MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences (current programme)

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Important notice

This Master's programme starts in autumn 2016.

Due to the partial revision of the Federal Law on Medical Professions (MedBG) and the pertaining educational objectives, we are currently reforming this Master’s degree programme. The revised programme will start in autum 2017 under the new name "MSc Pharmacy"; further information will follow.

The second new Master's programme focusing on research and industry will run under the name "MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences".

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The ETH Zürich offers a curriculum in Pharmaceutical Sciences based on the „Bologna Model“. The first study grade leads to a Bachelor degree, the second to a Master degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Graduate education leading to the Master degree and, if desired, to the Swiss Federal Diploma for Pharmacists provides specialized pharmaceutical training that integrates important aspects of drug discovery, drug development, and the clinical application of drugs for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.

The 2nd year programme is dedicated to problem- and task-oriented learning in practice. It has been designed by experts from community and hospital pharmacies. The overall concept of this 2nd year programme is nationally coordinated and has been adopted by all pharmacy schools in Switzerland.

The Swiss Federal Diploma for Pharmacists is subject to federal legislation for medical professions. The Swiss Diploma entitles the graduates to professional registration as a pharmacist in Switzerland. It is acquired through successful participation in the Swiss Federal Examination in Pharmacy. Graduates may be the responsible pharmacist in a community pharmacy or a hospital pharmacy, work in the pharmaceutical industry in a leading position or as Qualified Person, or ensure safe drug use through work in governmental agencies.

Differences between MSc programmes

What are main differences between the Master programmes in “Pharmaceutical Sciences” and “Medicinal and Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences”?

Both programmes provide the foundations for future scientific work (such as doctoral thesis) and enable a future career in industrial, regulatory, and also certain business environments.

The Master programme in Pharmaceutical Sciences also leads to the Swiss Federal Diploma as a pharmacist. The programme therefore includes several weeks of internship in public and/or hospital pharmacies and provides specialised education in public health care and management. The practice-oriented courses are provided by public and industrial pharmacists. The courses and training can only be completed successfully with a sound knowledge of German. Admission to this programme is thus only possible for applicants with good German language skills.

The Master programme in Medicinal and Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) focuses strongly on industrial and regulatory competencies. A number of courses focus on the progression of medicinal research and product development from an industrial and regulatory perspective. These courses are provided by industrial and regulatory pharmacists. Incidentally, the programme does not lead to the Swiss Federal Diploma and does not include any internship in public or hospital pharmacies. The entire Master curriculum is taught in English.

Study revision in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Based on the partial revision of the Federal Law on Medical Professions (MedBG) that entered into force in March 2015, the accredited ETH master’s degree programme in „Pharmaceutical Sciences“ needs to be reformed. The new master’s programme will put more emphasis on diagnostic and therapeutic competences.

In parallel to the MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, i.e. the qualification for medical personnel, the second master programme, the MSc in Medicinal and Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) will also be revised. The BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences will only undergo minor changes.

The new programmes will start in autumn 2017.

Project team

In autumn 2015 the rector of the ETH, Prof. Sarah Springman, the ETH department for educational development and technology (LET) and the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (IPW) appointed a project team headed by the study director Prof. C. Halin to plan and implement the revision of the degree programmes.

Prof. C. Halin

Prof. C. Halin

Director of Studies
Project leader

PD Dr. V. Otto

PD Dr. V. Otto

Lecturer at the IPW
Responsible person for Swiss Federal Exams in pharmacy at ETH Zurich

Dr. A. Küng

Dr. A. Küng

Guest speaker in 2nd year of MSc programme
Programme development specialist

S. Erni

S. Erni

Lecturer and coordinator of 2nd year of
MSc programme

Prof. B. Gander

Prof. B. Gander

Professor at the IPW
Coordinator of MIPS programme

The project team is advised by a commission consisting of graduates working at community and hospital pharmacies or in the pharmaceutical industry and of professors of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the ETH department „Health Sciences and Technology“. In addition, the project is supported by various experts of the LET.

time line mile stones

Winter- autumn 2016

creating new qualification profiles, curricula and programme regulations

autumn 2016

ETH internal approval process of new degree programmes

autumn 2016 - autumn 2017

Detailed planning of course units

autumn 2017

Start of revised degree programmes

autumn 2017 - autumn 2018

Support and evaluation of revised degree programmes

The main website for the Master programme in Pharmaceutical Sciences is presented in German.

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