Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #101 (ARWU) ,
Do you want to contribute to the development of new therapies for metabolic, infectious and immunological diseases or cancer? The Research Master's in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease offers you a in-depth knowledge and research experience of disease-related molecular mechanisms. You will also be part of the unique research community in the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences.


The Research Master in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease (MMD) offers you an intensive two-year programme, providing you with in-depth knowledge about health-related molecular mechanisms.

You will follow a broad biomedical programme that allows you to specialise in your specific field-of-interest. In addition you will acquire skills such as academic writing & presentation skills and how to successfully apply for grants, all essential skills for future researchers

Passion for research

As an MMD student you will be part of a unique research community: the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS). Like you, the RIMLS researchers have a strong passion for research. Their enthusiasm and expertise will be there to assist you throughout the programme, allowing you to acquire thorough knowledge and develop excellent research skills contributing to the development of new therapies for metabolic, infectious and immunological diseases or cancer.

The RIMLS is one of the research institutes of the Radboud university medical center, so their research is closely linked to the clinic and continually aimed at translating results into treatments for patients. Examples include the translation of insights into the biology of antigen-presenting cells into new immunological cancer therapies and the development of gene therapies for patients with inherited blindness.

Make Connections

The small-scale intensive teaching allows students with drive, motivation and ambition to gain competence in research skills quickly. Group-oriented learning tasks in small groups of highly motivated international students give you the chance to make connections while gaining knowledge and skills you need to excel.

You will have the opportunity to have daily interactions with established researchers as part of research teams, and a personal mentor will help you plan your study programme.

International experience

This programme looks much further than the Netherlands. There are three one-week “master classes” that include international speakers. In addition, students spend the second internship in an excellent international laboratory of choice. Examples include Oxford, Harvard, Karolinska, Melbourne, Rockefeller University, Stanford School of Medicine, Barcelona.

The small student group is also truly international. Currently, students and alumni come from more than 15 countries, several of which are outside of Europe.

Programme Structure

This unique programme translates disease-related biomedical research in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology and genetics into clinical experimental research in patients. The MMD programme offers a broad and interdisciplinary approach with the opportunity for specialisation in the form of electives and internships.

Theoretical courses

The MMD programme starts with 4.5 months of theoretical courses. These courses provide a sound basis for a future career in molecular biomedical research. 

  • Introduction to Molecular Mechanisms of Disease 
  • Infection, Immunity and Regenerative Medicine
  • Immunity-related Disorders and Immunotherapy
  • Metabolism, Transport and Motion
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Cell Growth and Differentiation
  • Developmental Disorders and Malignancies
  • Genomics and Statistics
  • Science and Society

Besides theoretical knowledge, the courses focus on important skills for scientists, such as:

  • Presenting scientific data
  • Reading and writing scientific articles
  • Writing research proposals

The programme also includes three, one-week “master classes” in which enthusiastic, top-notch researchers (national and international) discuss the latest cutting-edge research.

All students can choose a number of elective courses. This will allow you to customise your programme and create a focus that meets your professional and academic interests.

Research-training periods

There are two 6-months research-training periods during the MMD programme. You will discover what a researcher really does by performing your own research projects under the supervision of experienced scientists. Students are strongly stimulated to go abroad into a laboratory of their choice for the second training-period.

The programme also encourages you to attend conferences by providing a conference budget to every student.

A mentor will guide you throughout the entire programme and will stimulate you to explore your abilities and develop general research competences, including reflection, self-management and mid-and long-term career planning.


Graduates in MMD are equipped with cutting-edge knowledge of multidisciplinary research in the mechanisms of disease and in state-of-the-art diagnostic methods and technologies. During the programme, you will develop a highly critical, independent approach to problem-solving. You will also acquire the basic management skills needed to lead R&D projects in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

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 C):


    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 a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • 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

1. Academic background

Candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with a background in life sciences such as Cell Biology, Molecular Medicine, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or Molecular Biology.

Further academic requirements include:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with results well above average.
  • A strong motivation to pursue a career in research that is related to the molecular mechanisms of disease.
  • At least two months of hands-on practical experience.

2. English proficiency

  • A TOEFL score of >=575 (paper based) or >=90 (internet based)
  • A IELTS score of >=6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    10856 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 10856 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.

Living costs for Nijmegen

  • 880 - 1400 EUR/month
    Living Costs

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


There are various scholarships available for studying at Radboud University. Please check which scholarship is applicable in your case.

Radboud Scholarship Programme

Open to talented prospective non-EEA students - the scholarship consists of a partial tuition waiver.

Orange Tulip Scholarship

Open to students from Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South-Korea, Russia and China - offers a tuition fee waiver of 6,750 euros and exemption from visa and health insurance costs.

Radboud University Medical Center Study Fund

Each academic year about 9 full scholarships are offered to our most excellent international applicants. Eligibility for a study fund scholarship depends on the interview results, the results from previous education, and (if applicable) work experience.

Fulbright-Radboud Scholarships

Open to excellent American students - the grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of 1,050 euros, international travel and the cost of the residence permit will be covered.

Sino-Dutch Bilateral Exchange Scholarship

Open to students from China - the Dutch contribution to the scholarship consist of monthly allowance 1,000 euros, international travel costs 1,400 euros, tuition/research fee 1,951 euros, it also covers the cost of visa, insurance and other.

DIKTI-Neso Scholarships

Aimed at lecturers at higher education instituations in Indonesia who wish to pursue a PhD or Master's at a university in the Netherlands. A DIKTI scholarship includes allowances for living expenses, insurance, travel costs, tuition fees and more.

Dutch Student Finance

EU/EEA students and Swiss students under 30 years of age are eligible if they are working at least 56 hours per month in the Netherlands, or have been living in the Netherlands for five years or more. Dutch student finance consists of four components: a basic grant, a supplementary grant (depending on the parental income), a student travel product, and a loan.

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.