Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health & Life Sciences

Science for solving society’s complex problems

Science for solving society’s complex problems


New biomedical innovations in a world that is becoming ever more complex give rise to a wide range of ethical, legal and social questions and dilemmas. Is the new whooping-cough vaccine better than the old one? How can we control Q fever?

How should we implement notions of patient-centred care? What will be the impact of developments in genomics on basic health insurance? Providing the best possible answers to these questions calls for cooperation between several disciplines and actors in society, from government, industry and social institutions to consumers and patients. The Master’s programme offers the ideal opportunity to specialize in this fascinating area of research where a wide range of disciplines meet.

Accreditation programme: 'Good'
This master's programme received a ‘Good’ from the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation organization (NVAO). ‘The teaching staff is very motivated and engaged. They effectively succeed in the learning process of the students. Also the preparation for the labor market is excellent. The graduates have very good opportunities at the labor market.

The Master’s in MPA is a two-year programme worth 120 ECTS. The programme is in English unless all the participants are Dutch-speakers, in which case it will be taught in Dutch. The programme consists of the following components:

  • Compulsory courses (33 ECTS) 
  • Optional courses (12 ECTS) 
  • Science course (6 ECTS) 
  • Two internships (60 ECTS in total) 
  • Thesis (9 ECTS) 

MPA students can specialize in these areas:

  • Health & Life sciences-based Policy 
  • Health & Life sciences-based Management and Entrepreneurship 
  • Health & Life sciences-based communication 
  • International Public Health  

See specializations section for further details.

FIRST YEAR

First year students start the Master's programme with three compulsory courses, followed by a number of optional courses or a science course from another Master’s programme. They then go on to do their first-year internship. The first-year programme includes the following courses: 

Compulsory courses: 

  • Science course from other Master’s programmes (in first or second year)
  • History of Life Sciences (in first or second year)
  • Ethics (in first or second year)
  • Scientific Writing in English (in first or second year)

Optional courses:

  • Business Management in Health and Life Sciences 
  • Clinical Development and Clinical Trials 
  • Health Globalization and Human Rights 
  • Policy, Politics and Participation
  • Science & Health communication via internet 
  • Science communication through museums 
  • Science & communication 
  • Science course from other Master’s programmes
  • Disability and development 

SECOND YEAR

 

Second-year students take a combination of compulsory courses and optional courses designed to deepen knowledge of certain areas. Your choice will depend on your interests and the focus of your internship. The second-year courses are as follows: 

Compulsory courses: 

  • Science course from other Master’s programmes (in first or second year)
  • History of Life Sciences (in first or second year)
  • Ethics (in first or second year)
  • Scientific Writing in English (in first or second year)

Optional courses:

  • Containment Strategies for Infectious Diseases 
  • Interpersonal Communication 
  • Interactive Communication 
  • Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Science  
  • Science journalism

And other optional courses from the first year.

Course descriptions

Online information with respect to the programme and course module descriptions can be found in the Study Guide MPA.

Having completed the Master's programme in Management Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences, your career prospects will be very promising. They will, of course, vary depending on your chosen specialization.    

With a Policy specialization, your career opportunities will include policy preparation with a government department or a range of public health organizations, or a post as a university researcher.   

The Management and Entrepreneurship specialization will prepare you for a career at a pharmaceutical company, for example as a clinical research assistant or an advisor. You will also be in a good position to set up your own business.  

The International Public Health specialization will prepare you for a career at a university, ministry, NGO or international organization.      

See Athena Institute for more information about our research.

To obtain the annotation for a certain specialization on your Master’s degree certificate, you need to obtain at least 12 ECTS from courses specific to your chosen specialization. You are also required to write your thesis (9 ECTS) and conduct at least one of your internships (30 ECTS) within this specialization. 

You can specialize in one of these areas:

  • Health & Life Sciences-based Policy 
  • Health & Life Sciences-based Management and Entrepreneurship 
  • Health & Life sciences-based Communication 
  • International Public Health 

You also have the option of putting together your own flexible 'free choice' programme.

Health and Life Sciences-Based Policy

This specialization offers the opportunity to become an expert in the field of policy and includes the following courses:

  • Interactive Communication 
  • Policy, Politics and Participation 
  • Caput: Interactive Science and Technology Policy 
  • Caput: Knowledge Integration & Patient Participation  

Career opportunities include academic research or policy preparation within the government sector or various public health organizations. 

