved with the programme enjoy close cooperation with pharmaceutical companies based on the Danish side of Medicon Valley. This cooperation is a key element of several programme courses as well as thesis-related work. The close contact established during the programme is also expected to play an important role in the transition from study to professional career.


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