This 2-year Master’s programme Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences (MCLS) is research oriented and takes a multidisciplinary approach to molecules and cells. The acquired broad knowledge will be translated into novel technologies solving societal problems, such as cancer, diabetes, plant growth, thereby creating industrial innovations in biotechnology.

More information

More general information about the study programme of MCLS can be found on the Study Guide of the GSLS.

Components of the MCLS programme:

A 36-week research project with one of the participating research groups. This includes giving a presentation and writing a report.

All the research groups belong to one of the research institutes:

Bijvoet Centre for Biomolecular Research or
the Institute for Biodynamics and Biocomplexity

If approved by the programme committee, it is also possible to conduct the Major Research Project outside Utrecht University under the supervision of one of the research groups. This is only allowed when the Minor Research Project is done in one of participating research groups.

For formal approval from the Board of examiners of the GS-LS you’ll have to fill in the general application form (see study guide life sciences) hand it in 1 month before the start of the research project.

As part of your study programme you have to select one out of 9 profiles, to deepen your education in a specific field. You can choose between either a Research profile or a Science profile.

Research profiles (4): focus on in depth research skills and aim to deepen your experience in a research field, by being part of a research group.

Science profiles (5): focus on broader skills and have a practical approach.

  • Science Communication and Education consist of theoretical courses followed by practical work in the specific field.
  • The Management profile combines skills in the life sciences with courses in business and economics.
  • Life Science and Society and Translational Life Sciences are profiles with a capstone project throughout the profile, supplemented with (compulsory) courses. This will give you a broader view on the life science to society and how to translate problems (and solutions) to society.

All Graduate School of Life Sciences programmes devote ten weeks to theoretical courses. The Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences programme offers you a range of practical and theoretical courses. To meet the MCLS track criteria you have to obtain at least 9 ECTS track-specified courses. MCLS offers three General Track Courses (3 ECTS each) of which you have to follow at least two.

Electives give you the possibility to create your personal profile. Contact the programme coordinator how to use the electives in your programme.

Part I: Introducing Life Sciences

This compulsory course is given in the first week of September for all Master's students. More information about ILS is available in the study guide.

Part II: Navigation Towards Personal Excellence

Navigation Towards Personal Excellence (NTPE) expands on the information about profiles, valorisation, and experiences of alumni during ILS with 3 workshops and reflection days within your own Master’s programme. More information can be found on the study guide.

Part III: Life Sciences Seminars

Every month a seminar is organised by a different Master's programme. For more information about the LS seminars, please visit the study guide.

The ILS, NTPE and LS seminars are part of the Life Sciences Academy, which is 1.5 credits in total.

Note: Students, whom started their Master’s before September 2018, are enrolled in the courses Introducing Life Sciences (BMB509713) and Life Sciences seminars (BMB509214 or GSLS-SEMIN). Together with Introducing Life Sciences, the Life Sciences seminars are 1.5 credits in total. More information is available in the study guide.

There are two options for the writing assignment:

  • Students write a literature overview on a subject of their own choice, supervised by a member of staff from one of the research groups participating in the MSc programme.
  • Students write a research proposal based on the outcome of either their major or minor research project.

The choice of subject can be determined by personal interest and will often be related to future career plans, e.g. possibilities for a PhD project or specific areas of research in connection with industrial job opportunities.

Duration: approximately 5 weeks.

For formal approval from the Board of examiners of the GSLS you’ll have to fill in the general application form (see study guide life sciences) hand it in 1 month before the start of the thesis.