Master of Science in Biomolecular Sciences

Strong emphasis on performing research

From next academic year (2018-2019) onwards the Master in Biomolecular Sciences and the Master in Molecular Biology will merge into one high-level scientific programme with strong multidisciplinary courses that intertwine theoretical formation with research-oriented skills. This new Interuniversity Master of Science in Molecular Biology (2 year, 120 ECTS) is jointly organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel, KULeuven and University of Antwerp.

Take a look at the Master of Science in Molecular Biology for all information and apply now!

During your studies, you have the opportunity to broaden your horizon by spending time abroad for courses, internship or even your Master's thesis. Within Europe, the Bioengineering Department has Erasmus+ mobility agreements with the following universities:

However, multiple possibilities also exist for stays outside of Europe.

For more information you can contact:

Exchange Coordinator Bioengineering Sciences

Coordinator Internationalisation - Faculty of Sciences and Bioengineering Sciences

Scientific research in the Brussels-Capital Region is mainly geared towards highly specialised sectors and advanced technologies.
Biomolecular science is a rapidly developing discipline in modern life science, therefore companies need ambitious scientists that understand cellular processes, biological molecules and their interactions.
The problem-solving formats in the programme and courses such as Research Communication and Management are intended to support you to continue your career in biomolecular research.
After graduation, you can embark on a PhD, join any R&D department of a Pharmaceutical, Food or Biotech company; work on environmental protection, develop state-of-the-art equipment in biotechnology or be part of their sales and marketing department.

Career guidance? VUB Career Center is your one-stop shop!

The VUB alumni are known to be critical, independent and open-minded people. Even then your first steps on the job market are not always easy. The VUB Career Center gives you that extra push you need to make it work. They offer individual advice on career opportunities and can help you to pimp your cv, or prepare for your first job interview. And you don't have to wait until after graduation. Pay them a first visit during your studies to find out what the job market has to offer you.

Student life

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a dynamic and modern university with three campuses in the Brussels-Capital region. The main campus in Etterbeek offers high-quality education and research in a green and stimulating environment. With all fields of study being represented there, you can go above and beyond your own discipline. At our student restaurant, you will easily find an engineering student standing next to a future philosopher trying to decide together between a pasta meal or the vegetarian selection of the day.
Our students do not feel like they are just a number in a long row of unknown students. They have good relationships with their lecturers and assistants who have an open-door policy where students with questions are always welcome. Small group workshops are also used to ensure close interaction and hands-on experience. Educational assessment conducted annually indicates that our students are “satisfied” to “very satisfied” with 90% of their courses.

Lecture halls and laboratories are furnished with the most up-to-date equipment. Modern sports facilities, including gymnasiums, fitness rooms, tennis and squash courts, and a swimming pool, can be found on campus.

For more information on student life in Brussels and at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, go to

City life

Brussels is the capital of Europe, but it wasn't always. Actually, Victor Hugo was amongst the first pro-Europeans who redeemed Brussels' geographical location ideal to be the capital of Europe.

You will encounter a strange mix of skyscrapers and small curving streets, of bourgeois and bohémien, of oui and non. It will get you lost, but it does so with everyone.

Brussels gives you what you expect from a real city: high buildings, busy traffic, an underground art scene, eccentric old ladies dressed in drag, bars on every corner, and a lot of love from the locals. Brussels is officially a bilingual city, which means that everywhere you go you'll see signs in French and in Dutch (and very often in English too). However, you'll find that most people in Brussels are native French speakers rather than Dutch speakers.

Here, in our belle Bruxelles you'll discover one of the greatest cities in Europe...

Brussels is a challenging city which you can explore endlessly, but you have to take some time to discover its true face. For a push in the right direction, take a look at the following pages:

After my Erasmus exchange at the VUB, I decided to apply for the Master in Biomolecular Sciences. The diversified programme broadened my scientific horizons and was the perfect choice after finishing a Bachelor in Biotechnology at the University of Gdansk in Poland. During practical trainings I was introduced to many new laboratory techniques and got an overview of scientific work at VUB. The one-year master project was a great opportunity to gain experience in independent laboratory work. I’ve been living here for three years and I am now working at the laboratory. So my story at VUB continues…”
Natalia Smiejkowska, alumna and researcher at Lab of Myeloid Cell Immunology, VIB-VUB


Being from Canada and having completed my Bachelor degree there, it was not long after that I sought international opportunities to broaden both my scientific and cultural views. With this in mind I chose to partake in the Master of Science in Biomolecular Sciences.Combining people of several different cultures to explore several different facets of science had not only evoked my curiosity but allowed me to develop valuable skills (perseverance, techniques, etc.) and to refine my interests. Armed with these assets, upon completion of the program I immediately transitioned into life as a PhD candidate. I have spent the last several years investigating various inflammation associated pathologies in an attempt to develop more effective diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. This is just the beginning to a world of possibilities!
Amanda Sparkes, PhD student


During the practical trainings of the master programme in Biomolecular Sciences, I discovered a very attractive specificity, the field of Cancer Immunology. I succeeded in doing my master dissertation in this research topic. That was a really hard year, with long, tiring experiments. However, believe it or not, doing research gave me so much knowledge, experience and strength that in the end I just kept trying until I had interesting results.
After finishing this master, my only wish was to become a PhD student which was definitely related to the proposed topic by my promoter: “Macrophages, the top regulators of immune responses, induce cancer growth and metastasis”. The depletion of these pro-tumoral macrophages could be a novel cancer therapy. My desire to work in this field as a PhD candidate and the support of my promoter and my colleagues led me to my situation now: IWT-granted-PhD student wishing to help research in a four-year-period of time. To conclude, what I learned as a foreign student is that if you really want something, struggle for it. Nothing is impossible with the only prerequisites... desire and a bit of luck.

Evangelia BOLLI, PhD student


My interest in embryonic development initiated while following the Master in Biomolecular Sciences program. Fundamental questions of developmental biology, such as the mechanisms that drive cell differentiation and morphogenesis, attracted my attention and directed me to discover the fascinating world of the developing embryo in terms of cell polarization, axis formation and patterning, all directed by complex regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. I decided to join the Developmental and Stem cell biology group (Prof. Luc Leyns), in which I did my master thesis and continued with a PhD. In the lab, we are focusing on the identification and functional characterization of novel genes that are involved in early developmental stages.  We are using mouse Embryonic Stem cells as a model of the early stage embryo and genome editing techniques to alter the expression of genes that could play a role in the differentiation towards the mesodermal or neural fates. Our research aims to add pieces to the molecular puzzle that lies under the complex mechanism of germ layer formation and patterning.
Eleni Dakou, PhD student