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Dive deeper into the world of chemistry

Choose the path to your future in chemistry

To complete your Master’s, you will choose a specific track, according to your future ambitions: Analytical Sciences, Science for Energy and Sustainability, or Molecular Sciences. Each track includes compulsory courses and optional courses.

1. Analytical Sciences focuses on finding and determining presence and compositions of chemical compounds in substrates. For example, for drug tests in hospital labs, blood-alcohol tests or blood-glucose sensors. But your skills are also in demand for industry work, making safer and more durable car paints, advancements in the petrochemical industry, etc.

2. Science for Energy and Sustainability focuses on creating a more resilient and sustainable world through chemistry. You will explore ways to capture phosphorus in the ground or CO2 in the air. This requires a look at climate, but also at how to create durable, biodegradable plastics that require much less energy to produce.

3. Molecular Sciences is the fundamental chemistry track, and is very broad. Here, you will immerse yourself in the topics that interest you, like synthesis and catalysis, or in theoretical chemistry, computational chemistry, new material creation, photonics and more.

If you’re interested in the theory and research, but also want to apply it in other areas, the Chemistry Master’s programme offers three specialisations ('major') in the second year: Teaching, Science in Society and Science Communication. Declaring a major is optional, not obligatory.

If you complete your Teaching major, you will be well prepared for a role as a top-notch high school chemistry teacher. The Science in Society major provides you with experience translating chemical knowledge into governmental and regional policies. So you’ll be prepared for careers in policy-making, politics or as a patent attorney. The Science Communication major will give you the skills to communicate chemical knowledge to larger audiences. Many students who finish this major work as journalists, reviewers, spokespeople or consultants.

Regardless of your choice, you will graduate with a Master Chemistry degree, which ensures a high level of chemistry knowledge and skills. These will be useful for either a career in science or elsewhere.

The start dates of this programme are September 1st and February 1st.

1st year

In your first year, you will choose a specific research track, according to your future ambitions:

  • Analytical Sciences
  • Molecular Sciences
  • Science for Energy and Sustainability

If you don't want to continue doing research in your second year, you will complete your research in one of these areas with a small research project at the end of the first year. In this way, you can continue in one of the societal specialisations in your second year.

All the information about courses, you can find in the study guide of UvA.

Summary

In the Analytical Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme, you will focus purely on aspects of analytical chemistry, such as modern analytical techniques, general analysis concepts and strategies and various application fields.

Analytical chemistry plays a crucial role in many areas of science and society. Chemical compounds in a variety of materials and environments must be identified and quantified for the development of new pharmaceuticals, the unravelling of complex biological systems or the design of new sustainable materials and chemical processes.

Analytical chemistry provides the methods and techniques that make this possible. Its impact is not restricted to chemistry alone: progress in medicine, biology, and environmental and material sciences is also strongly dependent on the availability of new analytical tools.

Analytical Sciences at VU Amsterdam and UvA is unique in the Netherlands, in that it focuses purely on all aspects of analytical chemistry - a specialisation for which there is currently a great demand in the labour market. It covers a large range of modern analytical techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and laser-based approaches. It covers general concepts and strategies for analysis, from sampling to data treatment. And it explores various application fields, such as biochemical, industrial, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis.

This track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis. Courses are given by researchers at VU Amsterdam’s research department Environment & Health, where well-known research is being done on subjects like microplastics, endocrine disruptors and PFAS.

Summary

Understanding how molecules function is one of the most important worldwide challenges in chemistry. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry and theoretical chemistry are the foundations for a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and performance. This field offers society the molecules and materials we need for our health, transportation, energy, agriculture and communication. 

The Molecular Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme covers areas that traditionally are associated with organic and inorganic chemistry, catalysis, physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry.

You should choose this track if you are interested in using the molecule as the starting point for gaining fundamental insights about materials and chemical, biological and physical processes. In Molecular Sciences, you will move from understanding chemical and physical processes to predicting and controlling them. You will apply your knowledge and skills in areas of fundamental importance to society, such as energy, sustainability, health and materials sciences.

