This Master’s specialisation focuses on the functioning of micro-organisms and their potential for improving our health and the environment. Think of applications in energy-efficient societal waste processing or next generation vaccines. As the programme contains more than one year of academic research, you will get extensive hands-on experience in microbial research.

Choose this specialisation if you are interested in

  • Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular microbiology

Why study this specialisation at Radboud University?

  • This specialisation offers both medical and general microbiology courses, enabling you to choose the topics that are most interesting to you.
  • The research department Microbiology at Radboud University has been bestowed with the most prestigious science prizes, including three ERC Advanced Grants, a Spinoza Prize, and two Gravitation Grants.
  • You will be able to work with state-of-the-art bio-reactors, electron microscopy and mass spectroscopy equipment, and facilities for molecular methods.
  • Teaching takes place in small groups and in a stimulating, personal setting.

Programme outline (2 years, 120 EC)

The programme of this specialisation consists of:

  • Compulsory courses (15 EC)
  • Specialisation electives (18 EC)
  • Philosophy elective (3 EC)
  • 2 Internships (2 x 36 EC)
  • 2 Literature theses (2 x 6 EC)

Research internship

During your internships, you will be responsible for your own research, under the supervision of one of our top scientists. At Radboud University, the most relevant departments are:

Department of Microbiology
Prof. Mike Jetten

Department of Pedriatics
Dr Marien de Jonge

Department of Internal Medicine
Prof. Andre van der Ven, Prof. Mihai Netea, Prof. Leo Joosten

Of course, you can also choose to do your research project at a company or abroad. For suggestions, you can contact one of the professors above or the student advisor.


This specialisation contains five compulsory courses. You can compose the rest of the programme with specialisation electives and free electives.

Compulsory courses

  • Introduction and Orientation in Microbiology (3 EC)
  • Microbial Physiology & Metabolism (3 EC)
  • Host-Microbe Interactions (3 EC)
  • Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology (3 EC)
  • Microbial Cell Structure & Function (3 EC)

Examples of specialisation electives

  • Genomics of Health and the Environment (3 EC)
  • Cellular Imaging in Four Dimensions (3 EC)
  • Microbiology of Wetland Ecosystems (3 EC)

All courses and course descriptions are listed in the online prospectus.

Your advantages on the labour market

This Master’s specialisation is an excellent preparation for a career in research, either at a university or at a company. However, many of our students find jobs in pharmaceutical companies, public health authorities and government departments as well. You can for example opt for a position as a:

  • Researcher
  • Consultant
  • Policy coordinator
  • Lecturer
  • Teacher

Admission requirements

You are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, or a closely related discipline and specialised courses related to microbiology. You must also have a sufficient proficiency in English. If you do not meet the entry requirements, tailor-made programmes can be offered. For details, please visit the website or contact the student advisor.

Application and selection procedure

The programme starts in September. The application deadline is 1 April for students from non-EU/EEA countries and 1 May for students from within the EU/EEA. You apply for the Master’s programme in Biology. Dutch students can apply via studielink.nl and international students can apply via www.ru.nl/masters/application. This specialisation involves a selection procedure. External students should therefore upload a motivation letter in the application system or send it directly to the student advisor. Make sure that your motivation letter states clearly why submission to this specialisation is desired (max. 2 pages) and includes at least one letter of reference from an expert, preferably your Bachelor’s thesis advisor. The selection will take place mid May and will include a personal or skype interview.

More information

Student advisor Biology: Conny Mooren
biology@ru.nl, +31 (0)24 365 22 81
Prospectus: www.ru.nl/prospectus/sciencefaculty