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Biological Sciences×

KU Leuven, Full Time Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences

We have 10 KU Leuven, Full Time Masters Degrees in Biological Sciences

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What is the Master of Bioinformatics all about?.  Bioinformaticians are distinguished by their ability to formulate biologically relevant questions, design and implement the appropriate solution by managing and analysing high-throughput molecular biological and sequence data, and interpret the obtained results. Read more

What is the Master of Bioinformatics all about?

 Bioinformaticians are distinguished by their ability to formulate biologically relevant questions, design and implement the appropriate solution by managing and analysing high-throughput molecular biological and sequence data, and interpret the obtained results.

Structure

This interdisciplinary two-year programme focuses on acquiring

  • basic background knowledge in diverse disciplines belonging to the field of bioinformatics, including statistics, molecular biology and computer science
  • expert knowledge in the field of bioinformatics
  • programming skills
  • engineering skills

The 120-credit programme consists of a reorientation package (one semester), a common package (two semesters) and a thesis.

The Master of Bioinformatics is embedded in a strong bioinformatics research community in KU Leuven, who monthly meet at the Bioinformatics Interest Group. Bioinformatics research groups are spread over the Arenberg and Gasthuisberg campus and are located in the research departments of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Human Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology (REGA), Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Biology. Several of these bioinformatics research groups are also associated with the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).

Is this the right programme for me? 

Are you a biochemist or molecular biologist with a keen interest in mathematics and programming? Are you a mathematician or statistician and want to apply your knowledge to complex biological questions? Do you want to develop new methods that can be used by doctors, biologists and biotechnology engineers? Then this is the right program for you!

Objectives

The student:

  • Possesses a broad knowledge of the principles of genetics, biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology that underlie the model systems, the experimental techniques, and the generation of data that are analysed and modelled in bioinformatics.
  • Possesses a broad knowledge of the basic mathematical disciplines (linear algebra, calculus, dynamical systems) that underlie mathematical and statistical modelling in bioinformatics.
  • Masters the concepts and techniques from information technology (database management, structured and object-oriented programming, semantic web technology) for the management and analysis of large amounts of complex and distributed biological and biomedical data.
  • Masters the concepts and techniques from machine learning and frequentist and Bayesian statistics that are used to analyse and model complex omics data.
  • Has acquired knowledge of the core methods of computational biology (such as sequence analysis, phylogenetic analysis, quantitative genetics, protein modelling, array analysis).
  • Has advanced interdisciplinary skills to communicate with experts in life sciences, applied mathematics, statistics, and computer science to formalise complex biological problems into appropriate data management and data analysis strategies.
  • Can - in collaboration with these experts - design complex omics experiments and analyse them independently.
  • Can independently collect and manage data from specialised literature and public databases and critically analyse and interpret this data to solve complex research questions, as well as develop tools to support these processes.
  • Investigates and understands interaction with other relevant science domains and integrate them within the context of more advanced ideas and practical applications and problem solving.
  • Demonstrates critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretation within the specialty; and can efficiently adapt to the rapid evolution the life sciences, and especially in omics techniques, by quickly learning or developing new analysis strategies and incorporating them into the learned competences.
  • Presents personal research, thoughts, ideas, and opinions of proposals within professional activities in a suitable way, both written and orally, to peers and to a general public.
  • Develop and execute original scientific research and/or apply innovative ideas within research units.
  • Understands ethical, social and scientific integrity issues and responsibilities and is able to analyse the local and global impact of bioinformatics and genomics on individuals, organisations and society.

Career paths

Bioinformaticians find careers in the life sciences domain in the broadest sense: industry, the academic world, health care, etc. The expanding need for bioinformatics in biological and medical research ensures a large variety of job opportunities in fundamental and applied research. 60% of our graduates start a PhD after graduation.

 



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What is the Master of Biophysics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology all about?. 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. Read more

What is the Master of Biophysics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology all about?

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.

Structure

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.

Elective Courses 

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.

International

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.

Department

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.

