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MSc Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences

Leiden University
Program overview
2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Start dates
September 2019  (English)
September 2019  (Dutch)
September 2020  (English)
September 2020  (Dutch)
September 2021  (English)
September 2021  (Dutch)

Program description

bio-pharmacy MSc program

Earn an MSc in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences at Leiden University

The Master’s Programme in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences is a research-oriented programme which covers almost the entire area of drug research. The programme offers flexibility and
tailoring to meet the student’s individual scientific interests and career aspirations. The programme is organized by the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR). The programme offers seven specialisations:

  • Three research specialisations, corresponding to the major research-themes within the LACDR:
    • BioTherapeutics
    • Drug & Target Discovery
    • Systems Pharmacology
  • Four non-research specialisations: Science Based Business, Science Communication and Society, Industrial Pharmacy, and Education.

The main focus in the programme is on training in research. Consequently, for all specialisations the programme’s first year requires all students to work on their major research project in one of the Divisions of the LACDR.

The research specialisations are considered to be default specialisations, for which 72 places are available. Students following the research specialisations continue their research training in the second year. Student’s opting for a non-research specialisation are admitted after the successful completion of their first year of the Master’s programme.
The specialisation Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences and Education is taught in Dutch, hence a high profiency in Dutch is required.

For the specialisation Industrial Pharmacy only 2 positions are available. Prospective students aspiring for admission to Industrial Pharmacy have to go through a separate selection procedure after their successful completion of their first year of the Master’s programme in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences.

All prospective students for the Master’s programme must apply for a specific research specialisation. In the applicants’ motivation letter, the preference for his/her specific research themes, and the corresponding division(s) of the LACDR, should be clearly specified.

Reasons to Choose Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences in Leiden

  • This MSc program is strongly research-oriented and covers almost the entire area of drug research.
  • The examination program is designed on an individual basis and offers a high degree of freedom of choice.
  • Students participate actively in research projects of excellent quality.
  • The program is offered by the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, a leading institute dedicated to world-class research and education in drug discovery and development.
  • The institute is surrounded by a Science Park which includes several biomedical research institutes and biotechnological companies.
  • The institute is located at the Leiden BioScience Park, the largest life sciences cluster in the Netherlands with numerous biomedical research institutes and biotechnological companies.
  • In Leiden, education in drug research at bio-pharmaceutical sciences can be combined with training in education, science communication, or science-based business.
  • Students enrolled in the masters program bio-pharmaceutical sciences work within a multinational environment and are able to operate on the international market.
  • Excellent career opportunities at universities, government or (bio)pharmaceutical industry.

Admission to the master’s in bio-pharmaceutical sciences is possible throughout the year. International students who need a visa or housing are advised to start the program in February or September.

Admission requirements

International applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • Students from any university in the Netherlands with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences or Pharmaceutical Sciences will be admitted to the program.
  • Students holding the BSc degree in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences from Leiden University are directly admissible. For all other (international) candidates, the Board of Admissions will evaluate the equivalence of their previous training to the BSc degree of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  • The admission process may include an interview with the Board of Admissions to assess the competence to function at Master of Science (MSc) level, motivation, and English language proficiency.
  • Applicants with a BSc (or equivalent) in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Life Science and Technology, as well as applicants with a higher professional education (hbo/hlo) degree (BSc in Applied Sciences) in Chemistry or Biomedical Sciences (or equivalent field of science) may be considered.
  • The preferred specialization in the master’s program bio-pharmaceutical sciences should match the previous education of the applicant.
  • As a guideline for applicants with an international BSc university degree, the education should contain basic research training in the field of life science, including a bachelor internship of ≥16 EC assessed with a mark above 8.0. The final average mark should be above 7.5 (marks according to the Dutch grading scale).
  • International applicants must provide proof of language proficiency in English and Dutch by submission of a certificate of an appropriate language test. Dutch proficiency NT2-II certificate or equivalent
  • English proficiency: IELTS level: final score ≥ 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 for each of the components Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking TOEFL: internet based 90 Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), minimum grade C

*The English proficiency requirement does not apply if you have: completed your education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia, or an International Baccalaureate Admission is possible throughout the year, but it's advised that foreign students start in September or February.

Dutch applicants should meet the following requirements:

  • As a guideline for applicants with a higher professional education (hbo/hlo) bachelor degree, the degree has to have been obtained within four years with an average final mark above 7.5. In addition, the research project that was included in the higher professional education (hbo/hlo) program should have been conducted at a university or a university medical centre and should have been assessed with a mark above 8.0 (marks according to the Dutch grading scale).
  • Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences wishing to qualify for the school subject “Biology”, need to solve their deficiencies in the following subjects (in total 12 EC): Evolution (2 EC); Taxonomy (4.5 EC); Plant Physiology (2.5 EC); Ecology (2.5 EC); and Ethology (0.5 EC). In consultation with the didactician Biology of the ICLON (parts of) the following courses of the bachelor program in Biology can be taken as extracurricular courses to solve the deficiencies: Biodiversiteit Plant en Fylogenie (7 EC, level 100); Evolutie en Biodiversiteit Dier (6 EC, level 100); and Ecologie, Gedrag en Milieu (4 EC, level 200).


Master of Science in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences

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With a long and rich history, Leiden University is the oldest in the Netherlands. Students may choose to study from 7 faculties and 3 campuses, watch this video to learn what Leiden can offer you!

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Leiden University

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Founded in 1575, Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands offering a wide variety of programs. Leiden University is a truly international university, uniting people and knowledge from all corners of the world.  The university is comprised of...

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Contact info

Leiden University

Rapenburg 70
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

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