Res. Master in Cogn.& Clin. Neuroscience: Drug Development and Neurohealth

Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Program Description

Res. Master in Cogn.& Clin. Neuroscience: Drug Development and Neurohealth

Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Res. Master in Cogn.& Clin. Neuroscience: Drug Development and Neurohealth

This specialisation provides a theoretical background and practical experience in pharmaceutical drug research & development, medicinal nutrition and personalised healthcare. It includes interactions with industry and regulatory agencies. The overarching theme is the pipeline of drug research & development from design of the molecule to its applications in healthcare settings.

Programme Outline

The programme covers the process of bringing a new pharmaceutical drug to the market once a lead compound has been identified (drug discovery).It includes pre-clinical research (in-vitro/in-vivo) and clinical trials (in volunteers and patients) and obtaining marketing authorization.Molecular, biological, neuroanatomical, electrophysiological,and behavioural techniques as well as biomarker development into diagnostics,clinical trial methodology and pharmacovigilance are taught.


The main research topics focus on clinical and pharmacological brain targets and biomarkers associated with affective-, neurodevelopmental-,neurodegenerative- and neurovascular disorders.Core courses are organized along these mechanisms/ disorders including practical training to acquire necessary laboratory skills.Specific workshops like 'Genes and Proteins', 'DrugMetabolism', 'Psychopharmacology' and'Pharmaco-epidemiology', provide additional technical knowledge.


During the programme, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team of neuroscientists including biological psychologists, molecular biologists, pharmacists, neurobiologists, neuroanatomists, psychopharmacologists, psychiatrists and neuroimmunologists. These professionals participate in world-wide international networks of research in relevant fields at academia and industry. This offers excellent opportunities for internships at small, medium and large companies in biotechnology- and clinical research organisations, pharmaceutical- and nutrition industries as well as governmental organisations in food and drug regulation.

Career Focus

The Drug Development and Neurohealth specialisation equips researchers with the skills needed for pharmaceutical drug discovery &development and personalised healthcare in neuroscience in academic, industrial, as well as governmental settings.

Is It Right For Me?

Which brain drugs are most urgently needed in society? Do all drugs work the same in every individual or do we need to know the patients genotype (personalised healthcare)? Which genetic alterations make you more vulnerable to brain diseases and/or more receptive to drug effects in the brain? Can we develop biomarkers as diagnostics to predict drug effects in the brain?Can a change in diet or nutritional supplements be as effective as drug treatment? How do we translate new knowledge from R&D into astart-up company? If you are interested in such questions then Drug Development and NeuroHealth is the right choice.

Students with different backgrounds can participate and become a trained neuroscientist equipped for up-to-date drug research. Therefore,motivated students with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, biology, or life sciences are well suited to this programme.

"The specialisation Drug Development and Neurohealth is an interdisciplinary programme, which offers a great opportunity to apply a wide range of molecular and clinical neuroscience methods, while the focus remains on improving mental healthcare.”

Prof. Dr. Wim Riedel

Coordinator Drug Development and Neurohealth

At A Glance

24-month duration

Year 1 | Core courses:

  • Introduction to Molecular and Biochemical Techniques
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Medical Needs & Failures, Target Discovery
  • Drug Discovery
  • Big data in drug discovery and development
  • Safety & Drug Metabolism
  • Clinical Development
  • Registration and Pharmacovigilance
  • Valorisation
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Personalised Healthcare
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Advanced Statistics I & II

Year 2 | Core courses:

  • Applied Therapeutics
  • Research Grant Writing

Research internship and master’s thesis

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 3, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
24 months
Full time
1,984 EUR
Mar. 31, 2017
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Maastricht
Application deadline Mar. 31, 2017
End date Sept. 1, 2019
Duration 24 months
Price 1,984 EUR