Master's Courses in Pharmaceutical Medicine, 60 ECTS

Creating the next generation of medicines

Smiling business woman with arms crossedThe changing demands in global health due to population diversity, economic challenges, new regulations and advances in medicine mean we must continuously improve our leadership and scientific capabilities to lead high performing teams in projects critical to the success of our organisations. 

Pharmaceutical companies and regulatory authorities must identify and recruit high potential employees and then retain and engage key talent to build their own capacity to meet the future requirements of patients, buyers and regulatory authorities. The Master's courses are designed to build scientific and leadership capabilities. Our graduates will have the skills to lead global project teams and contribute to their organization development and growth. 

Leading drug development from molecule to market place

Smiling man in scrubs

These courses provide a systematic understanding of the drug development process from “molecule to marketplace”, from discovery of a new chemical entity throughresearch and development to regulatory approval and commercialisation.

The three pillars that support the courses are the use of evidence before making a decision, continuous personal development and being able to work at a high performance level in multi-disciplined teams. These abilities gives graduates a very valuable skill set within the industry.   

Learning goals

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  • To create a new generation of leaders who will transform the drug development industry.
  • To give graduates the skills to improve the scientific capacity of their organisations.
  • To help each participant become subject matter experts in key areas of a medicine’s life cycle.
  • To foster a culture of evidence based research through the project conducted at the end of the course duration.
  • To train graduates to use their new knowledge appropriately, consistently and confidently.

A man and a woman discussing by the computer

Our goal is to improve capability and raise the professional standards of professionals in the pharmaceutical industry. We want our graduates to lead innovation and implement best practices where they work, whether it is in R&D, Clinical Development and Regulatory, Medical Affairs or in Market Access. 

Our objective is to give participants the tools to solve difficult problems and help them become leaders in their organisations by acting appropriately, consistently and confidently. 

Course content

Three persons talking by a tableThe taught modules are divided into three sections that address the pre-clinical, clinical and post licensing issues affecting a drug:

  1. Research Ethics, Research Methods, Drug Discovery and Early Development and Pharmacometrics give a thorough grounding in the scientific development of a drug.
  2. Clinical Trial Management and Statistical Analysis will give participants the training to manage clinical trials andconduct in depth analysis of data.As well as coveringthe basics of statistics, systematic reviews and meta-analysis is also taught.
  3. Regulatory Affairs, Health Economics and Leadership and Negotiation Skills will cover many of the critical challenges facing the industry including drug safety, regulatory compliance, economic drivers, market access, portfolio management as well as IP and legal considerations. 

The set of courses are followed by a 6 month research project allowing the participant to specialise in an area relevant to their current work and career aspirations.The project is the opportunity to specialize in an area directly related to work or career objectives.  

For more details on the course content, see the document  below called "Master's courses in Pharmaceutical Medicine".

Course structure

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The Master's courses are taught online over the course of approximately 18 months. Start date is 12 December 2016. The courses run over a defined calendar, but participants have the flexibility to study and engage with the training at the times of the week that suit them best.

The courses are fully online and the pedagogy is a learner-focused, quality driven methodology developed to help adults manage a balance between life, work and study.

Who is it for?

Professionals with preferably one year of work experience in the life sciences who want to improve their skills and enhance their career prospects.
Applications are welcome from physicians, pharmacists, pharmaceutical industry professionals or regulatory agencies who want to gain thorough understanding of the drug development process from molecule to market place. 

  • If you work in research, clinical development, regulatory affairs, medical affairs or market access the course may be for you. The research project allows you to specialise in a topic directly related to your current job. 
  • For key talent who show potential to become senior leaders. It is also for those who aspire responsible positions and require the skills to make that possible. 
  • The courses will help align the organisations requirements to identify and retain high performers, motivate and develop employees, build expertise from within through practical training and capability building. 
  • For the participant it helps them do their job better, builds a stronger resumé, expands their areas of interest, builds an international network and puts them in a better position for future promotions.

Return on investment

The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing radical change, from new technologies to consolidation, from regulations to economic drivers.  Increasingly it must meet the needs of diverse patients from the developed world and low and middle-income countries.

Medicines are increasingly expensive to develop and organisations want employees who have specialist knowledge in two or three key areas and a deep understanding of the rest of the industry so they appreciate the effect decisions will have on the life cycle of a product and the success of a portfolio.

Course leaders

Pierre Lafolie

Associate Professor, Clinical Pharmacology
Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet

Welcome to these Master's courses  where we will develop leaders who will create the next generation of medicines.


Jeremy Whitty 

Course Coordinator
Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet

Pharmaceutical Medicine is the science of integrated drug development from molecule to marketplace. It will help you improve existing medicines and develop new therapies that address unmet medical needs.


In addition to faculty from Karolinska Institutet, the following are some of the principal contributors to the programme:

Admasu Tenna Mamuye, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Head of Clinical Epidemiology Unit
College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University

Pol Vandenbroucke, MD
Regional Head of Medical Affairs North America, Global Established Pharma, Pfizer

Colin Pillai, PhD
Head of Global Scientific, Capabilities Center for Excellence, Novartis

Kathy Heard, M.Sc.
Former Head of Study Management, Sanofi

James Whalen, MD
Medical Director, Lincoln Research

Dermot Cox, PhD
Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 

Entry requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree or a professional degree worth at least 180 credits in biomedicine, pharmacology, medicine, odontology or equivalent.
  • You will need to demonstrate proficiency in English, especially writing at post-graduate level.
  • At least 2 years of relevant professional experience.
Master's courses as contract education
The Master's courses are offered as contract education, in accordance with the Ordinance (SFS 2002:760) on Contract Education at Universities and University Colleges, and the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education's directions for Contract Education at Universities and University Colleges (HSVFS 2003:3). Thus, if you wish to participate in the courses, first confirm that your employer will sponsor your fees, and then contact us to apply. If you are a resident outside of the EEA, different regulations may apply. Please contact us for more information.


For more information about the admission process and fees, please contact project coordinator Nadja Saltell:

For more information about the courses and their content, please contact: 

Fees and application

200 000 SEK excluding VAT. 

For details on how to apply, see the document  below called "Application process". Last day to apply is October 17, 2016.

Click here to apply!