This specialisation provides you with a firm basis in advanced biochemistry covering all major areas, especially in the field of protein structure/function, macromolecular interactions, enzymology and protein engineering. It has been developed in cooperation with world leading research groups at Uppsala university and you will have lecturers who are leading experts in enzymology, X-ray crystallography, macromolecular interactions, systems biology and protein evolution and engineering.
Why this programme?
This specialisation in Biochemistry, within the Master's Programme in Chemistry, is partly taught together with the specialisation in Chemical Biology, but provides more in-depth advanced aspects of current biochemistry and associated experimental techniques. The breadth of current biochemical research allows you to perform your degree project in a dynamic and modern research environment, using state-of-the art equipment.
Your studies will combine theoretical knowledge and practical skills in biochemistry and interfacing disciplines such as biotechnology and drug design, as well as insight into computational chemistry methods and protein crystallography. It includes the physical and chemical foundations to be able to take part in the research of the complex regulation of cellular signal transduction, cross-talk between proteins and possible linkage to diseases.
The programme also prepares you to participate in the development of new solutions for sustainable production of more efficient drugs, fuels, and new materials. These are important research fields, and you will be well-equipped for either future research within academia or for research and development in industry.
During the programme you can expect to:
get a personal mentor who helps you prepare for your future career
have lecturers who are leading experts in, among other areas, enzymology, X-ray crystallography, macromolecular interactions, systems biology and protein engineering
be a part of a university with two Nobel prizes in chemistry
A degree from Uppsala University will give you close connection to excellent and world leading research and you will have the opportunity to develop a personal contact network. You will have a personal mentor who will invite you to seminars, group-meetings and other events in order to prepare you for your future career and you will meet PhD-students and post-docs who have come to Uppsala to be part of an excellent research environment to do cutting-edge research. Our research groups have a well-developed cooperation with other institutions and research agencies which is beneficial for you when choosing a project for the master thesis, and to make contacts for your future career.
Student profile You are probably coming directly from your bachelor degree or have had a relevant job to strengthen especially your experimental skills. You have not, anyway, forgotten too much of your broad chemistry base. Your university was well equipped with experimental facilities so you have good practical training working in a lab, and can select relevant methods and stay safe while doing experiments.
You have an analytical mind and are able and willing to express your thoughts in both writing and speaking. You are extremely motivated and willing to take the responsibility needed to successfully complete your studies.
A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming into contact with current research and prominent researchers in the respective international field.
The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Chemistry as the main field of study.
Semester 1 During the first semester you take courses which will give you the basis for the more specialised courses during the following two semesters. You have the option to choose courses in biophysical chemistry, RNA structure and function, structure and function of proteins, and protein and drugs. In the very first course, you will also meet many of the professors in different fields of chemistry who give seminars about the current trends in their respective research fields.
Semester 2, 3 and 4 The courses during the second semester are focused on molecular cell biology and molecular recognition. You can also opt to take a course in chemical molecular design which is also offered in the specialisations Chemical Biology and Organic Chemistry.
During the third semester you will have courses in protein engineering and enzymology- and bioorganic catalysis. The versatility of the field is also seen in where you can do your Master's thesis project, which can be in the research group where you have your mentor or in another group doing research in related fields, depending on your research interests.
An important goal is for you to become independent both in the planning of your work and in the lab. The programme ends with a degree project of 30 credits or 45 credits.
Some examples of recent Master's thesis titles
P. Marttila: A tale of two macromolecules. Assembly and purification of recombinant nucleosomes
S. Berglund: A novel manganese cofactor. Elucidation and characterization of a high-valent manganese cofactor in ribonucleotide reductase using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectroscopy
A. Söderlind: Cloning, expression, and purification of β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase (FabZ) from E. coli as target for compound Jedi-1261
Theory and practical work are always intervowen into the courses, and instruction takes place in the form of lectures, laboratory work, problem solving, seminars, and projects.
The lecturers are active researchers, and we emphasize coaching you to adopt a scientific approach in your work where you will develop the necessary skills to solve problems, to think critically and analytically, to plan and formulate research problems, and to independently carry out the necessary experiments and to analyse and interpret the results.
You will also receive systematic training in both oral and written presentations as an integrated part of the courses. The ability to communicate well will be very important in your future career.
Surveys have shown that the labour market for chemists with a degree from Uppsala University is excellent, with 97 per cent of those who obtained their degree during the last ten years being either employed or undertaking doctoral studies.
Our graduates in biochemistry find positions in many different areas. Many become PhD-students, some at Uppsala University, but also at other universities throughout the world. Most recent examples include, e.g., Sapienza Università di Roma, IRB in Barcelona, and University of Tromsø.
A Master of Science in Chemistry from Uppsala University will provide you with plenty of opportunities to build an exciting future career in academia, in industry, the public sector, or in entrepreneurship. Not only will you gain the knowledge and ability to perform special and advanced tasks in biochemistry, you will also be qualified for positions in many other interfacing areas where problem-solving, abstract thinking and analytical ability are required.
Chemical issues are found in most sectors. Biochemists hold key positions in addressing future challenges such as clean and efficient production of solar fuels, new routes for green chemistry, as well as new pharmaceuticals and vaccines.
Possible career paths can vary. You may work with research and development, production processes, management of safety and legal issues, patenting of inventions, marketing and sales, or environmental and sustainability issues.
Career support When you are about to finish your studies and want to start planning for your next step in life, you are welcome to UU Careers for support and guidance. You are also welcome to a variety of career activities and events all through your stay at Uppsala University. Of course, the services are free of charge. Learn more about UU career support.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in chemistry and biology, of which at least 60 credits must be in chemistry.
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
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
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.