• Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English
The Master's Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology from Utrecht University offers you international, high ranked research training and education that builds on novel methodology in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics technology applied to biomedical and developmental systems and processes.
  • Overview
  • Programme outline
  • Key facts
  • Admission requirements
  • Fees and funding


Do you have a clear and specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology? The Master’s programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology from Utrecht University combines research in three areas: oncology, molecular developmental biology and genetics. The focus is on molecular and cellular aspects of development and disease, utilising different model systems (mice, zebrafish, C. elegans, organoids and cell lines). The programme will guide you through the mysteries of embryonic growth, stem cells, signalling, gene regulation, evolution, and development as they relate to health and disease.

Given that fundamental developmental processes are so often impacted by disease, an understanding of these processes is vital to the better understanding of disease treatment and prevention. Adult physiology is regulated by developmental genes and mechanisms which, if deregulated, may result in pathological conditions. If you have a specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology, this Master’s programme is the right choice for you. Cancer and Stem Cell Biology offers you international, high ranked research training and education that builds on novel methodology in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics technology applied to biomedical and developmental systems and processes.

What you’ll learn

In this programme you will learn to focus on understanding processes underlying cancer and developmental biology using techniques and applications of post-genomic research, including microarray analysis, next generation sequencing, proteomics, metabolomics and advanced microscopy techniques. You explore research questions concerning embryonic growth, stem cells, signaling pathways, gene regulation, evolution and development in relation to health and disease using various model systems. As a Master’s student you will take theory courses and seminars, as well as master classes led by renowned specialists in the field. The courses are interactive, and challenge you to further improve your writing and presenting skills.

Why study Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology at Utrecht University?

Compared to most other Master’s programmes in cancer and stem cell biology in the Netherlands, in Utrecht we offer:

  • Strong focus on fundamental molecular aspects of disease related questions, particularly questions related to cancer and the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine
  • A unique emphasis on Developmental Biology, a process with many connections to cancer
  • The opportunity to carry out two extensive research projects at renowned research groups
  • An intensive collaboration with national and international research institutes, allowing you to do your internship at prestigious partner institutions all around the world
Your background

To apply for our programme, you must have thorough basic knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology, metabolism and signal transduction. We look for students with ambition in research and high GPA scores.

Career in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology

As a MSc graduate trained in both fundamental and disease-oriented aspects of biomedical genetics you are in great demand. You’ll be prepared for PhD study in one of the participating or associated groups. Alternatively, leaving after obtaining your MSc degree you will profit from a solid education in molecular genetics, in addition to your specialised knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.


Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

Programme Structure

Courses included:
  • Gene Expression, Epigenetics And Disease In The Post-genome Era
  • Introduction To R For Life Sciences
  • Introduction To Stem Cells
  • Molecular Mechanisms Of Cancer
  • Introduction To Python For Life Sciences
  • Introduction To Bioinformatics For Molecular Biologists
  • Zebrafish In Development, Organogenesis And Disease
  • Developmental Genetics
For more information please visit the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go To The Course Website
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Academic Requirements

  • You have a Bachelor’s degree of University (equivalent of a Dutch Bachelor Degree) in: Biology; Biomedical Sciences; Life Sciences; Biochemistry; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Other relevant science programme.
  • You can demonstrate in depth knowledge and insight in the field of molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, metabolism, physiology and signal transduction; basic knowledge of biostatistics.
  • Proof of your proficiency in English (CAE- Level B, CPC- Grade C).

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 18201 International
  • EUR 2006 EU/EEA


Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university. Please note that the scholarship options for programmes starting in February are limited.

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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