This track allows you to become an expert in designing new compounds with specific properties, often with the aid of computational methods, devising efficient methods for the synthesis of new compounds, developing clean and selective catalysts using the interaction of light and matter to observe and control chemical and physical processes, and developing and applying methods in computational and theoretical chemistry in research of structure, dynamics and function in atomic, (bio)molecular and multi-scale systems.

The programme is embedded in various leading national and international research institutes, such as the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences at the VU, the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM, part of CECAM) and the LaserLab Amsterdam (part of LaserLab Europe). These collaborations provide you with direct access to a broad pool of experts in relevant fields of study.

Summary

Science for Energy and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary track within the Master’s programmes Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, both joint degrees of VU and UvA. It combines fundamental scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations.

The programme allows for a very flexible curriculum, consisting of mostly chemistry or additional physics or business courses. As such, it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as bio-based economy, green chemistry, photophysical and photochemical energy conversion, renewable energy technologies and biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

You should choose this track if you are interested in sustainable chemistry and catalysis, or if you want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges of the future. You will learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently. You will study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field. If you want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current, pressing global challenges in energy, climate and sustainability, this track is for you.

Science for Energy and Sustainability is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge research on the energy transition and sustainability. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

  • Analytical Sciences

    Summary

    In the Analytical Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme, you will focus purely on aspects of analytical chemistry, such as modern analytical techniques, general analysis concepts and strategies and various application fields.

    Analytical chemistry plays a crucial role in many areas of science and society. Chemical compounds in a variety of materials and environments must be identified and quantified for the development of new pharmaceuticals, the unravelling of complex biological systems or the design of new sustainable materials and chemical processes.

    Analytical chemistry provides the methods and techniques that make this possible. Its impact is not restricted to chemistry alone: progress in medicine, biology, and environmental and material sciences is also strongly dependent on the availability of new analytical tools.

    Analytical Sciences at VU Amsterdam and UvA is unique in the Netherlands, in that it focuses purely on all aspects of analytical chemistry - a specialisation for which there is currently a great demand in the labour market. It covers a large range of modern analytical techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and laser-based approaches. It covers general concepts and strategies for analysis, from sampling to data treatment. And it explores various application fields, such as biochemical, industrial, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis.

    This track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis. Courses are given by researchers at VU Amsterdam’s research department Environment & Health, where well-known research is being done on subjects like microplastics, endocrine disruptors and PFAS.

  • Molecular Sciences

    Summary

    Understanding how molecules function is one of the most important worldwide challenges in chemistry. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry and theoretical chemistry are the foundations for a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and performance. This field offers society the molecules and materials we need for our health, transportation, energy, agriculture and communication. 

    The Molecular Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme covers areas that traditionally are associated with organic and inorganic chemistry, catalysis, physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry.

    You should choose this track if you are interested in using the molecule as the starting point for gaining fundamental insights about materials and chemical, biological and physical processes. In Molecular Sciences, you will move from understanding chemical and physical processes to predicting and controlling them. You will apply your knowledge and skills in areas of fundamental importance to society, such as energy, sustainability, health and materials sciences.

    This track allows you to become an expert in designing new compounds with specific properties, often with the aid of computational methods, devising efficient methods for the synthesis of new compounds, developing clean and selective catalysts using the interaction of light and matter to observe and control chemical and physical processes, and developing and applying methods in computational and theoretical chemistry in research of structure, dynamics and function in atomic, (bio)molecular and multi-scale systems.

    The programme is embedded in various leading national and international research institutes, such as the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences at the VU, the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM, part of CECAM) and the LaserLab Amsterdam (part of LaserLab Europe). These collaborations provide you with direct access to a broad pool of experts in relevant fields of study.

  • Science for Energy and Sustainability

    Summary

    Science for Energy and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary track within the Master’s programmes Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, both joint degrees of VU and UvA. It combines fundamental scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations.

    The programme allows for a very flexible curriculum, consisting of mostly chemistry or additional physics or business courses. As such, it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as bio-based economy, green chemistry, photophysical and photochemical energy conversion, renewable energy technologies and biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

    You should choose this track if you are interested in sustainable chemistry and catalysis, or if you want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges of the future. You will learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently. You will study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field. If you want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current, pressing global challenges in energy, climate and sustainability, this track is for you.

