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The UvA’s Bachelor’s programmes in Psychobiology and Biology and Master’s programme in Biological Sciences have been assessed as ‘good’ by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). All three degree programmes have been reaccredited for a period of six years.

Photo: Jorn van Eck

The three programmes were assessed on the following four standards: intended learning outcomes, teaching-learning environment, assessment, and achieved learning outcomes. The NVAO assessments range from unsatisfactory, satisfactory, good to excellent. This year, only 10 university programmes in The Netherlands have thus far been assessed as ‘good’, including Psychobiology, Biology and Biological Sciences at the UvA.

The assessment panel, comprising professors from different areas in biology and a Master’s student, spoke with the programme directors, the Boards of Studies, the Examinations Boards, lecturers, students and alumni. Moreover, the panel took a detailed look at a number of courses and read and evaluated various graduation projects.

Academic skills

About the Bachelor’s in Biology, the panel writes that the curriculum forms a complete and coherent execution of the programme’s intended learning outcomes. It is also enthusiastic about teaching and education in the area of academic skills, including ethics education. The panel considers the way the programme provides orientation for a career in the field of biology as a ‘best practice’.

Unique domain

Also with respect to the Bachelor’s in Psychobiology, the panel finds the curriculum to form a broad and coherent execution of the programme’s intended learning outcomes. It also places strong emphasis on substantive knowledge and on research and academic skills, and deals with both biological and psychological knowledge and research traditions on the working of the brain. According to the panel, the programme succeeds well at integrating these two subject areas and in giving shape to the unique domain of psychobiology.

Well-prepared for the labour market

As regards the Master's in Biological Sciences, the panel notes that the different tracks offer ample opportunities for specialisation in a very good research environment, that the education is provided by a qualified and highly motivated teaching staff and that students are well-prepared for an academic, societal or business position on the labour market.

About the NVAO

The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders NVAO was established in 2005 by the Dutch and Flemish governments as an independent accreditation organisation tasked with providing an expert and objective assessment of the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.