Radboud University

Molecular Life Sciences, B.Sc.

The English-taught Bachelor’s programme at Radboud University operates at the interface of chemistry, biology and medicine, with mathematics and physics as supporting subjects. Ultimately, the Molecular Life Sciences programme is about using an in-depth knowledge of molecular processes in healthy people to combat diseases and harnessing molecules to make people better. As a molecular life scientist, you can be part of the latest developments in healthcare, such as stem cell therapy, personalised medicine and self-healing materials.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


This Master's specialisation offers a thorough programme in the heart of chemistry, covering all stages from molecule design to application.

Molecular chemistry is a creative science, where chemists synthesize molecules with new biological or physical properties to address scientific or societal challenges. Think of new catalytic conversions, lead compounds for future medicines or the next generation of conducting polymers. Working with chemical structures the possibilities are endless: in principle, every molecule can be made. The challenge is to adapt the 3D-structure to the desired properties and design an efficient synthesis method.

Why study Molecular Life Science at Radboud University?

The specialisation in Molecular Chemistry is closely connected to the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), which hosts world-class research groups and a state-of-the-art research infrastructure. In your internships, you can conduct independent research at IMM, under personal guidance of a researcher. Not seldom this leads to a scientific publication with you as a co-author.

The IMM at Radboud University hosts a large and internationally renowned cluster of molecular chemistry groups, where you will participate in challenging research projects.

  • We have close contact with top research groups elsewhere in the world, which makes it possible to do your internship at for example Oxford, Princeton or Berkeley University.
  • The IMM Organic Chemistry department was recently awarded a 27 million euro NWO Gravity programme grant. Among the teaching staff are two ERC advanced grant and two ERC starting grant winners.
  • Teaching takes place in small groups and in a stimulating, personal setting.
Further details about the programme

The Master's specialisation Molecular Chemistry is taught at the Faculty of Science. It has a course load of 120 EC (two-year). The programme depends on the Master's that you follow: Chemistry or Science.


Looking ahead to the Master of Molecular Life Sciences

A Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences ties in directly with and leads on to the Master of Molecular Life Sciences at Radboud University. This is a two-year Master’s programme that is taught in English. Within the Master’s you specialise in a particular field and in a number of skills by choosing one of the six Master specialisations, ranging from Neuroscience and Chemistry for Life to Management and Innovation. A Bachelor of Molecular Life Sciences also gives you access to a number of specialisations at various other universities in the Netherlands and abroad.

Master specialisations

The Master specialisations on offer tie in with the world-class research that is carried out at Radboud University. The Master's of Molecular Life Sciences lets you choose from six specialisations. If you enjoy doing research, you could choose Chemistry for Life, Clinical Biology, Medical Epigenomics or Neuroscience. If you would like to apply your scientific knowledge to issues facing society, then Science, Management and Innovation or Science in Society could be of interest to you. If you want to become a secondary school teacher, you could choose the Science and Education specialisation. And if you spot a Master’s programme that interests you at another university in the Netherlands or abroad, your Bachelor’s degree will allow you to switch to that university.

Career prospects

Molecular Life Sciences graduates from Radboud University end up in a wide range of jobs. Ten years after starting their careers those without a PhD mainly work as managers in a technological environment. Those with a PhD often become specialists with a managerial role. They continue with research in research departments at Radboud University or at other universities at home or abroad.

  • Molecular life scientists work in the following jobs:
  • Researcher at a R&D department in industry
  • Researcher at a university or hospital
  • Project manager/general manager
  • Advisor, consultant
  • Lecturer
  • Inspector, controller
Preparing for your profession

Each year students organise the Bèta Bedrijven Beurs to keep abreast of the requirements of the job market. This expo is an ideal meeting place for students and employers. It tells you about the latest developments in the job market and helps you prepare for jobs that might interest you. Staff from Career Service Science are available to answer your questions about preparing for your career. They can provide information about internships and vacancies, as well as tips on matters such as writing a job application or a CV.

