Management, Policy Analysis & Entrepreneurship in Health & Life Sciences (MPA)

Management, Policy Analysis & Entrepreneurship in Health & Life Sciences (MPA) is a 2-years master (120 ECTS). The aim of the master program is to provide students with an academic attitude and skills in the field of interdisciplinary research on the interface of beta science and society aiming to formulate strategies to solve complex societal problems in the health and life sciences. The program provides a broadening of the knowledge and skills from a bachelor scientific background in disciplines such as science, technology and society studies, policy science, and management studies.

In the MPA program, the following core competencies are developed: Analysis of complex societal issues related to the health and life sciences, Formulation and implementation of strategies to deal with complex societal problems by way of interdisciplinary research. Effective cooperation and communication with researchers from scientific disciplines other than health and life sciences and with societal actors.


You can specialise in one of these areas:

  • Health & Life Sciences-based Policy
    This specialisation offers the opportunity to become an expert in the field of policy.
  • Health & Life Sciences-based Management and Entrepreneurship
    This specialisation prepares you for a career in a pharmaceuticals company (e.g. as a clinical research assistant or advisor) or for setting up your own business.
  • Health & Life sciences-based Communication
    This specialisation offers the opportunity to become an expert on the field of science communication.
  • International Public Health
    This specialisation has a special focus on public health from a global perspective and prepares you for a career at a university, a government department, NGO or international organization.

You also have the option of putting together your own flexible ‘free choice’ program.

For more information about the track please see the specialisations page and the study guide on the VU website.

Study components

To obtain the annotation for a certain specialisation on your Master’s degree certificate, you need to obtain at least 12 ECTS from courses specific to your chosen specialisation. You are also required to write your thesis (9 ECTS) and conduct at least one of your internships (30 ECTS) within this specialisation.

First year students start the Master’s program with three compulsory courses, followed by a number of optional courses or a science course from another Master’s program. They then go on to do their first-year internship.

Second-year students take a combination of compulsory courses and optional courses designed to deepen knowledge of certain areas. Your choice will depend on your interests and the focus of your internship.

In the second year of the program you will write a thesis, which takes the form of a survey of the literature on a topic of your own choice, which you will then study in greater depth. There is a wealth of topics available to you within this Master’s program. You can always approach your work placement coordinator to discuss which thesis topic would best suit your ambitions.

A more information about the courses can be found at the study program page on the VU website and a detailed course schedule can be found on the FALW website.


You qualify for admission to the Master’s in Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences if you hold a Bachelor’s degree in: Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences, Medical Natural Sciences, Medical Informatics, Bioinformatics and Biochemistry of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

You should also have a basic knowledge of policy and management processes. You can obtain grounding in this area by completing a self-study package supplied by the program. You can find more information about this on the admission and application page on the VU website.

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in another subject, you are still welcome to apply. In that case your application will be assessed by the Admissions Board.

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. Marjolein Zweekhorst 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!