Health and Life Sciences-Based Management and Entrepreneurship

This specialization prepares you for a career in a pharmaceuticals company (e.g. as a clinical research assistant or advisor) or for setting up your own business. Courses include:

  • Business Management in Health and Life Sciences
  • Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences 
  • Clinical Development and Clinical Trials 
  • Caput: Criteria for Corporate Social Responsibility 
  • Caput: Success Factors in Sustainable Innovations by SME's 

International Public Health

 

This specialization has a special focus on public health from a global perspective and prepares you for a career at a university, a government department, NGO or international organization. Courses include:

  • Containment Strategies for Infectious Diseases 
  • Health Globalization and Human Rights 
  • Nutrition and Infectious Diseases 
  • Caput Institutionalizing Participatory Approaches in the South 
  • Caput Dilemmas in the Implementation of Public Health Programmes
  • Disability and development

Health and Life Sciences-Based Communication

 

This fourth specialization offers the opportunity to become an expert on the field of science communication. Courses include:

  • Science and communication 
  • Science in dialogue
  • Science Journalism 
  • Science communication through museums 
  • Science and health Communication via internet 

Communication specialization (Science Communication)

Unique focus 
The Master's in Management Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences is unique in its focus. Innovations and developments in the fields of Health and Life Sciences give rise to complex social issues. This Master's programme concentrates on the scientific aspects of integrating different areas of knowledge and on developing effective policies, taking the right decisions and motivating and managing the professionals who work in this sector.  

Additional expertise 
During the Master's programme students with a Bachelor's in Health and Life Sciences obtain additional expertise in the fields of policy and management. Students can specialize in four areas of application: Policy, Management & Entrepreneurship, International Public Health and communication. The courses are provided by experienced professors, specialist tutors and fascinating guest lecturers, all of whom connect theory to practice.  

An outstanding institute 
The Master's programme is run by the Athena Institute, which has been conducting excellent research in this field at national and international level for many years. Your internships will present you with an outstanding opportunity for learning and working thanks to the institute’s numerous contacts in the Netherlands and abroad.

Sabahattin Toprak

Student

"As a future entrepreneur, I am eager to make a positive contribution to the medical world. In the Master's in Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences, I have found a programme that will train me to achieve my ambitions."

Overview Management, Policy-Analysis & Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences

Language of instruction

English

Duration

2 years

Application deadline

1 June for Dutch students. 1 April for EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.* * EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam University Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

Health & Life Sciences-based Policy / Health & Life Sciences-based Management and Entrepreneurship / International Public Health

Admission requirements

Field of Interest

Health and Movement

Sjoerd Balk

Student

"After finishing my three-year Bachelor's programme in Biomedical Sciences, I started the MPA Master's with the aim of broadening my scope to include other fields of research. As I was especially interested in the Management and Entrepreneurship courses, I decided to look for external internships, which resulted in a second internship at Merck, Sharp & Dome in Haarlem. I'm currently working on a company project involving clinical trials. My research project should improve MSD's company strategy."

First-year internship (30 ECTS) 
Your first-year internship will usually involve working at a scientific research group, a policy-preparation authority (e.g. RIVM, Health Council), in the government sector or at a Third World relief agency. To guarantee the academic quality of your internship, your direct mentor must be linked to an academic institution.  
  
Second-year internship (30 ECTS) 
Your second-year internship will take the form of a work placement in one of several organizations, for example in the field of interactive policymaking. Your direct mentor need not be linked to an academic institution; you yourself are responsible for academic quality, which you will, therefore, be assessed on. 
  
Extending your placement 
The Examination Board may permit you to use the time normally reserved for optional courses (no more than 6 ECTS) to extend a period of work placement. However, you must submit a well-motivated written request to the Examination Board at least 8 weeks before the end of your research project. 
  
Finding an internship 
You can make an appointment with the internship coordinator to discuss which internship would suit your interests and ambitions best and to assess the available options. She can also provide useful information for your research project or Master’s thesis. 
Contact Anna van Luijn 
T: +31 (0)20 5987031 
E-mail: anna.van.luijn@falw.vu.nl      
   
A selection of the MPA internships 
Some personal accounts of internships (in Dutch)

Kelsey Sibley

Kelsey Sibley (USA)
"I was originally drawn to studying at the Vrije Universiteit because of a unique degree that is offered there, the MSc in Management, Policy Analysis, & Entrepreneurship in Health Sciences. Most degrees only focus upon one subject, but MPA is a multi-disciplinary degree that prepares you for a career in a broad assortment of areas. This is important because the world is becoming increasingly connected and one needs to be able to apply critical thinking and knowledge to various interrelated topics. Beyond the content of the degree, I was also drawn to the supportive MPA team at the VU who worked tirelessly to answer my (many) questions and even nominated me for a VU Fellowship (which I gratefully received). Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to do this challenging, yet exciting, study at a world-renowned university. Best of all, my study coordinators helped me get access to an internship that many people dream to have: interning at Heineken International in Amsterdam and getting to travel abroad! I can say with certainty that earning my MPA degree at the Vrije Universiteit has opened many doors for me, introduced me to life-long friends, and set me on a path for success."

Dutch Students

Specific admission requirements for the MSc Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences programme:

You qualify for admission to the Master's in Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences if you hold a Bachelor's degree in:

  • Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Medical Natural Sciences
  • Medical Informatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in another subject, you are still welcome to apply. In that case your application will be assessed by the Admissions Board.

You should also have a basic knowledge of policy and management processes. You can obtain a grounding in this area by completing a self-study package supplied by the programme.

Contact

In case you wish to contact the Master's coordinator for information or advice you need to know that no rights can be derived from the reply given by the coordinator regarding your admission. Only with the “admission email” you will be officially notified about your conditional or unconditional admission.