    Science for Energy and Sustainability is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge research on the energy transition and sustainability. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

2nd year

Do you love doing research?
In your second year, you will continue in your chosen research track: Analytical Sciences, Molecular Sciences, or Science for Energy and Sustainability. All three research tracks conclude with a literature study and research project. You will conduct this project either in a VU or UvA research group, or at another university, research institute or company. The project culminates in a Master’s thesis and the presentation of your research results during a public colloquium.

Are you more interested in scientific journalism, entrepreneurship or teaching?
You can change the scope of your Chemistry Master's programme by choosing a societal specialisation ('major'). Choose Science in Society or Science Communication to develop skills that bridge the gap between science and society. Or focus on education (only in Dutch) and receive a teaching certification for secondary education.

Summary

In the Analytical Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme, you will focus purely on aspects of analytical chemistry, such as modern analytical techniques, general analysis concepts and strategies and various application fields.

Analytical chemistry plays a crucial role in many areas of science and society. Chemical compounds in a variety of materials and environments must be identified and quantified for the development of new pharmaceuticals, the unravelling of complex biological systems or the design of new sustainable materials and chemical processes.

Analytical chemistry provides the methods and techniques that make this possible. Its impact is not restricted to chemistry alone: progress in medicine, biology, and environmental and material sciences is also strongly dependent on the availability of new analytical tools.

Analytical Sciences at VU Amsterdam and UvA is unique in the Netherlands, in that it focuses purely on all aspects of analytical chemistry - a specialisation for which there is currently a great demand in the labour market. It covers a large range of modern analytical techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and laser-based approaches. It covers general concepts and strategies for analysis, from sampling to data treatment. And it explores various application fields, such as biochemical, industrial, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis.

This track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis. Courses are given by researchers at VU Amsterdam’s research department Environment & Health, where well-known research is being done on subjects like microplastics, endocrine disruptors and PFAS.

Summary

Understanding how molecules function is one of the most important worldwide challenges in chemistry. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry and theoretical chemistry are the foundations for a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and performance. This field offers society the molecules and materials we need for our health, transportation, energy, agriculture and communication. 

The Molecular Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme covers areas that traditionally are associated with organic and inorganic chemistry, catalysis, physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry.

You should choose this track if you are interested in using the molecule as the starting point for gaining fundamental insights about materials and chemical, biological and physical processes. In Molecular Sciences, you will move from understanding chemical and physical processes to predicting and controlling them. You will apply your knowledge and skills in areas of fundamental importance to society, such as energy, sustainability, health and materials sciences.

This track allows you to become an expert in designing new compounds with specific properties, often with the aid of computational methods, devising efficient methods for the synthesis of new compounds, developing clean and selective catalysts using the interaction of light and matter to observe and control chemical and physical processes, and developing and applying methods in computational and theoretical chemistry in research of structure, dynamics and function in atomic, (bio)molecular and multi-scale systems.

The programme is embedded in various leading national and international research institutes, such as the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences at the VU, the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM, part of CECAM) and the LaserLab Amsterdam (part of LaserLab Europe). These collaborations provide you with direct access to a broad pool of experts in relevant fields of study.

Summary

Science for Energy and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary track within the Master’s programmes Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, both joint degrees of VU and UvA. It combines fundamental scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations.

The programme allows for a very flexible curriculum, consisting of mostly chemistry or additional physics or business courses. As such, it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as bio-based economy, green chemistry, photophysical and photochemical energy conversion, renewable energy technologies and biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

You should choose this track if you are interested in sustainable chemistry and catalysis, or if you want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges of the future. You will learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently. You will study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field. If you want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current, pressing global challenges in energy, climate and sustainability, this track is for you.

Science for Energy and Sustainability is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge research on the energy transition and sustainability. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

Summary

Bridge the gap between science and society

There is an urgent need for professionals with an academic background in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy, management and entrepreneurship. The Science in Society specialisation prepares you for working, for instance, as a consultant, policymaker, researcher or entrepreneur at the interface of science, technology and society. It provides you with tools and strategies for understanding and addressing complex societal problems related to scientific, technological or medical developments. 

