MSc in Biomedical Sciences - Cell Biology and Advanced Microscopy

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc in Biomedical Sciences - Cell Biology and Advanced Microscopy

University of Amsterdam

MSc in Biomedical Sciences - Cell Biology and Advanced Microscopy

Cell Biology is the discipline that studies the function of cells in the complexity of tissues and organs in the human body in order to understand mechanisms of disease. The tremendous revolutions in the past decade in light microscopy and biosensors to visualize processes in cells have changed cell biology completely.

The track Cell Biology and Advanced Microscopy is a collaborative effort by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), who collaborate in the van Leeuwenhoek Center for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM). These departments are all front runners in studying cell functions microscopically in time, even down to the single molecule level.

The objectives

The major objective of this track is the understanding of fundamental cell biological research in relation to human disease. This understanding comprises:

1. cell biology in the context of the healthy and diseased human body;
2. the cellular basis of major human diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, infection by viruses, bacteria and parasites, and cancer such as leukemia;
3. diagnostics such as cytopathology and prenatal screening & fertility-related disorders; and
4. advanced microscopy including live cell imaging, correlative light and electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and the underlying biophysics.

Programme Outline

The programme consists of three core courses and the participation in two or three research projects (9 or 6 months). The research projects lead to the writing of a thesis manuscript in English that is in principle suitable for publication in a scientific journal. Furthermore, two optional specialized courses in human disease such as cytopathology, medical microbiology, hematological diseases, fertility & sterility will be offered.

Advanced microscopy applied to clinical cell biology problems will form the backbone for the research projects. The LCAM partners at UvA, AMC and NKI provide the research projects in close collaboration with scientists in which the master students can participate.

A typical example of such a research project is to create your own genetic encoded sensor (using GFP labeling and cloning techniques), cell transfection & manipulation, performing experiments with living cells using advanced microscopes, interpreting image data, image analysis and processing and finally the design of follow up experiments. It is strongly advised to do at least one research project at one of the three participating departments in LCAM and one research project abroad in one of the many international research labs that collaborate with LCAM.

Is Cell Biology & Advanced Microscopy the programme for me?

The programme is looking for students who:

• are interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying disease
• are excited about visualizing cells in action using live cell microscopy
• have an interest to learn state-of-the-art single cell microscopy
• are creative and want to design their own genetically encoded biosensors to probe molecular disorders responsible for diseases such as cancer, infection, sterility and problems related to aging
• enjoy labwork and working in a dynamic research team using sophisticated microscopical techniques
• may want to develop novel state-of-the-art image analysis software or microscopy driver software (optional)
• want to persue a scientific career in top life sciences research departments

Career prospects

Four out of five graduates of the Medical Biology programme find a job within a year of obtaining their Master's degree. Approximately half continue on in the field of research as PhD students or as researchers in industry, hospitals or institutes. Other graduates find work in education as a secondary school teachers or information officers in medical NGOs. About ten percent of graduates become policy makers in areas such as government, pharmaceutical business or medical organisations.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Applicants for the MSc in Medical Biology must hold a Dutch Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences or Neuroscience.

Higher professional education level (HBO) Bachelor’s degree

The programme is also open - with certain restrictions - to students with a Bachelor's degree from a higher vocational training (HBO) programme in Biomedical Sciences or a related area.

Detailed knowledge of chapters 2-8 and 10-14 of "The Cell" (Aberts 5th Edition) is a pre-condition. This will be examined during the intake interview. The individual student's motivation is also a key consideration. There is no schakelprogramma (pre-Master programme) available.

Additional information for international students

International applicants must also fulfil other general entry requirements set by the Faculty of Science regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated April 19, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
1,835 EUR
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 1,835 EUR
- EU/EEA; 12,000 EUR. - non-EU/EEA per year