This masters programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications.
It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.
This programme is designed to prepare you for a career in research in molecular and cellular biology and its applications. It comprises a year of intensive training and research experience leading to the award of an MRes degree which will give you a ‘flying start’ to a subsequent PhD programme, if this is your chosen career path.
The programme aims to provide training in the practical aspects that underlie research science in this field. To achieve this aim the course contains a very high level of hands-on research, as it is our view there is no better training than lab experience.
Two-thirds of the programme is taken up by two approximately 18-week research projects, which are undertaken in different laboratories and with different supervisors. A very wide range of research topics falling within the scope of molecular and cellular biology is available within the School; this range extends from structural biology at one extreme to multicellular systems at the other.
In addition to this direct research experience, there are two compulsory taught modules which provide training in:
These modules cover the basic principles underlying scientific research methods and the design of biological/biochemical experiments, and discussion of modern techniques in molecular and cellular biology. In addition, the science funding and enterprise module provides the skills required to obtain funding for sciences. This includes grant and business case writing and scientific presentation skills. You can also take courses to develop general research skills arranged through the Biosciences Graduate Research School.
The taught modules consist of a combination of seminars and lectures. The lab work that is carried out during the course is student-led. You will be able to choose areas of molecular and cellular biology that fit with your career aspirations.
The two taught modules are assessed via examination, essays and oral presentations. The two research projects are assessed via written thesis and an oral examination.
This programme offers the following advantages:
The course will also enable you to:
Those who perform effectively in the MRes often continue at Birmingham to a PhD; however, the MRes also provides a very good qualification to move into research and a wide range of professions.
In order to broaden experience and interaction with other groups several of the activities described above will be shared with students on the MRC-sponsored course in Molecular and Cellular Immunology and Oncology. We have formed partnerships with Glaxo-SK, Celltech, Hoffmann-La Roche and AgrEvo to ensure that students are made fully aware of the ethos and requirements of progressive industrial employers. This will involve both visits of senior industrial personnel to Birmingham for presentations and discussions and a visit to the Stevenage research facility of Glaxo-SK, where students will experience a mock job interview and give a short oral presentation.
Graduates of the Molecular and Cellular Biology MRes typically proceed to PhDs in a variety of institutes in the UK and abroad, although a few have become lab technicians in academic research groups. Since the MRes involves working in two different research groups, this allows our students to get experience with a broad range of laboratory techniques. These practical skills together with the critical thinking developed in the lab and via the taught modules gives our graduates a strong CV for PhD applications.
Do you have a clear and specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology? Our Master’s programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology combines research in three areas: oncology, molecular developmental biology and genetics. The focus is on molecular and cellular aspects of development and disease, utilising different model systems (mice, zebrafish, C. elegans, organoids and cell lines). The programme will guide you through the mysteries of embryonic growth, stem cells, signalling, gene regulation, evolution, and development as they relate to health and disease.
Given that fundamental developmental processes are so often impacted by disease, an understanding of these processes is vital to the better understanding of disease treatment and prevention. Adult physiology is regulated by developmental genes and mechanisms which, if deregulated, may result in pathological conditions. If you have a specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology, this Master’s programme is the right choice for you. Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology offers you international, high ranked research training and education that builds on novel methodology in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics technology applied to biomedical and developmental systems and processes.
In the Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology programme you will learn to focus on understanding processes underlying cancer and developmental biology using techniques and applications of post-genomic research, including microarray analysis, next generation sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics and advanced microscopy techniques. You explore research questions concerning embryonic growth, stem cells, signaling pathways, gene regulation, evolution and development in relation to health and disease using various model systems. As a Master’s student you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by renowned specialists in the field. The courses are interactive, and challenge you to further improve your writing and presenting skills.
Compared to most other Master’s programmes in cancer and stem cell biology in the Netherlands, in Utrecht we offer:
As a MSc graduate trained in both fundamental and disease-oriented aspects of biomedical genetics you are in great demand. You’ll be prepared for PhD study in one of the participating or associated groups. Alternatively, leaving after obtaining your MSc degree you will profit from a solid education in molecular genetics, in addition to your specialised knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.
The taught Infection Biology MSc will help you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria, viruses and parasites cause disease in humans and in domesticated animals, and the immune responses generated by these hosts to such pathogens. You can choose to specialise in virology, microbiology (bacteriology) or parasitology.