Objectives

Upon completing the programme, the graduate will have acquired:

  • thorough understanding of the properties of biomolecules, their functions and interactions with other molecules at a cellular and higher level, and particularly their structure-function relationship;
  • profound knowledge of recent developments in disciplines such as biophysical modelling, bioinformatics, genome and proteome analysis, and ability to integrate this knowledge and to apply it to new problems;
  • abilities to thoroughly familiarise oneself in a reasonably short time with several subject areas of biophysics and biochemistry, and to keep oneself informed of relevant developments in the field of study; this implies the abilities to consult and understand relevant literature, to acquire new insights and to formulate new hypothesis based on these sources;
  • abilities to independently identify and analyse physical and molecular aspects of a biophysical problem, to plan a strategy for the solution and to propose and perform appropriate experiments;
  • appropriate attitudes to work in a team environment and to make a constructive contribution to scientific research at an international level, at the university, in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries, at research institutions or public services;
  • abilities to make a systematic and critical report of personal biophysical or (applied) biochemical research and to present this to an audience of specialists;
  • attitudes of continued attention to the risks associated with the conducted experiments, with respect to safety and the environment, and to thoroughly analyse these risks.

Career perspectives

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.



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What is the Master of Molecular Biology all about?.  This programme, commonly referred to as the Internuniversity Programme in Molecular Biology (IPMB), is jointly organised by. Read more

What is the Master of Molecular Biology all about?

 This programme, commonly referred to as the Internuniversity Programme in Molecular Biology (IPMB), is jointly organised by

  • KU Leuven
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Universiteit Antwerpen

IPMB is endorsed and supported as an international programme by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UDC). Although originally designed to meet the needs of students from developing countries, the programme also welcomes non-traditional and reorienting student seeking to enter the fascinating world of molecular biology. Erasmus-Socrates students studying at one of the organising universities for one or two semesters are also most welcome to attend classes and acquire laboratory skills.

Students are awarded a joint degree from the participating institutions. 

Structure

The IPMB is organised over two academic years. In view of the diverse background of its students, the first year consists of in-depth courses covering the most important topics in molecular biology. By the end of the first year, you will have obtained the level of knowledge required to take succesfully part in the advanced, specialisation courses of the second year.

Intensive laboratory training will prepare you to embark on the preparation of your thesis, which you will complete in the second year along with four advanced courses followed by three specialisation courses in the field of either human health, animal production or plant production. Much attention is also paid to the preparation and writing of the thesis, which is an original research project completed under the guidance of a supervisor and defended in public.

Objectives

The Master of Molecular Biology (Interuniversity Molecular Biology - IPMB) programme is intended to offer theoretical and practical training to young scientists from developing countries, who are involved in education/research in human medicine, animal production or plant production.

This programme is designed to train these students to become capable, critical and self-reliant scientists who are able to apply the knowledge acquired to contribute to the further development of their country through their involvement in education, research and policymaking.

IPMB graduates will be able to ensure that the potential offered by molecular biology and biotechnology in terms of human and veterinary medicine and animal and plant production, find due application in their country.

Although originally conceived to meet the needs of students from developing countries, the programme offers an excellent opportunity for all students, including non-traditional and reorienting students, to study molecular biology in an international context.

Students are expected to:

  • have developed an advanced knowledge of fundamental sciences;
  • have developed an in-depth insight into biological processes;
  • have developed an in-depth insight into the functioning of living organisms in all their forms;
  • have developed a critical mind allowing them to appraise scientific and social aspects of applied molecular biology;
  • be capable of analysing and/or summarising and critically reflecting on scientific literature;
  • be capable of detecting and analysing problems and of proposing solutions to solve them;
  • be able to contribute, through molecular biological research, to solving problems faced by developing countries;
  • be able to operate as a member of a team;
  • be able to report, both orally and in writing;
  • be able to contribute to efforts to set up nationwide and international cooperation (South-South, South-North);
  • be able to operate in nationwide and international networks;
  • be able to disseminate the acquired knowledge in their country and region through their activities in education and research and through peer reviewed publications;
  • have developed skills to act as reliable advisors for local policymakers by making proposals for the further development of molecular biology in education and research, and, as such, to contribute to the further development of their country and improve the living conditions of the populations in the South;
  • be trained to a level sufficient to beginning a doctoral programme (PhD).

