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.
Our Molecular Biophysics for Medical Sciences MRes offers you the chance to learn about biophysics, molecular biology and bioinformatics, and to undertake an extensive research project. This course is excellent preparation for a PhD or a foundation for high-level entry into the industry.
This Molecular Biophysics for Medical Sciences MRes programme will give you a thorough exposure to practical biophysics research in a world-leading centre that has been at the forefront of biophysics research since it opened 60 years ago. Our early successes include the elucidation of the structure of DNA and the development of the sliding filament model of muscle. More recently we have pioneered breakthroughs in the areas of muscle and immunoglobulin function, molecular-tweezers development, cell motility, DNA recognition, and the development of new techniques in cellular microscopy.
The research component of your MRes will be complemented by a series of in-depth modules in molecular biophysics and molecular biology.
You will also have the exciting option of carrying out your research project in Singapore to produce outstanding science.
Quantitative skills in biology will be incredibly important for the next generation of professional scientists working in industry and academia. We recognise this, and our MRes offers you an integrated training programme ideally suited to instruct you in the biophysical techniques to meet this challenge.
Our MRes will give you an excellent foundation for a career in academic research, but it also provides a robust foundation for entering industry at a high level, where biophysics has applications ranging from drug formulation and delivery to structure-based drug discovery and the development of medical and scientific imaging techniques.
Acquiring quantitative skills in biology is of paramount importance for the next generation of professional scientists working in industry and academia. The MRes (Master of Research) in Molecular Biophysics at King's College London offers an integrated training programme ideally suited to learn biophysical techniques crucially important to meet this challenge.
We deliver an excellent foundation for students wishing to pursue careers in academic research. Equally, our MRes provides a robust foundation for high level entry into industry where biophysics has applications ranging from drug formulation and delivery, structure-based drug discovery, and the development of medical and scientific imaging techniques.
Our Master is designed for outstanding graduates in the Life and Physical sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics) who want to apply their knowledge to biological problems at the research level. Taught modules cover biophysics and molecular biology techniques with elements of bioinformatics.
We will provide you with seven hours of lectures and seminars each week. In your first semester you’ll also have 10 to 12 hours of lab work and 35 hours in your second semester. We will expect you to undertake 15 to 20 hours of self-study.
Typically, one credit equates to ten hours of work.
We will assess you through a combination of exams, coursework and practical assessment for your first two modules. For the Molecular Biophysics Research Project, we will assess you through a thesis, a viva and a presentation.
The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However they are subject to change.
Many of our graduates continue to study PhDs. Others transfer their skills and knowledge to careers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, cancer research, medicine, scientific administration within research councils and scientific publishing.
The MSc in Environment and Development (E&D) is an interdisciplinary programme exploring the inter-dependencies between pressing environmental concerns and development pressures. It explores these themes, the disputes around it and practical issues from an informed theoretical perspective, with an abiding concern for social justice claims. Conventional academic approaches focus on development or the environment as separate categories, while this programme looks at socioeconomic development as a socio-ecological and politicoecological process.
In particular this E&D programme focuses on:
Those issues will be studied at the local and national level, but also taking into account the global scale of environmental and development agendas. In many cases the root causes of inequality and poverty, both in the Global South and in the Global North, are driven by regional or global economics far beyond the borders of a particular country, village or region.
The programme will teach you to critically evaluate the multiple dimensions of the relationship between development and the environment. Teaching, fieldwork, group and practical exercises will use examples of relevance to Northern and Southern countries.
The breadth and depth of the School of GeoSciences enables students to explore a variety of environment and development issues relevant to the programme: e.g. biophysical dynamics, food insecurity, environmental governance, river basin management, cultural studies, climate change, multiple scarcities and inequalities, gender and development,etc. Students are challenged to cultivate research thinking that is cross-cutting and globally relevant, but also grounded in cases that focus on particular issues, places or systems, providing insights to effective solutions.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.
This MSc consists of two semesters of taught courses. Students take two compulsory and four option courses, each a balance of lectures, seminars, workshops and visits, followed by an individual dissertation.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
This programme is suitable for students seeking roles within international and national development agencies, thinktanks, NGOs, environmental consultancies or the private sector, or those going on to PhD research.
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
The rapid transformation in the nature of drug discovery means that knowledge of related disciplines, and the technologies used, is essential for those considering a career in commercial or academic research.
This MSc will help you explore the latest methods of developing drugs and therapeutic compounds for humans and animals and disease control agents for plants.
You will learn about marketing, licensing and regulations, which are all part of the development process. Our multidisciplinary approach links structural biology, bioinformatics, chemistry and pharmacology.
You will investigate the fundamental scientific problems and techniques of drug discovery and design, alongside the challenges of developing principles for new therapeutic strategies.
You will have hands-on experience of crystallographic computer programming and computation for bioinformatics.
You will consider the moral and ethical aspects of the agrochemical and pharmaceutical industries through case studies, seminars and discussions.
This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project, leading to a dissertation.
This MSc is designed to help you pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry or relevant government agencies, and it will provide a good background for managerial or technical roles in research, design and development. It is also a solid basis from which to continue your studies to PhD level.
Medicinal and Biological Chemistry requires a thorough understanding of molecules, their structures, properties and synthesis, but it also demands the chemical understanding of the nature of biological structures, from macromolecules to cells, the design of pharmaceutical materials in the laboratory and their function in clinical settings.
The knowledge and skills acquired in the course will leave graduates well equipped to compete for positions related to 'drug discovery' in chemical, pharmaceutical or biotechnological companies.
The degree consists of advanced lecture courses in:
These are studied concurrently with a predominantly practical based course offering an introduction to research methods.
Students then proceed to a period of full-time research project work, leading to the submission of their Masters dissertation.
Lectures are given by leading researchers in the area of medicinal and biological chemistry.
The lecture courses are supported by tutorial sessions and assessed by examination in May.
The Introduction to Research Methods course includes an exciting problem solving exercise where you learn important skills such as Communicating Science, Innovation, Dealing with Intellectual Property and Grant Application Writing, together with a literature survey and written report, defining the scope of the subsequent individual research project work.
On completion of the course, students should have developed a depth of comprehension and critique in the core elements of their subject area, including:
Additionally they will have enhanced their professional/practical skills through:
Students will also have the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as:
Graduates are well suited to take up roles in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, either in research and development or sales and marketing. You will gain valuable work experience in a real-life research environment.
Alternatively, a Masters degree is a precursor to a PhD degree.
Our courses teach students the valuable skills they need to also move into other areas outside chemistry. Careers in IT, management or finance are possibilities after completing your degree.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
Our programmes are excellent preparation for careers in international and rural development, agricultural economics, and marketing within the food chain and policy. Some 96% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduating.
Engagement with a wide variety of visiting speakers and field trips provides many opportunities for networking. In addition, competitive internships and placements, and research dissertations are an opportunity to showcase your skills, undertake overseas field research or link with organisations in the development sector. For examples of organisations our graduates go on to, please visit: http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae" target="_blank">http://www.reading.ac.uk/giidae