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Ministry of Education and Science of LR

Department of Higher Education and Science

Announcement to accreditation of study program

Title of higher educational


Address and telephone

Number of registration of

the higher educational institution

Title of program

Code of study program

Duration of program

Volume of the program

Enrolment regulations

Awarded academic title

Place of realization of the program

Way of the realization

Name, surname of

responsible person to

accredit the program

University of Latvia

Raina bulv. 19

Riga LV-1586, LATVIA

Telephone: +371 70344301

Nr. 3341000218

Pharmacy master program


Two years or 4 semesters in full-time studies

80 credit points

Pharmacy bachelor degree, diploma of professional higher pharmacy education

Master of Health Sciences in Pharmacy

Faculty of Medicine of LU

Full-time studies

Dr.hab.biol., assoc.prof. Ruta Muceniece

Dean of faculty of Medicine

of University of Latvia U. Vikmanis

Director of Pharmacy master

study program R. Muceniece



Self evaluation 5-29

  1. Synopsis of program 5

  2. General overview of study program 6

    1. Goals and tasks of program 6

    2. Organization of study program and its compliance to

goals of faculty of Medicine of LU 7

    1. Correspondence to LR laws, regulations of

LR Minister Cabinet and EU directives 7

III Matriculation regulations 8

IV Evaluation of program 9

  1. Evaluation from standpoint of Latvia and LU 9

  2. Characterization of students and participation

of students in the improvement of the studying 10

  1. Criteria of evaluation of program quality 11

  2. Structure of Pharmacy master degree study program 12

Table 1. 14

  1. Finances 15

  2. Advertisement and informative announcements

about program 15

  1. Requirements of the study evaluation and

order of evaluation 15

  1. Comparison with other study programs in pharmacy

at different universities in different countries 17

    1. Comparison of program curriculum 17

    2. Table 2 18

    3. Comparison of working carrier of pharmacy

masters in Latvia and European countries

Table 3. 19

  1. Collaboration with potential employers 19

V Characterization of academic personnel 20

  1. Academic personnel 20

  2. Maintenance and renewal of qualified academic personnel 20

  3. Participation of students in a research 21

  4. Foreign guest lecturers 21

VI International collaboration and collaboration

between LU structural units 22

  1. Scientific projects carried out by academic personnel 23

  2. Experience of academic personnel abroad 24

VII Publications of academic personnel in Internationally

Cited journals and patents (2001-2004) 26-27

VIII Concept of program development 28

IX Strong and week sides of program 29

Appendices 30-130

Content of study program 30-31

  1. Course description 32-61

  2. List of academic personnel and their CV 62-85

  3. Expenses 86

  4. Analysis of students interviews 87-90

  5. Methodological regulations how to write

Master thesis 91-102

7. Pharmaceutical practice 103-115

  1. Advertisement of program (in Latvian) 116-117

  1. System of education in Latvia 118

  2. Pharmacy programs in EU MedNatNet 119-122

  3. Review of Pharmacy programs in European countries 123-124

  4. Examples of Pharmacy study programs

(Finland, Estonia, Denmark) 125-130

University of Latvia

faculty of Medicine

Master degree study program “Pharmacy”

Code: 46723


Riga, 2004


During last century in the whole world definition of pharmacist is essentially changed accordingly to demands of health care and concept of the pharmaceutical care that focuses on patients’ drug related needs. A growth in pharmaceutical and health care industries has driven the pharmacy education to move fast, to become more efficient, more informative and innovative in meeting the modern society demands. The scientific basis has inspired parallel changes in pharmacy education applied to get specialists of more broad profile. In 1999 ministers of education from many European countries signed Bologna Declaration that predicted to reform higher education system into two levels - bachelor and master study levels. According to Bologna Declaration a master degree studies are continuation of the bachelor programs.

In Latvian University (LU):

  • Pharmacy bachelor program was opened in year 2000, and accredited on 6 years in 2002.

  • Continuing policy of the education corresponding to the European standards, LU academic pharmacy master degree program was opened in year 2003. This program “Master of Pharmacy” (code 46723) was opened on the basis of the license given by LR Ministry of the Education and Science in July 4th year 2002.

  • License is valid until 4th July 2005.

In the most European universities pharmacists’ education programs have always been

academic degree programs. Thus, every year graduates with master and bachelor degrees in pharmacy start their working carriers in pharmacies, clinical pharmacies, industry, pharmaceutical companies whereas 10-20 % of graduates continue their education in a doctorate programs. In the 1997, first in the Baltic countries, academic pharmacy program was opened at Tartu University, Estonia. Academic pharmacy bachelor and master programs are opened almost in all European countries, e.g. Sweden, Belgium, United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, etc. ( see Appendix 15.).