During the specialisation, you will learn to analyse and create policy advisory reports and to improve on aspects of management such as leadership styles and motivation techniques. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The Science in Society specialisation teaches you how to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems. 

During the first semester, you will follow three compulsory courses:

  • Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC)
  • Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC)
  • Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC).

You will also choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total). You can find an overview of all elective courses you can choose from here

During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses to professional practice (30 EC).

Please register for your Science in Society courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

Summary

Bridge the gap between science and society

Many of the societal challenges that require research and innovation cannot be addressed by scientists alone. And at a time when ‘the facts’ are being questioned, scientists need to engage with the public more openly. Take, for instance, public health issues like the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists conduct numerous studies on the best preventive measures, but those measures need to be understood and adopted by the public in order to be effective. And when it comes to climate change, many members of the public are still resistant to believing the scientific data, which makes them reluctant to change their behaviour in ways that protect the environment. On these and other issues, how can scientists engage with members of the public in thoughtful and productive ways? 

This specialisation provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience to help shape meaningful conversations about science in public. You will not only learn how to inform and educate the public about science, but you will also learn how to engage the public in addressing societal issues together with scientists and innovators. After completing this specialisation, you will have an in-demand skills set. You can work, for instance, as a science journalist at a newspaper, a communications advisor at a biomedical company, a content manager at a science museum, or as a public relations manager at an environmental organisation. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The Science Communication specialisation immerses you in the world of science communication through five courses and an internship. During the first semester, you will to follow two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC) and Science and Communication (6 EC). You will also choose (at least) two out of three elective courses in science communication (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC) and Science Museology (6 EC). The third course is an elective. This could be an elective course from your Master’s programme. Visit Studiegids for an overview of elective courses of your Master's programme.

During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses (30 EC). You can choose between a reflective practice internship (only if you follow this specialisation in the second year of your master’s programme) or a research internship. With a reflective practice internship, you will work at a science communication company and apply the knowledge you have acquired to professional practice (21 EC). You will also write a reflection on professional practice (9 EC). If you choose a research internship, you will conduct research in the field of science communication.

Please register for your Science Communication courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

Summary

Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

Second year

What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines courses

  • Analytical Sciences

    Summary

    In the Analytical Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme, you will focus purely on aspects of analytical chemistry, such as modern analytical techniques, general analysis concepts and strategies and various application fields.

    Analytical chemistry plays a crucial role in many areas of science and society. Chemical compounds in a variety of materials and environments must be identified and quantified for the development of new pharmaceuticals, the unravelling of complex biological systems or the design of new sustainable materials and chemical processes.

    Analytical chemistry provides the methods and techniques that make this possible. Its impact is not restricted to chemistry alone: progress in medicine, biology, and environmental and material sciences is also strongly dependent on the availability of new analytical tools.

    Analytical Sciences at VU Amsterdam and UvA is unique in the Netherlands, in that it focuses purely on all aspects of analytical chemistry - a specialisation for which there is currently a great demand in the labour market. It covers a large range of modern analytical techniques, such as chromatography, mass spectrometry, spectroscopy and laser-based approaches. It covers general concepts and strategies for analysis, from sampling to data treatment. And it explores various application fields, such as biochemical, industrial, pharmaceutical and forensic analysis.

    This track also offers the possibility to focus specifically on environmental chemistry and analysis. Courses are given by researchers at VU Amsterdam’s research department Environment & Health, where well-known research is being done on subjects like microplastics, endocrine disruptors and PFAS.

  • Molecular Sciences

    Summary

    Understanding how molecules function is one of the most important worldwide challenges in chemistry. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, organometallic chemistry and theoretical chemistry are the foundations for a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and performance. This field offers society the molecules and materials we need for our health, transportation, energy, agriculture and communication. 

    The Molecular Sciences track of the Chemistry Master’s programme covers areas that traditionally are associated with organic and inorganic chemistry, catalysis, physical chemistry and theoretical chemistry.

    You should choose this track if you are interested in using the molecule as the starting point for gaining fundamental insights about materials and chemical, biological and physical processes. In Molecular Sciences, you will move from understanding chemical and physical processes to predicting and controlling them. You will apply your knowledge and skills in areas of fundamental importance to society, such as energy, sustainability, health and materials sciences.

