Master of Molecular Biology (Leuven)

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Molecular biology is the discipline within the life sciences aimed at understanding the molecular basis of life in health and disease. It is a multidisciplinary area of study and deals with the structure and function of molecules as well as their interplay in creating the phenomenon of life.

This program, commonly referred to as the Interuniversity Programme in Molecular Biology (IPMB), is jointly organized by KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Universiteit Antwerpen.

What is the program all about?

This program, commonly referred to as the Interuniversity Programme in Molecular Biology (IPMB), is jointly organized by KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Universiteit Antwerpen.

IPMB is endorsed and supported as an international program by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UDC). Although originally designed to meet the needs of students from developing countries, the program also welcomes non-traditional and reorienting students seeking to enter the fascinating world of molecular biology. Erasmus-Socrates students studying at one of the organizing universities for one or two semesters are also most welcome to attend classes and acquire laboratory skills.

Students are awarded a joint degree from the participating institutions.

Structure

The IPMB is organized over two academic years. In view of the diverse background of its students, the first year consists of in-depth courses covering the most important topics in molecular biology. By the end of the first year, you will have obtained the level of knowledge required to take successfully part in the advanced, specialization courses of the second year.

Intensive laboratory training will prepare you to embark on the preparation of your thesis, which you will complete in the second year along with four advanced courses followed by three specialization courses in the field of either human health, animal production or plant production. Much attention is also paid to the preparation and writing of the thesis, which is an original research project completed under the guidance of a supervisor and defended in public.

Is this the right program for me?

The interuniversity master’s program in Molecular Biology puts a high emphasis on the theoretical and practical skill set of young scientists. This program especially hopes to attract young scientists from developing countries who are already involved in either human or animal health care or agricultural research. Indeed, in the second year, students have a choice between three distinct profiles: human health, animal or plant production. Each profile consists of compulsory and elective courses.

Objectives

The Master of Molecular Biology (Interuniversity Molecular Biology - IPMB) program is intended to offer theoretical and practical training to young scientists from developing countries, who are involved in education/research in human medicine, animal production or plant production.

This program is designed to train these students to become capable, critical and self-reliant scientists who are able to apply the knowledge acquired to contribute to the further development of their country through their involvement in education, research, and policymaking.

IPMB graduates will be able to ensure that the potential offered by molecular biology and biotechnology in terms of human and veterinary medicine and animal and plant production, find due application in their country.

Although originally conceived to meet the needs of students from developing countries, the program offers an excellent opportunity for all students, including non-traditional and reorienting students, to study molecular biology in an international context.

Students are expected to:

  • have developed an advanced knowledge of fundamental sciences;
  • have developed an in-depth insight into biological processes;
  • have developed an in-depth insight into the functioning of living organisms in all their forms;
  • have developed a critical mind allowing them to appraise scientific and social aspects of applied molecular biology;
  • be capable of analyzing and/or summarising and critically reflecting on scientific literature;
  • be capable of detecting and analyzing problems and of proposing solutions to solve them;
  • be able to contribute, through molecular biological research, to solving problems faced by developing countries;
  • be able to operate as a member of a team;
  • be able to report, both orally and in writing;
  • be able to contribute to efforts to set up nationwide and international cooperation (South-South, South-North);
  • be able to operate in nationwide and international networks;
  • be able to disseminate the acquired knowledge in their country and region through their activities in education and research and through peer-reviewed publications;
  • have developed skills to act as reliable advisors for local policymakers by making proposals for the further development of molecular biology in education and research, and, as such, to contribute to the further development of their country and improve the living conditions of the populations in the South;
  • be trained to a level sufficient to begin a doctoral program (Ph.D.).

Career opportunities

IPMB graduates find employment in universities, hospitals, private and governmental research laboratories and patenting bureaus, as lecturers, consultants, and advisors to policymakers, among other careers. Many graduates go on to begin Ph.D. programs in Belgium or abroad. Students from developing countries can apply for a VLIR-UOS sandwich Ph.D. scholarship. Flemish students can apply for a Ph.D. scholarship of VLIR-UOS to make a Ph.D. on developmental relevant topics.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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