The programme provides in-depth training in the multidisciplinary fields of biophysics and biochemistry, with particular emphasis on subfields in which KU Leuven's research expertise is internationally recognised: the determination of molecular structures, molecular and supramolecular modelling, the spectroscopy of biomolecules, the physical modelling of complex systems and the study of these models, the transport through ion channels in membranes, and the study of molecular interactions and physical principles in vitro, in complex biological machineries and in the living cell.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Students may select one of two tracks - Biophysics or Biochemistry and Biotechnology. The track Biochemistry and Biotechnology has three orientations: Physiological, Molecular and Cellular.
Alternatively, students who are not considering a research career can opt for Applied Biophysics.
Students choose courses from an additional list, which are different from their research orientation. Students may select courses from the entire programme offered by the university if they have the approval of the programme director. Students have to make sure that the entire programme of the master contains at least 120 credits.
We encourage students to complete part of their Master's training at another European university, preferably during the second year, when they can work on their Master's thesis or take specific subjects at one of the universities in our Erasmus exchange programme.
The Department of Biology is committed to excellence in teaching and research and is comprised of four divisions with diverse research activities ranging from molecular and physiological research at the level of cells and organisms to ecological research on populations, communities, and ecosystems. Although many research groups conduct in-depth analyses on specific model organisms, as a whole the department studies an impressive diversity of lifeforms.
Our research is internationally renowned and embedded in well-established worldwide collaborations with other universities, research institutes, and companies. Our primary goal is to obtain insight into patterns and processes at different levels of biological organisation and to understand the basis and evolution of the mechanisms that allow organisms to adapt to their constantly changing environment. This knowledge often leads to applications with important economic or societal benefits. The department attracts many students and hosts approximately 250 staff members.
Upon completing the programme, the graduate will have acquired:
A range of career options are available in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries, where structure determination, modelling and the direct study of molecular interactions in the living cell play a major role. Because of the growing importance of the bioscience industry in today's society and the increasing need for sophisticated high-tech instruments and research methods, the demand for biophysicists and biochemists is expected to exceed supply in the near future.
Graduates may also pursue a career in medical sciences research or academic research. A considerable number of graduates, particularly those who choose for a research route, go on to undertake a PhD at one of our associated research laboratories.
How do genes regulate the development and functioning of cells, tissues and organisms? How do molecules, cells and tissues function and communicate with each other, and how are their functions studied? These are the key issues for understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms, whose disruption can contribute to the onset and progression of various diseases. Researchers in the fields of genetics, genomics, cellular and developmental biology, biochemistry, structural biology, and biosciences of health are searching for the answers to these questions.
Upon completing the Master’s Programme in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master's programme is based on basic scientific research. In the programme you will acquire knowledge and skills in modern genetics and molecular biosciences, which you will deepen in your chosen field of specialisation. The programme is tightly integrated with the experimental research carried out at the University of Helsinki in genetics, genomics, biochemistry, structural biology, and cellular and developmental biology. By combining course units, you will be able to acquire a broad-based understanding of biological phenomena and of the molecules that have an effect on health, including their interactions and functions at the levels of cells, tissues and organisms.
Courses include a variety of working methods: seminars, lectures, laboratory work, oral and written presentations, project work in small groups, independent studies and study circles formed by the students. The instruction will utilise digital learning environments.
These diverse teaching methods require active involvement from you. They will develop your ability to search, structure and present new information, as well as to draw conclusions. You will learn about the principles and methods of research during laboratory exercises, and about practical work in research groups and when writing your Master's thesis. In addition to academic excellence, you will acquire general working life skills such as fact-finding, problem solving, communication, project management and teamwork. You will acquire competence both for post-graduate studies in a Doctoral Programme and for expert positions immediately after gaining your Master's degree.
Following completion of the Human Genome Project, the pharmaceutical industry is preparing for a revolution in cancer and inherited disorder therapies. This course is training a new generation of bioscientists to meet challenges at the interface between biology and chemistry, and to apply pharmaceutical and analytical knowledge directly to improve quality of life.
The course develops a broad knowledge and conceptual base in the field of drug design and discovery, with an emphasis on new developments and advances in drug identification, understanding drug pharmacology and novel therapeutics, and appreciating how these topics interact with bioscience businesses and enterprise.
