Description of Pharmaceutical Sciences


The MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences is a two-year programme leading to a Master´s degree and a Swiss Federal Diploma for pharmacists, entitling holders to run a private or hospital pharmacy.
The first year comprises project work and a Master´s thesis, supplemented by compulsory courses and electives. The second year, which includes a practical internship of several months, prepares the student for pharmacy work.

  • Compulsory subjects and electives, project work
  • Master's thesis (22 weeks)
  • Practical and patientoriented training (1 year of professional training)

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline For all applicants: 30 October - 15 December
Tuition fee
  • EUR 550 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 550 Semester (EEA)
Tuition 580 CHF + student fees CHF 64 per semester. ETH Zurich offers a number of scholarships for outstanding students within the Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme and the Master Scholarship Programme.
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 90 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Full-time students, for whom the programme is designed, complete their studies in 2 years. The total number of 90 credits necessary to obtain the Master degree must be acquired within 4 years. For each category a specific number of credit points must be reached.

First Year

Compulsory subjects: 14 credit points

4 lecture courses and the Drug Seminar are obligatory. 11 credits must be obtained in this category, 3 credits can be compensated, but only after an examination has been failed twice.

Optional subjects: 4 credit points

These subjects include a broad spectrum of advanced topics in pharmaceutical sciences, as well as topics from related areas.

Compensatory subjects

3 credit points of the compulsory subjects can be compensated, but only after an examination has been failed twice. For this category the same courses are eligible as for the optional courses. In addition, the Department publishes a list of courses offered in this category. Other courses need to be authorized by the Director of Studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Research Project: 10 credit points

Students have to do one Research Project under the guidance of an elected professor in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences (the Director of Studies can grant exemptions). The Institute publishes a list with contacts where the students can apply for a project. An agreement must be signed and deposed at the Student Administration Office.

Electives in humanities, social and political sciences (GESS): 2 credit points

All students must collect credits in courses offered by the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences.

Master Thesis: 30 credit points

The Master Thesis is carried out in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences under the supervision of an elected professor (the Director of Studies can grant exemptions). It lasts 22 weeks. The research topic is chosen by the student in accord with the respective professor. The Institute publishes a list with contacts where the students can apply for a project. An agreement must be signed and deposited at the Student Administration Office.
For admission to the Master Thesis, the Bachelor degree has to be completed as well as the Research Project.

Second Year

It is not possible to start with the courses of the second year before completion of the first year. All 60 credits must be achieved.

For the second year and the preparation for the Swiss Federal Examination in Pharmacy, a special booklet is distributed to the participants.

Compulsory Block Courses: 18 credit points

In these courses, students are prepared for the practical work as pharmacists, as well as for the federal examination.

Internship, Case Study, 6 credit points

During the internship of at least 25 weeks, students are trained in a community pharmacy. They learn about the complexities of a community pharmacy and translate their theoretical knowledge to real-life situations. A part of the internship may be done in a hospital pharmacy. During the internship, students also compose a report on a case study, which is assessed.

Elective Block Courses: 6 credit points

According to their individual interests, students choose from different optional subjects.

Compensatory Block Courses: 6 credit points

Either Applied Pharmacology or Basics of Practical Pharmacy can be compensated, if the examination is failed twice. This category comprises the same courses that are also eligible as optional block courses.

English Language Requirements

Requirements for Pharmaceutical Sciences

The equivalent of an ETH Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. See for details.

Work Experience for Pharmaceutical Sciences

No work experience is required.

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