Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
A Master in Biomedical Sciences has the expertise to contribute to translational research regarding current medical problems on an international level. You will have the know-how to critically and creatively develop new insights related to human health, bridging the gap between the ‘pure’ sciences and clinical practice.
A Master in Biomedical Sciences has the expertise to contribute to translational research in human biology addressing current medical questions on an international level. You will have the know-how to critically and creatively develop new insights related to human health, bridging the gap between the ‘pure’ sciences and clinical practice. The Master’s programme amounts to 120 credits and consists of specialized biomedical topics, course units that prepare for a research proposal , a Master’s dissertation and the professional life. You will have 31 credits to spend on elective courses from a proposed list (10 in the first year, 21 in the second year). With its strong focus on research our programme trains students to conduct, lead and/or coordinate independent biomedical research.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.
The students can choose between eight majors that complement the general courses. Each major focusses on a current, ever-evolving (sub)field of biomedical sciences. You will be assigned one major that is in close accordance with your research proposal and the subject of your Master dissertation. Each major has complementary courses and an internship in their subfield. They start from fundamental research and lead to clinical applications and insights, the so-called translational research.
- The major Nutrition and Metabolism deals with the methods of nutrition research and the relation between nutrition, metabolism and pathology: diabetes, obesity, hypertension, atherosclerosis etc. The major has a direct link with medical laboratory diagnostics and its underlying validation systems.
- The major Neurosciences focuses on research of the brain and its diseases and dysfunctions, such as epilepsy. You will deal with medical imaging of the brain, the neurophysiological principles of brain activity, diseases of the nervous system (origins and treatment), neurogenetics, experimental behavioral sciences and cognitive and mental functions research.
- The major Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine is an interdisciplinary field of biomedical research combining life sciences, engineering and materials sciences to stimulate the maintenance, repair and replacement of diseased and damaged tissues. The major provides in-depth training in this subfield of biomedical sciences, including cell death, stem cell biology, biomaterials, and tissue/organ engineering.
- The major Medical Radiation Sciences can be considered as preparation for an advanced programme in Medical Radiation Physics with a focus on patient radiation protection in medical diagnostics and therapy. The most recent insights in radiation biology, radiation dosimetry and radiochemistry will be studied as well as the technological innovations in radiation sciences.
- The major Medical Genetics provides deeper insights into the newest developments in human medical genetics including the mono- and polygenetic basis of inherited disorders, developmental genetics and cancer genetics. Further focus goes to state-of-the art sequencing technology, data processing and analysis both in clinical and research settings, and emerging functional genomics technology.
- The major Immunity and Infection studies the normal functioning of human immunity on cellular and molecular level. A large number of current topics are dealt with: immunopathologies, infection diseases, molecular pathogenesis of viruses and bacteria, the development of therapeutic vaccines and immunomodulators.
- The major System Biology studies the functional system as a whole. The objects of study are the complex interactions that occur at the molecular level within a human being, a model organism, or a cell. Attention is paid to changes that cause such a system to transition from health to disease, and to quantify the impact of these changes by analyzing their disruptive effects on the underlying molecular mechanisms. The major strongly relies on the key technological developments that have pushed molecular biology forward in the last decade, specifically regarding advanced high throughput techniques and bioinformatics.
- The major Cancer studies the biological (genetics, proliferation and survival, communication and metastasis) and clinical aspects of cancer. Biological and clinical knowledge is combined into personalized medicine
In the two-year Master’s programme you have the opportunity to take course units (1st master - 1st term) or to perform a part of your Master’s dissertation (2nd master - 1st and 2nd term) at one of our international partner universities. Since the Master’s programme in Biomedical Sciences is entirely English-taught, (part of) the programme can be taken up by international exchange students.
If you want to combine your Master’s degree with a Teacher’s degree, then there is the option of taking a Master's Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: 'Educatieve master') instead of the above described master. The Master's Programme in Teaching is not a part of the Master in Biomedical sciences, it is a separate degree. The Master's Programme in Teaching is a Dutch-taught programme. More information can be found on www.ugent.be/educatievemaster.
Research in the field of biomedical sciences will remain highly important due to its major social relevance for healthcare. A biomedical researcher contributes to the understanding of disease mechanisms and improves molecular diagnostic techniques of clinical treatments. Personalized medicine will gradually gain importance, so the professional future in biomedical research looks promising. If you are looking for a job as a biomedical researcher, you have different options. You can opt for an academic research environment by starting a PhD at a university, working in research-oriented companies or in a university hospital. There are also job opportunities in pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, or in government-run research institutions. Finally, jobs in such sectors as public health, environment, food industry and bio-informatics are also an option for Masters in Biomedical Sciences.
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- Human pathologies: you learn how cells, tissues and organs function under normal circumstances. We strongly focus on the underlying factors and mechanisms that play a role in the origins and evolution of disease processes. Ranging from molecule to patient, our curriculum covers the entire spectrum.
- Multidisciplinary: you take on a broad range of course units, in which we combine the fundamental sciences with basic biomedical course units. Our curriculum also contains methodology and specialist course units, including in the Master’s programme.
- Creative knowledge development: we stimulate your 'scientific thought process’. We train you to become a critical professional, possessing the necessary creative and problem-solving skills.
- Research-oriented: we train you to conduct, lead and/or co-ordinate biomedical research in an indepent manner.
- Building bridges: we train researchers who act as liaisons between fundamental or applied biomedical research and clinical practice.
- The Bachelor's curriculum evolves from offering a broad scientific knowledge with a focus on humans towards understanding pathologies and their molecular origins. The English-taught Master's curriculum has room for specialization by means of different majors, all focusing on a current biomedical research discipline. Professional development according to your own interests is possible via a set of electives.
- Integration of theory and practice: our curriculum contains a varied combination of lectures, tutorials, supervised exercises and practicals. In small groups, our students set to work in practice rooms (Bachelor’s curriculum) and in well-equipped laboratories (Master’s curriculum).
- High quality Master's dissertations: you carry out original independent experimental research independently. Individual supervision and coaching by experienced researchers in the biomedical field is a great added value in our strongly scientific and research-oriented study programme.
- Committed team of lecturers: our programme boasts a team of committed lecturers, who combine their teaching activities with a research and/or medical career. As such, they are the perfect role models for lifelong learning. Their presence guarntees a curriculum that is permanently up to date with the newest developments in the field. Thanks to our close ties with Ghent University Hospital, our students learn first-hand from experts in all branches of biomedical research.
- Participation: student involvement in our programme is strong, as is their participation in the day-to-day management. Each Bachelor’s and Master’s year has committed representatives in the Biomedical Student Council.
- Students are of the opinion that there is room for improvement in terms of interim feedback. In collaboration with the students we are looking for ways to incorporate interim feedback into the curriculum in a more structural and integrated fashion.
- Internationalization can be even better. At present, the curriculum has international exchange windows in the third Bachelor’s year and in the Master’s. Our Internationalization Unit is actively committed to creating more opportunities for international exchange.
- We deliver socially engaged citizens, but this is not visible enough in the curriculum. We must make entrepreneurship/entrepreneurial action more prominent.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2022. Programme quality was validated by a quality review, i.e. a screening of the Education Monitor by the Education Quality Board. The Quality Assurance Resolution (in Dutch) can be found here.
This information was last updated on 01/02/2023.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.