What do you learn in the master's programme? 

Do you have a bachelor's degree in biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, bioengineering or biomedical science, and can’t get enough of the biochemical unity that underlies the world's biological diversity? This two-year inter-university master of science in Molecular Biology is just the programme you’re looking for! Given the diverse background of our students, we organise a pre-test in week 1 of the 1st year to assess prior knowledge in mathematics, statistics, biochemistry, molecular biology and practical research skills. Any deficiencies are covered by compulsory orientation towards certain electives. By the end of year one, you’ll be right up to speed and ready to continue with the advanced common core and specialised courses in year two. You'll also be armed with all the laboratory skills you need to prepare a thesis in year two, thanks to our intensive training.

Research Management Skills

You’ll learn to perform and manage research in a multidisciplinary and international context. We’ll train you in various aspects of research communication and research management with our specific courses on Research Communication Skills and Project Writing and Management.

Dissertation or Master's Thesis

Supervised by a promoter, you’ll carry out an independent research project and produce a written dissertation of your research and results. During the experimental part of the thesis, you master the art of planning and performing experiments and interpreting results. You also learn to report both orally and in writing, prepare presentations, and summarise literature data. Finished? Then you’ll present your work in public and answer questions from a jury and the audience. There are many potential research projects offering real contributions to molecular biology, so you can select any lab, even beyond the three partner universities.

Find out more about this programme 

The strengths of our Molecular Biology programme

  • VUB has already earned a strong reputation in training and basic and applied research in molecular biology and biotechnology.
  • Thanks to dedicated courses, you’ll be trained in indispensable research communication and management skills in a multidisciplinary and international context.
  • You’ll conduct an independent research project, in which you’ll master valuable skills for the future, such as project writing and performance, planning and experimentation, critical interpretation and presentation.

Discover all our general strengths as a university

Student reviews of the course
  • Steven Odongo | PhD student 

    ”The need to combat the prevailing diseases such as cholera, ebola, polio and African trypanosomosis were the key driving forces that compelled me to pursue further training. Through a VLIR-UOS scholarship, I set foot on the campus of VUB, where I was trained on a number of important molecular techniques and basic research concepts. I was granted a VUB scholarship to continue with a PhD programme. Looking back to where it all started, I can confidently say that the knowledge I gained is enormous. I have contributed to supervision of students, co-authored a book and participated in a number of technology transfer seminars. Thus, with all this experience, I’m in a better position to resume my teaching position in Makerere University (Uganda) and I look forward to starting a research group on the development of affordable immunodiagnostics tests for tropical parasitic diseases.”


  • Christopher Kinyanjui Kariuki | PhD student 

    ”During the master’s programme, the theoretical breadth of knowledge delivered was perfectly matched with the practical sessions that we undertook. The professors and technical staff were spot on with their delivery of information and their engaging manner during lectures and practicals. This, combined with the hard-working and accessible secretariat, made the IPMB course one of the best educational decisions I've ever made. I still have fond memories of our trips to the different laboratories in the Flanders region to get to know more about the scientific community and to network for our master’s thesis projects, which, thanks to our course organisers, included a wonderful experience of the Flemish cultural history of the various towns where the laboratories were situated. It is essentially these and other numerous experiences during the master’s course that enabled me to confidently undertake my current PhD topic on characterising various surface proteins from the malaria parasite under the Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMIM) laboratory. IPMB gave me the necessary impetus and experience to embark on this journey into the molecular way of learning about the biological sciences. My scientific saga is still unfolding…”

After graduation

This master's degree opens many doors to an exciting future. It may be in a university, hospital, private or governmental research laboratory or patenting bureau, or in the R&D department of a pharmaceutical, food or biotech company. Work on environmental protection, develop state-of-the-art equipment in biotechnology or join a sales and marketing department. Be a lecturer, consultant, or advisor to policy makers. Or, why not stick around in the Brussels-Capital Region for some scientific research in your favourite highly specialised sector or advanced technologies? You could also continue your academic career as a Ph.D. researcher in Belgium or abroad. Whatever you choose, molecular biology is a rapidly developing discipline in modern life science, and companies need ambitious and knowledgeable scientists. And naturally, we’ll help you with your first steps towards employment.

Discover the many opportunities

2022_Infopunt studenten tijdens infodag_24 april_Etterbeek_VUB

A better idea of the programme?

Would you like to know more about this VUB programme? Take part in our (online) study choice activities. Leaf through our brochure, chat with other students, put questions to our professors in an online info session, read our alumni testimonials or attend an open lecture or info day.