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D. Oltra Noguera1, I. Gonzalez Alvarez2, M. Bermejo2

1Universitat de Valencia (SPAIN)
2Universidad Miguel Hernandez (SPAIN)
PURPOSE: To evaluate and analyze the knowledge of master’s degree and PhD’s students after having finished those courses.

According to Bologna’s Declaration (1999), we should adapt our syllabus to conform ourselves to the European Space for Higher Education. One of the most important changes produced to our syllabus by the Declaration is that the master’s degree disappears. So, the former master’s degree, which consisted of some theoretical learning courses (21 college credits) and a period of practical training in a laboratory by carrying out a research work (12 credits) has been turned out to a master’s course. This new master’s course is made up of the same parts of the former master’s degree but the master’s course has got more theoretical learning training credits (105 credits) and also a research work (15 credits).
Another basic difference caused by Bologna’s Declaration relates to the former master’s degree and the new master’s course as well: the master’s degree belonged to a single department and, at least, it had to have 15 teaching training college credits which had to be chosen among the subjects taught in the PhD program of that very department. Furthermore, only 6 credits were elective, that is, 6 credits were chosen among subjects of an external department. In contrast, when talking about the master’s course, several departments work together: in our particular case, 3 departments work side by side in the master’s course (Pharmacology, Physiology and Pharmaceutical Technology).

Two groups of students were selected to compare the training ability in different basic aspects in some of the knowledge aspects.
Group 1: 12 students who did the master’s degree
Group 2: 13 students who did the master’s course
We did a survey of these students about the knowledge acquired during the teaching training and investigating period ranging several aspects: laboratory technique training, use of HPLC, computer software, training stays abroad and foreign languages.

There are no significant differences in students’ self-evaluation of knowledge regarding their ability to use HPLC during the carrying out of either the master’s degree or course. However, according to their self-evaluation, the master’s course’s students significantly acquire more knowledge when talking about experimental techniques (Group 2 students give 6.3 as a mark and Group 1 students give 5.4 as a mark to this knowledge) and computer software (Group 2 students think they are 0.5 points higher in knowledge that Group 1 students do).

The master’s course includes 3 departments with a more varied offer as far as training period courses are concerned, which allows the student to obtain a more complete and ranged in subjects training to achieve PhD. This can actually be observed in our survey, as the students have shown that they have got a good level in experimental techniques and computer software.
It is also evident from the survey that students’ master’s course acquire a greater amount of theoretical knowledge by doing the course, since the student attends to a 1050-hour training course, in contrast to the 210-hour training course that was compulsory in the former PhD program. There is, however, a special case: if you obtain your Pharmacy degree, you only have to attend a 600-hour training course regarding the master’s course.