BSc in Biomedical Sciences


Program Description

Biomedical Sciences

Do you know what you should eat before a soccer match, and more importantly, why you should eat it? Would you like to know why one cell is susceptible to a disease and another one isn't? The bachelor’s program Biomedical Sciences completely revolves around sickness and health. Whether you choose to specialize in the molecular processes in a cancer cell or would like to know more about exercise programs for people with obesity; the program offers a solid foundation for a successful future. You could - for example - become a researcher at a pharmaceutical company that develops new medication, or a physiologist at a university.


Fast facts

  • Study the biological processes behind human life.
  • Choose the themes that match your interests and ambitions.
  • Pursue a career as a researcher, physiologist, or policy officer.
  • 3-year, full-time bachelor’s, taught in English.
  • No numerus fixus, starts in September.
  • Weekly: 12 hrs classes, 28 hrs individual study.
  • You'll get a BSc in Biomedical Science.

Why this program?

The bachelor's program in Biomedical Sciences explores how the human body works in day-to-day life, during periods of illness, while aging and while performing to the very best of its ability. You explore the relationship between human beings and their environment from the molecule, to gene, to cell and organ, to individual and to entire populations. The program is often described as the ‘research side of medicine’. So if you would like to make a contribution to the health and wellbeing of others, but would prefer to not become a doctor, Biomedical Sciences is the right choice for you.

Walk through the information on this website to get a first impression. If that information triggers you into thinking "that I want to see and experience for myself" it is a good idea to come and visit us during our Open Day and Experience Days!

Broad and flexible program

The flexible nature of the program means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to specialize. You’ll start by taking mandatory courses, followed by several electives and a minor. This means you’ll have the opportunity to select the topics that best fit your talents and ambitions, allowing you to develop a unique professional profile within the field of biomedical sciences. A personal mentor will guide you in the decisions you'll have to make. You’ll complete your bachelor’s by writing a thesis.

At the interface of research, medicine, and biology

Though this program shares common ground with both biology and medicine, it has a notable different emphasis. ​In biology, you study the links between biological species and their environment. In medicine, you study the phenomenon of illness with the objective to heal individual patients. As a biomedical scientist (and a student Biomedical Sciences), you don't treat or get into contact with patients. Instead, you use scientific knowledge to gain insight into the processes underlying human health and disease.

Five themes

  • Living: chemistry of life, cells, organization and communication in tissues
  • Protecting: threats, immunity, lymphatic system, infection and infectious diseases, epidemiology
  • Acting: moving, sensing your position, nervous system and musculoskeletal system
  • Thriving: oxygen supply, nutrient processing, maintenance of physiological equilibrium and nutrition
  • Populating: inheritance, reproduction, development and growth, hormones and evolution

Developing competencies

Next to biomedical content, the bachelor’s program in Biomedical Sciences explicitly focuses on training and developing academic and professional competences. These competencies will be valuable in your future career and will give you a head start compared to students at other universities. You are stimulated to improve your competences in three main clusters:


  • You are able to communicate about your work.
  • You can collaborate with people that have a different specialism or a different cultural background.


  • You have a professional work ethic.
  • You can maintain professional relationships with others.
  • You are able to manage and coordinate the work that needs to be done.
  • You can manage your own time.


  • You are curious and inquisitive.
  • You are willing and able to explore problems and find answers.
  • You can think critically.
  • You have basic research and problem-solving skills.
  • You would like to contribute towards the dissemination of knowledge.
  • You are interested in the way in which scientific knowledge is obtained, and in the way in which it evolves.

Small groups=big advantages

At Maastricht University, courses are taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). In small groups of up to twelve students, you’ll work on practical assignments that approach a biomedical theme from different angles. You’ll gain knowledge, and you’ll also learn how to collaborate, present and set up a laboratory project. Practical and research skills training sessions are also included. You discuss a given problem, set learning goals, study relevant literature and then meet to discuss your findings. You do this independently, but always under the supervision of a tutor.

MaRBLe excellence program

Through the Maastricht Research-Based Learning program, MaRBLe for short, we offer talented third-year bachelor’s students the opportunity to conduct their own research project. You will be guided by experienced academic staff who will help you further develop your critical thinking and research skills. This will help prepare you for a career in scientific research or research positions in business.


Admission requirements

The admission requirements for academic year 2019/20 for the bachelor’s program in Biomedical Sciences depend on your prior qualifications. Please check below which requirements apply to you.

Prospective students with a Dutch diploma

You are, in principle, directly admissible if you have one of the diplomas below:

  • Dutch vwo diploma, new style, with the subject cluster Nature and Health with physics
  • Dutch vwo diploma, new style, with the subject cluster Nature and Technology with biology

Maastricht University (UM) will decide on your admissibility in the following cases:

  • Old style Dutch vwo diploma (from before 2007).
  • A Higher Professional Education (Hoger Beroepsonderwijs (hbo)) propaedeutic diploma.
  • A bachelor’s degree or an Open University (OU) propaedeutic diploma (if you can demonstrate that your knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology has reached the Dutch vwo level new style).