This programme is designed to enable you to gain systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current problems and new insights regarding the analysis of biomolecules. There is particular reference to drug design and discovery, along with a comprehensive and critical understanding of applied techniques and their current application in research in the field of biomolecule analysis and drug design.
This course is aimed at students who wish to acquire the specialised skills needed to design drugs for the 21st century. It is ideal for anyone with primarily either a chemistry or biochemistry based undergraduate degree wishing to broaden their knowledge base. The part-time route is well suited to those who already work in industry as it is possible to carry out research projects within the place of work. Prospective students must be committed to developing their skills and knowledge for a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology sectors.
Teaching is through:
There are eight taught 15 credit modules each of which have only one assessment (100%). Each exam is 2 hours.
Although particularly relevant to those looking for a career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, this course will also equip you for a career in research, teaching and many other professions including cosmetic science, animal health, food science, medical laboratory research, patent law, scientific journalism and health and safety.
Research projects may be carried out at other institutions (recently Universities in Bremen or France and the Paterson Institute, UK). We also invite visiting lecturers to share their expertise on the subject areas.
After completion of this course you may wish to specialise in a chosen subject area in one of the School’s two main research centres: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER) or Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
Learning how to make discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of the fundamental behaviour of molecules and materials.
Most chemical research involves synthesising and characterising new molecules. So basically, a trial and error system. This specialisation goes one step further: it aims at fundamentally unravelling the properties of molecules and materials. How do pharmaceutical molecules arrange in different forms and how does this affect their efficiency as a drug? And in what way does the molecular structure of a polymer influence the mechanical strength of plastics? We try to find the answers by developing theory and applying physical set-ups for advanced spectroscopic experiments, such as high magnetic fields, free-electron lasers and nuclear magnetic resonance.
Thanks to all our research facilities being located on the Radboud campus, you’ll be able to perform your research with advanced spectroscopic methods. You get to choose the focus of your research. Some students work on biomolecules while others prefer for example solar cells, plastics or hydrogels. It’s even possible to specialise in the development of new technology.
Studying at the interface between physics and chemistry means collaborating and communicating with people from different scientific backgrounds. Moreover, you’ll be trained to work with large-scale facilities and complex devices. These qualities will be useful in both research and company environments. Jobs are plentiful, as almost all industrial processes involve physical chemistry.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/science/physical
- Unlike at (many) other universities, all physical and chemical Material Science departments are combined in one institute: the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). Therefore, collaborating is second nature to us.
- Radboud University hosts a large number of advanced spectroscopic facilities. As a Master’s student, you’ll get the chance to work with devices that are unique in Europe and even some that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
- We have multiple collaborations with companies that, for example, analyse complex mixtures such as biofuels, characterising hydrogels, and develop anti-caking agents for rock-salt.
- During the courses and internship(s), you’ll meet a wide group of researchers in a small-scale and personal setting: a good starting point for your future network.
About 75 percent of our students start their career with a PhD position. However, eventually most students end up as researchers, policy advisors, consultants or managers in companies and governmental organisations. Whatever job you aspire, you can certainly make use of the fact that you have learned to:
Solve complex problems in a structured way
Understand the professional jargon of different disciplines and work in a multidisciplinary environment
Use mathematical computer tools
Perform measurements with complex research equipment
Graduates have found jobs at for example:
- ETH Zurich
- UC Berkeley
- Various spin-off companies, like Noviotech and Spinnovation
Physical Chemistry at Radboud University goes beyond the characterisation of molecules and materials. We focus on fundamental knowledge: What do spectroscopic measurements really mean? And how can we explain the behaviour of certain molecules or materials?
- Advanced spectroscopy
Radboud University hosts a large range of advanced spectroscopic facilities. Think of the High Field Magnetic Laboratory, FELIX laboratory for free-electron lasers, NMR facility, scanning probe lab, etc. As a Master’s student in Physical Chemistry, you’ll get an overview of all these different methods, and you’ll be able to apply your knowledge as a member of a laboratory. Some of our students choose to focus on the development of new scientific methods.
