Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences is a 2-year (120 ECTS) master’s program with the aim to equip the student with the knowledge, skills and understanding required to operate as an independent professional within the disciplines covered by the Master’s program, and to be a suitable candidate for a subsequent career in biomedical research.

The Master’s program in Biomedical Sciences guarantees its students in-depth research experience with a solid academic basis, combined with the communication skills that are needed to perform at the international level.

Further information on the Master’s programme in Biomedical Sciences and course descriptions can be found at the Study guide


The Biomedical Sciences master lets you pick 2 of the following 1 year tracks:

  • Research
    • Cardiovascular diseases
    • Immunology
    • Infectious diseases
    • International public health
    • Psychophysiology
    • Medical and behavioral genomics
  • Management, Communication, Education (to be combined with a research specialization):
    • Societal specialization (M)
    • Communication specialization (C)
    • Education specialization (E)

The Societal, Communication and Education specializations are one-year programs that cannot be combined with each other, and which must be combined with one of the research specializations.

Study components

The Master’s in Biomedical Sciences is a two-year full-time program, commencing each September.

The curriculum in brief:

  • After your first research specialization, you can choose to either do another research specialization, a specialization in Communication, Societal or Education or an alternative second year that you can compile yourself.
  • There are two compulsory courses: scientific writing in English and Ethics in life sciences
  • You will go on two internships, either both in research or one practical and one research placement.
  • You will write a literature-based thesis.

Lectures form only a comparatively modest part of the Biomedical Sciences program. For the most part, you are encouraged to conduct your own research. There is plenty of scope for practical work, giving you the opportunity to use the very latest research methods and equipment. You can also take a work placement in a policy-making, education or communications position.

You can choose to compile your own second year in which you can choose from all the subjects taught by the faculty. You can also opt to take part of your program or a work placement elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad.

For more information on the tracks see the specialization programs page on the VU website and for a more detailed overview of the courses see the yearly schedule on the VU website.


If you hold a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from a Dutch university or a Bachelor’s degree in Gezondheid en Leven, major Biomedisch, from VU University Amsterdam, you will be granted automatic admission to the Master’s program.

If you have another Bachelor’s degree from a university or a Bachelor’s degree from an institute of higher education (HBO) in the Netherlands or abroad, the Examination Board will decide on your admission. The Examination Board will determine whether the qualification in question is sufficiently relevant to warrant admission, based on experience in: courses in molecular biology, courses in human biology, methodology/statistics and research experience.

More information can be found on the admission and application page on the VU website.

Please note the following:

  • VU University Amsterdam requires all international applicants to pass an English language proficiency test.
  • In order to contact this master’s master coordinator please email to Dr. Renate van Belle – van den Berg at . For more information see the contacts page of this master.
  • The deadlines for application are 1st of June for all students with a Dutch degree, 1st of April non-Dutch students with an international degree and 1st of March for non-EU/EAA and EU/EEA students who wish to apply for a VUFP grant. More information and how to apply can be found on the admission and application page on the VU website.

Further information

Disclaimer: This page contains a consolidation of information found on the VU, FALW, VUmc and master specific websites; hence no rights can be derived from the information on this page, for more up to date, detailed and accurate information please refer to aforementioned websites!