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Unraveling the secrets of human movement

Human Movement Sciences Research Master

Physical activity and exercise is often a means to get or stay healthy, but a requirement to participate in sports. How can we help older people to stay mobile and independent? How do top athletes get maximum performance out of their muscles?

As a Research Master’s student, you’ll learn how to answer questions like these that are both urgent and relevant in today’s society. Your research will be aimed at unravelling the secrets of human movement.

Grounded in the five core research themes of the Amsterdam Movement Sciences (AMS) institute, the Research Master includes courses on sports, musculoskeletal health, tissue function and regeneration, ageing and vitality, and rehabilitation and development. Topics covered range from molecular biology to neuroscience and neuro-muscular-skeletal systems, and from biomechanics to motor behaviour.

In addition to becoming well versed in these research areas, you’ll be trained in state-of-the-art research methodologies and advanced statistics. During this programme, you are encouraged to define your own position, and in doing so to become a reflective, critical and committed academic professional. The interactive, small-scale teaching methods used in the programme allow you to have in-depth discussions that meet the level and intensity of a Research Master’s programme. Plus, all the lecturers are renowned experts in their fields of research.

After completing the Research Master’s, you’ll be well prepared to pursue a scientific career, either by starting with a PhD position or by entering an R&D environment. You’ll also be well equipped for other research-related positions. 

Specific information about the courses can be found in the Study Guide.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

First year

Your first year is dedicated to preparing you to conduct scientific research, and is made up of a variety of compulsory and elective courses. These electives allow you to tailor the programme to your own areas of interest. You’ll follow courses focused on:

- Health-related topics, such as topics in rehabilitation, treating locomotor disease and training, aging and disuse. You’ll learn about the restoration of motor function during rehabilitation, as well as the effects of aging on mobility.

- Physical performance, such as maximal neuromuscular performance and exercise and clinical immunology. This includes modelling human endurance performance and biomechanical analyses of technical sports, plus the way in which muscle activation and properties determine maximal neuromuscular output.

- Neuroscience, such as coordination dynamics, perceptual motor learning, and the coupling between perception and action. You’ll gain insights into the clinical problems associated with neurological diseases, and into new possibilities for treatment.

- Biomechanics, such as applied biomechanics, neuromechanics, advanced 3D kinematics, mechanical and adaptive myology, and neuromuscular simulation models.

- Research methodologies, such as molecular cell biology, scientific communication, statistics, tissue engineering, electromyography and time series analysis.

For more details on the programme and courses: see the study guide.

Second year

The second year is entirely dedicated to a research project of your choice. Since extensive experience in high-quality research is indispensable for a career in research, you’ll be aiming for a first-class project that eventually results in a scientific publication. This may be at the VU Amsterdam or in collaboration with another institute anywhere in the world.

Teaching in higher education

If you’re considering a future in education and academia, you may want to enhance your teaching skills as well. Each year, the Research Master’s programme offers 15-20 students the opportunity to acquire an accreditation for teaching in higher education. Because this accreditation is only valid in the Netherlands, this additional programme is taught exclusively in Dutch.

Change your future with the Human Movement Sciences Research Master’s programme

Change your future with the Human Movement Sciences Research Master’s programme

After completing your degree, you’ll be well positioned to embark on any research-based career in the field of human movement. As a graduate from the Human Movement Sciences Research Master’s programme, you’ll be ready to take up a PhD position at an academic institution, or to work in a research & development environment for a leading company.

Explore your future prospects