Prospective students with a non-Dutch diploma

If you have a non-Dutch diploma that is equivalent to the Dutch vwo diploma you are - in principle - admissible to this program. Check on the list of diplomas equivalent to the Dutch vwo-diploma, if this applies to your diploma. If your diploma is not included in this list, it must be evaluated by UM first. UM will decide on your admissibility.

You must also meet the following subject requirements (according to the Dutch vwo diploma level): mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.

Additional subject requirements for non-Dutch prospective students

  • German ‘Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife’: mathematics, physics, chemistry: As ‘Grundkurs’ up until and including the final year. Biology as “Leistungsfach”;
  • Belgian Diploma of Secondary Education: One of the tracks: Greek-Sciences, Latin-Sciences, Modern Languages-Sciences, Sciences-Mathematics;
  • International Baccalaureate from Geneva: Mathematics SL, Physics SL, Chemistry SL, Biology HL;
  • European Baccalaureate: mathematics: written or verbal exams, at least 3 hours/week in the last 2 years; physics and chemistry: written or verbal exams; biology: written or verbal exams, at least 4 hours/week in the last 2 years;
  • British A/AS levels, (I) GCSEs and/or AICE: mathematics and physics: GCE A or AS level; chemistry and biology: GCE A-level.

If your diploma or degree differs from those listed above, UM will assess on an individual basis whether you can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the four compulsory subjects (mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology) and therefore qualify for an exemption (sufficiëntieverklaring) for these subjects. This assessment is based on the attainment aims for the final examination in Dutch pre-university education (vwo) in the relevant subject and the national agreements made within CCVX and Boswell Bèta.

Missing subjects (deficiency)

If you already have or will be awarded a Dutch pre-university (vwo new style) or equivalent diploma but do not satisfy the additional requirements for the subjects mathematics, physics, chemistry and/or biology, you must set an additional examination.

Eliminate missing subjects

The additional examinations for the required subjects will be organized by CCVX and Boswell Bèta. You have to arrange these examinations yourself.

The examinations at CCVX and Boswell Bèta will be conducted both in Dutch and English.

German students can also opt to complete the so-called Vorsemester at the Rheinische Bildungszentrum in Cologne which also eliminates deficiencies in physics, chemistry, and biology.

Colloquium doctum: not admissible based on your diploma and at least 21 years old

If you are not admissible based on your diploma and you are at least 21 years old at the start of the study program, you can still qualify by passing the entrance exam (the so-called colloquium doctum).

FHML does not organize a colloquium doctum exam but can provide the colloquium doctum statement. To qualify for this statement, you have to prove your command of the English language, physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics on Dutch vwo level new style by means of certificates in these subjects. Please contact

For the subjects mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, we refer you to CCVX or Boswell Bèta.

For the subject English, we refer you to Babel or the UM-language center.

Upload certificates

As soon as you have passed the exams, you have to upload the certificates in the MyUM portal.

Inform the Student Services Centre (SSC) by email, attn. the Admission and Registration Office, that you have added the certificates in the MyUM portal.

Applying for a sufficiency check

If in your application is determined that for one or more of the required subject assessment of admissibility is required, you can apply for a sufficiency check.

For the sufficiency check by the Colloquium Doctum Committee, you have to create and submit a separate file for each subject. Then you upload the file(s) in the MyUM portal.

Be aware: deadline for handing in the sufficiency check is 1 June 2019. requests handed in after this date will not be taken into consideration.

Language requirements for English-language bachelor programs

As English is the language of instruction in this study program, it is essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake intensive and challenging academic courses that are taught and examined in English. A minimum level corresponding to academic IELTS 6.0 is required for this study program.

You automatically meet the language requirements for this study program if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • You have completed a VWO (Dutch pre-university education) program.
  • You have completed your secondary education in an EU/EEA country where you have followed English up to and including the final year.
  • You have completed your secondary education in a country where English is the national language and language of instruction in education.
  • You have completed a bachelor’s or master’s study program where the language of instruction is English.
  • You have obtained an International or European Baccalaureate, a US high school diploma or UK GCE A-levels.
  • You have completed secondary education, a bachelor’s or master’s study program where the language of instruction is NOT English, however, you are able to demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English, for example by English taught courses, internships or work experience in an English environment.

If none of these conditions apply, you can submit one of the following language test certificates (minimum scores between brackets). If you already have a language test certificate, we strongly recommend that you submit this certificate as part of your application.

  • IELTS (6.0)
  • TOEFL Paper-based test (550)
  • TOEFL Internet test (80)
  • TOEIC listening and reading (670) and speaking and writing (290)
  • Cambridge [First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade B (scale 173-175), First Certificate in English (FCE) Grade C (scale 169-172)]
  • or similar accredited certification

Please note that UM can reject your application or set additional requirements if there are reasonable doubts about your English language proficiency.