Career path

IPMB graduates find employment in universities, hospitals, private and governmental research laboratories and patenting bureaus, as lecturers, consultants and advisors to policy makers, among other careers. Many graduates go on to begin PhD programmes in Belgium or abroad. Students from developing countries can apply for a VLIR-UOS sandwich PhD scholarship. Flemish students can apply for a PhD scholarship of VLIR-UOS to make a PhD on developmental relevant topics.



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What is the Master of Biology all about?. The Master of Science in Biology emphasises problem-solving, independent thinking, and communication. Read more

What is the Master of Biology all about?

The Master of Science in Biology emphasises problem-solving, independent thinking, and communication. You will be trained in the theory and techniques of fundamental and applied research in one of two areas of specialisation: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biologyor Molecular Biology and Physiology.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

 Structure

The 120 ECTS programme compromises four mandatory modules:

  • Common Core (18 ECTS)
  • You will obtain the necessary training in analysing and processing complex biological data, in basic programming, and in discussing biological topics in a societal context.
  • Advanced Biology (54 ECTS)
  • You can follow two modules: ‘Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology’ and ‘Molecular Biology and Physiology’. Throughout advanced and specialised courses, you will obtain the necessary knowledge and insights in a specific area of Biology.
  • You can specialise in one module or combine courses from both modules to design a programme that fits your needs and interests.
  • Elective courses (18 ECTS)
  • You can select additional courses in Advanced Biology, courses on Entrepreneurship, take remedial courses to fill in knowledge gaps and/or follow courses from other master’s programmes.
  • Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS). 
  • You will conduct your own original scientific research in the field of biology in an academic setting with the help of a supervisor. You will defend your master’s thesis publicly.

Department

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.

Career perspectives

As a graduate of the programme, you will be in a position to pursue a career as a scientific researcher at universitiesagro-industries, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, environmental conservation organisations and NGO's

You will also be an excellent candidate for employment as a scientific advisor in banks and private investment foundations, a policy officer in governmental and public administration, a scientific communications advisor, scientific journalist, or a science teacher.



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What's the Master of Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering all about? . Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and manipulation on the atomic and molecular scales (nanometers. Read more

What's the Master of Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering all about? 

Nanoscience is the study of phenomena and manipulation on the atomic and molecular scales (nanometers: i.e., one billionth of a meter). Important material properties such as the electrical, optical and mechanical are determined by the way molecules and atoms assemble into larger structures on the nanoscale. Nanotechnology is the application of this science in new nanomaterials and nano-concepts to create new components, systems and products. Nanotechnology is the key to unlocking the ability to design custom-made materials which possess any property we require. These newborn scientific disciplines are situated at the interface of physics, chemistry, material science, microelectronics, biochemistry and biotechnology. Consequently, control of the discipline requires an academic and multidisciplinary scientific education.

In the Master of Science in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering, you will learn the basics of physics, biology and chemistry on the nanometer scale; these courses will be complemented by courses in technology and engineering to ensure practical know-how. The programme is strongly research oriented, and is largely based on the research of centres like imec (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center), the Leuven Nanocenter and INPAC (Institute for Nanoscale Physics and Chemistry) at the Faculty of Science, all global research leaders in nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering. In your Master’s thesis, you will have the opportunity to work in the exciting research programmes of these institutes.

The objective of the Master of Science in Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nano engineering is to provide top quality multidisciplinary tertiary education in nanoscience as well as in the use of nanotechnologies for systems and sensors on the macro-scale.

Structure

Students follow a set of introductory courses to give them a common starting basis, a compulsory common block of core programme courses to give them the necessary multidisciplinary background of nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering, and a selection of programme courses to provide some non-technical skills. The students also select their specialisation option for which they choose a set of compulsory specific programme courses, a number of elective broadening programme courses and do their Master’s thesis research project.