    This track allows you to become an expert in designing new compounds with specific properties, often with the aid of computational methods, devising efficient methods for the synthesis of new compounds, developing clean and selective catalysts using the interaction of light and matter to observe and control chemical and physical processes, and developing and applying methods in computational and theoretical chemistry in research of structure, dynamics and function in atomic, (bio)molecular and multi-scale systems.

    The programme is embedded in various leading national and international research institutes, such as the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences at the VU, the Research Priority Area Sustainable Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Center for Multiscale Modeling (ACMM, part of CECAM) and the LaserLab Amsterdam (part of LaserLab Europe). These collaborations provide you with direct access to a broad pool of experts in relevant fields of study.

  • Science for Energy and Sustainability

    Summary

    Science for Energy and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary track within the Master’s programmes Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy, both joint degrees of VU and UvA. It combines fundamental scientific research with the analysis of societal issues, business models and government regulations.

    The programme allows for a very flexible curriculum, consisting of mostly chemistry or additional physics or business courses. As such, it covers a broad area of hot topics, such as bio-based economy, green chemistry, photophysical and photochemical energy conversion, renewable energy technologies and biosolar cells and catalysis for sustainable synthesis and energy conversion.

    You should choose this track if you are interested in sustainable chemistry and catalysis, or if you want to become (more) aware of the scientific, technological and societal challenges of the future. You will learn how to advance renewable energy resources, promote sustainable development, and use resources more efficiently. You will study the development of technological solutions to global energy and sustainability problems, as well as the societal context of global developments in this field. If you want to pursue a career that focuses on developing sustainable solutions to our current, pressing global challenges in energy, climate and sustainability, this track is for you.

    Science for Energy and Sustainability is an outward-looking programme, geared towards the cutting edge research on the energy transition and sustainability. It gives you the skills and knowledge to move from understanding the state-of-the-art, to actually developing new sustainable technologies that can be implemented in society.

  • Science in Society

    Summary

    Bridge the gap between science and society

    There is an urgent need for professionals with an academic background in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy, management and entrepreneurship. The Science in Society specialisation prepares you for working, for instance, as a consultant, policymaker, researcher or entrepreneur at the interface of science, technology and society. It provides you with tools and strategies for understanding and addressing complex societal problems related to scientific, technological or medical developments. 

    During the specialisation, you will learn to analyse and create policy advisory reports and to improve on aspects of management such as leadership styles and motivation techniques. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

    The Science in Society specialisation teaches you how to identify, analyse and manage complex societal problems. 

    During the first semester, you will follow three compulsory courses:

    • Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC)
    • Analyzing Governmental Policy (6 EC)
    • Communication, Organization and Management (6 EC).

    You will also choose two or three elective courses (12 EC total). You can find an overview of all elective courses you can choose from here

    During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses to professional practice (30 EC).

    Please register for your Science in Society courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

  • Science Communication

    Summary

    Bridge the gap between science and society

    Many of the societal challenges that require research and innovation cannot be addressed by scientists alone. And at a time when ‘the facts’ are being questioned, scientists need to engage with the public more openly. Take, for instance, public health issues like the coronavirus pandemic. Scientists conduct numerous studies on the best preventive measures, but those measures need to be understood and adopted by the public in order to be effective. And when it comes to climate change, many members of the public are still resistant to believing the scientific data, which makes them reluctant to change their behaviour in ways that protect the environment. On these and other issues, how can scientists engage with members of the public in thoughtful and productive ways? 

    This specialisation provides you with the relevant knowledge, skills and practical experience to help shape meaningful conversations about science in public. You will not only learn how to inform and educate the public about science, but you will also learn how to engage the public in addressing societal issues together with scientists and innovators. After completing this specialisation, you will have an in-demand skills set. You can work, for instance, as a science journalist at a newspaper, a communications advisor at a biomedical company, a content manager at a science museum, or as a public relations manager at an environmental organisation. The specialisation is open to students of both VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

    The Science Communication specialisation immerses you in the world of science communication through five courses and an internship. During the first semester, you will to follow two compulsory courses: Research Methods for Analyzing Complex Problems (6 EC) and Science and Communication (6 EC). You will also choose (at least) two out of three elective courses in science communication (18 EC total): Science Journalism (6 EC), Science in Dialogue (6 EC) and Science Museology (6 EC). The third course is an elective. This could be an elective course from your Master’s programme. Visit Studiegids for an overview of elective courses of your Master's programme.