- Bridging the gap between chemistry and physics
We believe in knowledge transfer between chemists and physicists. That’s why in Nijmegen all material research is combined in one institute: the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). During your Master’s, you’ll experience this interplay in the lectures and internships. Once graduated, you’ll be able to understand the vernacular of both disciplines and in that way bridge the gap between chemistry and physics.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/science/physical
Molecular chemistry is a creative science, where chemists synthesize molecules with new biological or physical properties to address scientific or societal challenges. Think of new catalytic conversions, lead compounds for future medicines or the next generation of conducting polymers. The specialisation Molecular Chemistry offers education in connection with top-level research in the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), enabling you to develop in-depth knowledge of the design, synthesis and characterization of unprecedented functional molecular structures.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/chemistry/molecular
- The IMM at Radboud University hosts an internationally renowned cluster of molecular chemistry groups, where you will participate in challenging research projects.
- The IMM Organic Chemistry department was recently awarded a 27 million euro NWO Gravity programme grant. Among the teaching staff are two ERC advanced grant and two ERC starting grant winners.
- Teaching takes place in small groups and in a stimulating, personal setting.
1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Science or a related area
In general, you are admitted with the equivalent of a Dutch Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Science with relevant subjects, or a related programme in molecular science. In case of other pre-education, students must have passed preliminary examinations containing the subject matter of the following well-known international textbooks (or equivalent literature). Any deficiencies in this matter should be eliminated before you can take part in this specialisation. If you want to make sure that you meet our academic requirements, please contact the academic advisor.
- Organic chemistry: e.g. Organic Chemistry (Bruice)
- Biochemistry: e.g. Biochemistry (Lehninger)
- Physical chemistry: e.g. Physical chemistry (Atkins)
- 30 EC of chemistry or chemistry-related courses at third year Bachelor's level
2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- A TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >90 (internet based)
- An IELTS score of ≥6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher
Approximately 40% of our graduates take up a PhD position, either in Nijmegen or elsewhere in the world. Our research institutes, in particular the Institute for Molecules and Materials, have vacancies for PhD projects every year. Our graduates also find work as researchers and managers in the chemical industry, or in one of our spin-off companies. A small proportion will not work in science, but for instance as a policymaker at a governmental organisation.
The Master's specialisation in Molecular Chemistry offers main stream chemistry courses and research topics, for those students that aim to deepen their knowledge and experimental skills in the heart of chemistry. The Institute for Molecules and Materials offers a state-of-the-art research infrastructure and hosts world-class research groups where you can conduct independent research, under the personal guidance of a researcher. Often, this leads to a scientific publication with you as a co-author.
Besides an internship in fundamental science, you can also chose to perform research in an industrial environment. Approximately one third of our students do one of their internships in a chemical company, both large (e.g. DSM, Synthon, AkzoNobel) and small (e.g. MercaChem, FutureChemistry, Chiralix).
Interested in going abroad? Contact one of our researchers, they can easily connect you to top groups elsewhere in the world. In the past few years, molecular chemistry students did internships in Oxford (UK), Princeton (US), Berkeley (US), Karolinska Institute (Sweden), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), etc.
In the Master's specialisation Molecular Chemistry, the unique research facilities that Radboud University has to offer are coupled with the top level research within the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). A selection of research groups for this specialisation are:
- Synthetic organic chemistry (Prof. Floris Rutjes): The group focuses on the development of new and sustainable synthetic (multistep)reactions by using bio-, organo- or metal-catalysts or combinations thereof, synthesis of druglike compound libraries, synthesis of bio-orthogonal click-reactions and chemical synthesis in continuous flow microreactors
- Analytical chemistry (Prof. Lutgarde Buydens): Research involves new chemometric methodologies and techniques for the optimisation of molecular structures. The research programme is designed around four areas: Methodological chemometrics, spectroscopic image analysis, molecular chemometrics, and analysis of genomics, metabolomics and proteomics data.
- Bio-organic chemistry (Prof. Jan van Hest): This groups uses Nature as inspiration for the design of functional molecules. Research lines that fit in this specialisation include: design and synthesis of modified peptides to alter their biological function, hybrid polymers containing biomolecules for use as antibacterial materials, and smart compartmentalisation strategies to enable multi-step reactions in a single reaction flask.
- Molecular materials (Prof. Alan Rowan): The aim of the group is the design and synthesis of novel polymers, self-organising molecules and ordered crystals and the subsequent investigation of their properties. Research topics related to his specialisation are: functional systems for application in catalysis, new OLEDS (organic LEDS), and liquid crystals.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/chemistry/molecular