  1. The fundamental courses (max 15 credits, 6 courses) introduce the students to relevant disciplines in which they have had no or little training during their Bachelor’s education. These are necessary in order to prepare students from different backgrounds for the core programme courses and the specialisation programme courses of the Master’s.
  2. The general interest courses (9-12 credits) are imparting non-technical skills to the students in domains such as management, economics, languages, quality management, ethics, psychology, etc.
  3. The core courses (39 credits, 8 courses) contain first of all 6 compulsory courses focusing on the thorough basic education within the main disciplines of the Master’s: nanophysics, nanochemistry, nanoelectronics and nanobiochemistry. These core programme courses deliver the basic competences (knowledge, skills and attitudes) to prepare the students for their specialisation in one of the subdisciplines of the Master. Next all students also have to follow one out of two available practical courses where they learn to carry out some practical experimental work, which takes place in small teams. Also part of the core courses is the Lecture Series on Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering, which is a series of seminars (14-18 per year) on various topics related to nanoscience, nanotechnology and nanoengineering, given by national and international guest speakers.
  4. The specific courses (21 credits) are compulsory programme courses of the specialisation option. These programme courses are deepening the student’s competences in one of the specialising disciplines of the Master’s programme and prepare them also for the thesis work.
  5. The broadening courses (9-27 credits) allow the students to choose additional progamme courses, either from their own or from the other options of the Master’s, which allow them to broaden their scope beyond the chosen specialisation. They can also choose to do an industrial internship on a nanoscience, nanotechnology or nanoengineering related topic at a nanotechnology company or research institute.
  6. The Master’s thesis (24 credits) is intended to bring the students in close and active contact with a multidisciplinary research environment. The student is assigned a relevant research project and work in close collaboration with PhD students, postdocs and professors. The research project is spread over the two semesters of the second Master’s year, and is finalised with a written Master’s thesis report, a publishable summary paper and a public presentation.

 You can also follow a similar programme in the frame of an interuniversity programme, the Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Career perspectives

In the coming decades, nanoscience and nanotechnology will undoubtedly become the driving force for a new set of products, systems, and applications. These disciplines are even expected to form the basis for a new industrial revolution.

Within a few years, nanoscience applications are expected to impact virtually every technological sector and ultimately many aspects of our daily life. In the coming five-to-ten years, many new products and companies will emerge based on nanotechnology and nanosciences. These new products will stem from the knowledge developed at the interface of the various scientific disciplines offered in this Master's programme.

Thus, graduates will find a wealth of career opportunities in the sectors and industries developing these new technologies: electronics, new and smart materials, chemical technology, biotechnology, R&D, independent consultancies and more. Graduates have an ideal background to become the invaluable interface between these areas and will be able to apply their broad perspective on nanoscience and nanotechnology to the development and creation of new products and even new companies.



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What's the Master of Chemical Engineering all about? . The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Read more

What's the Master of Chemical Engineering all about? 

The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Students also learn to take environmental and safety issues into account during all phases of the process.

Two guiding principles of sustainable development – the rational exploitation of resources and energy, and the application of the best available technology – are emphasised, as is the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

As a chemical engineering student, you will learn to think in a process-oriented manner and grasp the complexity of physico-chemical systems. Even more than other specialists, you will be asked to solve problems of a very diverse nature. Insights into processes at the nano and micro scale are fundamental for the development of new products and/or (mega-scale) technologies.

While students should have a foundational knowledge of chemistry, the underlying chemistry of the elements and components, their properties and mutual reactions are not the main focal points of the programme.

With a focus on process, product and environmental planet engineering, the programme does not only guarantee a solid chemical engineering background, it also focuses on process and product intensification, energy efficient processing routes, biochemical processes and product-based thinking rather than on the classical process approach.

Structure 

The programme itself consists of an important core curriculum that covers the foundations of chemical engineering. The core curriculum builds on the basic knowledge obtained during the Bachelor’s. In this part of the programme, you will concentrate on both the classical and the emerging trends in chemical engineering. 

Students also take up 9 credits from ‘Current trends in chemical engineering’-courses. These courses are signature courses for the Master’s programme and build on the research expertise present within the department. These courses encompass microbial process technology, process intensification, exergy analysis of chemical processes and product design. 

The curriculum consists of a broad generic core, which is then strengthened and honed during the second year, when students select one of the three specialisations: product, process and environmental engineering.

