About Human Movement Sciences

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Faculty of of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Department of Human Movement Sciences studies how people move, how movement can become impaired and how it can be optimized in the context of sports and rehabilitation and it provides education in this domain at the bachelor, master and PhD levels. Research and education are multidisciplinary, combining physiology, (bio-)mechanics and psychology in integrative approach to better understand human movement and to contribute to optimal physical functioning of the whole population throughout the lifespan.


In our research agenda, pushing scientific boundaries and contributing to societal challenges are equally important. Our research is embedded in two research institutes that the department co-founded: Amsterdam Movement Science (AMS) and the Institute for Brain and Behavior Amsterdam (IBBA), and is organized in five Research Sections that collaborate closely: Coordination Dynamics, Physiology, Motor Learning and Performance, Neuromechanics and Sensorimotor Control.


The department offers a BSc degree in Human Movement Sciences (in a Dutch language program) and two 1-year Master programs: Human Movement Sciences: Sport, Exercise and Health and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Sciences as well as a 2-year Research Master program: Human Movement Sciences.

Life is movement

Movement is the basis of everything we do. We need to move to survive, to achieve and to enjoy life. Movement cannot always be taken for granted, as is the case with patients whose functional movement is limited due to diseases and/or conditions such as osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, stroke or a trauma. But also among healthy individuals (especially children, the elderly, athletes and working people), there is often a need to optimise movement in order to maintain or improve the range of movements or to prevent injury.

Multidisciplinary Approach

Research into human movement requires a multidisciplinary approach. Our research is embedded in AMS, the Amsterdam Movement Science institute, and in iBBA, the institute for Brain and Behaviour Amsterdam.


Movement Sciences is seminal for cross-disciplinary research. We integrate ideas from various scientific field, always at the frontiers of science.

Forward Thinking

We stimulate fundamental and applied research. Combining the two is essential for a proper understanding of human movement in daily life.

Broad Networking

We set up a broad national and international network integrating a vast amount of expertise for our studies on human movement science.

Research in Teams

Interdisciplinary approach heavily rely on team-work. We follow and open-door policy to foster exchange between our research talents.

Corporate News

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    Nov. 2017 Latest news from the VU Department of Human Movement Sciences. Get a quick overview of all relevant news from our sections.

The Sections

Coordination Dynamics

The section Coordination Dynamics seeks to understand the coordination between limbs and between movements and environment using concepts and tools of the theory of dynamical systems.


In the section Education, senior and junior lecturers develop workgroup and practical education. All the lecturers are acting as mentors for the first-year students.

Motor Learning & Performance

Motor Learning & Performance examines motor control and learning at different stages of development within sport, rehabilitation, physical education and other performance environments.


The section Neuromechanics integrates neurophysiology and biomechanics to better understand the neuromusculoskeletal system.


The Physiology section focuses on improving performance in healthy people and athletes and in the presence of motor impairment due to accident, illness, disease or ageing.

Sensorimotor Control

In the Sensorimotor Control Section we are concerned with how we adapt our movements to the environment.