Biomedical Sciences

Researching diseases, getting to grips with them and helping to solve them

The essence of human beings and health

If you want to explore the very essence of human beings, to understand the biology of the healthy human body and the onset of disease, then Biomedical Sciences is the programme for you. You will learn about human biology, and how to apply this knowledge in scientific research to medical issues surrounding health and disease. There are still so many diseases and conditions for which we have no solutions. So it is all the more important for us to expand our knowledge of how exactly our body works. Accordingly, you will study this at every level, from molecules to human populations.

Looking further as a biomedical scientist

VU Amsterdam means looking further. In addition to your training as an academic expert in human biology and in molecular biology, you will also learn how to examine biomedical issues using a multidisciplinary approach. Based on Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam’s Human Health & Life Sciences theme, you will develop both the biological knowledge and applied skills that you will need, as a biomedical scientist, to make a difference at the cutting edge of biomedical science.

Please note that this bachelor programme is currently taught in Dutch and will be English-taught from September 2018.

You will be personally trained by top lecturers in the field of Biomedical Sciences research. These experienced lecturers are from VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Life Sciences and from the VU University Medical Center. Biomedical Sciences is a wide-ranging programme with a strong academic background. This is the ideal preparation for you to explore issues at greater depth in a Master’s programme. You will also have a wide range of job options once you have graduated.

As ‘knowledge creators’, biomedical scientists can design and implement research projects, give presentations at conferences at home and abroad, collaborate (and compete) with counterparts around the world, and much more besides. As a ‘knowledge translator’, you will be able to express your knowledge in terms that are readily understandable to others – as a lecturer or journalist, for example. So there is no lack of career prospects, indeed the field is enjoying a period of rapid growth and development. Competent biomedical scientists will only become more important as time goes on. 


Are you curious about how our alumni are getting on? Read the stories of EvelieneSentiniFrank, Hilde en Rijco.

Applicants holding a diploma from another country must meet a number of requirements: 

  1. A diploma equivalent to the Dutch pre-university VWO diploma

    See the Diploma Requirement List for examples of accepted diplomas per country. Please note: this list is meant to give you an indication of admissibility; no rights can be derived from it.

  2. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English

    See the General Admission Requirements for the English language requirement.

  3. Proof of sufficient proficiency in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics 

    After you apply to the programme and upload the required documents in our student portal, your International Student Advisor will have a look at your transcripts to determine whether your diploma is equivalent to the Dutch VWO diploma and whether your Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry level is sufficient. 

    These examples of diplomas demonstrate sufficient proficiency in the 4 required subjects Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics:
      
    • International Baccalaureate: Mathematics Standard or Higher Level, Physics Standard or Higher Level, Chemistry Standard or Higher Level and Biology Higher Level
    • British GCE A-Levels: A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics and an AS-level in Physics, or A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and an AS-level in Mathematics. All subjects need to be completed with a grade A, B or C.
    • Germany: Zeugnis der allgemeinen Hochschulreife, including Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry as Grundkurs and Biology as Leistungsfach.
    • European Baccalaureate: Mathematics; written or oral examination, at least 3 hours during the Orientation Cycle; Physics and Chemistry: written or oral examinations; Biology: written or oral examinations, at least 4 hours during the Orientation Cycle

If your proficiency in one or more of these subjects is considered to be insufficient, your International Student Advisor will inform you about the possibilities how to meet the requirements with additional certificates.

When advised to sit (an) entry exam(s), the following certificates are deemed equivalent to Dutch VWO Mathematics A, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

International Exams

  • International Baccalaureate certificate in Mathematics SL, Physics SL, Chemistry SL or Biology HL
  • Another option for obtaining a separate course certificate in one of the required subjects is to take A-level examinations at a registered Cambridge school. Please check here to find the nearest Cambridge school in your country.

Exams in the Netherlands

  • Boswell-Bèta (English). Boswell-Bèta in Utrecht (the Netherlands) provides VWO Mathematics A and B, Physics, Biology and Chemistry courses in English with exams in December, May and July.
  • CCVX (Dutch and English). CCVX offers VWO Mathematics A and B, Physics, Biology and Chemistry exams.

Please check our step-by-step application guide for more information.

International applicants will be asked to submit the following documents:

  • Transcript(s) of records (e.g. High School grade list)
  • Curriculum Vitae (your personal details, previous education and any relevant work experience in approximately one A4 page)
  • Copy of valid passport
  • English language test results (if already obtained)
Deadline: International students who require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 April. Students who do not require university housing and/or a student visa must apply before 1 May. You will be informed about your admission within four weeks after the completion of your application (including all required documents).

Ready to apply?
Great! All applicants must start the application procedure through the Studielink.nl portal.