This choice provides you with the opportunity to specialise to a certain extent. Since the emerging areas covered in the programme are considered to be the major challenges within the chemical and related industries, graduating in Leuven as a chemical engineer will give you a serious advantage over your European colleagues since you will be able to integrate new technologies within existing production processes.

During their Master’s studies, students are encouraged to take non-technical courses (general interest courses), organized for instance by other faculties (economics, social sciences, psychology…) in order to broaden their scope beyond mere technical courses.

An important aspect of the Master’s programme is the Master’s thesis. Assigning Master’s thesis topics to students is based on a procedure in which students select 5 preferred topics from a long list.

The Master’s programme highly values interactions with the chemical industry which is one of the most important pillars of the Flemish economy. As such, some courses are taught by guest professors from the industry.

International and industrial experience

One or two semesters of the programme can be completed abroad in the context of the ERASMUS+ programme. Additionally, you can apply for an industrial internship abroad through the departmental internship coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.

The department also offers a new exchange programme with the University of Delaware (United States) and with the Ecole Polytechique in Montréal (Canada).

The faculty’s exchange programmes are complemented by the BEST network (Board of European Students of Technology). This student organisation offers the opportunity to follow short courses, usually organised in the summer months. The faculty also participates in various leading international networks.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty website.

Career perspectives

The chemical sector represents one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium. It provides about 90,000 direct and more than 150,000 indirect jobs. With a 53 billion euro turnover and a 35% share of the total Belgian export, the chemical sector is an indispensable part of the contemporary Belgian economy.

As a chemical engineer you will predominantly work in industrial branches involved in (the production of) bulk and specialty chemicals, oil and natural gas (petrochemical companies and refineries), non-ferrometallurgics, energy, waste treatment, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The following professional activities lie before you:

  • design, planning and building of installations ('project engineer')
  • monitoring and optimisation of existing processes ('process engineer')
  • design/formulation and optimisation of products ('product engineer')
  • R&D of technical products, processes and devices
  • customer services, retailing ('sales engineer')
  • management

Apart from the traditional career options, your insight into complex processes will also be much appreciated in jobs in the financial and governmental sector, where chemical engineers are often employed to supervise industrial activities, to deliver permissions, and to compose regulations with respect to safety and environmental issues.

As self-employed persons, chemical engineers work in engineering offices or as consultants. Due to their often very dynamic personality, chemical engineers can also be successful as entrepreneurs.



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. What is the Master in Biochemical Engineering Technology all about?. This master's programme incorporates knowledge from various sectors (food, biomedical, pharmaceutical, environmental, etc.) to provide a well-rounded graduate-level curriculum in biomechanical engineering. Read more

What is the Master in Biochemical Engineering Technology all about?

This master's programme incorporates knowledge from various sectors (food, biomedical, pharmaceutical, environmental, etc.) to provide a well-rounded graduate-level curriculum in biomechanical engineering. In addition to fundamental (bio)chemical-scientific course units, you will take courses in socio-economics (company management, economics) and biotechnology (engineering, separation techniques, fermentation technology, molecular biology techniques, industrial biochemistry and microbiology, environmental technology, bioreactor design, etc.). A flexible cross-campus elective package and a master's thesis conducted in either a research-specific or industrial context enable you to focus your studies according to your specific interests and career goals.

Medical Bioengineering option

This option relates to biotechnological developments in the medical sector. Knowledge of human physiological systems (the cardiovascular system, neurophysiology, etc.) and medical engineering techniques form the foundation of developments in the area of artificial organs, tissue engineering, biomaterials, bioelectronics and new diagnostic techniques (microarray technology, PCR technology).

Add an in-company or project-based learning experience to your master's programme

You can augment your master's programme with the Postgraduate Programme Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering. This programme is made up by a multifaceted learning experience in and with a company, with an innovative engineering challenge as the central assignment. It is carried out in a team setting, has a distinct international dimension, and usually requires a multidisciplinary approach. Entrepreneurs and students alike are encouraged to innovate, transfer knowledge and grow. It is a unique cross-fertilisation between company and classroom.

International Campus Group T

The Faculty of Engineering Technology maintains close ties with universities around the world. At Campus Group T, more than 20% of the engineering students are international students. They represent 65 different nationalities from all over the world. This international network extends not just to Europe, but also to China, Southeast Asia, India, Ethiopia and beyond.

