Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology

Academic year 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology is carefully designed for ambitious future professionals who wish to specialise in the field of biotechnology and at the same time, want to gain exposure in project management and entrepreneurship. Your studies will benefit from the close proximity to the biotechnology industry in Uppsala, with collaborations with biotech companies and authorities generating a stimulating educational environment.

Located right in the strongest biotechnology cluster in Sweden, Uppsala has been a centre for pioneering and high quality biotechnological research for many decades. Uppsala houses a great number of small and large biotech companies. Collaborations between Uppsala University, biotech companies, the University hospital and national food and medicine authorities generate a stimulating educational environment. Thus, Uppsala University is the premium choice for your biotechnology studies.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology gives you theoretical as well as hands-on knowledge in the areas of molecular biology, structural biology and biotechnology. You can also extend your studies in the areas of protein engineering and synthetic biology.

Thanks to courses in project management, marketing and entrepreneurship, you will also gain insight into business management and learn how projects are planned and carried out in the biotechnology industry. One important element of the Master's programme is the Master's thesis, which allows students to specialise in their area of interest and can be conducted in both academia and industry.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • study in the strongest biotechnology cluster in Sweden
  • specialise in a research area of interest within molecular biology and biotechnology
  • gain exposure in project management and entrepreneurship.
The Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology has an interdisciplinary character and strong connections to biotechnology industry. You will meet both Swedish and international students and teachers in this programme, which will help you to build up a valuable network during and after your studies.

Student profile
As a student in Applied Biotechnology, you will have a strong foundation in molecular biology and biotechnology coupling structure, function and applications. You will have courses with many lab-hours, which will allow you to gain hands-on skills in the modern techniques of protein engineering, immune technology and synthetic biology. In addition, you will learn about industrial project management and intellectual property right, which will allow you to have a unique and very attractive profile.

Based on your interest, you will conduct your Master's thesis project (6 or 9 months) in academia or industry - which will allow you to experience the real working milieu already when you are a student. This also allows you to be organised, motivated and active in team-work and communication.

As a student, you will actively study, conduct group works for lab-exercises or small projects, and take part in scientific discussions and presentations. You should be motivated and ready to take responsibilities. You should see biotechnology as a toolset that you can apply in different problem areas, which will improve the quality of life in future. You can opt to do a PhD or work in a company/agency after completion of your Master's degree.

Related programmes
Cell and Molecular Biology
Immunology and Microbiology


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Applied Biotechnology as the main field of study.

Bild på student
Read the interview
Bild på student

Name: Navaneeth Menon
From: The beautiful South Indian state – Kerala
Studied: Master’s Programme in Applied Biotechnology

Why did you choose to come and study in Sweden?
– Because Sweden remains at the forefront of research and offers the highest quality education. The very thought of studying in a Scandinavian country, that too the land of Nobel Prize, was exciting for me so I didn’t have to think much after receiving the admission offer from Uppsala!

Why did you choose to study this programme?
– Applied biotechnology was my first choice because it has a perfect blend of core and elective courses that prepares you equally for an industrial or research/academic career. This was something I considered while choosing the Master’s programme as I wanted multiple career options to opt from.

How is it like to study at a university in Sweden?
– It is a wonderfully illuminating life experience. Besides providing us with the best of facilities, the university ensures that students are comfortable and leading a good social life. The stimulating environment here helps us with critical thinking, and also in developing our much needed social skills!

Did your programme live up to your expectations?
– Yes, it did! The programme introduced me to many new methods and the latest technologies in the vast field of biotechnology.

What is the best about studying at Uppsala University?
– For me, it is the student life. It is filled with many beautiful moments that I will cherish for a lifetime. The presence of the SciLife Lab, different student nations and nature reserves all around are a few of the additional perks of studying here at the oldest university in Sweden!

How does a normal day look like for you?
– During the Master’s studies, I would wake up around 6 am, then immediately check my mobile for any social media notifications or mails. My 7 am breakfast was followed by quick preparations for the lectures of the day. Around 8.45 am, my friends and I would cycle to the university to attend morning lectures. Laboratory sessions were taken after lunch. I would video/voice call my family and friends back home, have dinner and watch movies or read some fiction before going to sleep.

What has been the most fun and interesting so far?
– The most wonderful experience was when I went on tour with a few of my friends during Christmas holidays. That was my first tour outside India and we visited four different countries. My Master’s thesis was another interesting and fun experience for me. I studied about hybrid flycatchers (a small migratory bird) and became part of a long-term project started in 2002. This was followed by a summer trip to the amazing island of Öland (just off the southeast coast of Sweden) where these birds breed.

How was it coming to Sweden for the first time?
– It was indeed a drastic change for me! Climate (tropical to continental), festivals (Onam to Midsummer) and most importantly the food was very different and new to me (I still crave a tasty Indian “parippuvada” during fika). But in spite of all this, the transition was smooth and I quickly acclimatised to my new cultural surroundings – thanks to my friends!

How did you meet and get to know new people?
– Most of the new people that I got to know, I met at the student nations. The welcoming atmosphere of a nation is the perfect spot to meet new people and strengthen your friendships. I also got the chance to meet many new students, especially, when I was a student buddy. My role was to guide and to help new the students settle in at Uppsala and to answer their questions regarding studies and student life here.