(Binding) study advice

At the end of year 1 of the study program, every student receives advice on whether or not to continue his/her study. This advice is not binding. However, students must obtain a predetermined number of study credits to be admitted to the second year of the program. The number of credits that must be earned, is documented in the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) of each study program.


Admission & registration

Admission and registration for academic year 2019/20 for a bachelor's program at Maastricht University (UM) consists of the following five steps. Please read the procedure carefully and make sure to fulfill all steps in time. The deadline for this program can be found under step 1: Check the admission requirements and application and step 2: Register via

Admission and registration in 5 steps

Step one: Check the admission requirements and application deadlines - Do you meet the requirements?

When you apply, Maastricht University (UM) will assess whether your prior education makes you admissible. Therefore, it is very important that you check in advance if you meet the requirements.

You will receive a message once UM has made the decision. Additional documents may be required to assess your prior education. If so, you will receive a request by email, so please keep an eye on your inbox.

Application deadlines

  • Start September 2019
  • EU/EEA-students: up to and including 1 August 2019
  • Non-EU/EEA-students who need a visa and/or residence permit: up to and including 1 April 2019

Please note: in Studielink you need to choose the starting moment. Please make sure to select September 2019 in the pulldown-menu, so that you will apply for the start of the next academic year!

Step two: Register via - Create an account and select your program

Applying via Studielink

  • You can register for a study program via Studielink. In Studielink, you will have to indicate which program you would like to register for. After registration in Studielink, you should start directly with step 3: Upload your documents.
  • If you are registered in a Dutch municipality, you can only register using your DigiD. If you do not yet have a DigiD, you will need to request one. If you do not (yet) live in the Netherlands, you still register via Studielink, but you will not be able to use DigiD. Instead, you create a Studielink account yourself and UM will check your personal details.

Step three: Upload your documents in MyUM - Check which documents are required

After you have registered in Studielink, you will receive an email from Maastricht University (UM) within 24 hours. This email contains your personal student number and a password. You can use this information to access the MyUM portal, the intranet of Maastricht University.

In order to complete your registration, you need to upload the required documents (as indicated below) via MyUM as soon as possible, at least before the application deadline.

Please note: If you accidentally upload a wrong document in the MyUM portal, you can no longer remove it from your digital file. However, you can still upload the right document, but this does not replace the incorrect one. UM judges which documents are right.

Required documents:

  • A recent passport picture: The passport picture must satisfy certain requirements.
  • A copy of your valid, on 1 September 2019, passport or your EU/EEA identity card: Make a copy of the page with your personal details. Save this copy as ‘passport copy’ and not as ‘passport picture’.
  • A copy of your most recent grades transcript and a copy of your diploma if you have obtained it.

Additional required documents:

  • Evidence of additional courses or tests in the required subjects (if applicable).
  • The outcome of your language test with sufficient result (if applicable).

Only complete registrations will be taken into consideration. All documents must be in Dutch, English or German.

Step four: Continuation of the admissions procedure - You (conditionally) meet the requirements and your application will be processed

Please note: the admission and registration process for studying at Maastricht University has recently changed. Matching (Studiekeuzecheck) is no longer mandatory in the process and your registration can be finalized without having completed the Matching procedure.

Maastricht University finds it important that you choose a study program and learning environment which suits you well and in which you can be successful. This is why a Matching procedure is an optional part of the application process. However, you are not required to complete the Matching procedure to be admitted.

The aim of Matching is to assess whether you and your chosen program are a good match. It can help you to find out if the study program suits you.

Matching procedure Biomedical Sciences

  • You will receive an online intake questionnaire on the email address you specified in Studielink. We ask you to answer the questions in an open and honest manner.

You will receive feedback via email within two weeks. There are two kinds of feedback:​

  • You receive positive advice. You are done with the matching procedure.
  • You do not get advice yet: you will be invited for a (voluntary) interview with a study advisor. Based on this interview (which can take place via telephone or in-person), the study advisor will provide you with advice.

Step five: Complete your registration - Fulfill all registration criteria and pay your tuition

After you have completed step 4, you will receive a request from Maastricht University (UM) that you need to pay your tuition fees.

Please make sure that you pay your tuition fee on time, so you can commence your study program at the beginning of the academic year.

Upload or send any documents still required

  • If any of your documents are still missing, you will receive a message about this from the Student Services Centre (SSC). The documents concerned are listed in the message. Upload the requested documents as quickly as possible in the MyUM Portal, or send these by post to the SSC if that is requested.

Tuition fees

Maastricht University has a statutory and an institutional tuition fee. It depends on your situation which tuition fee you have to pay.

Study year 2019/20

  • The statutory fee for this program is: €2,083
  • The institutional fee for this program is: €10,900
  • The statutory part-time fee for this program is: Not applicable
  • The institutional part-time fee for this program is: Not applicable
Last updated Sep 2019

About the School

The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences started on 1 January 2007. The faculty was the result of a merger between the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine.

The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences started on 1 January 2007. The faculty was the result of a merger between the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine. Read less