Campus Group T is the only campus of the faculty who offers all the degree programmes in the business language par excellence: English. The language is ubiquitous both inside and outside the classroom. If you've mastered English, you feel right at home. And if you want to explore more of the world, you can do part of your training at a university outside Belgium as an exchange student.#

This is an initial master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Objectives

This master's programme brings students to the advanced level of knowledge and skills that is associated with scientific work in the broad sense, and more particularly to those areas of the engineering sciences that are related to biochemistry. The programme seeks to offer a broad academic training in biochemistry and biochemical technology, with a distinct emphasis on production, quality management and research in the food industry and related sectors.

Degree holders are able to apply the acquired scientific knowledge independently in a broad social context. Furthermore, they have the necessary organisational skills to hold executive positions.

Career paths

Our graduates find broad employment opportunities in the food and biotechnology sector, the environmental sector, the pharmaceutical industry and in the life sciences. On completion of the programme, you will be equipped with the skills to lead and coordinate industrial production units and research, analysis and screening laboratories in technical-commercial, administrative and educational environments.



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What is the Master of Biomedical Sciences all about?. Biomedical sciences underwent a spectacular evolution during the past decades. Read more

What is the Master of Biomedical Sciences all about?

Biomedical sciences underwent a spectacular evolution during the past decades. New diseases such as bird flu arose, whereas others such as AIDS and diabetes have expanded. At the same time, researchers are discovering new ways to fight these diseases. The human genome has been decoded, gene technology is steadily growing, immunotherapy has been introduced for the treatment of several cancers and the first steps in the direction of stem cell therapy have been made. The laboratories at KU Leuven and University Hospital Gasthuisberg deliver cutting edge work in the field of disease and development of new therapies, stretching from bench to bedside. The Master of Biomedical Sciences at KU Leuven allows students to live this journey themselves, hands on.

Do you dream of working on the frontline of the ongoing battle for a better understanding of human health and diseases? Are dedicated to applying this knowledge to better prevention and treatment options? Then this programme is for you. During the two master's years you will be truly immersed in scientific biomedical research. By doing scientific research in a domestic or foreign laboratory, you will gain thorough know-how, strengthen your scientific skills and learn the newest scientific methods. All of these skills and accumulated knowledge will be applied in the most important part of the master's programme: your master's thesis.

Objectives

The main goal of the curriculum is to train researchers in biomedical sciences by providing a rigorous scientific training based on the acquisition of knowledge, the collection and interpretation of information and the use of modern research techniques. This is expected to stimulate the critical thinking and independence required to address a specific research question related to (dys)function of the human body and its interaction with the environment. Furthermore, the curriculum provides broad, intellectually rigorous training allowing for a wide array of job opportunities in industry, research centres and society.

The aims of the curriculum follow the educational principles of KU Leuven, important among which is the independence of the student. For the acquisition of knowledge, the university uses its own high-quality interdisciplinary scientific research. KU Leuven aims to be a centre of critical thinking where, in addition to factual knowledge, people are stimulated to identify, define and solve problems.

The quality of the curriculum is guaranteed due to the strong interconnection between education and research in the Biomedical Sciences in the broadest sense. The faculty commits itself to a future-oriented educational project in an academic setting that is at once intellectually stimulating, socially supportive and student friendly.

Career perspectives

Internationalisation has become an integral part of the profile of researchers in biomedical sciences. International exchange is the key to opening mindsets to global solutions in health and disease. Graduates can expect to embark on international-level careers in very diverse areas touching on human health.

First and foremost, biomedical scientists are prepared for a personal career full of exciting scientific research in academic or pharmaceutical laboratories dedicated to improving knowledge in human health and finding prevention strategies and cures for diseases. Beyond this, there are many different directions open to you.

Many graduates go on to careers in consultancy, policy, sales and marketing, communication and management in areas related to human health, such as the pharmaceutical industry, scientific writing agencies, regulatory agencies and government administration. Graduates find rewarding work in a wide variety of sectors: the pharmaceutical industry, the academic or educational world, healthcare, the environmental sector and food inspection, among others.

