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Programme of Microbiology

The Master's specialisation in Microbiology is taught at the Science Faculty. It has a course load of 120 EC* (2 years). The programme of this specialisation consists of:

  • Compulsory courses (15 EC)
  • Specialisation electives (18 EC)
  • Philosophy elective (3 EC)
  • 2  Internships (2 x 36 EC)
  • 2 Literature theses (2 x 6 EC)

Compulsory courses

  • Introduction and Orientation in Microbiology (3EC)
    We will show you around the campus, faculty and departments give a general introduction into the study program. You will hear about the history in Dutch and international microbiology followed by a science slam of the different research topics in microbiology at our university. You will also follow workshops on scientific writing, data analysis, presentation skills and data management that will facilitate your studies and research assignments throughout the Master’s period. To reflect upon your strengths and development areas, you will get an introduction into the Master’s portfolio. Last but not least, we’ll make an excursion to the world’s first microbiology museum Micropia in Amsterdam.

  • Microbial Physiology & Metabolism (3EC)
    Microbes are everywhere around us and therefore a broad field of study including – but not limited to – industrial, medical and environmental microbiology. This course will provide you with an overview on general concepts, hot topics and techniques in present-day microbiology. We will refresh and improve background knowledge of microbial cell biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, physiology and genetics. This will enable you to follow the subsequent mandatory courses in the study programme as well as prepare you for the department internships.

  • Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology (3EC)
    Microbes are the bioengineers of our earth and perform processes important for both nature and society. The focus of 'Ecological Microbiology & Biotechnology' is on the ecology of microbes and their technical application to improve waste water treatment, energy generation and food production. We will focus on biogeochemical processes in combination with the ecology of microorganisms. This will lead us to make a link from the environment in which microbes live to their application in industry.

  • Microbial Cell Structure & Function (3EC)
    Microbes have developed ingenious mechanisms to survive and propagate in different environments. The focus of the topic “Molecular Microbiology” is on the molecular basis of essential physiological processes such as gene expression, cell division, protein secretion and cell wall synthesis and the molecular mechanisms that are employed to acquire nutrients, to move, to communicate and to attach to different surfaces. Furthermore, we will elaborate on the background of advanced biochemical, biophysical and molecular genetic methods and techniques that are used to discover the molecular world of microbes.

  • Host-microbe Interactions (3EC)
    Host defense mechanisms are essential for many organisms to combat pathogenic microorganisms. The overall aim of “Host-microbe interactions” is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the host defense against pathogenic microorganisms. Apart from the recognition of microorganisms by the immune system, the focus will be on the cytokine-network and pattern recognition of non-self. The students will be able to identify areas in which our understanding of host defense is incomplete.

Specialisation electives

You can choose your specialisation electives from a list of selected courses. Examples are:

Philosophy Elective

A list of philosophy electives from which you may choose is provided.

(International) internships

At least one internship has to be performed at Radboud University or Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), whereas the other can also be done at another university in the Netherlands, abroad or in a microbiological research institute outside the university (industry, governmental or non-governmental research institute), with a senior Radboud microbiology staff member as secondary supervisor. Also, it is possible to apply for a grant to perform an internship at the Max Planck Gesellschaft, one of the world's most renowned research institutes.

Recent internship topics are:

  • Metagenomic characterization of a laboratory-scale bioreactor system that mimics wastewater treatment of the Bavaria brewery
  • Protein purification and analysis of the volcanic methanotroph Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum
  • System level analysis of immune cells upon Candida infection

See ‘Our approach to this field’ for possible research themes at Radboud University or Radboud University Medical Center.

At Radboud University, relevant departments include:

  • Department of Microbiology (Prof. Mike Jetten)
  • Department of Medical Microbiology (Prof. Heiman Wertheim, Dr. Ronald van Rij)
  • Department of Pedriatics (Dr. Marien de Jonge)
  • Departement of Internal Medicine (Prof. André van der Ven, Prof. Mihai Netea, Prof. Leo Joosten)

For suggestions, you can confer with our teaching staff or the student advisor.

* European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
The workload of an academic year is equivalent to 60 European credits (EC), where 1 EC point is 28 hours of study.