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What will I learn?

Do you have a clear and specific interest in cancer, stem cells or developmental biology? Our Master’s programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology combines research in three areas: oncology, molecular developmental biology and genetics. The focus is on molecular and cellular aspects of development and disease, utilizing 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.

The right choice for you?

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, Stem Cells and Developmental 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 the Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology 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

Career in Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental 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 specialized knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
€20,473.00 (16,72,631) per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


Utrecht University

Heidelberglaan 8,

Utrecht Science Park / De Uithof,


3584, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

MSc Track: Knowledge/ competence in the field of European law and a bachelor degree in Economics or sufficient knowledge of economics including knowledge/competence in the fields of: Microeconomics; Mathematics; Industrial organization and Competition Policy; Corporate Finance; Econometrics or Advanced Statistics. English language requirements: IELTS, Academic Module. Minimum score: 7.0 overall band, at least 6.0 for all components. TOEFL, iBT. Minimum score: 96, at least 23 for writing and 20 for the other sections. Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

For international students

You will be considered for admission to the Master's programme Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology if you hold a bachelor degree of University and can demonstrate: In depth knowledge and insight in the field of molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, metabolism, physiology and signal transduction. (Level Bachelor year 2 and 3); Basic knowledge of biostatistics. Mastery of methods and techniques in the above mentioned areas. High level of academic and professional ability. Bachelor programs that most likely meet the requirements are: Biology; Biomedical Sciences; Life Sciences; Biochemistry; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Other relevant science programme.

Other English language requirements: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, at least a B grade; Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, at least a C grade.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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