The Athena Institute provides challenging and innovative educational programmes at the interface of life sciences and social sciences, and of theory and practice. Besides several individual courses for bachelor’s and master’s students, the department facilitates two integral Master programmes, two Master Differentiations and a Minor.

Master’s Programme: Management Policy Analysis and entrepreneurship in the Health and Life Sciences

Management Policy Analysis and entrepreneurship in the Health and Life SciencesThe master's programme Management, Policy Analysis and entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences (MPA) is unique in its focus. Innovations and developments in the fields of Health and Life Sciences engender complex social issues. This Master’s programme concentrates on the scientific aspects of integrating different areas of knowledge and on developing adequate policies, taking the right decisions and stimulating or managing the professionals operating in this sector.

Research Master's Programme: Global Health

Global HealthThe research master's programme Global Health is a unique programme that opens up a world of possibilities. Over two years, you will receive the best possible preparation for a PhD or research position. You will have the opportunity to explore the latest theories and state-of-the-art techniques and research methods in the field of global health. This innovative Research Master’s offers you an approach that spans a range of disciplines and encompasses a systems-based perspective. You will receive two years of research training supervised by professors and you will have the opportunity to produce your own PhD research grant proposal.

Master's Differentiation: International Public Health (IPH)

International Public Health (IPH)The master's differentiation International Public Health (IPH) is unique in terms of both its course content and its connections with professional practice. The courses have an interdisciplinary focus and cover developments in intervention strategies to address health needs worldwide. They are taught by experienced professors, specialist tutors and fascinating guest lecturers. Putting theory into practice, the courses are linked with the excellent scientific research on International Public Health being conducted at VU University Amsterdam.

Master's Differentiation: Science Communication

Science CommunicationThe master's differentiation Science Communication is meant for those with a broad interest in current affairs, social issues and public debates relating to scientific matters. This specialization consists of one year of science courses (in subjects of your choice) and one year of Science Communication courses.

Societal Specialization

Societal specialization Due to the growing complexity of technological and medical issues and  the interaction with society, organisations working in this sector have a growing and urgent need for academic professionals in the natural and life sciences, who have knowledge of policy management and entrepreneurship. The Society oriented variant offers students with a bachelor degree in the natural and life sciences the chance to combine a specialization in this field with a specialization in research. The programme of the Society specialization is equal to the first year of the master programme Management Policy Analysis and entrepreneurship (MPA). The rogramme of the Society specialization consists of 60 EC. Apart from the courses in this specialization courses, the student has to choose 60 EC from a science master.

Minor: Biomedical and Health Interventions

Minor: Biomedical and Health InterventionsThe minor Biomedical and Health Interventions builds on recent developments within the field of biomedical and health sciences and places them in a broader perspective (e.g. societal, managerial, political and economic). In our current time we face many challenges in health care due to new and emerging infectious diseases, changing disease patterns, demographic changes, rising costs of health care and globalisation.