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Biomedical Sciences

Majors and Minors

At the UvA you can choose to do your Master’s programme with a major or minor that focuses on other skills than doing research. In your first year of the Master's programme you will follow the courses of your chosen scientific discipline. If you choose to do a major, it will comprise the whole second year of your Master's programme. If you choose to do a minor, it will fit into one semester of your second year.

Doing a major or minor means that your study programme is slightly different from the standard programme. When planning for your major or minor, please check which courses you need to take in the first year so you are prepared for the major or minor in your second year.  

Majors

  • Major Science in Society (60 EC, in English)

    Do biomedical innovations not only raise scientific questions for you, but also ethical, legal and social questions? Then the major Science in Society might be for you.

    The Master's major Science in Society:

    • is meant for students with a broad interest in current affairs, social issues, policy, management and entrepreneurship relating to scientific matters 
    • concerns reading and writing policy advisory reports, management aspects such as leadership styles and motivation techniques, and organisational structures
    • offers career prospects such as policy preparation adviser with a government department, or a management career in a pharmaceutical company
    • consists of 30 EC courses during the first semester and a 30 EC internship during the second semester
    • starts once a year, in September
    • is offered by the Athena Institute at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: you will follow the first year of the Master’s programme Management, Policy-Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health & Life Sciences.

    Entry requirements

    If you are admitted to a Master’s programme in which this major is available, you are automatically admissible to the major. In your first year you will take the courses of your chosen Master’s programme. To start the major in your second year, you will have to have completed 48 EC of your first year’s courses.

    Registration deadline

    1 August 

    Read more about the study programme and registration

  • Major Teaching (60 EC, in Dutch)

    Are you considering a career in secondary or professional education? The major Teaching gives you the opportunity to achieve the first-level teaching qualification within your Master’s programme.

    The major Teaching:

    • is meant for students with an interest in education
    • leads to the teaching qualification ‘leraar voorbereidend hoger onderwijs’ in Geography, Biology, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry or Mathematics
    • consists of 30 EC courses and a 30 EC internship at a school for upper secondary education (havo and vwo) during both semesters
    • starts twice a year, in September and in February
    • is offered by the Interfacultaire Lerarenopleidingen (ILO), part of the Graduate School of Child Development and Education at UvA. You will graduate as a Master of Science in your own discipline.

    Entry requirements

    If you are admitted to a Master’s programme in which this major is available, you are automatically admissible to the major. In your first year you will take the courses of your chosen Master’s programme. To start the major in your second year, you will have to have completed 48 EC of your first year’s courses.

    Additionally to start the teacher training, you need to have enough subject knowledge. This will be determined during an entrance interview. In general a Bachelor’s diploma related to the subject will suffice.

    Registration deadline

    For the start in September you have to register before 1 November.

    For the start in February you have to register before 1 May

    More about the registration

  • Major Science Communication (60 EC, in English)

    Do you see yourself working as a science journalist at a newspaper or at a popular science magazine? Or do you aspire to be a communication adviser at a biomedical company, a content manager at a science museum or a PR-manager at an environmental organisation? With the Science Communication Master's major specialisation you can combine your interest in the natural sciences with gaining knowledge and skills within the field of science communication. 

    The major Science Communication is designed for students who have a broad interest in current events, societal issues and the public debate on the position of the natural sciences in society. It:

    • prepares you for careers on the intersection of science, technology and society; professions for which you need a critical, academic attitude and the skills to support a fruitful dialogue between science and society 
    • is part of a two-year Master's education programme: you first follow the regular Master's programme of your choice (60 EC) to deepen your expert knowledge, after which you follow the Science Communication specialisation year (60 EC) at the Athena Institute at VU Amsterdam. At the VU the major is part of the Biomedical Sciences Master's programme, but open to all interested students.

    Entry requirements

    If you are admitted to a Master’s programme in which this major is available, you are automatically admissible to the major. In your first year you will take the courses of your chosen Master’s programme. To start the major in your second year, you will have to have completed 48 EC of your first year’s courses.

    Registration deadline

    1 August

    Read more about the major Science Communication on the VU website (Scroll down to the Science Communication tab)

  • Major Big Biomedical Data Analysis (60 EC, in English)

    Biomedical research is developing fast, especially due to the use of 'omics' technologies that generate large data sets, such as Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Mass Spectrometry (MS). Omics data analysis and interpretation becomes ever more important, as biomedical research becomes more and more data-driven. 

    This major is designed for students who want to learn how to handle, analyse and interpret big omics data sets, in order to address and investigate biomedical research questions. The programme is intended for those who aspire a research career in a university or research institute, as well as for those who want to do R&D, in for instance a pharmaceutical or life-science company. 

