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.