In Latvian classificatory of the sciences and sub-branches of sciences, pharmacy is defined as branch of science that deals with obtaining of drugs and other substances, manufacturing, formulation, quality control, drug distribution, management and pharmacoeconomics.

During a reform of an education, accent is put on the evidence-based knowledge and scientific work with the goal to posses ability to apply this knowledge in problem solving and participation in the integrated multidisciplinary projects. Latvian “Guidelines of development of higher education, science and technology 2002-2010” (Conceptual document of Board of Higher Education) predict to develop universities as main scientific centers in Latvia where scientific activities are integrated in a qualitative educational programs.

Evidence that LU pharmacy program corresponds to European standards was confirmed by enrolment into broad co-operation net ‘MedNatNet” that in year 2004 got EU-F6 financing (coordinator Vrije University, Netherlands, professor Pim Marger). The goal of the “MedNatNet” program is tuning of the master degree program curriculum and development of the doctoral level programs. In this net cooperate pharmacy master degree programs from Greece, Spain, France, Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Romania, Slovenia, and LU, Latvia. Additionally to pharmacy programs in “MedNatNet” also other master degree programs and scientific institutions are involved. From Latvian side participants are - LU Pharmacy master program, chair of Pharmacology of faculty of Medicine, and faculty of Chemistry of LU, and Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis.

EU directives and national laws regulate pharmacist’s education in all countries. EU directives 95/1/EC, Euratom, ECSC “ Annex I, (Pharmacy) to the Decision of the Council of the European Union of 1 January 1995 adjusting the instruments concerning the accession of new Member States to the European Union” and recommendations of EU TAIEX experts during their visit 2002 30.04-2.05 in Riga were devoted to recognition of the pharmacists education diplomas and professional qualification.

Pharmacy bachelor study program at LU was opened at 2000 and LU Senate has confirmed continuation of this program – 2-years long Pharmacy master degree program.

In Latvia all branches of sciences are divided into following blocks:

  • the humanities

  • social sciences

  • natural sciences

  • educational sciences

  • health sciences

  • environmental sciences.

According to this classification pharmacy graduates of faculty of Medicine are awarded Health science master degree in pharmacy (later in text, Pharmacy master degree).

Master degree diploma holders may enter doctoral study programs.

LU doctoral study program “Medicine and Pharmacy” is accredited since 2002 on 6 years.


  1. Goals and tasks of the program

Goals of the program are:

  1. to give appropriate to the level of education theoretical and practical knowledge in the pharmaceutical sciences and related sciences necessary to work-out and to defend master thesis.

  2. to give sound knowledge for an enrolment in the next level – doctoral degree study program or to work at pharmaceutical enterprises.

Tasks of the program are:

  • to develop students’ independence, creativeness, to emphasize importance of evidence-based knowledge in the health system and providing of a pharmaceutical care,

  • to give in-depth knowledge of the newest scientific discoveries in the pharmaceutical disciplines – pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacognozy, pharmaceutical pharmacology, pharmacoeconomics, etc.

  • to introduce with modern investigation methods, National programs of pharmacy, integrative European programs and EU guidelines about diploma recognition and work market in EU countries,

  • to train students to do research work leading to defense of a master thesis,

  • to develop ability to work in the international and interdisciplinary teams.

Background to the goals is necessity of pharmacy specialists in the industry, pharmacies, governmental institutions and renewal of academic personnel in scientific institutions associated with LU and universities (LU, RSU, RTU).

Pharmacy master degree program is structured according to its goal to give research experience (working on master thesis) and to encourage students to continue studies at doctoral level programs.

LU doctoral level program “Medicine and Pharmacy” since January, 2002 is accredited on 6 years.

  1. Organization of the study program and its compliance to goals of faculty of Medicine of LU

Faculty of Medicine of LU offers following study programs:

  • General medicine professional study program

  • Nursing bachelor and master degree academic study programs

  • Pharmacy bachelor and pharmacy master academic degree programs

  • Medicine and Pharmacy doctoral study program

Thus, faculty of Medicine realizes its goal to educate specialists in medicine and pharmacy.

Faculty is headed by dean and vice dean. Every study program is lead by director whose candidature is confirmed by LU Senate.

