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MSc Pharmacovigilance

Why choose Herts?

Industry Accreditation: Delivered in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association [PIPA].

Teaching Excellence: This course is flexible blended with online and face-to-face teaching. You'll learn from expert specialist teaching staff who work with the Eu2P European Programme in Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology, an online pan European e-learning tool.

Strong Industry Connections: Benefit from networking opportunities with our alumni at University based Pharmacovigilance events and connect with our industry supporters including Roche, Novartis, and GSK.

Professional Accreditations

PIPA (Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association)

About the course

The aim of this MSc is to provide a postgraduate education in pharmacovigilance, including relevant techniques, the basis of adverse drug reactions, regulations and guidelines (UK, EU and major worldwide regions), handling safety issues including labelling and risk management and systems and processes. Teaching consists of lectures and workshop activities in small groups and takes into account real world situations. There are opportunities for sharing experiences and networking which contributes to the development of your knowledge and understanding of pharmacovigilance issues.

Flexible programme

This is a flexible programme designed to meet the needs of those in either full or part-time employment who are likely to have a spread of responsibilities. Students are able to complete the MSc course in under three years if able to attend all modules at the earliest opportunity. Alternatively, they can take up to five years, progressing at a slower pace.

Participants will normally be graduates and/or experienced personnel and usually will need to have held positions in drug safety for one to several years. The programme is run as a series of intensive short courses supplemented with substantial pre and post-course reading and set coursework. In addition, if you are studying for an MSc, you will undertake a research project that is normally carried out at your workplace but may be done at the University, or an institution with appropriate experience of pharmacovigilance or adverse drug reactions.

The programme has attracted students from European Union countries, Norway, Switzerland, Japan and the USA and its success has led to the organisation of an annual Pharmacovigilance Update day for those who have completed their studies.

Recruitment will take place at the beginning of each taught module and the programme offers the awards of a PgC, PgD or MSc. Students are typically able to obtain any one of the awards in a minimum of two years; however you have a maximum registration of up to five years in order to complete the course. This course has the option of being a diploma if you do not feel you can commit to the full MSc programme.

View the MSc Pharmacy, Pharmacology and Pharmacovigilance booklet.

Why choose this course?

  • 1st for Biosciences in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES, Advance HE, 2023).
  • The MSc/PgD/PgC in Pharmacovigilance is a programme developed by the School of Life and Medical Sciences and the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association (PIPA).
  • In addition to offering this course, The University of Hertfordshire is also part of the Eu2P European Programme in Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology, an online pan European e-learning/e-teaching MSc course.
  • The programme includes eight taught modules, provided as intensive three-day workshops, and for the MSc award, a research project.
  • It is taught mainly through teams of staff drawn from the professions appropriate to pharmacovigilance. This is a major feature of the programme, the majority of staff delivering the courses will be acknowledged experts.
  • The aim is to provide a postgraduate education in pharmacovigilance, including relevant techniques, the basis of adverse drug reactions, regulations and guidelines, handling safety issues and the role of systems and processes.

What will I study?

Taught modules normally consist of approximately 24 hours class contact. In addition, about 120 hours will be needed to complete the pre and post-course activities. The actual amount of time spent will depend upon your existing knowledge and ability. All modules are free-standing. 

Satisfactory completion of four modules is compulsory for the PgCert; all eight modules are compulsory for the PgDip and MSc. Compulsory modules for any award include: The Principles of Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacovigilance Regulations and Guidelines

Coursework will contribute significantly to assessment and may comprise some or all of the following: summaries of pre-course reading, written reports of class discussions, essays, performances in seminars, poster presentations, problem solving or data interpretation exercise, short projects and case studies. Unseen written examinations will feature in some courses; they may be used to examine understanding of pre-course reading material. Attendance at the taught component and satisfactory completion of both coursework and examinations (where present), with a minimum mark of 50% in each element, is normally required to pass each module.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Pharmacovigilance Regulations and Guidelines 15 Credits Optional
    Drug Safety in Clinical Trials 15 Credits Optional
    Adverse Drug Reactions by Major Body Systems II 15 Credits Optional
    Management and Reporting of Pharmacovigilance Data 15 Credits Optional
    Project, Pharmacovigilance 60 Credits Optional
    Principles of Pharmacovigilance 15 Credits Optional
    Adverse Drug Reactions by Major Body Systems I 15 Credits Optional
    Pharmacoepidemiology 15 Credits Optional
    Risk Management and Labelling 15 Credits Optional
  • Key staff

    Dr Chris Benham
    Admissions Tutor
    Find out more about Dr Chris Benham

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MSc Pharmacovigilance Download
    MSc Pharmacovigilance Download
    Programme specifications
    MSc Pharmacovigilance Download
    MSc Pharmacovigilance Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.