Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.

What will I learn?

The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Chemistry in the Netherlands.

Drug Innovation is about:

  • developing new drugs to combat drug-resistant microorganisms
  • using gene or protein technologies to create therapies targeted at individual patients
  • finding a way to imprint the immune system to increase tolerance
  • exploring the relationship between gut microbes and brain disease
  • learning how to use proteomics to study stem cell development
  • reducing the side effects of treatment by finding new ways to deliver drugs directly onto the tumor
  • updating and speeding up the drug regulatory process

The Master’s in Drug Innovation programme focuses on diagnostics and the improvement and management of small molecule and biomolecular drugs. Drug innovation covers many topics such as the development of new vaccines and the study of antibodies, gene therapeutics, and medical nutrition. Once developed, a new drug then needs to go through approval, which raises a whole new set of challenges, for example the establishment of new methods and criteria for evaluating the quality, efficacy, safety, and performance of the drug.

Interdisciplinary programme

This broad, interdisciplinary programme is open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines such as chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences, or medicine.

Programme objective

Drug innovation is an interdisciplinary field, which pulls together expertise from chemical, biological and medical sciences. This interdisciplinary is central to the search for new solutions to currently incurable diseases.

You will contribute to this field by undertaking two internships over a total of 15 months and submitting a writing assignment.

After graduation, you will have the skills needed to translate a drug-related problem into a relevant research question and will also be able to design and perform the research needed to solve this question. Finally, you will also be able to critically reflect on your own research and report on it, both verbally and in writing. These skills are highly transferable and will enable you to work independently within a competitive labour market.


Graduates with an MSc in Drug Innovation will be eligible for many PhD programmes. As soon as you graduate with a PhD, and if you want to pursue for a career in academia, you can aim for a post-doctoral fellowship. After that, you can then opt for either an assistant, associate, or full professorship role, which occurs mostly through tenure tracks. You can also choose to contribute to drug innovation within research institutes, any of the growing number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies (ranging from small start-up to ‘big pharma’), or health care organizations. After completing the Drug Regulatory Sciences profile, you can find jobs in regulatory affairs, often even without a PhD programme. Other opportunities in the same institutes or companies include careers in business, administration and education.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
€20,473.00 (16,53,716) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 8,

Utrecht Science Park / De Uithof,


3584, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

MSc Track: Knowledge/ competence in the field of European law and a bachelor degree in Economics or sufficient knowledge of economics including knowledge/competence in the fields of: Microeconomics; Mathematics; Industrial organization and Competition Policy; Corporate Finance; Econometrics or Advanced Statistics. English language requirements: IELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 7.0 overall band, at least 6.0 for all components. TOEFL, iBT. Minimum score: 96, at least 23 for writing and 20 for the other sections. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

For international students

To be eligible for this programme, you need to demonstrate knowledge, insight, and skills in the following fields:

  1. You must have a Dutch or equivalent international BSc in one of the life sciences (Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, or Veterinary Sciences) to enter the programme.
  2. It is recommended that you have a basic knowledge of pharmacology and some basic lab skills.

Applicants are expected to be familiar with the following subject material:

  • biochemistry, biotechnology and cell biology;
  • pharmacology (including pharmacokinetics);
  • physical organic chemistry and analytical techniques; and
  • anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology

Other English language requirements: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


Get in touch