The curriculum with its clearly formulated entry requirements is designed in such a way that students with a bachelor's degree or equivalent first university degree from relevant courses in the chemical, biological or medical-pharmaceutical field can study the course equally consecutively. He has both an industrial and an academic graduate perspective and thus addresses the primary practice, design and problem-solving orientation of the TH Köln as well as the primary research orientation of the University of Cologne.

The course of study distinguishes itself through a holistic and synoptic view of the discovery and development process of drugs in terms of content from thematically related courses that focus more on specific partial or framework aspects (e.g. medical-chemical, pharmacological, regulatory, toxicological) of the value chain are aligned.

After successful completion, the path is open to direct entry into pharmaceutical research and development or a doctorate. Possible fields of activity or employers, in addition to the academic sector, would primarily be the research-based pharmaceutical industry, but also small and medium-sized companies in the health sector (biotech companies, contract research institutes) as well as relevant national (e.g. BfArM) or international (e.g. EMA) authorities 


The core competence of people doing research in the field of pharmaceuticals lies in the area of ??interaction between chemical (or also biologically manufactured) substances and living matter. It requires a good understanding of both chemical and life science basics and relationships. The course gives graduates of all courses of study the content of both areas the opportunity to deepen this content with a focus on the interaction between animate and inanimate matter. In addition, they open up the entire value chain of the research-based pharmaceutical industry in a research-oriented manner (from the identification of the body's own target structures for drugs to the development of lead chemical substances to clinical testing).

All the specialist disciplines involved here (analysis, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, galenics, management, molecular and clinical pharmacology) are integrated into the curriculum and interlinked with one another. After just a few years of training, students should be able to distinguish themselves for an activity in this field either directly or after completing a doctorate.

Active ingredient research is therefore essential for maintaining health and prosperity, far beyond the narrow focus on pharmaceutical applications, of fundamental importance. The changing, growing and aging society as well as difficult and changing environmental conditions require an adaptation or new development of active ingredients. In addition, the demands placed on them in terms of effectiveness, safety and ecological sustainability continue to increase. A large part of the topic complexes require the solution of fundamental scientific and in particular medical or pharmaceutical problems.

Numerous projects are processed within the curriculum that address small to medium-sized problems that are directly related to the challenges mentioned. The Drug Discovery and Development course contributes as a whole to the social commitment of the students.

The master’s course is therefore internationally oriented and is therefore open to foreign applicants. The teaching languages ??are German and English.


120 ECTS

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