1. Will my science degree be recognised?

You should have absolutely no problem with recognition of a science degree from a good university. If you are satisfied with the overall quality of the university and the reputation of its science department then it is unlikely that you will ever be at a disadvantage if you study science abroad.

All degrees within the European Union should be viewed equally although it is always a good idea to investigate the reputation of your chosen university.

2. Does it make sense to study science abroad?

Science degrees abroad may offer you considerably different facilities and study opportunities. It is certainly worthwhile investigating international options bearing in mind that they may not suit you as well as degrees at UK universities.

3. Science in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has produced a distinguished array of eminent mathematicians, scientists and medical researchers including sixteen Nobel-prize winners and other internationally recognised figures, from Stevin, Snel, and Huygens in the 17th century to Lorentz, Kammerlingh Onnes, Buys Ballot, De Vries, de Sitter, and Oort in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The latest Nobel Prize was awarded in October 2010 to Andre Geim who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. He is sharing the prize with Konstantin Novoselov, who earned his PhD from Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands.

Dutch students are continuously encouraged to come up with creative and innovative ideas, to think beyond conventional solutions and methodologies. It is not surprising therefore that Holland has so many well-known pioneers.

If you have a passion for research, discovery and innovation within the field of science then an English-taught programme at a Dutch University is worth considering.

4. Undergraduate opportunities to study sciences in the Netherlands

The medical and pharmaceutical industry is constantly looking for new ways to prevent and cure diseases. Plant development companies try to develop new ways to optimise the growth and production of crops. Environmental companies look for innovative solutions to environmental problems. Dedicated professionals working in laboratories all over the world are at the heart of this research. Become one of them by studying a four-year BSc in Life Sciences at HAN University of Applied Sciences!

The BSc in Applied Physics at the Universy of Groningen is a 3-year programme requires students to have a real affinity for sciences. Applied physics is at the heart of society. It forms the basis for many of the products we use in daily life. The programme has a strong interdisciplinary orientation, with an emphasis on combinations of subjects: Physics with Design Studies, Electrotechnology, Systems and Control Engineering, Energy and Environmental Studies, the Physics of Life, and Nanotechnology.

Chemistry is a broad discipline that shares common ground with many other science subjects such as physics, mathematics, astronomy and biology. If you are interested in exploring the interfaces with those subjects, you can do so with the 3-year BSc in Chemistry at the Universy of Groningen!

Will you be the chemist to put products on the market that do not harm the environment? Will you come up with ways to solve and prevent pollution?  Or would you prefer to do medical research? Then, HZ University’s Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Chemistry offers you a limitless future! The first two years introduce you to the professional field and you learn everything about general chemistry and biology. In the third year you choose between the majors 'Applied Chemistry' and 'Life Sciences'.

Countless things that we take for granted every day, such as medicines, cosmetics, paint – and, of course, food and drink – are produced by using chemical processes. The Bachelor of Process and Food Technology (PFT) programme at The Hague University of Applied Sciences will form you into one of the professionals that some of the world’s biggest multinational companies rely on to design, develop and monitor these processes.

With the 3-year BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Utrecht, you will learn how new drugs for diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s can be discovered and developed. You will learn to develop innovative drugs: from the search for new targets in diseases, the development of advanced ways of administering medicines, to the testing of new drugs in patients. To develop a new drug many disciplines come together, such as biomedical- and pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry and biology.

If you want to study Natural Sciences then Maastricht University’s Science Programme may be of interest. It is a unique programme that is based on the Liberal Arts & Sciences tradition. The degree allows you to construct a tailor-made curriculum in the natural sciences. You are encouraged to explore different subjects from a variety of science fields to shape the academic path that fits your interests and ambition. To this end, a wide variety of classes are available in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and several interdisciplinary scientific subjects.

5. Postgraduate Opportunities to Study Science in the Netherlands

What causes a disease? What can be done about obesity and diabetes? Why does one person develop depression and another does not? What are the underlying mechanisms of diseases? During the University of Groningen’s MSc in Biomedical Sciences you will learn how to find answers to these questions.

Is your passion linked to the human system? Are you interested in the workings of the brain, or would you be the one that bridges the different understandings of fundamental biological processes and health & disease in humans? The MSc in Medical Biology at Radboud University Nijmegen is unique because it is a combination of fundamental research and the translation of its findings into clinical applications. This is facilitated by close cooperation with the University Medical Centre.

University of Groningen's MSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology is mainly organized by the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) research institute. Research is primarily fundamental and curiosity-driven within two major themes: Molecular Mechanisms of Bioprocesses and Physiology, and Systems Biology.

Wageningen University’s MSc Molecular Life Sciences study programme focuses on the molecular aspects within the fields of nutrition, health, nature and the living environment. It consists of four specialisations that are based upon a unique combination of three main disciplines: Biological Chemistry, Physical Biology and Physical Chemistry.

Brain disorders, in particular neurodegenerative diseases and mental illnesses, are among the most prevalent and debilitating diseases of our time. They are typically caused by the interplay of environmental factors and genetic variation in multiple genes, which is currently being mapped by major international initiatives. Future brain research should therefore focus on integrative projects as a next step in characterizing this complex environmental/genetic interplay and in revealing how it translates into brain function and/or disease. Students of the two-year MSc in Neurosciences at VU University Amsterdam study facets of neurosciences ranging from genes to behaviour, from both fundamental and clinical perspectives. 70% of graduates go on to join a PhD programme either at VU University Amsterdam or at another academic institute in the Netherlands or abroad.

Nanotechnology is, a multidisciplinary field, specializing in structures ranging from 1 to 100 nanometres in size. This emerging new field brings together elements of traditional disciplines such as applied physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and biology. The integration and convergence of these is a key characteristic of University of Twente’s 2-year MSc in Nanotechnology.

Some thoughts from science students at Dutch universities

Diango Milner Vaas

Sam Rees


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About Study In Holland is an information service designed to assist British and Irish students in pursuing their university education in the Netherlands.

We have extensive knowledge of English-taught degrees in Holland and we also work with careers advisory services. is owned by A Star Future Ltd and is not affiliated with the Dutch government.