Taught course

Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology

Utrecht University · Life Sciences

Entry requirements

To apply for our Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology programme, you must have thorough basic knowledge of molecular biology, cell biology, metabolism and signal transduction. We look for students with ambition in research and high GPA scores.

Read more on admission and application

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

Cell-to-cell signalling in development and disease

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, utilising 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, signalling 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.

Read more on the study programme

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

Read more on why in Utrecht

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 specialised knowledge of developmental biology. You’ll find your way to biotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry or education.

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Information for international students

For more information visit our website.

Fees and funding

UK students
Statutory fee - fulltime 2017-2018: € 2,006 (NL/EU)
International students
Institutional fee 2017-2018: € 18,201 (non EU/EEA)

Read more about Tuition Fees and Financial Support on our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Dr Joost Koedam