Decisions about changes in the programs and perspectives of development are discussed and worked out at the meetings of the Board of Study programs and accepted by faculty’s Dome. At all levels study process is discussed with students, and representatives of student faculty’s self-government participate in the all meetings of the Board of Study programs and Dome.

Student representatives also take part in meetings of Senate of LU.

Structure of faculty of Medicine is based on the general medicine, nursing and pharmacy programs and teaching groups headed by professors, additionally to study programs there are following structural units:

  • Centrum of social pediatrics

  • Chair of anatomy and histology

  • Chair of internal diseases

  • Group of pediatrics

  • Group of oncology

  • Group of microbiology

  • Group of pathology

  • Group of pharmacology

  • Clinics of surgery

  • Study sector dealing with office-work.

  1. Correspondence to LR laws, regulations of LR Minister Cabinet and EU directives

Pharmacist’s education is harmonized by several international and national regulations in terms of content and duration to reach mutual recognition of diplomas in the EU and previous Member States.

EU directives 85/432/EEC and LR law “About regulated professions and recognition of professional qualification” state content of study program and determine that diploma of higher education of pharmacist should testify to the completion of a training covering a period of five years comprising:

  • At least four years of full-time theoretical and practical training in a university

  • Six months of in-service training in a pharmacy open to the public or in a hospital

under the supervision of the pharmaceutical department of that hospital.

  • minimum of obligatory courses.

Such regulations are given due to mutual recognition of the professional qualification in the EU. Besides it, in almost all EU countries in the educational programs defense of a research project is included as it is advised by Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical training, 1994.

Since 2002/2003 all LU graduates receive diploma supplement that is worked out according to the European Commission, European Council and UNESCO/CEPES model. In the diploma supplement data about content of program and obtained results are given (Appendix 12) and educational system of the country is explained (Appendix 13).

LU Pharmacy master program is continuation of the 3-years long Pharmacy bachelor program and studies all together take 5-years as it is stated in LR Minister Cabinet regulations Nr.2 03.01.2002 “Regulations of standard of academic education”.

LR law “About regulated professions and recognition of professional qualification” determines that university diploma about graduation of accredited professional or academic pharmacy program confirms rights to work as pharmacist, but Minister Cabinet may demand fulfillment of special criteria for some aspects of pharmacist’s work, and there are such regulations in LR, stating that person should practice three years in pharmacies under supervision of certified pharmacist before he/she could get his/her own pharmacist certificate.

Pharmacy master degree program is planned according to LR laws of Education and law of Higher schools, LR Constitution (LR Satversme), LR Minister Cabinet regulations Nr.2 03.01.2002 “Regulations of standard of academic education”, Bologna declaration ‘Higher education in Europe”, Bologna, October 19th, 1999, Lisbon Convention “About recognition of qualification concerning higher education”, European Commission, Lisbon, April 11th, 1997, and LU regulations about study program structure.


Matriculation in the Pharmacy master degree program is organized according to common LU regulations of matriculation in higher level studies. Pharmacy bachelor diploma holders and graduates of professional pharmacy study program are enrolled in the LU Pharmacy master degree program on the basis of diploma competition and interviews of candidates over main pharmacy topics - pharmaceutical technology, pharmacognozy, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutical care and pharmacology, with aim to test candidate’s interests and knowledge.

Registration and testing of foreign candidates are regulated by common LU regulations “About acceptance and registration in the study programs of foreign citizens”.

In a case if Pharmacy master degree program will be closed, LU faculty of Chemistry will continue realization of the program. Such contract is signed by dean of faculty of Medicine and dean of faculty of Chemistry.

1. Evaluation from standpoint of Latvia and LU

In LU, according to LR standard of the academic higher education, study programs are organized in two levels, and Pharmacy program is structured as 3+2 model. 3-years long Pharmacy bachelor program + 2-years long master degree program. Such 2-level programs are opened also in other European countries, e.g. Finland, Netherlands, Norway, England (Appendix 16) and was introduced in Spain when Spain joined EU.

It is in the interests of LR to open new study programs similar to that in EU universities, and a wish to develop unite educational system was confirmed in Bologna Declaration signed by ministers of education from almost all European countries. Tuning of the programs was main subject of the discussions on the meeting of ministers of education in Berlin (September, 2004). LR Association of Higher school professors regularly receives information about education reforms in universities and higher schools (e.g., Riga, January 27th, 2004, conference 3+2+?).

