Programme info

What does the programme entail?

The field of biomedical sciences

The field of biomedical sciences studies both the healthy and sick human and the relevant animal models.

Biomedical sciences can be distinguished from biology, bio-engineering and veterinary sciences by means of the clear emphasis on humans.

The programme does not focus on acquiring clinical skills, as this is covered in medicine and pharmacy, but prepares you to conduct technological or scientific research in a clinical context.

In Antwerp, the biomedical sciences programme is a multidisciplinary programme taught by lecturers from the faculties of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Medicine and Sciences.

Specialising in neurosciences

In the Neurosciences specialisation, you study the underlying neuronal structures and mechanisms of behaviour and memory as well as the diagnosis, appearance and pathogenesis of various neurological and psychiatric disorders.

You learn to develop experimental research, based on animal models, for example, with a view to investigating the neural substrate of behaviour and cognition.

More specifically, the research focuses on excitation, plasticity and the connectivity of neurons and how they function in brain circuits both in healthy individuals and sick individuals. Besides this, the research examines the autonomous nerve system and its central regulatory function.

You also learn to set up experimental research into the pathogenesis and pathological processes related to neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Depending on your research question, you will make use of behaviour observation, neurochemical, molecular biological, electro-physiological and microscopic techniques, and imaging techniques, which reveal the living brain and its functions in a non-invasive way.

You learn to apply neuroscientific insights in order to solve fundamental and medical questions using the techniques you have learnt, while also reporting your research results in scientific journals or during presentations.


Using the basic knowledge taught on the Bachelor’s programme as a point of departure, the Master’s programme focuses on the research specialisations in which the University of Antwerp has come to excel.

The unique partnership between the university labs and the Institute Born-Bunge for neurosciences serves as a guarantee of research excellence and a diverse range of study options.

In addition, the university has a special core facility for experimental biomedical imaging which is exploring new horizons in molecular imaging of the brain as part of its research into behaviour and neurological disorders.

The Interfaculty Institute for Molecular Neurosciences, which is structured around the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology and the labs at the Medical Genetics Centre, also supports our research in molecular and cellular biomedical sciences.

Are you eligible to start the programme?

Degree requirements

Direct access: Bachelor of Science (academic degree, minimum 180 ECTS) in:

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Bio-engineering: cell and gene biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine

Language requirements

If your degree was not issued by a recognised educational institution in Belgium or the Netherlands, you will also have to provide evidence of your level of English.
You can do this in two ways:

  • by proving that you took classes in English for at least one academic year during your Bachelor or Master degree. The selection committee may require additional proof of your command of English.
  • by submitting your results on a TOEFL or IELTS language test, with the following minimum scores:
    • paper-based TOEFL: minimum 550
    • internet-based TOEFL: minimum 80
    • IELTS: minimum total score of 6.5 and minimum score of 6.0 for each individual component
    • Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):  minimum B2.

Results obtained on other language tests will not be accepted.

See also general information on the language requirements.

What prior knowledge is required?

Basic knowledge of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and neurochemistry is required so that you may have a chance of completing the programme successfully.

Research in your programme

In view of the Master’s programme’s specialisations, the faculty's research is closely interwoven with the educational programme components.

A very important aspect of the Master’s programme is the dissertation. This involves a supervised research project, which students conduct independently. The dissertation is composed with the help of one of the research units providing support to the programme. During its practical implementation, students are involved in the ongoing scientific research in the research unit.

During your Master’s programme, you also receive lectures that are based on a discussion of recent scientific publications. Consequently, students are involved in scientific research as much as possible and thus gain an insight into the progress being made in their discipline.

In addition, all programme components are kept up-to-date with the latest research developments.

Practical experience on your programme

The Master’s programme places a particular emphasis on practical experience. The first year includes six-week lab internships and in the second year you can spend almost eight months conducting full-time research as part of your Master’s dissertation.

Each programme component also has a practical module. These modules may range from advanced theoretical exercises and simulations through to demos of high-tech techniques in specific research labs and conducting advanced experiments independently in the practice rooms.