About the GSLS

The Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) organises all Utrecht University Master's and PhD programmes focused on micro-organisms, plants, animals, humans, the molecules of life, and health & disease. The School combines training and education for Master's students and PhD candidates, thus incorporating theory and practice at both levels and allowing overall quality control and consistency. 

Three faculties
The GSLS is the shared responsibility of the three organising faculties: the Faculty of Medicine (University Medical Center Utrecht), the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and the Faculty of Science. This combination is unique in the Netherlands and has gained a strong international reputation in biomedical and life sciences research.

The Graduate School of Life Sciences offers 15 Master's programmes and two Postgraduate Master's programme. The goal of all programmes is to train students to become independent researchers, who function well in a multidisciplinary research environment.

The BMS (UMCU) Master's programmes:

  • Biofabrication,
  • Biology of Disease,
  • Cancer Stem Cells and Developmental Biology,
  • Epidemiology,
  • Epidemiology Postgraduate,
  • Infection and Immunity,
  • Medical Imaging,
  • Neuroscience and Cognition,
  • One Health,
  • Regenerative Medicine and Technology,
  • Toxicology and Environmental Health.

The Biosciences (Beta) Master's programmes of the Science Faculty:

  • Bio Inspired Innovation, 
  • Drug Innovation,
  • Environmental Biology,
  • Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences,
  • Science and Business Management.

Details about the different programmes can be found here. More information about the learning outcomes of the Master's programmes can be found here.

All Master’s programmes consist of 120 credits and last two years, except the Epidemiology Postgraduate Master’s programme (90 credits). The general programme scheme shows the structure of most Master’s programmes. There are multiple exceptions to the general programme scheme. The exact structure of a programme is available in the Education and Examination Regulation.

General structure of the programmes

General programme scheme master's programme

Main components
The main component includes two research projects, a major and a minor project. In addition, each programme supplies one or more specific Master’s courses. Students also attend the Life Sciences Academy that includes an introduction course, a number of seminars in the field of life sciences and professional skills and workshops focussed on personal development. Furthermore, students perform a writing assignment and each programme includes an elective component that can be used for deficiencies, additional courses or for additional research time.

The order of the curricular components is not strictly regulated. Each student makes his or her own timetable. However, all students start with an introductory week (Introducing Life Sciences, part of the the course Life Sciences Academy). Another precondition relates to the major research project, which must be performed at Utrecht University or the UMC Utrecht. The major research project is usually performed before the minor research project. For the minor project, students can choose to go elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad. Alternatively, they can choose one of the profiles offered bij the GSLS.

The Graduate School of Life Sciences offers 14 PhD programmes.

  • Biomembranes
  • Cancer, Stem Cells & Developmental Biology
  • Cardiovascular Research
  • Clinical & Experimental Neuroscience
  • Clinical & Translational Oncology
  • Computational Life Sciences
  • Drug Innovation
  • Environmental Biology
  • Epidemiology
  • Infection & Immunity
  • Medical Imaging
  • Molecular Life Sciences
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Toxicology & Environmental Health

Details about the different programmes can be found here.