In Latvia comparing with other countries are very small number of doctoral students and researchers. Particularly shortfall of specialists in the pharmaceutical sciences is critical, because:

  • Only few Latvian pharmacy doctors have internationally cited scientific publications,

  • Due to lack of active researchers, in Latvia does not exist Board of Promotion in the pharmacy and therefore are difficulties to find corresponding experts in pharmaceutical sciences.

  • In Latvia is complete lack of professors in the pharmaceutical sciences.

  • In Latvia pharmacy is not even mentioned as scientific branch in the unite Section of Medicine, Chemistry, Biology of Latvian Academy of Sciences.

Annually Latvian Scientific Council reports about unsatisfactory small number of doctoral students. According to its prognosis of the state needs, every year should be matriculated 200-300 doctoral. students but in practice this number is one fifth of desirable.

In the “Guidelines of development of higher education, science and technology 2002-2010” is planned in the year 2010 to reach following human resources:

  • number of regular students – 120 000

  • number of doctoral students – 4 500

  • number of professors – 1 000

  • number of scientific doctors involved in research projects – 5 000

  • number of people doing research – 12 000

These guidelines will not be realized without enlargement of number of students in master degree programs.

Renewal of academic personnel is actual also in the scientific institutions and pharmaceutical industry. Up to now number of people doing scientific job per population in Latvia is one of the lowest in the Europe.

LU Pharmacy master degree students may work out master and later doctoral thesis in following with LU associated scientific institutes:

  • LU Biomedical Research and Study center

  • LU Institute of Microbiology and Virology

  • LU Institute of Biology

  • LU Latvian Institute of Experimental and Clinical Medicine

  • LU Institute of Polymer Mechanics

  • Institute of Environmental Science and Administration

  • LU Botanical garden including scientific laboratories within Botanical garden

Contracts of the collaboration are signed with Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis and PAS Grindex.

Support to open Pharmacy master degree program was received from:

  • Association of Employers of Chemists and Pharmacists

  • State Pharmacy Inspection

  • Latvian Pharmacists Trade union

  • Latvian Apothecaries Association

  1. Characterization of students and participation of students in the improvement of the studying

Pharmacy master degree program in the LU was opened in year 2003. In this program

99 % of the first LU pharmacy bachelor program graduates were enrolled. Interviews of third year bachelor students showed that next year approximately 97 % of students will continue studies in the Pharmacy master degree program.

Growing competition to LU Pharmacy bachelor program that is first step in the two level program, shows that opening of academic program was wanted in the society.

  • Competition at 2000 was 1.62 candidates per 1 student place in the study program,

  • Competition at 2001 was 6 candidates per 1 LU budget place and 4 candidates per 1 student fee-paid place, that was higher as average competition in the LU (approximately 2 candidates per 1 student place).

  • In year 2003 due to a pilot experiment of centralized examination, number of students was lower in the whole university but in the pharmacy program it was still 4 candidates per 1 LU budget place.

  • Every year 30-35 students are matriculated and the most of them plan to study in master degree program.

  • In Pharmacy program persons who already have higher education (masters of chemistry, biology and physicians) but want to change profession, are also enrolled.

Students are regularly interviewed about study program. These interviews are organized as private talks, anonymous questioners, and student written applications. Results of compiled point of view of students are shown in the Appendix 5. In general, students are satisfied with academic personnel, cooperation with student service, program director and course contents.

Critical notes are about lack of text books in Latvian and every year growing study fees.

Students have elected their own self-government in the faculty, and head of this self-government is Pharmacy master program student Ieva Vitola. Four Pharmacy program students are elected members of self-government.

Elected students participate in the all meetings of the Board of Study programs and faculty Dome. Student self-government decides all questions about stipends, prizes in the different competitions, distribution of student hotel rooms, transport tickets, takes care about junior students, organizes student scientific society, evaluates student reports, publications, organizes sport, culture activities and elects students representatives from faculty to LU student self-government. Each course has elected senior student. During practical work students are divided into smaller groups (10-15 students) and these groups also elect their senior students. Senior students are responsible for the feedback of an information between teachers and students.

In LU is opened Student Service Centre that regularly informs about student complains or suggestions. Information about student activities is available from LU home page: www.lu.lv.

Thanks to the integration of faculties and experience of academic personnel to work in the international cooperation projects, LU master students, Ph.D. students, young scientists have opportunity to study abroad in the frameworks of SOCRATES and Visby programs, since 2004 also MedNatNet and Nordplus programs.

Up to now LU has contracts with 44 universities in 20 countries, LU participates in 7 international associations of universities, various international educational and research programs and projects. Starting from 2003 exists cooperation project between 11 universities “Campus Europae”. Taking part in these programs, students may get experience in educational system in other countries and may more actively to participate in the improvement of their own educational program.

