The pharmaceutical industry is financially strong and growing rapidly. At all times, the industry needs to recruit a sufficient number of graduates with a focused background in the pharmaceutical sciences. As a pharmaceutical scientist you will be in demand in the pharmaceutical industry internationally and in the Danish biotech, medico-tech and pharmaceutical industries that hold a key position in the international arena.
The programme is offered in English.
The MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences allows you to choose between three academic tracks within the pharmaceutical sciences, which will give you access to the aspect of the field that interest you the most.Profile and Career
The pharmaceutical industry is financially strong and growing and developing rapidly. At all times, the industry needs to be able to recruit a sufficient number of graduates with a focused background in the pharmaceutical sciences. As a graduates in Pharmaceutical Sciences you will be in heavy demand in the pharmaceutical industry internationally and in the Danish biotech, medico-tech and pharmaceutical industries that hold a key position in the international arena.
If you hold a bachelors degree with a background in chemistry and biology, the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences gives you the opportunity to tailor a two-year masters programme weighted with drug-oriented courses. The programmes of The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences include pharmacy courses not found at other Danish universities.
If you are thinking of a career in the pharmaceutical industry, a Master of Science degree in the pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Copenhagen is an excellent springboard.
An MSc in the pharmaceutical sciences will give you an educational ballast that will supplement other experts in the field. Your educational profile will be much in demand thanks to your BSc in a technical, natural science or health science field combined with a pharmaceuticals-oriented MSc that focuses on medicines and the development of drugs and related products.
The University of Copenhagen is located in the midst of one of the worlds leading biotech areas Medicon Valley home to almost 300 life science companies. The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is known for its extensive cooperation with industry. One of these cooperative endeavours is the School of Pharmaceutical Sciencess own Drug Research Academy (DRA), where a number of Danish biotech and pharmaceutical companies co-finance PhD scholarships. DRA covers all key research areas in drug development from research, development and production to clinical testing.
This close concentration of biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the region coupled with the Facultys cooperation with industry provides good opportunities for students to build contacts to future employers already while they are studying. The location presents optimal opportunities to find student jobs related to the field and to initiate thesis projects at one of the many companies in the area.
Bridge-builders in complicated processes
The development of new drugs and medicinal products is a long and complicated process that starts with the glimmer of a new idea and ends with the effective marketing of a finished product.
In the pharmaceutical industry project-oriented teamwork in a combination of fields is typical. Someone with an MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences is ideal for this type of team effort and has the skills to build bridges between people with various specialist backgrounds. Pharmaceutical companies as well as biotech companies have shown great interest in hiring graduates with the skills provided by the The School of Pharmaceutical Sciencess MSc programme.
The pharmaceutical industry considers people with MSc degree in the pharmaceutical sciences to be a highly relevant supplement to pharmacists. Pharmaceuticals companies as well as biotech companies have shown great interest in hiring graduates with the skills provided by the The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences s programme.
Please note that the Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences does not qualify graduates to practice as pharmacists at community or hospital pharmacies in Denmark and other EU countries.
The two-year MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences is based on compulsory and elective courses and a final thesis. All courses are taught in English.
You can choose to specialise in one of 3 tracks that are connected to the various phases of the drug development process:
Once you have selected your track, you will be able to weave courses from the other two tracks into your study plan as electives. That will allow you to gain a multifaceted picture of the pharmaceutical sciences. The flexibility in choice of electives gives you the opportunity to form a programme that is highly focused but also one with a broader palette.
The first semester of all 3 programme tracks starts with courses in Drug Discovery and Development, Pharmaceutics and Drug Development and Principles of Pharmacology. These three courses form a common scientific basis regardless of which track you have chosen. You will then take three compulsory courses specific to your track which, together with further specialisation through elective courses and theses, will give you a definitive scientific profile.
At the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and abroad
As an MSc student in Pharmaceutical Sciences, you will spend much of your time at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences on the North Campus of UCPH where you will become part of the unique, prizewinning study environment.
For some semesters it will be possible for you to take courses at other UCPH faculties or other universities in Denmark and abroad. There are also good opportunities available for you to write your thesis in industry in Denmark or abroad.Track I: Drug Discovery
Behind all new drugs lies a good idea, a discovery or a hypothesis. Drug Discovery denotes this early phase where scientists are hunting for new effective pharmaceutical substances. The objective is to discover or synthesize new chemical or biological compounds and to map their therapeutic but also possible unwanted effects in animals and people.
In the discovery phase, work is often conducted in research groups that include experts in pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, among others. With Drug Discovery as a basis, you can continue in a professional position within drug discovery of the pharmaceutical industry, or in a PhD programme at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
There is continuous development of new chemical substances that act effectively on their targets, such as brain receptors. However, most of them are useless as drugs because they will never reach their target in the organism. They may be degraded or metabolized too quickly, or they cannot penetrate biological barriers and reach the tissue they need to affect, such as brain tissue.
Here is where pharmacy comes into the picture. When pharmaceutical scientists know the chemistry of substances, how they interact with the body, how they are metabolized and eliminated, they can develop drugs that release the right amount of active substance at the right point in the right place in the body. Advanced analytical chemistry is an integral part of drug development work.
Medicines have enormous impact on the people and societies that use them. Before new medicinal compounds can be approved for the Danish market, their efficacy and safety must be documented in clinical trials. Both patients and society have an interest in getting the most effective, safest and cheapest drugs from manufacturers to users. Next, the optimal use of the drugs is essential in order to avoid overuse, misuse or other irrational use. Information and communication are vital factors here.