Working after your Master’s

Getting a PhDOnce you have completed your Master’s and are certain that you would like to continue as a researcher, you can choose to do a PhD in your field. PhD candidates make an important contribution to research at Nijmegen. About 44% of graduates in molecular life sciences go on to do a PhD.
Job opportunitiesWithin six months of graduating, 97% of graduates find paid work. About 66% of graduates find paid work immediately after graduation. In addition, 83% of those with a job report that they have a job at university level.
Starting salaryThe average starting salary for graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences, followed by a related Master’s, is €2185 gross per month.
Possible professionsMolecular Life Sciences graduates often become PhD candidates or researchers. Other possible professions are lecturer, project team member or project leader. The last two positions are often within a technological setting.
Source of figures: 2010–2012 Radboud University alumni monitors for Faculty of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen (percentages), 2013 Keuzegids for Dutch universities – CHOI (salary information).

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

Programme outline

Molecular Life Sciences is a three-year English-taught Bachelor’s programme and a two-year Master’s programme. The molecular foundation is laid in the first year (propedeuse), after which you can deepen your knowledge of the biomedical side. After one and half years you are free to choose your own subjects. After passing your Bachelor’s exam, you are awarded your degree and can call yourself a Bachelor of Science (BSc). If you want to know more, read about the first year of the Bachelor of Molecular Life Sciences. If you are curious about what to expect after the first year, read about the second and third years of the Bachelor of Molecular Life Sciences.

Degree programme in Molecular Life Sciences

Each academic year is divided into four ten-week quarters. You will have eight weeks of classes, followed by two weeks of exams, which ensures that the study load is evenly distributed across the year. As a Molecular Life Sciences student, you have a full-time study week of 38 hours, in which you will experience different modes of instruction. Most courses involve both lectures and seminars, which account for about 40 % of your study time. Seminars involve about 20 students. You also spend about one-third of your time on practicals, which includes computer practicals. Practicals are done individually, in pairs or in a group as part of a project, which helps you to get to know your fellow students. The practicals are linked to the subject matter in the lectures. You are also expected to spend about a quarter of your study week on independent study.

Studying alongside Science and Chemistry students

The Chemistry, Science and Molecular Life Sciences programmes are closely aligned and have been brought together in a single cluster. During the first three quarters of the academic year you take courses alongside Chemistry and Science students. Because of the way the teaching is organised in the Science faculty, you can easily switch from Molecular Life Sciences to the Chemistry or Science programme during your first year or once you have successfully completed it. You don’t lose any time and this is a useful option if you are not yet sure which programme you want to take.


Why study Molecular Life Sciences at Radboud University?

  • You will receive a sound education, with a unique combination of science and medicine, and with many options to choose from.
  • Apart from Wageningen University, Radboud is the only university at which you can do an entire Bachelor’s programme in this field.
  • You will receive excellent supervision: as well as a student advisor, you will have a mentor who you can go to with your questions.
  • You will have personal contact with your lecturers, who are very approachable.
  • You will study alongside Chemistry and Science students.
  • Radboud enjoys close cooperation with other universities at home and abroad and with knowledge-based institutes and companies.
  • The Radboud Molecular Life Sciences programme was awarded the ‘Top programme’ designation in the 2015 Keuzegids guide to Dutch universities.
  • You will have access to unique research facilities, for example for microscopy/imaging and genome-wide DNA technologies (at the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences/RIMLS and Radboud university medical center), and the High Field Magnet Laboratory (HFML).
Is Molecular Life Sciences the right programme for you?

If you think so, check the admission requirements for the Bachelor's in Molecular Life Sciences. If you want to find out more about the research carried out within this Faculty, check the research page.

Academic Requirements

Admission requirements - Dutch students
  • a VWO diploma (pre-university education) of the profiles:
    - Nature and Technology: allows direct admission
    - Nature and Health: + Mathematics B + Physics
    - Economy and Society/Culture and Society:
    + Mathematics B + Physics
    + Chemistry
  • Colloquium doctum: entrance examination for people aged 21 years and older.
    If you have obtained a VWO diploma prior to 2010 or completed the propedeuse at an HBO (university of applied sciences), please contact the student advisor.
Admission requirements - International students

To find out if you meet the (international) admission requirements for the Molecular Life Sciences Bachelor’s programme, please contact the student advisor.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 9432 International
  • EUR 2006 EU/EEA


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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