|Course commences||winter semester only|
|Standard course duration||8 semesters|
|Language of instruction||German|
Pharmacy is an interdisciplinary science course. Extending from the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, physics and physiology to subjects like Molecular Biology, Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, its range is broad indeed. By the end of the course, graduates will have come into contact with the entire spectrum of activities connected with medical drugs, from the quest for new active substances and the practical manufacture and testing of drugs to individual therapy design for patients.
Pharmaceutical Chemistry is concerned with the synthesis and analysis of active substances and the way they work at the molecular level. In the course, these topics are dealt with in numerous practical classes aimed at ensuring that graduates achieve a sound grasp of chemical analysis, the development of active substances and synthetic chemistry.
Pharmaceutical Biology introduces students to the foundations of Biology and also imparts specialist knowledge on toxic and curative plants and the use of active biogenic substances (from plants and micro-organisms) in medical therapy. Pharmaceutical Biology also encompasses classes on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology with its focus on drugs produced via recombinant DNA technology.
Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy homes in on processing drugs and auxiliary substances to produce drug formats (e.g. tablets) and investigates the concentration time curves of medicinal substances in the body.
Pharmacology examines the molecular mechanisms of action displayed by drugs in the body and their impact on organ functions. The clinical relevance is obvious, encompassing issues like rational selection of suitable substances for the optimisation of therapy, potential inter-reactions with other substances, and the critical evaluation of undesirable side effects.
In Heidelberg, Clinical Pharmacy lies under the aegis of the Clinical Pharmacy Cooperation Unit, a unit in which the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, the University Hospital Dispensary and the IPMB have pooled their functional resources. The result is clinically biased, patient-oriented teaching and research aimed at identifying and preventing drug-therapy risks and optimising the efficacy of drugs for the individual patient.
The course is run by Heidelberg University’s Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB). A number of university rankings have confirmed that the IPMB is one of the leading pharmaceutical research institutes in German higher education.
Pharmaceutical training geared to the acquisition of the Licence to Practise Pharmacy is regulated by the Licensing Regulations for the Practice of Pharmacy (Approbationsordnung für Apotheker, AAppO), a statutory instrument defining the content and the structure of the course.
Stage 1 of the course (four semesters) covers fundamental aspects of biology, chemistry, human biology, mathematics and physics. Heidelberg is the first university in Germany to organise the first State Examination not as a central examination but (as in Bachelor courses) but in the form of continuous assessment via course-integrated tests during Stage 1 of the course (alternative examination procedure).
In Stage 2 of the course (four semesters), students deepen the knowledge they have acquired on core pharmaceutical subjects and neighbouring medical disciplines. The second State Examination concludes the programme with an oral examination in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy.
Subsequently students (normally) undergo a year of practical training in research departments, industrial enterprises and dispensaries (“Practical Year”). After that, they take the third part of the State Examination. Thereafter they can apply for the Licence to Practise Pharmacy.
Careers for pharmacists
The career prospects for Pharmacy graduates are diverse. There are openings for them in public or hospital dispensaries, in the pharmaceutical industry, in science and research, health authorities and administration, specialist publishing firms, the Federal Armed Forces and the health insurance sector. Hardly any other science course holds out such favourable job prospects; the unemployment rate is correspondingly low.
Specific profile of the Pharmacy course at Heidelberg University
Although the Licensing Regulations are detailed and explicit about the structure of degree programmes, there are sometimes considerable differences between study locations. The profile of the Pharmacy course in Heidelberg is described in detail on the IPMB website.
For constantly updated information on the course and the application procedure, go to
A portion of the study places are awarded centrally by Hochschulstart.de. The University distributes the remaining study places itself by way of an internal selection procedure. In all cases, prospective students must apply to Hochschulstart.de . If you wish to take part in the University’s internal selection procedure, you have to apply directly to the University as well as to Hochschulstart.de .
Applications for study places in Pharmacy at Heidelberg University are only possible for the winter semester.
The provisions for the admission process in accordance with the internal selection procedure are set out in the Selection Regulations.
Students contemplating a change of university or a transfer should seek advice from the Study and Examinations office before embarking on such a course.
There are special regulations for international applicants. Please consult Heidelberg University’s International Relations Office (Akademisches Auslandsamt, Seminarstraße 2) for more information. International applicants are invited to participate in a preparatory course taking place in the summer semester prior to the beginning of the course proper.
Study and examination regulations
Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the Study Dean’s office or the State Examinations Office for Medicine. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.
Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.
Herr Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker
Study Dean for Pharmacy
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366
phone: +49 (0)6221 545971
office hours by arrangement
Frau Dr. D. Kaufmann
Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, ground floor
phone: +49 (0)6221 545670
office hours by arrangement
Study and Examinations Office
for Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology
Faculty of Biosciences
Im Neuenheimer Feld 234
phone: +49 (0)6221 546036
fax: +49 (0)6221 544953