Utrecht University

Biology of Disease, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English


The Right Choice For You?

Cardiovascular diseases are the primary focus in this programme. For this, the Cardiovascular Track has been designed. In addition, this Master’s programme offers you the opportunity to focus on more than one clinical speciality , enabling you to conduct research projects on different subjects and diseases while gaining experience in multiple labs. On completing the Biology of Disease programme, you are able to use advanced research techniques and function as an independent researcher in the cardiovascular field, or in your chosen specialty.

Utrecht's University Master of Science in Biology of Disease researches disease mechanisms in the broadest sense, and learn to conduct (cardiovascular) disease-related translational research in cooperation with clinical and pre-clinical staff.

What You'll Learn?

In the Biology of Disease programme you learn to translate a (cardiovascular) disease into a scientifically sound experiment or model or the other way around. Hereby, you study the underlying mechanism of the disease to expand the knowledge concerning the disease or to build bridges towards therapeutic leads. Research questions may relate to all organisational levels of the body.

Why Study Biology Of At Utrecht University?

Compared to other Master’s programmes in (cardiovascular) disease mechanisms in the Netherlands, our programme in Utrecht:

  • Allows you to become an expert in the cardiovascular research field.
  • Gives you the opportunity to compose a personalised programme of multiple clinical specialties within disease biology.
  • Offers you the opportunity to carry out two hands-on research projects at renowned research groups and encourages you to do your minor research project abroad to gain additional skills and an international perspective on your chosen specialisation.
  • Has a solid mentoring system: you discuss your study progress with the Programme Coordinator and you work under the supervision of a PhD student or post-doc from amongst our enthusiastic and international staff.
Your Background

You are eligible for this challenging programme if you hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences or Medical Biology. You must have knowledge of the pathology, physiology, and pathophysiology of organs and organ systems. You are assessed on an individual basis. In addition, study progress during the Bachelor's is of great importance.

Career in Biology Of Disease

Biology of Disease graduates often work in a clinical/hospital research environment, where questions from the clinic are being translated into model systems to study the underlying cellular or molecular cause of the disease. Communication with doctors or veterinarians is therefore of great importance. Most Biology of Disease graduates find jobs as PhD's in clinical labs, as product managers, or in the R&D department of industries. Others have found a position in the communication and education field, as policy advisor, science journalism, or staff member at HVTO (the national expert organisation Girls/women and Science/Technology).


Accredited by the NVAO - Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders.

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Biology Of Disease - Infection And Immunity
  • Biomolecular And Cellular Cardiology
  • Thrombosis And Haemostasis
  • Essentials Of Neuroscience
  • Metabolic Pathways: From Cell To Disease
  • Mechanisms Of Disease
  • Cardiovascular Immunology
For more information please visit the programme website.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score (Grade B):


    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Besides TOEFL, IELTS and CAE, also Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE - at least Grade C) is accepted as a proof of English Proficiency.This is a selective Master's. You will be considered for admission to the Master's programme Biology of Disease if you hold a University Bachelor's degree and can demonstrate:

  • In depth knowledge and insight in the field of the pathology and (patho)physiology of organs and organ systems.
  • In depth (level Bachelor's year 2 and 3) knowledge of and insight in:
1. cell pathology
    2. immunopathology,
      3. oncopathology,
        4. cardiovascular pathology.
        • Basic knowledge in biostatistics.
        • Mastery of methods and techniques (including lab skills) in the above mentioned areas.
        • High level of academic and professional ability.
        • A clear motivation and talent for participation in the programme.
        • You are able to express yourself in proficient English, both orally and in written text, as evidenced by your motivation letter and/or writing sample, and the interview that is part of the selection procedure.

        Tuition Fee

        • International Applies to you

          18690 EUR/year
          Tuition Fee
          Based on the original amount of 18690 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
        • EU/EEA Applies to you

          2060 EUR/year
          Tuition Fee
          Based on the original amount of 2060 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
        We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

        For more information about tuition fees and exemptions have a look at the programme website.

        Living costs for Utrecht

        • 900 - 1450 EUR/month
          Living Costs

        The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


        Scholarships, fellowships, and grants offered by Utrecht University, the Dutch government, and other organisations can help fund your studies at the university.  You can begin your search for funding by reviewing the list below, which contains some of the scholarships and loans available to international students:

        • Utrecht Excellence Scholarships
        • Holland Scholarships
        • Orange Tulip Scholarships
        • Canadian student loans
        • Fulbright / NAF
        • US Federal Loans
        • Erasmus+ Master loans

        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.

        The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

        Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.