The MSc programme will consist of five taught courses and a project or dissertation, spread over 11-12 months. Three courses are compulsory, and two are chosen from a series of options.
The PgDip programme will consist of five taught courses, spread over 7-8 months, with three compulsory courses and two chosen from a series of options.
The PgCert programme consists one core taught course over 3-4 months.
Teaching and learning methods
A variety of methods are used, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratories and problem-based learning. These are supplemented by a wide range of course specific electronic resources for additional learning and self assessment. As a result, you will develop a wide range of skills relevant to careers in infection biology research, diagnostics or drug development. These skills include team-working, data interpretation and experimental design. You will use primary scientific literature as an information resource.
Our online resources were voted the best in the United Kingdom in the International Student Barometer in 2012, and include
About half of our MSc students enter a research career, mainly by undertaking further postgraduate research studies towards a PhD, or by working in research laboratories in clinical or academic settings, including national government laboratories.
Other students go on to work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic or biotechnological industries.
The Master in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS) is research oriented and takes a multidisciplinary approach to study related to health and disease in cells and organisms. By the end of the programme you will gain sufficient fundamental knowledge to start working on applications in the field of medical and biotechnological issues. These applications may include the development of new medicines and vaccines, new strategies for crop improvement, or the development of enzymes to be used in industry.
MCLS is the ideal Master’s programme if you are interested in molecules as the basis of life and disease and if you want to know how chemistry, biology, biomedical sciences, and physics contribute to our understanding of how these molecules work. The interplay of molecules in cells and organisms is the central focus of the programme.
The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Chemistry in the Netherlands.
You will develop extensive knowledge about cellular processes such as cellular signaling, membrane biogenesis and intracellular transport. You will also learn skills and methods to study the molecules involved in these processes by using biochemistry, structural biology, cell biology, biophysics, computational biology, proteomics and genomics. The programme offers you the flexibility to choose any specialisation within the field of molecular and cellular life sciences.
Within this Master’s programme you can choose one of four tracks:
Translating fundamental biomedical discoveries into applied clinical practice and public health issues
Human Biology is the only specialisation in the Netherlands that combines fundamental human biology with clinical studies. It provides you with an extensive biological knowledge, and experience in working with animal and patient samples. In this way you’ll be trained to bridge the gap between early biomedical research results and clinical practice.
This wouldn’t be possible within the walls of the Faculty of Science. That’s why there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center in the field of Human Biology. You’ll get the best of both worlds: a thorough background in for example molecular oncology, human genetics, physiology and metabolism as well as a clinical view on diseases. This is an excellent background for a medical researcher or a job at the interface of science and society, such as a consultant, policy officer or communications advisor in the area of food or health.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology
- It is the only programme in the Netherlands that bridges the gap between fundamental biomedical research and clinical treatments.
- You’ll get the opportunity to work together with researchers from the Radboud university medical center.
- Radboud biologists and clinicians stand out in the fields of animal and human physiology, human genetics and disease, and molecular and cellular clinical studies.
- Clinical Biology offers internships at multiple related research institutes, such as the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences (RIHS) and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour (DI).
- There are various opportunities to do an internship abroad thanks to our wide network of cooperating research groups.
After graduation, our students quickly take up positions as researchers in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies. However, many of our graduates also apply their academic background to societal issues, for example as a communications or policy officer. In general, clinical biologists end up as a:
- Researcher in a hospital or a university
- Researcher in a company, either a large or a start-up company
- Supervisor of clinical trials
- Consultant in the area of health or food
- Policy officer in the area of health or food
- Communications officer at a hospital or a governmental organisation, like RIVM
- Teacher in biology or medical biology
PhD positions at Radboud University
Each year, Radboudumc offers PhD positions in this field of research. Of course, many graduates also apply for a PhD position at related departments in the Netherlands, or abroad.
- From human biology to clinical treatment
Human Biology at Radboud University connects fundamental biological research to clinical treatments. The courses will provide you with a solid background in human physiology and molecular biology, which you’ll apply in developing clinically-oriented research questions. As there’s an extensive collaboration between the Faculty of Science and the Radboud university medical center, you’ll become familiar with both perspectives.
In your internships you’ll work with biomaterials, such as patient and animal samples. This means you’ll apply your biological knowledge to real-life situations. Clinical biologists do not work with patients or clinical treatments directly.
