Students

Biomedical Sciences

2019-2020

The bachelor's programme Biomedical Sciences equips students with a solid scientific background in (research in) human biology in health and disease. The program provides students with fundamental knowledge in diverse aspects of molecular and human biology, and trains students to apply this knowledge in practical scientific research, working towards new solutions for timely medical, clinical and societal challenges.

What are the building blocks of life? How does the immune system work? How does your brain regulate your body? How do you conduct research into human disease?

The first year in particular devotes a great deal of attention to the molecular and cellular organizational level. Think of topics such as genetics, biochemistry and developmental biology. During the second year, this broad basic knowledge is further extended to various clinically orientated topics, and to the level of human populations and society. Examples are medical pharmacology and oncology, but also ‘biomedical sciences and society’. Optional courses in all years of study offers students the possibility of opting for more molecular, human biological or societal themes. In the third year you will start with a minor of your choice, followed by a research internship.

Info

Level Master
Language English
Duration 2 years
Type Fulltime
Credits 120 EC
Faculty Faculty of Science
Biomedical Sciences ICSE specialisations year 2
Description
The I/C/S/E specializations are only available in the second year of the
master:
International Public Health (IPH; 54 EC)
Science Communication specialization (54 EC)
Specialization Science in Society (SiS; 54 EC)
Education specialization (60 EC)

The prescribed scope of the specializations in IPH, Communication or SiS
is 54 EC, and includes:
• 4 courses from the specialization (24 EC)
• an internship within the specialization (30 EC)

The Master's programme is completed with the compulsory general courses
(6 EC) and a first year research specialization (60 EC; including the
literature thesis (9 EC)).
Biomedical Sciences ICSE specialisation Education
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization in Education obtains a
certificate that qualifies the graduate to teach Biology in secondary
schools (this is a ‘grade one’ certificate, i.e. it qualifies the
graduate to teach pupils who will sit public exams in the subject).

The programme for the Education specialization essentially consists of
one year of specific teacher training. This 60 EC-programme is taught in
Dutch. Note that the Education Specialization is identical to the
Master’s in ‘Leraar Voorbereidend Hoger Onderwijs - Biologie’. The
programme can be started twice a year, in
September and February.
For courses and more information on the Education specialization:
http://masters.vu.nl/en/programmes/leraar-vho-biologie/index.aspx

The prescribed scope of the Education specialization is 60 EC
Biomedical Sciences ICSE specialisation International Public Health
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization in International public
health has a broad understanding of current and future challenges in
international public health, their main causes, and applied and
potential interventions. The Master’s graduate has specialized knowledge
of relevant concepts from various disciplines, including epidemiology,
policy science, anthropology, management studies, biomedical sciences
and health sciences. The Master’s graduate has the ability to conduct
scientific research in the field of international public health and to
critically assess the results of international public health research.
The Master’s graduate has specialized in one of the subjects within the
field of international public health. He/she possesses knowledge of
current theory and the key research questions in this field and has an
understanding of the scientific and social relevance of this subject
area.

The specializations International Public Health is only available in the
second year of the master.
The prescribed scope of the specialization is 54 EC, and includes:
• 4 courses from the specialization (24 EC)
• an internship within the specialization (30 EC)

The Master's programme is completed with the compulsory general courses
(6 EC) and a first year research specialization (60 EC; including the
literature thesis (9 EC)).

A course in epidemiology (6 EC) is compulsory to be admissible to this
specific specialization. VU-students with a deficiency in epidemiology
can obtain the relevant knowledge through the bachelor’s course
‘Epidemiology’, external students can contact the master's coordinator
or specialization coordinator for options.
Biomedical Sciences ICSE specialisation Science Communication
Description
Biomedical science is increasingly becoming an interdisciplinary
research field in which biomedical scientists can no longer function
effectively in isolation. Rather, they benefit from interaction with
other scientists (such as those in the fields of molecular biology,
neurobiology and immunobiology) and societal actors (such as doctors,
patients and policymakers). Communication about science takes place
between academic peers and between scientists and the general public.
This makes the Communication specialization a complex and dynamic field
of research and practice, for example on patient participation in health
research, the use and effects of media metaphors and hype, and public
understanding of emergent technologies. The Master’s graduate with this
specialization has a theoretical understanding of the complex problems
that arise during such communication processes, and has developed the
necessary skills to act professionally at this interface to enhance
communication and the outcomes of communication between scientific
actors and society.

The specializations Science Communication is only available in the
second year of the master.
The prescribed scope of the specialization is 54 EC, and includes:
• 4 courses from the specialization (24 EC)
• an internship within the specialization (30 EC)

The Master's programme is completed with the compulsory general courses
(6 EC) and a first year research specialization (60 EC; including the
literature thesis (9 EC)).
Biomedical Sciences ICSE specialisation Science in Society
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization Science in Society combines
an academic approach with the skills and competences that will allow him
or her to perform scientific research at the interface of the biomedical
sciences and society. The specialization aims to develop strategies that
contribute to an understanding of complex societal problems and
strategies to solve complex societal problems through interdisciplinary
research. In addition, the programme analyses the social, economic and
ethical aspects of new developments in the biomedical sciences, so as to
assess their implications for society. Master’s graduates have the
necessary skills to collaborate and communicate with researchers from
various scientific disciplines (including but not limited to those in
the life sciences) and societal actors, and the ability to use these
academic insights.

