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Advanced Academic Skills and Career Orientation


Admission requirements

Master students of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences.


During the Master’s programme Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS), students are trained to become the drug researchers of the future. To perform high-quality research, a scientist needs to master an extensive set of academic skills at an advanced level. These include e.g. good scientific practice skills, project management skills, having a constructive and critical approach to research data, academic writing skills, and advanced communication skills for delivering scientific presentations and raising questions. Also entrepreneurial competences, such as the capability to identify and exploit research innovation are valuable skills for a drug researcher. Moreover, one should develop learning skills to be able to make self-directed or autonomous conscious choices for their own professional development and preparation for a successful start of their career on the job market.

The Advanced Academic Skills and Career Orientation (AASCO) course is composed of 3 modules: 1) Advanced Academic Skills, 2) Scientific Conduct and 3) Career Orientation.

This course aims to:

  • Aid the development of important competences that Master’s in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences require (e.g. academic English writing, presentation skills, critical evaluation of research results, and raising questions).

  • Deepen knowledge of the Codes of Scientific Conduct and the (inter)national rules and regulations of research for good scientific practice.

  • Increase awareness of subjectivity and dilemmas in the scientific research process by reflection on and discussion of model cases and cases from the student’s own research environment.

  • Stimulate students to practice critical evaluation and discussion (in the English language) of issues that transcend bio-pharmaceutical research.

  • Introduce students to entrepreneurship to stimulate their capability to identify and exploit research innovation.

  • Learn students how to make conscience choices for their study plan in relation to personal wishes and career perspectives.

Course objectives

At the end of this course the student is able to:

  • Reflect on their knowledge and skills and formulate learning goals for further development.

  • Make conscious choices for their study plan in relation to personal wishes and career perspectives.

  • Write scientific texts and deliver presentations at an advanced academic level.

  • Practice good scientific conduct and make ethical decisions for scientific integrity dilemmas.

  • Understand the nature and importance of entrepreneurship to exploit research innovation.

  • Maintain and deliver a personal development portfolio.


This course is scheduled for semester 1 and 2, period 1-4.

Parts of the course are planned during the BPS Introduction course (e.g. the Scientific Conduct module of the course and Academic English) and start in September and February.
The other activities can be undertaken throughout the duration of the Master programme. Students make their own planning of activities, but should adhere to deadlines for handing in their assignments. The deadlines can be found on the Brightspace-module of this course.

The colloquia, symposia, conferences and workshops are announced via the Brightspace-module of this course (at least 2 weeks prior to a colloquium, and 1 month prior to the start date of symposia, conferences, and workshops).

Mode of instruction

Lectures, Tutorials, Self-tuition, Other (attendance of colloquia, conferences, symposia, workshops).

Instructions are provided via the AASCO Brightspace module.

Assessment method

Pass/no pass
Successful completion of all mandatory assignments.
Portfolio has to be handed in at the end of the Master.

The portfolio has to be comprised of:

  • Scientific Conduct assignments

  • Career Orientation assignments

  • Proof of activities adding up to 20 AAS points

The AAS points can be earned in several ways:

  • By attending the oral presentations (of Research Project 1 or 2) of master’s students of BPS. (1 oral presentation = 1 AAS point; at least 10 oral presentations of BPS students should to be attended). Students following the SBB specialization may attend SBB colloquia, with a maximum of 5.

  • By attending seminars organized by the LACDR. (1 seminar = 1 colloquium point; in total, a maximum of 2 points can be obtained in this way).

  • By attending an approved scientific conference or symposia organized by „Aesculapius” or the LACDR (1 conference/symposium day = 2 AAS points; at least 1 conference/symposium should be attended and a maximum of 3 is allowed).

  • One workshop or career college of the Science Career Service is mandatory but does not count for AAS points for students who have started with the MSc BPS program from September 2021 onwards.

BPS Master students attending colloquia, seminars, or symposia are obliged to fill out an evaluation form in order to earn AAS points. The forms are available on the AASCO Brightspace module. AAS points for colloquia, seminars and symposia will only be provided if the form is filled out completely, including a signature of the responsible LACDR staff member. Raising a question during colloquia is mandatory.

After following a scientific conference or symposium or a science career service workshop the corresponding reflection assignment should be completed and added to the portfolio.

Reading list

Will be announced during the course.


Application via uSis for the course is mandatory. Registration for the exam closes 7 days before the exam date or earlier when the maximum number of students is reached.

Registration for the Science Career Service workshops or career colleges is mandatory via the Science Career Service Center. There is no need to register beforehand for colloquia and LACDR symposia or seminars, but make sure to fill out and have the evaluation forms for colloquia signed or sign the attendance list for symposia and seminars. For conferences a certificate of attendance should be provided.


The coordinator for this course is Drs. Monica Terhal,


Please note that if you started your master BPS programme before September 2018, you do not need to follow this course. You need to pass the Introduction Course of 5 EC, the course Scientific Conduct (1 EC) and the course Lectures and Colloquia (1 EC). For information on these courses, look at the prospectus of 2017-2018.