    During the second semester, you will conduct an internship in which you apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the courses (30 EC). You can choose between a reflective practice internship (only if you follow this specialisation in the second year of your master’s programme) or a research internship. With a reflective practice internship, you will work at a science communication company and apply the knowledge you have acquired to professional practice (21 EC). You will also write a reflection on professional practice (9 EC). If you choose a research internship, you will conduct research in the field of science communication.

    Please register for your Science Communication courses individually on VUnet using the course codes in the study programme at least four weeks before the semester starts.

  • Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines

    Summary

    Motivate & inspire students as a teacher in the STEM disciplines - This specialisation is taught in Dutch. 

    During the specialisation Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines, you will learn how to transfer your knowledge and motivate and inspire students in your field of study, whether it is Geography, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry or Biology. For computer science, there is another route: the one-year teacher training programme. The courses for this teacher training specialisation are taught in Dutch and your teaching qualification will be valid in the Netherlands.

    As a teacher, you make an important contribution to the future of young people, society and education in the Netherlands. In our knowledge economy, specialists in the area of knowledge transfer are indispensable. With an abundance of jobs in secondary education, obtaining a teaching qualification guarantees job security and—flexibility—because in addition to being a teacher, you are also a scientist in your field.

    The teacher training programmes at VU Amsterdam are unique because of their modular structure that is built around 20 themes (core practices). You will apply these teaching practices directly in the classroom, as you will be working in a school for more than 50% of your study programme. At VU Amsterdam, personal attention and individual guidance are top priority. You will have a mentor from VU Amsterdam and a workplace supervisor who is an experienced first-degree subject teacher.

    With this specialisation, you will obtain a specialist Master's degree in a STEM discipline and a first-degree teaching qualification (eerstegraads lesbevoegdheid).  This means that in two years, you will be qualified to teach both lower and upper secondary vocational education (HAVO/VWO) and pre-university education (VMBO) in the Netherlands. All teachers in the STEM disciplines are also qualified to teach the STEM elective NLT (Nature, Life and Technology). 

    The teacher training specialisation in the STEM disciplines starts every academic year in September and February, unless you are following a Master's programme in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, or Biomedical Technology and Physics. Within these Master's programmes, you can only start the specialisation in September.

    Second year

    What makes you unique as a STEM teacher? We explore your strengths as a teacher while focussing on personal attention, customisation and guidance. You will follow an integrated programme, which includes a practical component (internship) in secondary education and didactic theory at VU Amsterdam. You will be taught general didactics related to core practices as well as specific subject-related didactics for your school subject. The theory is always applied and tested in practice at the school where you conduct your internship. You will start immediately with the practical component. Internships are arranged by VU Amsterdam.

    Secondary Education Teacher Training for STEM Disciplines courses

Current research topics

New synthetic solutions
Our organic chemists synthetize complex molecules, focusing on both the development of new methodology for the synthesis of drug-like compounds and natural products, and the structural manipulation of peptides and proteins to address complex biological questions.

Predictive chemistry & design
Our theoretical chemists develop quantum chemical methods and tools to analyze and understand chemical bonding, and also the factors controlling the reactivity of chemical reactions. This leads to more streamlined syntheses, lower costs, and a reduction in chemical waste, all of which will make chemical research more economically and environmentally sustainable.

Designing fully automated methodologies
How do you determine low levels of bioactive molecules in complex (biological) samples? The BioAnalytical Chemistry research group designs fully automated methodologies that integrate the isolation of the target molecules and the high sensitivity analysis of these mixtures.

Change your future with the Chemistry programme

Change your future with the Chemistry programme

Your Master’s in Chemistry will lead to an exciting, well-paid career with extensive opportunities to pursue your ambitions and to have a meaningful contribution to society. Organisations and companies in the chemical sector are always on the lookout for talent. You will have your choice from a variety of career opportunities, depending on your specialisation.

Explore your future prospects
Chemist working in the lab