M.Sc. Biomolecular Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

Application deadline: EEA nationals: 1 June, non-EEA nationals (students who need to apply for a Belgian visa): 31 March
Tuition fee:
  • € 620 / Year (EEA)
  • € 2,950 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Disciplines:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Description

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Biomolecular Sciences is a two-year scientific program that focuses on the biochemical unity that underlies the biological diversity. Biomolecular Science is a rapidly developing discipline in modern life science.

It stands at the crossroads of chemical, biological, physical and computational sciences and focuses on the molecular understanding of cellular function. Anticipating this evolution, this Master program will focus on the understanding of cellular processes, biological molecules and their interactions. The two years master is built around 4 subdomains of Biomolecular Sciences:

* Protein Structure and Function
* Applied Immunology
* Advanced Molecular Biology
* Bioinformatics

The students interest and knowledge of a specific subdomain can be deepened through the choice of 4 electives.
The Master is conceived as a multidisciplinary and research-oriented program. The program also aims to develop the habits of mind to perform and manage research in a multidisciplinary and international context.

Therefore, our students will also be trained in different aspects of research communication and research management. The latter will be done in a mandatory module "Research Competences" that consists of:

* Research Communication and Management
* Master Thesis in the field of Biomolecular Sciences

Contents

Developing a state of mind
The Master is conceived as a multidisciplinary and research-oriented programme. The programme also aims to develop the state of mind to perform and manage research in a multidisciplinary and international context. Therefore, our students will also be trained in different aspects of research communication and research management.

Discovery-based laboratory
The two-year programme has a strong emphasis on performing research. Its concept will require full-time attendance and will involve active participation in lectures and discovery-based laboratory work to develop the state of mind that drives the progress of science.

The program of the first year is composed of 4 modules, all of which have to be followed. The courses within each module are at advanced level and consist of 26 class hours and 6 days of practical training. The practical trainings link up with the advanced courses and will take place in the research labs under the guidance of experienced postdocs.

* Protein structure and function (3x5 ECTS)
* Applied Immunology (3x5 ECTS)
* Advanced Molecular Biology (4x5 ECTS)
* Bioinformatics (2x5 ECTS)

The program of the second year pays much attention to the acquisition of research competences. The program consists of three modules:

* Elective courses (4x5 ECTS)
* Master Proof (30 ECTS)
* Research Communication and Management (10 ECTS)

Master Proof
To obtain a Master degree, a student must carry out, under the direction and supervision of a promoter, an independent research project and prepare a dissertation, that is, a written account of the research and its results.

Research Communication and Management
This part of the program includes the writing of the results of the dissertation in a publication format, seminars on intellectual property rights, scientific writing, project development and the writing of a research proposal.

The latter can be a proposal for a continuation of the topic of the Master Proof, a proposal for a PhD project, or a proposal for another research project in Biomolecular Sciences, and is intended to help the students to continue their career in biomolecular research.

Requirements

For admission in the Master of Biomolecular Sciences, students need a bachelor degree in the field of biology, chemistry, or biomedical sciences or equivalent. Equivalency will be evaluated case by case by the Admission Board.

Language requirements
In order to be admitted, you need to be proficient in English.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

75 (Grade B)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 80

Funding

Scholarships granted by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel awards yearly a number of scholarships for advanced studies at Master or Advanced Master level. These programmes are characterized by the integration of education and research and a Master's thesis. They cover at least one year of study and depending on the field of study some programmes may take 2 years.

Yearly one or more specific programmes will be considered for Scholarships of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The Bureau for Development Cooperation selects these programmes every year following an internal "Call for Interest" to all programme directors of a Master or Master after Master programme. This selection is submitted for endorsement to the Research Council.

Scholarships for International Course Programmes (ICP)
The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) offers yearly scholarships to students from developing countries to follow International Courses. These courses are master courses, lasting two academic years, all of which lead to a masters degree. The ICPs focus on specific problems of developing countries. International Courses are:

* Master in Human Ecology
* Master of Science in Molecular Biology
* Master of Science in Ecological Marine Management
* Master of Science in Physical Land Resources
* Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering

Outstanding graduates can subsequently apply for a 4 year grant from the Flemish Interuniversity Council to obtain a PhD-degree.

Scholarships for International Training Programmes (ITP)
International Training Programmes are short-term training programmes whose main focus is transferring skills rather than knowledge. The programme is designed for people from developing countries with a certain degree of professional experience. A possibility for cooperation and networking is created during these 3 months of training.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers a training programme in Scientific and Technological Information Management in Universities and Libraries

Scholarships of the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC)
BTC is the Belgian development cooperation agency that supports developing countries in their fight against poverty. Each year BTC grants some 1.000 scholarships in Belgium across diverse fields of training, including Master programmes to students from its priority countries.

Erasmus Mundus Master scholarships
The Erasmus Mundus programme is a co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a centre of excellence in learning around the world. It supports European top-quality Masters Courses and provides EU-funded scholarships for third country (non-EU) nationals participating in these Masters Courses.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel participates in the following Erasmus Mundus Master programmes: (click on a link for detailed information).

* Master of Science in Photonics
* M.A. Degree in Economics of International Trade and European Integration

Student Jobs
During the academic year, international students are entitled to work maximum 20 hours per week. They can work on a full time basis only during the summer holidays period (July-September).

The money earned from student jobs should be considered as a supplementary source of income, not as main financial means for living in Belgium.

The Job Service can help international students to find a student job. Nevertheless, students should be aware that they might face the following difficulties during their job search:

* non-European students are required to have a category C work permit.
* employers in Brussels very often need bilingual French/Dutch workers or explained at the Job Service or at the International Relations and Mobility Office.

Job Service Campus Etterbeek - Entrance 6
Open from Monday till Friday 13.30 - 17.00 or on appointment
Tel. +32 (0) 2 629 23 16
E-mail: job@vub.ac.be

Important remarks
Students who apply for a scholarship will receive a conditional letter of acceptance. This admission letter is valid only if the scholarship is awarded. Students coming for a short period are advised to bring either cash money or an international credit card. Most banks refuse customers who are here for less than 6 months. Even when you have the necessary means, problems can still arise, such as:

* foreign cheques that cannot be cashed in Belgium
* delayed or blocked bank transfers from abroad
* loss of money due to devaluation
* sponsors not paying allowances
* insufficient scholarships money
* loss of scholarship.

Remember to save the money for your return flight ticket at the end of your studies.

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