Language Requirements

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also requires all applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Please be aware of the fact that it can take a long time to receive the results of English proficiency tests, so plan your test on time! In case you haven’t taken a test yet, we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Deadlines for submitting the test results are as follows:

Students who require a visa: June 1

Students who do not require a visa: August 30

Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences programme:

IELTS (academic):

· Minimum Overall Band Score 6.5

TOEFL:

· Paper-based test 580

· Internet-based test 92

Cambridge English:

· Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

· Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C

Please refer to the Language Requirements webpage for the general requirements regarding language proficiency.

Copies of your English test results can be sent to the following addresses: 
•    For Dutch degree holders: toelating.beta@vu.nl 
•    For non-Dutch degree holders: admissionsfels@vu.nl

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the master coordinator.

VU University Amsterdam 
Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences 
Anna van Luijn, Msc. 
De Boelelaan 1085, room U-551 
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T: +31 (0)20 598 6947 
E: a.van.luijn@vu.nl

International students

Admission is based on a strict selection procedure. The Faculty’s Admission Board will decide upon your admission after having evaluated your complete online application. 

In order to gain admission to one of our Master’s programmes, you will need to have at least a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting to a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent. We do not require a GRE or GMAT test score.

Specific admission requirements for the MSc Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences programme:

You qualify for admission to the Master's in Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences if you hold a Bachelor's degree in:

  • Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Medical Natural Sciences
  • Medical Informatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences

If you have a Bachelor of Science degree in another subject, you are still welcome to apply. In that case your application will be assessed by the Admissions Board.

You should also have a basic knowledge of policy and management processes. You can obtain a grounding in this area by completing a self-study package supplied by the programme.

Contact

In case you wish to contact the Master's coordinator for information or advice you need to know that no rights can be derived from the reply given by the coordinator regarding your admission. Only with the “admission email” you will be officially notified about your conditional or unconditional admission.

Language Requirements

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam also requires all applicants to take an English test. You can, however, begin your application without having the test results. Please be aware of the fact that it can take a long time to receive the results of English proficiency tests, so plan your test on time! In case you haven’t taken a test yet, we advise you to plan a test date as soon as possible. Deadlines for submitting the test results are as follows:

Students who require a visa: June 1

Students who do not require a visa: August 30

Below you will find the minimum English test scores for the Management, Policy Analysis and Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences programme:

IELTS (academic):

· Minimum Overall Band Score 6.5

TOEFL:

· Paper-based test 580

· Internet-based test 92

Cambridge English:

· Cambridge Advanced Exam A, B, C

· Cambridge Proficiency Exam A, B, C

Please refer to the Language Requirements webpage for the general requirements regarding language proficiency.

Copies of your English test results can be sent to the following addresses: 
•    For Dutch degree holders: toelating.beta@vu.nl 
•    For non-Dutch degree holders: admissionsfels@vu.nl

If you have read the admission criteria  and feel you are eligible for admission, please take the following steps to submit your application. Note that the initial application procedure is fully online and that scans of your relevant documents are required.

Step 1: Meet admission criteria

Step 2: Prepare documents and apply online

Please prepare the following documents. You can find an explanation of each document on the application page. All documents should be provided in English.

  • Copy of your valid passport or ID (only for EU residents)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Transcript (Provide a certified translation if it is not in English)
  • A description of the relevant courses you have taken during your previous higher education
  • A list of all the main literature used during your previous higher education
  • Thesis (or another sample of academic writing, at least 5 pages plus a list of used literature)
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

After having prepared the required documents, please follow the online application procedure. Once you have completed the application, our international student advisors will contact you via email.

Step 3: Await decision on admission

The admission board will review your application as soon as it is complete. Normally this takes about four weeks, but it might take longer in busy periods so be sure to apply as soon as possible. If you are admitted, you will receive a letter of conditional admission by email. You can start planning your move to Amsterdam!

Step 4: Finalize your registration and move to Amsterdam!

Make sure to finalize your registration as a student before the start of the programme. Here you will find an explanation about what to do after admission. When all conditions of your admission have been met, you will be ready to start your programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam!

You can read more about practical matters and starting your studies in the Netherlands in our ‘Getting Started’ guide.

Further information is also available about:

Scholarships
Accommodation
Visa
Tuition fees

Contact for International Students
For detailed questions about the Master’s programmes or the application procedure, contact your International Student Advisor at the International Office:

Sandra van Daalen
T: +31 (0)20 59 87459
E: admissionsfels@vu.nl

There are several possibilities for obtaining funding. VU University Amsterdam, the Dutch government and other organisations offer scholarships, fellowships and grants.

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the master coordinator.

VU University Amsterdam 
Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences 
Anna van Luijn, Msc. 
De Boelelaan 1085, room U-551 
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T: +31 (0)20 598 6947 
E: a.van.luijn@vu.nl

For questions regarding your application, registration or general inquiries, please contact the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences International Student Advisor: 

Sandra van Daalen 
T: +31 (0)20 59 87459 
E: admissionsfels@vu.nl 

General information about VU University Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 59 85000 (Monday-Friday 10:00 to 12:00). You may also email us at study@vu.nl.