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The life sciences program at HAN is geared to industry needs. And to working in an international environment. So you get the skills employers are looking for. Lab skills. Research skills. Communication skills. And much more.

Life Sciences: program in brief

A BSc in Life Sciences at HAN guides you through current research topics in life sciences. You explore a range of chemistry and biology topics. Like molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry and biotechnology.  

You also get loads of practice in the life science lab. There you work on group projects. Delve into the latest issues in the field. Boost your problem-solving skills. Become a better communicator. 

Finally, you get valuable professional experience. In short, this program opens doors to a rewarding international career.  

machine met kleine buisjes
Student in lab met petrischaal

Solid foundation

Your 1st year gives you a solid foundation in the fundamental theories and techniques for the life science lab.

1st-year courses

You learn about the relevant topics in biology, chemistry and mathematics. You also work on group projects in the lab. For example, projects on cancer research, diagnosis of diseases and alternative energy sources. And you work in a professional life science lab during your mini internship. 

Academic calendar

The academic year runs from September to August. In that time you have 42 weeks of education. The rest of the time you have holidays.


You’re stronger together than alone: that’s why you form a learning team with a group of fellow students. A learning team coach supports and guides the team. Together you address issues that arise in the team. That way you help each other move forward and learn from each other. At HAN you also have a study coach. 


HAN uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This system is part of the bachelor-master structure. ECTS credits are a measure of the workload of a degree program.  


At the end of 1st year, you receive study advice. The credits you’ve earned are an important factor in this. Positive advice means you can move on to the 2nd year. Negative advice means you have to stop. That way you don’t waste time on a program that doesn't really suit you. 

student vult erlenmeyer

Growing independence

In your 2nd year you enter the main phase of the degree program. By now you’re confident using test tubes, microscopes and Petri dishes. Ready to get to know the profession in-depth? And use your knowledge in real research projects?

2nd year

A specific topic in the 2nd year is the interaction between humans, plants and microorganisms. By the end of the year you choose your specialization. Molecular plant biology, biomedical research or biotechnology. 

Lab facilities

HAN has all the basic lab facilities and more. Take the specialized microbiological, plant and biochemical labs. Here you can research DNA, RNA and protein in different organisms. How do you make the cells visible? Using light microscopy, fluorescent microscopy and electron microscopy. You can also do research on cancer. With real-time PCR apparatus, a high-performance plate reader and a flow cytometer. And use our fermentation lab. Ferment bacteria, fungi and yeasts and create your own biological products!

Projects with impact

Research from the Radboud UMC

Work on a project from the Radboud UMC in 2nd year: about genes that are important in the energy metabolism of brain tumors.

Research from Vanderbilt University (USA)

3rd-year Biomedical Research students take on research into the development of skin cancer. The project comes from Vanderbilt University in the USA.

Oxford University research with C. elegans

Which genes play a role in regulating cell growth and division? What happens when something goes wrong? Discover how cancer develops with research using a model organism: the worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans).

Student aan het werk in lab bij zuurkast

Professional experience

In your 3rd year you specialize in your chosen topic. Choose from molecular plant biology, biomedical research or biotechnology. Then you complete an internship focused on this area. Put your knowledge and skills to the test in a professional life science lab. This experience will be a great asset to future employers.

Choose your specialization

Molecular Plant Biology

At HAN, you can do your specialization in Molecular Plant Biology. Plant research has never been more vital. After all, in the future plants will provide us with food, clothing, medicine and fuel. By understanding cellular mechanisms better, we can grow food sustainably and develop new medicines. Want to work in a team to produce energy from microorganisms? Then this specialization is for you.

Biomolecular Research

How do biomolecules affect biological and biochemical processes in the body? And how does this relate to health and disease? Diagnostics is the key word in this specialization. But which direction within biomedical research appeals to you most? You’ll know the answer when the time comes to choose your minor. At HAN there are 2 specialization minors: Medical Microbiology and Cyto-histopathology.

Biomedical Research

Most biotechnology companies have these departments: molecular biology, upstream processing and downstream processing. If you work at a biotechnology company, chances are it will be in 1 of these 3 departments. In this specialization you get to know each one. Find out which suits you best and what your future job may look like.


Your life sciences internship gets you ready for the international job market. Where you’ll go? To a teaching hospital, research institute or company in the Netherlands or abroad. The type of lab? One that researches cancer, for example, or perhaps a biotech lab. In your 2nd year you follow a preparation program that covers all the important aspects of the internship. 

Experience it for yourself!

Want to discover whether Life Sciences at HAN is the right choice for you? Experience it for yourself at an Open Day. Our students and staff look forward to meeting you there!

HAN Open Day

Graduation year

This is the 4th and final year of your BSc in Life Sciences. First, you choose a subject for your minor. This is a semester where you broaden your knowledge. Or gain more in-depth knowledge of a specific life sciences subject. Next, you choose your graduation assignment. That means doing research for a company or organization.


HAN offers excellent minors for Life Sciences students. Choose from Biomedical Research, Molecular Plant Biology, Biotechnology or Biorefinery. Want to broaden your experiences even further? Why not study at another university, in the Netherlands or abroad. Do you want to continue your studies after your BSc in Life Sciences? Then a bridging pre-master program is a great option for your minor.

Graduation project

The final challenge in your BSc in Life Sciences is your graduation project. It focuses on a major issue in the field of life sciences. You design and conduct your very own project on this issue. To conclude, you give a professional presentation of the results. Where you’ll do your assignment? At a company, research institute or hospital. In the Netherlands or abroad. 

Innovative Research The HAN BioCentre

As a Life Sciences student you can do your internship or graduation project at our own center of expertise: the HAN BioCentre. You’ll perform research within the “biodiscovery chain”: discover, analyze, produce and apply your work in real projects. Achieve something real. Harvest biobased oil from yeast or harness the power of fungi. An exciting internship or graduation project guaranteed!

Results of graduation project published!

Marta Bogaczyńska is originally from Poland. She graduated from the international Life Sciences program at HAN in 2017. Just 3 months later she co-authored an article in Cell Metabolism. That’s the leading journal on cell biology and endocrinology.  

Bachelor of Science

After 4 years of study you have earned your Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences. Congratulations! The program you've completed is accredited by the Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). That means you now have an internationally recognized degree. Ready to join an international company? Or continue your studies with a master or PhD?

Bachelor of Science

Lab work and specializations

#Ask a studentWhat about lab experiments?

next pageCareers

Find out about job opportunities, experiences of alumni and options for further studies in Life Sciences. 

jongen en meisje slaan bladzijde notitieblok om