Programme graduates are in high demand in the pharmaceutical and medical industry. As a biomedical scientist, for example, you provide thoroughly prepared research, which is a crucial phase in the development of new drugs and other medical products. It is also possible to cooperate with the set-up and follow-up of preclinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry. The programme gives you the perfect profile for clinical trial design, as well as the monitoring and conducting of these trials, on both the business and clinical sides of the process.

You can also work for service companies that deliver or develop products or equipment to the medical sector. Positions in government are also open to you, especially in the area of public health. Some biomedical scientists choose to specialise in the legislation around patents and the protection of biomedical discoveries, and others begin careers as biology, chemistry or biotechnology teachers. Additionally, there is a current need for experts who can clearly communicate scientific information and research results to non-specialists and the general public.



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What is the Master of Bioethics all about?. The Master of Bioethics is a one year advanced master's programme which is coordinated by the . Read more

What is the Master of Bioethics all about?

The Master of Bioethics is a one year advanced master's programme which is coordinated by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (CBMER) at KU Leuven.

Lectures, small-group discussions, case studies, and research activities characterise this programme, which is capped with a publishable research paper. Then, return to your workplace with a better understanding of today's ethical issues. Or perhaps your future is on an institutional review board, a clinical ethics committee, or within a government agency, regulatory body, or medical association. Then again, perhaps you'll take up a teaching or research career. Or you may pursue a career as a clinical ethicist at a hospital or health care facility.

Structure

The programme (60 ECTS) consists of a series of core bioethics courses, a research component and a series of electives.

Truncus communis of Core Bioethics Courses (22 ECTS)

  • Ethics and Law in Biomedical Research
  • Public Health Ethics and Ethics in Health Policy
  • Ethical Issues in End-of-life Care
  • The Foundations of Bioethics and Principles of Clinical Ethics
  • Human Genetics, Ethics and Policy
  • Law and Healthcare

A Research component (23 ECTS): a Seminar Interdisciplinary Research in Bioethics (5 ECTS) and a Master’s thesis Research Project (18 ECTS)

Elective specialisation courses (15 ECTS): In function of their background, expertise and research project, students can select from a number of courses that are offered at KU Leuven from the fields of Medicine, Theology, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Anthropology and Psychology. These elective courses allow for the development of more personal trajectories.

Objectives

The program aims at dealing with the most important traditions in bioethics together with major contemporary movements, as well as the conceptual, methodological and practical issues in different areas of bioethics. The programme wants to pay specifically attention to European traditions in philosophy, theology and ethics.

Further the program supports the students in developing academic and professional competences needed to conduct research in bioethics independently. They are encouraged to participate in the scientific debate in the domain of bioethics. It intends to support students in critically analysing the literature, writing scientific articles and submitting papers to (inter)national conferences and journals. The program also intends to prepare the students to integrate their theoretical knowledge with requisite attitudes and skills, in order to be able to apply these in a professional and clinical context. The students will be able to participate in clinical ethics committees (CECs) and research ethics committees (RECs), to deal autonomously with complex ethical problems in the field of health care and/or research, to analyse these problems and to reflect on them, and to discuss ethical issues within a cross-cultural context.

Finally the program stimulates the students to develop a critical attitude towards ethical problems and the scientific bioethical literature. It stimulates student to adapt a life-long learning attitude that is essential when one is professionally active in health care. Students are stimulated to develop openness towards different positions and teaches them to work in a multidisciplinary way. The program intends to increase moral sensibility and to develop a continuous awareness for ethical issues in clinical practice.

Career Options

Graduates are presented with a diverse spectrum of professional possibilities.

At least one in three of the students thas has graduated from the programme have gone on to work on a research project or undertake a doctoral degree.

Many graduates return to their workplace with a better understanding of the ethical issues involved there. Some serve on institutional review boards or clinical ethics committees or find positions at government agencies, regulatory bodies and medical associations.

Others are employed as professors at universities or researchers at independent research institutes. Some graduates pursue careers as clinical ethicists at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.



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What's the Master of Biomedical Engineering about? . The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering provides students with a state-of-the-art overview of all areas in biomedical engineering. Read more

What's the Master of Biomedical Engineering about? 

