Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Drug Research, Development and Control is offered by the Faculty of Pharmacy within the framework of the European Higher Education Area. The course is interdisciplinary and spans more than one faculty: eight departments in two UB faculties (Pharmacy and Food Sciences and Medicine and Health Sciences) take part in the teaching.
Today, highly qualified professionals are needed to meet the new challenges in business and research areas of the pharmaceutical sector. This master's degree is an ideal platform for acquiring advanced knowledge of the stages of drug development. One of the main challenges in the pharmaceutical industry is the research and development of new active principles and new drug formulations with high added value. In this context, drug analysis and control is an essential activity to ensure the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products. Consequently, the aim of the master's degree is to provide advanced, specialized, multidisciplinary training to equip students with the tools needed to begin research in the area of drug development and control. On completion, students will be able to work in research centres and companies in the pharmaceutical sector and related industries.
The master's degree is drawn from the doctoral programme of the same name and has received a quality award from the Ministry of Education (MCD-2006-00525). It provides the training required for admission to the doctoral programme Drug Research, Development and Control (which received the excellence award MEE2011-0420 for 2011-2013) or to other doctoral programmes in related areas.

Since its introduction, this master's degree has attracted graduates from Spanish regions and from other EU and non-EU countries. Clearly, one reason for the appeal of the degree is the reputation of the teaching staff, who belong to various consolidated research groups recognized by the Regional Government of Catalonia. The lecturers have extensive teaching experience and most are members of UB teaching innovation groups. They are all leaders in research. Prestigious professionals from the industrial sector, as well as national and international researchers of recognized merit, also contribute to teaching the degree. Their involvement contributes to the interdisciplinary nature of the master's degree and ensures excellence in teaching. As a result, the course has received various awards, both in its initial stage as a doctoral programme and subsequently as a master's degree. These include the SPDE grant from the AGAUR for doctoral programmes with business participation (2005-2006 academic year), three teaching research projects (REDICE) 2006 (A0601-08), 2010 (1002-15) and 2012 (12-2064-01), and various teaching innovation projects (PID 2010, 2012, 2020).  All of the above has helped to improve the quality of the master's degree, making it one of the most
This master's degree provides advanced, specialized, multidisciplinary training and equips students with the tools needed to begin research in the area of drug development and control. On completion of the course, students will be equipped to work in research centres and companies in the pharmaceutical sector and related industries.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Pharmacy and Food Science
Branch of knowledge
  • Pharmacy
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available40
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instructionCatalan (10%), Spanish (85%) and English (5%).
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


  • Acquire solid, multidisciplinary training in theory and methodology in the areas of drug research, development and control so that quality research can be carried out in all stages of drug development, and specifically research related to the development of new pharmaceutical formulations.
  • Display a capacity for analysis and synthesis.
  • Learn to work in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Work creatively to achieve quality research that enables the development, leadership and management of research projects in the pharmaceutical field.
  • Gain the cognitive skills needed for inductive reasoning, develop the critical and reflective ability to solve problems in the professional arena, and lead and manage teams in the main areas of the pharmaceutical industry.


Upon completion of the master's degree, students will be able to:
  • Use leadership skills, a capacity for initiative, entrepreneurial spirit and command of management techniques to lead activities in pharmaceutical companies, research projects or research groups.
  • Work as part of multidisciplinary teams and collaborate with other professionals.
  • Integrate advanced technological knowledge and improve the skills and abilities needed to work in an experimental laboratory in the field of drug R&D;
    plan and implement a research project to develop and control drugs of natural and synthetic origin, and apply the knowledge acquired to the development of new pharmaceutical products and to innovation.
  • Identify current therapeutic approaches to the treatment of various diseases and the main advances in the discovery and development of new drugs and new drug targets.
  • Demonstrate the skills and abilities to develop and formulate drugs and to design and plan new nanostructured, controlled drug delivery systems;
    apply advanced instrumental analysis techniques to drug research, development and control.
  • Demonstrate the skills and abilities to develop and validate new analytical methods and to apply them to the analysis and control of natural and synthetic drugs.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

This master's degree is suitable for degree-holders in health sciences and experimental sciences.

- Graduates in pharmacy or an equivalent qualification issued by a Spanish or foreign university can access the master's degree directly.

