• Application Deadline
  • 24 months


This programme, commonly referred to as the Internuniversity Programme in Molecular Biology (IPMB), is jointly organised by KU Leuven, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universiteit Antwerpen.

IPMB is endorsed and supported as an international programme by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UDC). Although originally designed to meet the needs of students from developing countries, the programme also welcomes non-traditional and reorienting student seeking to enter the fascinating world of molecular biology. Erasmus-Socrates students studying at one of the organising universities for one or two semesters are also most welcome to attend classes and acquire laboratory skills.

Students are awarded a joint degree from the participating institutions.

Programme outline

The IPMB is organised over two academic years. In view of the diverse background of its students, the first year consists of in-depth courses covering the most important topics in molecular biology. By the end of the first year, you will have obtained the level of knowledge required to take succesfully part in the advanced, specialisation courses of the second year.

Intensive laboratory training will prepare you to embark on the preparation of your thesis, which you will complete in the second year along with four advanced courses followed by three specialisation courses in the field of either human health, animal production or plant production. Much attention is also paid to the preparation and writing of the thesis, which is an original research project completed under the guidance of a supervisor and defended in public.

Career perspectives

IPMB graduates find employment in universities, hospitals, private and governmental research laboratories and patenting bureaus, as lecturers, consultants and advisors to policy makers, among other careers. Many graduates go on to begin PhD programmes in Belgium or abroad. Students from developing countries can apply for a VLIR-UOS sandwich PhD scholarship. Flemish students can apply for a PhD scholarship of VLIR-UOS to make a PhD on developmental relevant topics.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

Common Core 1
  •  Analytical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Plant Molecular Biology
  • Research Rotations I and II
  • Immunology
  • Research Communication Skills
  • Genetics and Genetic Engineering

Common Core 2

  • Micro- and Nanobiotechnology
  • Global Biotechnology Challenges
  • Project Writing and Management


Biotechnology for Global Health

  • Molecular Parasitology
  • Vaccine Technology
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • + Electives

Agro- and Plant Biotechnology

  • Plant Disease Biology and Management
  • Applied Biotechnology in Livestock Production
  • + Electives


  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Experimental Research Skills
  • High Throughput Techniques
  • Bioinformatics and Omics
  • Molecular Pharmacology
  • Cell Biology and Cell Signaling

Master's Thesis

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

  • This programme does not recognise GRE® scores.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Holders of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree awarded by a Flemish university in one of the following disciplines are eligible for direct admission to the programme: bioengineering sciences; biochemistry and biotechnology; biology; biomedical sciences. For other Flemish diplomas in a related discipline, admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file.

For holders of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree awarded by a non-Flemish university in one of the above disciplines, admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file.

For more information, please visit www.vub.ac.be/en/study/molecular-biology/

Tuition Fee

  • International

    938 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    938 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

University logo
Molecular Biology
Visit programme website

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?