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The postgraduate online event on the 11 November – 15 November 2024 is the perfect opportunity to find out more about your course of interest, speak with our academics, and discover the opportunities that further study has to offer.

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MSc Pharmacovigilance

Why choose Herts?

Strong Industry Connections: Delivered in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association [PIPA], who contribute to the curriculum and teaching to ensure the up-to-date content is relevant to needs of the industry. Benefit from networking opportunities with our external industry speakers (including Roche and Novartis) and other students working world.

Teaching Excellence: A programme committee of expert speakers provide students with the latest thinking in Pharmacovigilance and access to networking opportunities. Students have the benefit of working with two supervisors for their project dissertation: many of our academic supervisors hold or held senior industry-level roles.

Flexible Blended Learning: This part-time postgraduate programme in Pharmacovigilance is designed for full-time employed professionals within drug safety. This course is flexible blended with online and face-to-face teaching. This programme can take a minimum of 3 years to complete, and up until 5 years to work:life:studying balance for students.

International Recognition: The programme has international recognition as an established provider of Pharmacovigilance and Drug Safety education with academic accreditation, focusing on European Union and United Kingdom Pharmacovigilance Regulations and Guidelines, yet providing a rounded global context.

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.

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 Sciences in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Information and Pharmacovigilance Association (PIPA).
  • The programme includes eight taught modules, 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.
  • Students will attend a three-day block teaching, per module which is delivered online and in-person simultaneously, during a working day in United Kingdom time-zone.
  • 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.

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
    Pharmacovigilance Regulations and Guidelines15 CreditsOptional
    Drug Safety in Clinical Trials15 CreditsOptional
    Adverse Drug Reactions by Major Body Systems II15 CreditsOptional
    Management and Reporting of Pharmacovigilance Data15 CreditsOptional
    Project, Pharmacovigilance60 CreditsOptional
    Principles of Pharmacovigilance15 CreditsOptional
    Adverse Drug Reactions by Major Body Systems I15 CreditsOptional
    Pharmacoepidemiology15 CreditsOptional
    Risk Management and Labelling15 CreditsOptional
  • Key staff

    Ms Marika Vousden
    Admissions Tutor
    Find out more about Ms Marika Vousden

    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.