- Access is also possible for graduates in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, biomedical sciences, environmental sciences, food science and technology, chemical engineering, medicine, chemistry, veterinary science or equivalent qualifications, issued by national or foreign universities. In this case, the Academic Committee of the master's degree must analyse the subjects that the applicants have taken and the skills gained in the previous degree to determine which bridging courses they need to take. For holders of other qualifications, admission depends on the suitability of the studies and the academic transcript, at the discretion of the master's degree Academic Committee.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
From an educational perspective, candidates must have previous knowledge of pharmacy, pharmaceutical technology, biopharmacy, pharmacokinetics and human physiology to be admitted to the master's degree. If candidates cannot prove their knowledge (for example, through a pre-EHEA or EHEA bachelor's degree in pharmacy, another master's degree in this knowledge area or professional experience in the pharmaceutical sector or a related industry), they must complete specific bridging courses, which will be taught in September, prior to the start of the master's degree:
  • Introduction to Galenic Pharmacy
  • Introduction to Biopharmacy and Pharmacokinetics
  • General Principles of Human Physiology

Students who are required to complete bridging courses must enrol for one or more of the bridging subjects, as indicated by the Coordination Committee.



19 February ' 15 july 2024.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
  • Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria

Where to submit the documentation:
Secretary's Office for Students and Teaching Staff at the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Selection criteria

To be considered for the master's degree, all candidates must have pre-enrolled on line, provided proof of English and Spanish level B1 or equivalent, and submitted all of the required documents. The following will be taken into account:
  • Curriculum vitae (50%).
  • Academic transcript (40%).
  • Compatibility of previous studies (5%).
  • Statement of interest, outlining the candidate's reasons for applying (5%).

Once the Admissions Committee has evaluated the candidate's specific merits, it may ask the candidate to attend a personal interview to complete the application process.


The selection and admission of students is carried out by the master's degree Coordination Committee, which is comprised of the coordinator, a teaching staff representative from the departments that teach at least 20% of the master's degree, a student, and the head of the Secretary's Office for Students and Teaching Staff or his/her delegate.
The Committee will notify candidates of its decision by email, in June and September, depending on the pre-enrolment period. If a candidate disagrees with the Committee's decision, he/she can make a written request for a review. The letter should be sent to the Secretary's Office of the school or faculty no later than ten days after receiving email notification of the decision.


As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 15
Optional 25
Compulsory placements 0
Compulsory final project 20

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Drug Research, Development and Control
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Advances in Pharmacology and Therapeutics Compulsory 1st semester 5
Advances in Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animal Testing Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Bioinformatics in Drug Design Optional 1st semester 2.5
Biopharmaceutical and Pharmacokinetic Applications in Drug Design and Drug Control Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Biostatistics and Applied Computer Science Optional 1st semester 2.5
Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Inflammation and Pain Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Documentary Research Optional 1st semester 2.5
Evaluation of Toxicity Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Final Project Compulsory 1st semester
2nd semester
Immunoenzymatic Assay Techniques Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Instrumental Analysis for Research and Control in Medicine Compulsory 1st semester 5
Interactions between Foods and Medicines Optional 1st semester 2.5
Isolation and Analysis of Bioactive Natural Products Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Nanostructured Systems for Controlled Drug Release Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Pharmaceutical Development and Formulation Compulsory 1st semester 5
Physicochemical and Galenic Control Techniques Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Plant Resources and Natural Products Optional 2nd semester 5
Stability of Medicines Optional 2nd semester 2.5
Technology Transfer, Management, Marketing and Bioethics Optional 1st semester 2.5
Validation in the Pharmaceutical Industry Optional 2nd semester 2.5

Bridging courses

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: BC for admission to the Master's Degree in Drug Research, Development and Control
Introduction to Biopharmacy and Pharmacokinetics Optional 1st semester 2.5
Introduction to Galenic Pharmacy Optional 1st semester 2.5

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

The master's degree grants access to third-cycle studies either in a research centre or in a business environment, as part of business-university collaboration.
Completion of the master's degree will help graduates to obtain higher-level positions in various areas of the pharmaceutical industry and to enter the business world as a technician or head of production, R+D, quality control, quality assurance and related areas.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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