    The major consists of three 6-EC courses and a 42-EC internship. The content of the three courses will be subsequently: Genomics, Transcriptomics and Proteomics/Metabolomics. During the internship you will work and participate in a biomedical research group, such as in the Amsterdam Medical Centre or the Netherlands Cancer Institute NKI, to work on a research project. In addition, you will have several bioinformatics sessions to discuss data analysis approaches, methods, and the (more technical) interpretation of results.

    For whom?

    This major is intended for students that want to be able to analyse omics big data themselves. This is useful in research and for life sciences companies. For instance, when you are interested in genes that are involved in complex diseases, you may want to analyse all 4 to 5 million sites in the genome where differences between humans exist. This will lead to a big data set. The major is designed to teach students the skills required to analyze, visualize, and interpret such data.

    Programme

    The Big Biomedical Data Analysis programme starts with three compulsory 6 EC courses that teach you enough skills in scripting (such as Linux bash, R, Python), bioinformatics tools, analyses approaches, statistics and machine learning methods to be prepared for your internships. In addition, various applications of the sequencing and mass spectrometry technologies will be discussed, such as single cell sequencing, ChIP-sequencing, and targeted and non-targeted (LC)-MS approaches. The content of the courses will be: September: Genomics, October: Transcriptomics, November: Proteomics/ Metabolomics.

    The internships are organised according to a new concept. You will work in a biomedical research group or company to participate in their research. In addition, you will have regular bioinformatics discussions at Science Park. At the start of your internship, in December, you will also learn about various bioinformatics topics (computer clusters, workflows etc.), and write a data analysis plan, as a part of your preparation for the 42 EC internship.

    Entry requirements

    If you are admitted to a Master’s programme in which this major is available, you are automatically admissible to the major. In your first year you will take the courses of your chosen Master’s programme. To start the major in your second year, you will have to have completed 48 EC of your first year’s courses. The major Big Biomedical Data Analysis starts once a year in September.

    To register for this major, please write an email to dr. Martijs Jonker: M.J.Jonker@uva.nl. Please note that there is a restriction on the number of students that can participate. 

    Registration deadline 

    1 August

    Contact

    For questions about this major, please contact the major coordinator Erik Joling: E.Joling@uva.nl, or Martijs Jonker: M.J.Jonker@uva.nl

Minors

  • Minor TESLA (30 EC, in English)

    Do you want to work on a real business case in a multidisciplinary team? The Tesla project is characterised by an interdisciplinary and unconventional focus on utilising science knowledge in real life environments. During the intensive programme students will attend lectures by speakers from within and outside of academia, participate in a range of skills trainings, are responsible for the organisation of part of the minor and work in small groups on a project for an external partner (company).

    Entry requirements

    To be able to start the TESLA minor, you have to have completed 48 EC of the obligatory research part of your Master’s programme, including the (first) research project. Furthermore, the Tesla minor has limited space (24 participants) and is a selective programme. This means that not all applicants will be granted admission.

    Application deadline

    1 June

     Read more about the study programme and application

  • Minor Science for Sustainability (30 EC, in English)

    Science for Sustainability is a minor for science Master’s students who want to make a connection between their scientific background and the societal challenge to enhance a sustainable future. You learn to combine scientific and transformational knowledge with insights in economics and politics. The final aim is to come to science-based solutions for pressing issues such as climate change, the need to safeguard our environment, and the global demand for energy, water and food. 

    Application

    To be able to start the minor Science for Sustainability, you have to have completed 48 EC of the obligatory research part of your Master’s programme, including the (first) research project. Additionally,  an interview is part of the application, in order to ensure a good match between your individual learning goals and the aims of the programme.

    Read more about the minor Science for Sustainability

  • Minor Teaching (30 EC, in Dutch)

    Students who already have the second-degree teaching qualification (Dutch: tweedegraads bevoegdheid), for example by having completed the Educatieve Minor in the Bachelor’s programme, can obtain the first-degree teaching qualification by following a reduced 30 EC programme at ILO (Instituut voor Lerarenopleidingen). You can register for the second half of the ‘Major Teaching’.

    Registration deadline

    For the start in September you have to register before 1 November.

    For the start in February you have to register before 1 May.

    More about the registration

Within which Master’s programmes?

The professional Master's majors and minors are available within these two-year Master’s programmes of the UvA Faculty of Science.

Planning and Advice 

If you are considering doing a major, make sure to always contact the Majors Manager.  You are also advised to contact your Track Coordinator or Study Adviser to discuss the planning of your complete study programme, as choosing a major influences the contents of your programme in the first year.  

The required study programme in case of a major or minor are laid down in the Teaching and Examination Regulations of your programme.  

Contact majors

For more specific questions about the professional Master's majors, please contact the Majors Manager, dr. Erik Joling:

Dr. E. (Erik) Joling

Majors Manager

Contact minors

Minor Science for Sustainability
Erik Cammeraat 
Email: gradschool-LES-FNWI@uva.nl

 

Dr. E. (Erik) Joling

Minor Teaching

E. (Els) Aarts MSc

Minor Tesla