Drug discovery and development

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
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Full education cost: 32 000 SEK
First payment: 32 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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The course in Drug Discovery and Development aims to give you an overall understanding of the discovery and development of novel pharmaceuticals (drug discovery/development). It covers target selection, lead discovery/optimization, non-clinical in vitro/in vivo safety and efficacy studies, clinical trials, and market authorization. The course also highlights examples of existing drugs, how they have been developed, and their mechanisms of action.


The course is mostly theoretical, but also includes practical demonstrations. You will also perform an individual project work in the form of writing a scientific report and giving an oral presentation at the end of the course.

Many of the lectures are given by key experts from the industry who have developed different types of drugs and taken them to late stage clinical trials or the market. They will illustrate the theoretical part of the course with examples by incorporating problem-based learning. They will also introduce their organisations (such as RISE and Astra Zeneca) as potential future employers.

This course is taught in English.

Prerequisites and selection


For admission to the course, approved courses of 120 credits in the field of natural science are required, of which at least 15 credits must be within the main subject molecular biology and 15 credits in the main subject chemistry or equivalent. In addition, Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

The course in Drug Discovery and Development is part of the Master's programme in Molecular Biology and the Master's programme in Genomics and Systems Biology. The course can also be applied for as a stand-alone course.

The course will provide you with an insight into drug discovery/development which is valuable if you choose to work within biotech/biopharma or in academia.


The course is given on Campus Medicinareberget.

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