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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.