  1. Criteria of evaluation of program quality

Before opening each new program is evaluated at different instances. Pharmacy master program was worked out step by step, including the following activities:

  • Academic staff of LU faculties of Medicine, Chemistry, and Biology discussed the idea about opening of the pharmacy program.

  • Internal LU independent experts (persons who are not involved in the realization of this program) evaluated the curriculum of program.

  • Foreign experts from Uppsala University, Sweden; Helsinki University, Finland, evaluated program (Appendix 9).

  • Potential employers of graduates, heads of scientific institutions, and pharmaceutical enterprises have evaluated program and signed contracts of collaboration (Appendix 9 and 10).

The order of the opening of new program is regulated by LU Senate and at the time of acceptance of program curriculum its director is confirmed by Senate. Realization of program is supervised by Board of Study programs.

Pharmacy master degree program was accepted and its curriculum confirmed at following instances:

  1. Board of Study programs of faculty of Medicine

  2. Dome of faculty of Medicine

  3. LU Study Board

  4. LU Senate

  5. Licensed by LR Ministry of Education and Science

Program has been evaluated every year and changes are made taking into account the following criteria:

  • Guidelines in pharmacy education published in the specialized journals (Pharmacy education, Pharmaceutical J., etc.)

  • Changes in the Latvian laws, new regulations of Minister Cabinet and LU regulations.

  • Opinion of Board of Study programs at faculty

  • Opinions of directors of pharmacy study programs in other countries, specially recommendations of MedMatNet

  • Opinion of students

  • Recommendations of the student self-government

  • Teacher recommendations and wishes

  • Students’ knowledge, scores in the examinations

  • Recommendations and opinions of potential employers

  • Advises of the EU experts, EU directives

  • Program annual self-evaluation

Changes in study programs may be initiated by academic personnel and students, then Board of Study program accepts these changes and Dome of faculty confirms decision. Changes in the obligatory A part of program during two accreditation periods cannot be bigger than 30 % whereas changes in the elective compulsory part B is not regulated.

Decision about opening, interrupting and closing of programs is taken by LU Senate.

  1. Structure of Pharmacy master degree study program

LR Minister Cabinet regulations Nr. 2 03.01.2002 determine structure of master programs and accounting of credit points of each theoretical course and practice.

Pharmacy master program consists from (Table 1)

  1. part A – obligatory courses that include:

  • in-depth studies in pharmaceutical sciences and interdisciplinary branches

  • working out a research project and defense of master thesis

  • pharmaceutical practice

2) part B – compulsory elective courses, that offers courses in the 22 credit point


Content of program is shown in Appendix 1, description of all courses in Appendix 2.

Registration to compulsory elective courses takes place in Study Sector at dean’s office of faculty of Medicine. During first three classes students may change courses in B part informing about that, secretary responsible for registration. After first three classes to change courses are not allowed, and student who is not registered in the corresponding course may not pass examination in this course.

Quantitative account of course is given in credit points (Table 1). In LR 1 credit point corresponds to 40 hours or 1 week and up to 50 % of this time may be contact hours between student and academic personnel.

In the Pharmacy master program relation of theoretical courses and practicals in part A is

58 % to 42 % that corresponds to university type education. Content of program is shown in Appendix 1.

In A part

20 credit points are devoted to research project and defense of master thesis

24 credit points to pharmaceutical practice

30 credit points to theoretical courses

Distribution of courses according to branches of sciences is following:

27 % chemistry

37 % pharmaceutical sciences

20 % biomedicine

16 % economy

In B part 22 credit points are offered. From them students must choose courses in the volume of 6 credit points.

From offered: 10 % biostatistics

30 % biomedicine

20 % pharmaceutical sciences

30 % chemistry

10 % pharmacy legislation, regulations.

Plan of Pharmacy master degree program (Table 1)


Title of course


Credit points

Demands to get credit points

1. year

2. year





Social pharmacy










Instrumental analysis of drugs





Drug quality control





Information and consultation in pharmacy





Clinical pharmacology





Work safety and protection of environment





Strategy of new drug design





Social economy





Design of drug dosage forms





Master thesis






Pharmaceutical practice































Spectroscopy of organic compounds





Drug interaction and side effects





Veterinary medicines





Professional work regulating normative statements. Professional ethics









Total per semester





Total credit points A+B

(from them in A part theoretical courses, practice and master thesis;

from them in B part)




  1. Finances

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