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Minister of Education approves Leiden Pharmacy master’s

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science has approved the application for the master’s programme in Pharmacy in Leiden. This is an important step on the road to a new master’s programme.

From the 2016 academic year

The Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Leiden University (Faculty of Science (W&N)) have the ambition to train students as pharmacists starting from the 2016 academic year. Before the programme can begin, it first has to go through the approval procedure of the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).

Patient-focused pharmacists

The aim is to create a distinctive Leiden programme that trains patient-focused pharmacists. The new programme combines the strong scientific basis of the existing Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS) with the patient-focused elements of Medicine. In the third year of the BPS bachelor’s programme a select group of students can opt for the BPS and pharmacy specialisation, after which, besides the option of the master’s Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, they can also go on to take the master’s in Pharmacy. Students of this master’s will work for almost two years as interns in a pharmacy, either in a hospital or outside, which will give them practical experience, in the same way that medical students gain practical experience during their clinical internships.

Positive decision

‘A new master’s programme in Pharmacy is an excellent addition to our existing Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences programme,’ comments Professor Piet Hein van der Graaf, Scientific Director of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR). ‘It gives students of our successful bachelor’s programme in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences even more options. It’s also an endorsement of Leiden’s leading position in the world of pharmaceutical research and teaching.’ Professor Henk-Jan Guchelaar (LUMC, department head of Clinical Pharmacy and Toxicology) is also enthusiastic about the new programme. ‘I am delighted with this positive decision. The pharmacist training will be an asset not only for Leiden but for pharmacy in the Netherlands in general. It is an excellent match for the evolving role of pharmacists as co-practitioners.’

Pharmaceutical healthcare providers

There is an increasing demand for pharmacists who have knowledge of both products and patient care, which means they are evolving as pharmaceutical healthcare providers. The new master’s in Pharmacy meets this need. Students will study specific themes, arranged around patient groups and common medical conditions. A lot of their knowledge will be gained through experience-based learning, in other words pharmaceutical internships that focus on communicating with patients and other healthcare professionals. They will be working side by side with medical students.

After accreditation, more information about the master’s programme will be available on the master's in Leiden website. If you'd like to receive updates about the programme, please send an e-mail to masters@leidenuniv.nl.

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