As a prospective Biomedical Sciences student you will take part in the VU Matching Programme. VU Matching is an element of the application procedure for all bachelor degree programmes. It consists of two parts, you must fill out a digital questionnaire on VUnet and participate in a matching activity organised by the programme. The matching activity aims to give you a realistic idea of the content of the study, so you can determine if it matches your expectations and, whether you have chosen the right programme.

Dutch nationals are expected to participate in the matching activity on campus. The invitations for this activity were sent during the month of May. The invitation email contains a link to register for the activity on Thursday May 31, 2018. Please note that those that respond now to the invitation will be offered to participate in the alternative digital matching activity because the maximum number of registrations for the campus activity has been reached.
The start location of the activity is lecture hall WN-KC137 in the Science Building (entrance De Boelelaan 1085). The start time 10:30 hrs and the activity ends around 15:30 hrs. If you did not register you can come, hoping to take the spot of a no-show. However you will do so at your own risk, because there will be a real chance that you cannot be admitted.

International students are expected to participate in a digital matching activity once they are conditionally admitted. Invitations will be send beginning of March, end of April and beginning of June.

If you have questions about the matching activity, please contact the matching coordinator for the Faculty of Sciences: matching.beta@vu.nl. For general information about matching check out the website VU Matching [Dutch] or VU Matching [English].

If you have a specific question about applying with a non-Dutch diploma you can contact our International Student Advisor. The ISA will help you with practicalities about your bachelor admission and support you throughout the application process.

Julia Tan                         Alexander Lindemans
M: bachelors.fs@vu.nl    M: bachelors.fs@vu.nl
T: +31 20 5984212          T: +31 205982788

Juliatan2017                 Alexander Lindemans

Bachelor's Day
On Bachelor’s Day, you can obtain detailed information at the information fair and visit the programme’s information tour.

Taster Days
Come and try a Taster Day at VU Amsterdam! Spend a day (or part of a day) as a guest of the Biomedical Sciences programme, or shadow a first-year student. Either way, the Taster Day is sure to give you a good impression of whether the programme matches your interests and abilities. After the Bachelor's Day, you can apply for another Taster Day at Biomedical Sciences.

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This is what you’ll be doing

You will acquire a basic knowledge of Biomedical Sciences, and acquire the basic skills, especially in molecular and cellular biology. You will be able to select one optional subject while you are still in year 1.

You will explore Biomedical Sciences in more depth, with a greater focus on human biology. In addition, you will develop more in-depth knowledge, insight and skills in various areas of Biomedical Sciences. You will complete the year with two optional subjects.

You can find comprehensive details about the second year in our study guide.

For the most part, you will design your own programme. The first semester is reserved for optional components, such as a minor. Afterwards, you will follow a compulsory course (including ‘Scientific writing in English’) which prepares you for the research placement, parallel to a compulsory subject in the philosophy of science and ethics.

You can find comprehensive details about the third year in our study guide.

You can find more information about the structure of the Bachelor’s programme in Biomedical Sciences in the year schedule.

You will acquire a basic knowledge of Biomedical Sciences, and acquire the basic skills, especially in molecular and cellular biology. You will be able to select one optional subject while you are still in year 1.

You will explore Biomedical Sciences in more depth, with a greater focus on human biology. In addition, you will develop more in-depth knowledge, insight and skills in various areas of Biomedical Sciences. You will complete the year with two optional subjects.

You can find comprehensive details about the second year in our study guide.

For the most part, you will design your own programme. The first semester is reserved for optional components, such as a minor. Afterwards, you will follow a compulsory course (including ‘Scientific writing in English’) which prepares you for the research placement, parallel to a compulsory subject in the philosophy of science and ethics.

You can find comprehensive details about the third year in our study guide.

You can find more information about the structure of the Bachelor’s programme in Biomedical Sciences in the year schedule.

Overview Biomedical Sciences

LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

English

DURATION

3 years (full-time)

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1 April (students requiring visa and/or housing services) / 1 May (students who do not require visa and/or housing services)

START DATE

1 September

STUDY TYPE

Full-time

BINDING STUDY ADVICE

A minimum of 42 credits

FIELD OF INTEREST

Health and Movement
Natural Sciences

Jan Berkhout

Student Biomedical Sciences

Jan Berkhout

"I chose this programme because I love everything having to do with the human body and research. During the first two years, you will take one subject per teaching block. That works well for me, as it enables me to focus on a particular theme and to explore it effectively, in-depth. Our relationship with the lecturers is great – they are very approachable and they allow plenty of time to fully answer all of your questions."

Fenna Feenstra

Student Biomedical Sciences

Fenna Feenstra 

'Since primary school I am really interested in biology, and especially in the human body. It is so fascinating how our brain, lungs, and heart work. Besides this, it is fantastic to learn how we could possibly treat cancer. The optional courses of this study gave me the opportunity to discover my personal interest in Biomedical Science. Currently I am doing my internship at the VUmc Cancer Center. I am happy to say that I can contribute to the challenge of finding a therapy to fight cancer.'

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