The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering provides students with a state-of-the-art overview of all areas in biomedical engineering:

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomaterials
  • Medical sensors and signal processing
  • Medical imaging
  • Tissue engineering

The teaching curriculum builds upon the top-class research conducted by the staff, most of whom are members of the Leuven Medical Technology Centre. This network facilitates industrial fellowships for our students and enables students to complete design projects and Master’s theses in collaboration with industry leaders and internationally recognized research labs.

Biomedical engineers are educated to integrate engineering and basic medical knowledge. This competence is obtained through coursework, practical exercises, interactive sessions, a design project and a Master’s thesis project.

Structure

Three courses provide students with basic medical knowledge on anatomy and functions of the human body. The core of the programme consists of biomedical engineering courses that cover the entire range of contemporary biomedical engineering: biomechanics, biomaterials, medical imaging, biosensors, biosignal processing, medical device design and regulatory affairs.

The elective courses have been grouped in four clusters: biomechanics and tissue engineering, medical devices, information acquisition systems, and Information processing software. These clusters allow the students to deepen their knowledge in one particular area of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from one cluster, while at the same time allowing other students to obtain a broad overview on the field of biomedical engineering by selecting courses from multiple clusters.

Students can opt for an internship which can take place in a Belgian company or in a medical technology centre abroad. 

Through the general interest courses, the student has the opportunity to broaden his/her views beyond biomedical engineering. These include courses on management, on communication (e.g. engineering vocabulary in foreign languages), and on the socio-economic and ethical aspects of medical technology.

A design project and a Master’s thesis familiarize the student with the daily practice of a biomedical engineer.

International

The Faculty of Engineering Science at KU Leuven is involved in several Erasmus exchange programmes. For the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering, this means that the student can complete one or two semesters abroad, at a number of selected universities.

An industrial fellowship is possible for three or six credits either between the Bachelor’s and the Master’s programme, or between the two phases of the Master’s programme. Students are also encouraged to consider the fellowship and short courses offered by BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) or through the ATHENS programme.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty.

Strengths

The programme responds to a societal need, which translates into an industrial opportunity.

Evaluation of the programme demonstrates that the objectives and goals are being achieved. The mix of mandatory and elective courses allows the student to become a generalist in Biomedical Engineering, but also to become a specialist in one topic; industry representatives report that graduates master a high level of skills, are flexible and integrate well in the companies.

Company visits expose all BME students to industry. Further industrial experience is available to all students.

Our international staff (mostly PhD students) actively supports the courses taught in English, contributing to the international exposure of the programme.

The Master’s programme is situated in a context of strong research groups in the field of biomedical engineering. All professors incorporate research topics in their courses.

Most alumni have found a job within three months after graduation.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Career perspectives

Biomedical engineering is a rapidly growing sector, evidenced by an increase in the number of jobs and businesses. The Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering was created to respond to increased needs for healthcare in our society. These needs stem from an ageing population and the systemic challenge to provide more and better care with less manpower and in a cost-effective way. Industry, government, hospitals and social insurance companies require engineers with specialised training in the multidisciplinary domain of biomedical engineering.

As a biomedical engineer, you'll play a role in the design and production of state-of-the-art biomedical devices and/or medical information technology processes and procedures. You will be able to understand medical needs and translate them into engineering requirements. In addition, you will be able to design medical devices and procedures that can effectively solve problems through their integration in clinical practice. For that purpose, you'll complete the programme with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and human biotechnology and mastery of biomedical technology in areas such as biomechanics, biomaterials, tissue engineering, bio-instrumentation and medical information systems. The programme will help strengthen your creativity, prepare you for life-long learning, and train you how to formalise your knowledge for efficient re-use.

Careers await you in the medical device industry R&D engineering, or as a production or certification specialist. Perhaps you'll end up with a hospital career (technical department), or one in government. The broad technological background that is essential in biomedical engineering also makes you attractive to conventional industrial sectors. Or you can continue your education by pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering; each year, several places are available thanks to the rapid innovation taking place in biomedical engineering and the increasing portfolio of approved research projects in universities worldwide.



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