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Admission Requirements

The Biophysics course is intended for MSc and Ph.D. students. The course complements the material covered in the Physics of Life series of the BSc Physics program, but prior knowledge in Biophysics and/or completion of the latter is not strictly required to participate.


During this course you will obtain an understanding of the principles underlying a diverse selection of modern biological physics. Introductory lectures are combined with presentations by yourself on contemporary literature that relates to the topics in the syllabus. The course will be completed by an essay that you will write on a chosen topic.

Topics include:

  • Protein folding

  • Molecular motors

  • Biomembranes

  • Gene regulation

  • Self-organized systems and pattern formation

Course objectives

You will be able to explain the physical principles underlying the many facets of modern biological physics, as well as an appreciation of their biological context.
In your explanation you will put extra emphasis on the analysis of experimental techniques and their results.
In an essay you will be able to demonstrate command of the specialized topic chosen from a list of relevant papers, that you will complement with recent literature.

Generic skills (soft skills)

You will learn how to efficiently read and interpret relevant scientific literature and to relate this to a theoretical framework.
You will present biophysical topics to peers, participate in critical discussions about these papers and relate the results to topics discussed in the syllabus.
You will make exercises to address problems from a biological context using physical, mechanistic models and quantitative data analysis.


Physics Schedule

Mode of instruction

Lectures and Seminars

Assessment method

The grade will be based on an essay to be written on a topic provided (deadline end Jan 2016). Further, regular participation and own presentations are required.


Lecture notes, additional readings and assignments will be provided.
To have access to Blackboard you need a ULCN-account.Blackboard UL

Reading list

Syllabus and additional readings provided on Blackboard.

Contact information:

Prof.dr.Thomas Schmidt van Noort
Dr.Martina Huber