The specializations Science in Society is only available in the second
year of the master.
The prescribed scope of the specialization is 54 EC, and includes:
• 4 courses from the specialization (24 EC)
• an internship within the specialization (30 EC)

The Master's programme is completed with the compulsory general courses
(6 EC) and a first year research specialization (60 EC; including the
literature thesis (9 EC)).
Biomedical Sciences research specialisations year 1 and/or 2
Description
First and/or second year Research specializations (54-60 EC):
Immunology
Infectious Diseases
Neurobiology

The prescribed scope of a research specialization is 54-60 EC.
A research specialization therefore includes:
• a research internship (30 EC)
• at least 3 courses from the specialization (18 EC)
• a choice (6-12EC) from:
o literature thesis in the field of the specialization (9 EC)*;
o an extra optional course from the specialization (6 EC)
o an extension of the internship (3-6 EC)**
* When the student chooses one research specialization, the subject of
the
literature thesis has to lie within the field of this specialization (9
EC).
** The total EC for both internships together may not exceed 66EC.

The programme is completed with the compulsory general courses (6 EC)
and a second specialization of 54-60 EC.
Biomedical Sciences specialisation Immunology
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization in Immunology has a broad
understanding of immunological processes, ranging from the molecular and
cellular interactions between host and pathogen to an integrative
knowledge of the role of the immune system in various pathologies, such
as cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmunity. The Master’s graduate
has specialized in one of the subjects within the field of immunology.
He/she possesses knowledge of current theory and the key research
questions in the field of immunology and has an understanding of the
scientific and social relevance of this subject area.

The prescribed scope of the specialization Immunology is 54-60 EC.
This research specialization therefore includes:
• a research internship (30 EC)
• at least 3 courses from the specialization (18 EC)
• a choice (6-12EC) from:
o literature thesis in the field of the specialization (9 EC)*;
o an extra optional course from the specialization (6 EC)
o an extension of the internship (3-6 EC)**
* When the student chooses one research specialization, the subject of
the
literature thesis has to lie within the field of this specialization (9
EC).
** The total EC for both internships together may not exceed 66EC.

The programme is completed with the compulsory general courses (6 EC)
and a second specialization of 54-60 EC.

The course programme consists of the following components, with
the study load for each component given in EC.
Biomedical Sciences specialisation Infectious Diseases
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization in Infectious diseases has a
broad understanding of the biology of pathogenic organisms and the
interaction between pathogens and their hosts. The Master’s graduate has
the ability to conduct scientific research in the field of medical
microbiology and to critically assess the results of microbial research.
The Master’s graduate has specialized in one of the subjects within the
field of medical microbiology. He/she possesses knowledge of current
theory and the key research questions in this field and has an
understanding of the scientific and social relevance of this subject
area.

The prescribed scope of the specialization Infectious Diseases is 54-60
EC.
This research specialization therefore includes:
• a research internship (30 EC)
• at least 3 courses from the specialization (18 EC)
• a choice (6-12EC) from:
o literature thesis in the field of the specialization (9 EC)*;
o an extra optional course from the specialization (6 EC)
o an extension of the internship (3-6 EC)**
* When the student chooses one research specialization, the subject of
the
literature thesis has to lie within the field of this specialization (9
EC).
** The total EC for both internships together may not exceed 66EC.

The programme is completed with the compulsory general courses (6 EC)
and a second specialization of 54-60 EC.

The course programme consists of the following components, with
the study load for each component given in EC.
Biomedical Sciences specialisation Neurobiology
Description
The Master’s graduate with a specialization in Neurobiology has
knowledge, insight and understanding of the state of the art in terms of
developing theories and insight into the most important current research
issues in the neurosciences. The Master’s graduate has the ability to
conduct scientific research in the field of neurobiological research and
to critically assess the results. The Master’s graduate has specialized
in one of the subjects within the field of neurobiology. He/she
possesses knowledge of the significance of neurobiology within the
context of brain research and some of its clinical implications.

The prescribed scope of the specialization Neurobiology is 54-60 EC.
This research specialization therefore includes:
• a research internship (30 EC)
• at least 3 courses from the specialization (18 EC)
• a choice (6-12EC) from:
o literature thesis in the field of the specialization (9 EC)*;
o an extra optional course from the specialization (6 EC)
o an extension of the internship (3-6 EC)**
* When the student chooses one research specialization, the subject of
the
literature thesis has to lie within the field of this specialization (9
EC).
** The total EC for both internships together may not exceed 66EC.

The programme is completed with the compulsory general courses (6 EC)
and a second specialization of 54-60 EC.

The course programme consists of the following components, with
the study load for each component given in EC.