PDQ-10306 Introduction to the Life Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion
Practical intensively supervised19
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LPA Steenbekkers
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. MAJS van Boekel
dr. AR van Amstel
dr. ir. GWJ van de Ven
dr. ir. LPA Steenbekkers
WC Hazeleger
ir. CAA Butijn
dr. ir. MW den Besten
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MAJS van Boekel

Language of instruction:



The course gives an introduction into the way of thinking and analyzing in research within natural sciences for students of Management, Economics, and Consumer Studies, students Health and Society, and students of Applied Communication Science. Having finalized the course, students are able to follow the line of thinking in complex processes in the Life Sciences.
The course is multidisciplinary and consists of three blocks, which represent the chain of production and consumption of food. The first block concentrates on possibilities and limitations of plant production and the consequences of consumer wishes concerning food quality and production methods for plant production. The second block concentrates on processing, storage, preparation and consumption of food by consumers and the consequences that consumer activities have in this respect. The third block bridges the activities throughout the whole chain to the consequences for the ecological environment by executing an Life Cycle Analyses. The LCA will be based on the results of the processes studied in earlier phases of the chain.

Learning outcomes:

Having followed the course, students:
- have gained insight into the interaction between elements within natural sciences that address complex problems in the life sciences, and appreciate the added value of a multidisciplinary approach;
- have gained insight into ways of reflecting and working in natural sciences, which are relevant for food production and quality aspects in the food chain;
- are able to describe which factors influence the reliability and reproducibility of experimental measurements within natural sciences;
- are able to interpret and value measurements produced in the natural sciences;
- are able to read and understand a research proposal from the natural sciences, using a number of relevant core concepts;
- are able to participate in formulating research questions in natural sciences for interdisciplinary problems, and they have knowledge of a number of methods in natural sciences to obtain the desired data;
- have a basic level of natural-science based knowledge in the field of production and quality within the food chain.


- follow lectures; during these lectures the Production-Consumption chain will be followed while explaining relevant notions from Biology, Chemistry, Physiology, and Technology;
- study of literature;
- execution and reporting of research in Life Sciences;
- excursions.


- assignments;
- written exam.


A Syllabus can be bought at the WUR Shop.

Compulsory for: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBSc5MO
BCLCommunication and Life SciencesBSc5MO
BGMHealth and SocietyBSc5MO