What is your future goal with your education?
In short: “To understand evolution and to improve the life of all living beings”.

What do you do beside your studies?
– During free time, I worked at nations and was the brunch-host of V-Dala nation for almost a year. Cooking a variety of food and hanging out with friends ... it was a lot of fun! I also enjoyed going for short trips to explore nature with my friends.

Three quick questions
Favorite place in Uppsala?
– There are many, but the nature trails in Håga might be at the top of my list.

Best student tradition at Uppsala University?
– The ”nailing” of Ph.D theses.

What do you do in five years?
– Complete my doctoral studies (which I have already commenced) and find a good research position.

Spring 2020

Register your interest


Year 1
After an advanced-level introductory course called Trends in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (15 credits), you will take the course Structure and Function of Macromolecules (15 credits) in the first semester. The first course gives you a deep insight into the mechanisms of the processes of the central dogma, whereas the second course will develop your knowledge about structure-function relationship in proteins and macromolecular complexes.

In the second semester, you can choose between two courses, Synthetic Biology (10 credits) and Immunotechnology (10 credits). Additionally, you will study two industry-related courses - Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (10 credits) and Biotechnology Project (10 credits) - the latter one involves direct interaction with a biopharma company, during which the theoretical knowledge acquired during the first year can be put into practice.

Year 2
In the second year, you are allowed to choose from a vast collection of courses according to you own study plan. These include courses in protein engineering, toxicology, plant molecular biology, biosensors, bioinformatics analyses etc. You can also choose from the elective courses, not restricted to any particular period - Research Training (10, 15 or 20 credits), Online Bioinformatics (5 credits), and Literature Project (5 credits). In the summer between year one and two, you can even take iGEM based course/s Project in Laboratory Synthetic Biology I or II (15 credits) if you fulfill the course requirement.

The most important course in the second year is the Master's degree project (30 or 45 credits), which is essential for successful completion of your Master's studies and the first step to the research/industry world. The thesis research can be conducted in a research group in the University, biotechnology company, government agency or public authority in Sweden or abroad. At the end of this course, you need to produce a Master's degree thesis and defend it with oral presentation.

Courses within the programme

See detailed outline for courses within the programme

Learning experience

The course contents and the study materials are closely related to current research, and a majority of the teachers and lecturers in the programme are active researchers with substantial knowledge. In various courses you will also meet teachers and guest lecturers from biotechnology industry with experience of work outside the University.

The language of instruction is English, and teaching involves lectures, seminars, group exercises (presentations), laboratory work in small groups, and project/research work. You will read scientific literature along with text books and compendiums. For the group exercises, you will need to complete them together with your classmates outside the classroom. This way, you learn from each other and you train to be a team player. On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

Education also builds upon your prior knowledge and experience. You are expected to participate actively in your education and take responsibility for personal learning outcomes as well as contributing to the learning of others. Academic teachers in the programme have the primary responsibility for establishing foundations for active individual and collective learning. Continuous educational development builds on a respectful dialogue between students and teachers, through which everyone is empowered to contribute to educational evolution and mutual learning.


The biotechnical industry is advancing across the whole world, not least in Sweden and Uppsala. The labour market is expected to grow over the coming years.

Uppsala University has an excellent reputation, and having a Master's degree in Applied Biotechnology from Uppsala University will provide you with an internationally recognised education that opens doors to graduate studies or a career in the biotechnical industry, in Sweden and abroad.

You will be well prepared to work with product development in a biotechnology company or with research and development at an academic department in Sweden or abroad. You will also have an excellent basis for pursuing academic research through PhD studies. Alternatively, you can find work in the areas of project management, marketing or quality control. Depending on your courses taken during the second year, you may work with research and development in, for example, protein-based pharmaceuticals, method development, diagnostic tools, or with biomaterials in various biotechnical fields.

Our previous graduates work at Cytiva, Astra Zeneca, Galderma medical solutions, Roche and other multinational companies in Sweden and across the globe. They are employed in various positions starting from junior scientists to manager and sales executives. We also have examples where our graduates have made their own business venture.

You will be well prepared to work with product development in a biotechnology company or with research and development at an academic department in Sweden or abroad.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. ​For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: an Application Summary Sheet (click to download the form).
The University does not entertain evaluation of the eligibility criteria before you apply to the Master's Programme.

Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology

120 credits

Autumn 2021, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 15 January 2021

Application code: UU-M1120 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be molecular biology, biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, biotechnology, chemistry, medical technology/informatics, pharmacy or biophysics.
Also required is:

  • knowledge and practical experience of laboratory experiments in biology, and molecular biology: cell biology, molecular biology and molecular genetics corresponding to approximately 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits);
  • knowledge and practical experience of laboratory experiments in chemistry: general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry corresponding to approximately 20 weeks full-time studies (30 credits);
  • and knowledge of mathematics: algebra and analysis corresponding to approximately 5 weeks of full-time studies (7.5 credits).
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:
  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For program specific questions please contact Program director Suparna Sanyal or Fredrik Sundström:

+46 18 471 48 35

For admissions-related or general information about Master's studies in Uppsala, please contact our support team:

Biology Education Centre

Uppsala Biomedical Centre, Husargatan 3, Uppsala

P.O. Box 592, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden

Student portal

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