- Three focus areas
This Master’s specialisation focuses on three main topics:
- Molecular Mechanisms of Novel Therapeutics
Which molecular mechanisms lead to cancer? And how can these be translated into clinical practice? These are key questions in the specialisation in Human Biology. For example, we’ll dive into the functioning of epigenetics (heritable modifications of chromosomes without altering the nucleotide sequence), transcription factors, tumour suppressors and immunotherapy.
- Human Genetics and Physiology
This part is about how new developments and discoveries in genetic and molecular fields can help individual patients to improve functionality, independence and quality of life. You’ll study genetic pathways and the functionality of individual organs, organ systems, regulatory mechanisms, and individuals as a whole, in an integrative way.
- Metabolism, Transport and Mobility
The energy balance in our body is one of the most important factors in health and disease. We’ll teach you how energy and metabolites are integrated into the larger cellular networks for metabolism, transport and motility.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/humanbiology
The Biology of Disease programme is an interdisciplinary programme that positions you at the cutting edge of basic and clinical science, in particular in the cardiovascular research field. In this programme, you study disease mechanisms in the broadest sense, and learn to conduct (cardiovascular) disease-related translational research in cooperation with clinical and pre-clinical staff.
Cardiovascular diseases are the primary focus in this programme. For this, the Cardiovascular Track has been designed. In addition, this Master’s programme offers you the opportunity to focus on more than one clinical speciality , enabling you to conduct research projects on different subjects and diseases while gaining experience in multiple labs. On completing the Biology of Disease programme, you are able to use advanced research techniques and function as an independent researcher in the cardiovascular field, or in your chosen specialty.
In the Biology of Disease programme you learn to translate a (cardiovascular) disease into a scientifically sound experiment or model or the other way around. Hereby, you study the underlying mechanism of the disease to expand the knowledge concerning the disease or to build bridges towards therapeutic leads. Research questions may relate to all organisational levels of the body.
Compared to other Master’s programmes in (cardiovascular) disease mechanisms in the Netherlands, our programme in Utrecht:
Biology of Disease graduates often work in a clinical/hospital research environment, where questions from the clinic are being translated into model systems to study the underlying cellular or molecular cause of the disease. Communication with doctors or veterinarians is therefore of great importance. Most Biology of Disease graduates find jobs as PhD's in clinical labs, as product managers, or in the R&D department of industries. Others have found a position in the communication and education field, as policy advisor, science journalism, or staff member at HVTO (the national expert organisation Girls/women and Science/Technology).
Our MSc Bioinformatics and Systems Biology course looks at two concepts that complement each other and reflect the skills currently sought by employers in academia and industry.
Bioinformatics is changing as high throughput biological data collection becomes more systems-oriented, with employers seeking people who can work across both disciplines.
Enormous success has been achieved in bioinformatics, such as in defining homologous families of sequences at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels. However, our appreciation of function is changing rapidly as experimental analysis scales up to cellular and organismal viewpoints.
At these levels, we are interested in the properties of a network of interacting components in a system, as well as the components themselves.
Our MSc reflects these exciting developments, providing an integrated programme taught by researchers at the forefront of fields spanning bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology.
You will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of methods to analyse and interpret the data generated by modern biology. This involves the appreciation of biochemistry and molecular biology, together with IT and computer science techniques that will prepare you for multidisciplinary careers in research.
This course aims to:
Learn from researchers at the forefront of fields spanning bioinformatics, genomics and systems biology.
Develop your research skills in preparation for a career in the biosciences industry or academic research.
We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, practicals, group discussions, problem classes and e-learning.
Research projects provide experience of carrying out a substantive research project, including the planning, execution and communication of original scientific research.
Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.
Research projects are assessed by written report. Taught units are assessed through both coursework and exams.
The taught part of the course runs from September to April and consists of 60 credits delivered from four 15-credit units:
You will undertake two research projects, each carrying 60 credits, in Semester 2 and the summer.
Additionally, tutorials and the Graduate Training Programme (skills development) will run through the whole course.
"My final MSc project was conducted in collaboration with a cancer research group in Liverpool, aimed at facilitating targeted DNA sequencing of gene regions identified as being important for breast cancer.
This gave me an opportunity to work together with researchers outside of the university on a project that had real-world value."
You will be able to access a range of facilities throughout the University.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .
Our graduates acquire a wide range of subject-specific and transferable skills and extensive research experience.
The combination of systems biology and bioinformatics addressed in this course reflects the current skills sought in academic and industrial (eg pharmaceutical) settings.
Around half of each class find PhD positions straight after the MSc, while others build upon their training to enter careers in biology and IT.