Toxicology (TOX)

The research programme of Toxicology covers food toxicology and environmental toxicology. It concentrates on gaining insight in the mechanisms via which toxic compounds can induce adverse effects on the health of humans and other environmental organisms, either directly via food or indirectly via different exposure pathways related to environmental pollution.

More about this thesis track

Mechanisms via which toxic compounds can disrupt the health of humans and other organisms, are preferably studied using cell lines such are reporter gene assays and stem cells. Computer modeling is used to try to predict effects on living organisms based on in vitro studies, and to predict population effects of for example subtle toxic effects under different ecological stress conditions. Early life stages of organisms appear to be sensitive to low concentrations of hormone disrupting compounds.


The four main research areas of the environmental toxicology section are:

  1. Effects of contaminants in the food chain on humans and wildlife;
  2. Developmental effects of hormone disrupting environmental contaminants on early development;
  3. Development of in vitro tools (especially cell culture) for studying the effects of mixtures of contaminants;
  4. Toxicological risk evaluation (e.g. within the framework of the EU-program REACH).

Because of a close cooperation with the marine research institute IMARES there are several options for marine environmental research.

Students can learn more about the education and research related to this discipline by visiting the website of the sub-department Toxicology.


The following courses are part of the MSc programme Environmental Sciences when selecting the thesis track Toxicology. Next to these thesis specific courses, you will follow courses from the common part and electives as summarized in the programme outline. For more information visit the study handbook or contact the study adviser.

Thesis track-related subjects
Subject Code
One e-learning is compulsory in order to work safely at Wageningen University (0 ECTS):
Laboratory safety ZSS06100
Environmental Toxicology TOX30806
Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals TOX31306
MSc Internship Toxicology TOX70224
MSc Thesis Toxicology TOX80436
Compulsory unless your study adviser indicates differently:
Chemical Processes in Soil, Water, Atmosphere SOC22306
General Toxicology TOX20303

In order to prepare well for your thesis track, you can additionally choose supporting courses. These courses focus, for example, on quantitative and data sciences or laboratory skills. You can find the exact list in the study handbook at the section “Restricted Optionals (2) in Common part”.

This course overview is based on the Wageningen University study handbook, where you can find a more detailed course and programme description. The study handbook is guiding in case of any discrepancy.

Below you can see how your schedule might look like for your whole study programme:

MSc Environmental Sciences - Toxicology