Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences

Refresher courses

University programmes with highly scientific content require sound prior knowledge of mathematics and sometimes also chemistry. 
For this reason, the Faculties of Science and of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences run refresher courses two weeks before the academic year begins. 
The aim of the refresher courses is to: 
• refresh your secondary school knowledge of mathematics and chemistry;
•  fill in any small gaps in your prior knowledge;
•  provide support as you begin your university career and embark on independent learning and practice.
The programme consists of four courses: Study Skills, Academic Dutch, Mathematics and Chemistry. You can choose one or more courses and the content of each refresher course is adapted to suit the programme you intend to follow.

We wish you the best of luck with your studies at the University of Antwerp!

Study Skills

You can and must learn how to study - that is the underlying principle of the Study Skills refresher sessions. 
During these sessions, you will find out more about the most important aspects of efficient study. Study Skills training courses are held during the first semester and students practise using their own study materials. 
Session 1
In this session, you discover your own learning style - the way in which you study. You also get some tips to help you improve your learning style. Other topics include time management when studying, and the principles of short- and long-term planning are explained with examples.
Session 2
In this session, we explain how to review courses and handle study materials. You will also be given tips on how to memorise and concentrate your attention when studying.

The aim of these sessions is to provide you with methods for approaching your course actively and preparing yourself, which will help you to process large quantities of study material. 
Theoretical course materials have been published for these sessions and are available from the Reprography Office. Check the schedule to find out when the courses will be held.

Academic Dutch

Academic Dutch is the variant of Dutch which enables students and lecturers to work effectively in a university context. For students, this may relate to going to lectures and writing papers as well as taking exams and becoming properly integrated in the academic environment.
Monitoraat op maat (Academic Dutch language tutoring - Linguapolis) runs an Academic Dutch programme. After a short introduction to Monitoraat op maat, the students receive tips on formulating answers to exam questions. They then try the techniques out for themselves using practice exam questions on a scientific text. This enables them to test their academic reading and writing skills, and a language tutor gives feedback by email.
Students who score low on the exercise will be invited to meet with a Monitoraat op maat language tutor at the end of the refresher weeks so they can discuss the various options for language tutoring.
Check the schedule to find out when the courses will be held.


The refresher course programme consists of several modules, an overview of which can be found below.  Students may wish to take a combination of modules or parts of modules, depending on the programme they intend to follow.
Module 1:  Basic algebra
Module 2:  Goniometry
Module 3:  Elementary functions

Module 4:  Elementary calculus 
Module 5: Geometry 

Module 6:  Matrix multiplication - Linear systems
Module 7:  Set theory 
Module 8: Vectors 
Wiskunde voor de beginnende bachelor. Theorieboek. Stijn Verwulgen and Edward Soetens.
Wiskunde voor de beginnende bachelor. Compendium. Stijn Verwulgen
Both publications can be obtained from the Reprography Office.

Chemistry for Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Bio-engineering Sciences and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Session 1 
- Elements and atoms: atoms, the model of the atom, isotopes 
- Compounds: molecular and ionic compounds 
- Nomenclature of ionic compounds
Session 2 
- The concepts of mole and molar mass 
- Per cent composition, Determining and chemical formulas
Session 3 
- Mixtures and Solutions: classification, separation techniques, molarity, dilutions 
- Chemical Reactions, Precipitation
Session 4 
- Acids and Bases
Session 5 
- Redox Reactions: oxidation and reduction, oxidants and reductants, balancing redox reactions
Session 6 
- Stoichiometry 
- Volumetric Analysi
Course materials are available from the Reprography Office.
Check the schedule to find out when the courses will be held.

The syllabus is based on the Fundamentals chapter in: Chemical Principles, The Quest for Insight by Peter Atkins and Loretta Jones, WH Freeman 2005.

Chemistry for Biology, Biomedical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine

Session 1: Intake procedure
This procedure will be explained on the first day of the chemistry/mathematics course.  Self-assessment tests allow you to choose between two programmes: the sessions can be scheduled at a normal or accelerated pace with more or less supervision depending on your existing knowledge of chemistry and mathematics.
Session 2: Representing matter in chemical formulas

  • Elements and atoms
  • The chemical classification of matter 
  • Common names of substances
  • Model representations and the symbolic level
  • Categorising the physical-chemical process on the basis of a model representation

Session 3: Reactive mass of (im)pure matter

  • Relative atomic mass
  • Relative molecular mass calculations
  • How many grams does x mol of substance Y weigh?
  • Combinations: grams - number of molecules - number of atoms - number of mol - volume
  • Concentration conversions and dilution calculations

Session 4: Matter conversion

  • Laws of chemical reaction 
  • Types of chemical reaction
  • Balancing reactions (metathesis)
  • Determining oxidation states
  • Recognising redox reactions
  • Balancing redox reactions

Session 5: Calculating with reactions

  • Stochiometric calculations with stochiometric mixtures
  • Calculations with excess or limiting reactant

Session 6: Chemical equilibrium

  • Equilibrium reactions
  • Strong and weak electrolytes
  • Acid-base equilibrium
  • Redox equilibrium
  • Heterogeneous equilibrium, precipitation and solubility

Course materials are available from the Reprography Office. 
Check the schedule to find out when the courses will be held.
Please note that you should always bring your Blackboard learning environment login and password to the Chemistry lessons!

Practical information

If you wish to take refresher courses, you will first have to enrol at the university via the Student Administration Office, Stadscampus, Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerp.

After you have enrolled, you can sign up for refresher courses on this webpage.  Complete the form and then click send!
Make sure you have enrolled before the refresher course starts, i.e. 4 September at the latest.

After you have registered, you will have access to the Blackboard learning environment page for the refresher courses. Here you can find information, course schedules, and study and practice materials for all of the courses.
The refresher courses are free and not mandatory, and each student can put together his or her own programme.  You can use the Blackboard module for the refresher courses to let us know which courses you wish to take.