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Biophysics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Course Description

The Master of Biophysics, Biochemistry and Biotechnology is an international interdisciplinary study programme offered by the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, the Medical Imaging Centre, and the Physiology Research Group.

This two-year Master's programme (120 ECTS) focuses on the phenomena related to the interaction and communication between living cells and their molecular constituents, drawing on research methods used within the fields of molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and physics.

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.


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 paths
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.

Entry Requirements


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