Aim, Learning outcomes and Labels

The Graduate School of Life Sciences aims to provide future scientists the knowledge, skills and insight they will need to take on top research positions around the world. Graduates will have had a sound academic training and gained a thorough insight into the role played by the life sciences in today’s society.

The academic training covers general professional skills (academic standards of work), reporting and presentation skills, practical skills and science-based professional skills (scientific discipline(s), research experience, how to access scientific knowledge, and problem-specific applications). The core issue of the programme is learning to perform independent research. The GSLS also offers students an opportunity to follow specific profiles for career training in the area of science management, the drug regulatory field, or science education and communication.

The GSLS strongly encourages students to supplement part of their Master’s programme with a course or project offered by another graduate school, university, institute or company, either in the Netherlands, Europe or overseas.

The School aims to deliver outstanding independent researchers in the field of Life Sciences. These researchers will be familiar with the latest developments in their field and be able to develop this scientific field further on the basis of scientific and socially relevant questions and challenges. Every Master’s graduate should, in principle, be able to qualify for a PhD position and preferably also have ambitions to pursue a career in scientific research. To achieve this goal, the School supplies advanced research-intensive education in which education and research go hand in hand. An important underlying principle here is to ensure that students benefit optimally from the presence of top research and top researchers.
These objectives have been stated in terms of the learning outcomes below, which correspond to the widely used Dublin descriptors for Master’s programmes. The descriptors have been stated in terms specific to the entire field of Life Sciences. The individual Master’s programmes at the GSLS elaborate these School-wide learning objectives further at the programme level.

Knowledge and insights.

Graduates of the GSLS:

  • will be able, with the knowledge of at least one of the specialised subjects of Life Sciences, to make a substantial contribution to the development and/or application of scientific concepts and methods, often in a research context;
  • will be able to overview the important, recent developments within the Life Sciences and to point out the implications of these developments on the Life Sciences field and society;
  • will be able to adequately use and interpret specialist literature in at least one of the subjects of Life Sciences.

Apply knowledge and insights 

Graduates of the GSLS:

  • will be able to translate a Life Sciences problem into a relevant research question or approach, suitable for research development, product development, education or society;
  • will be able to design a suitable research plan to test the formulated research questions, according to methodological and scientific standards;
  • will be able to independently perform research, with the required accuracy. Graduates are able to handle, analyse, interpret and evaluate the empirically derived data in a correct manner;


Graduates of the GSLS: 

  • will be able to discuss the outcomes of empirical research and to link them with scientific theories;
  • will be able to indicate the importance of research activities for solving a biomedical question or problem, if applicable from a social perspective;
  • will be able to critically reflect on their own research work in Life Sciences, from a social perspective;


Graduates of the GSLS:

  • will be able to comprehensibly report research results verbally and in writing, to specialised and non-specialised audiences in an international context;
  • will function effectively in a multidisciplinary research team

Learning skills 

Graduates of the GSLS:

  • will have the skills to reflect on their own development and study career, and, if necessary, to motivate themselves and make any necessary adjustments;
  • will have the skills to function independently and result-oriented in a competitive labour market;
  • will have the qualification to be eligible for a PhD position or a position in another sector of the labour market.

The Master’s programmes are part of accredited degrees registered with the Central Register for Training in Higher Education (CROHO) which have their own CROHO labels. A number of programmes can be followed using different degrees and therefore have several labels. The table below gives an overview of the programmes and the associated CROHO labels. The CROHO label will be presented on your diploma, together with your Master’s programme.

Overview master's programmes with starting dates

10 Only the part-time programme of the Master’s programme Epidemiology Postgraduate has a start moment in February