Master Programme in Infection Biology 2019/2020

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Infections are a serious threat to the survival of humans, animals and plants on Earth. Our knowledge of the processes that govern microbial life and evolution must increase if we are to solve acute problems of antimicrobial resistance. This is of particular importance for developing countries where microbial infections are more widespread and might have devastating consequences. The Master Programme in Infection Biology integrates human and veterinary medicine, drug development and food safety.

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Infection Biology allows you to take advantage of Uppsala's strong environment for research and education in infection biology. The city has two universities, two university hospitals as well as three national authorities responsible for food safety, medical products and outbreak surveillance. In combination, this offers a broad competence for those who have an interest in infection biology.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • learn to identify and analyse problems from complex contexts, and define strategies and practical approaches to address and solve them.
  • be able to evaluate global problems in infection biology from economical, ecological and ethical perspectives.
  • meet and work with teachers and researchers from two universities and two university hospitals.
Student profile

You have a sound interest in all aspects of infection biology, from molecular mechanisms to surveillance on a global arena. You have a solid theoretical base in the relevant topics and also a practical experience which makes you feel confident to perform experimental lab work.

You are naturally curious and have an analytical attitude to critically analyse and reflect on problems and are creative and innovative enough to come up with and share your own ideas. You enjoy problem solving both individually and in teams and you are prepared to work hard and take full responsibility for your studies. You are open-minded and will take the opportunity to broaden your horizon towards different future options.

As a PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future you will value coming in close contact with front-line research and prominent researchers addressing different aspects of infection biology.


The programme leads to a Master of Medical Science (120 credits) with Infection Biology as the main field of study.


The first year of study will give you deep understanding of the molecular processes that control the interaction between viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi and their hosts. The processes governing the infection process are described based on the immunological defense, but also on the infecting organism's strategies to escape this defense.

The clinical effects of infectious diseases are discussed from an organ-specific perspective and this also includes the possibilities to diagnose, prevent and treat infections. Antimicrobial therapy and resistance mechanisms are discussed from a molecular and biochemical perspective and bioinformatic tools are used to explain evolutionary process of microbes. Basic epidemiology provides knowledge of methodology to describe the frequency and spread of disease and health in populations, as well as to evaluate causal relationships.

The first part of the second year provides knowledge of infectious diseases from a global perspective by addressing transmissions between animals and humans (zoonotic infections and epizootic infections) and by foodborne infections. Tools to monitor, control and prevent infections are discussed at both local and global levels, with special attention to the problems in developing countries. Microbial diversity in different ecosystems is discussed. Research methodology and knowledge-based choices of analysis methods in advanced infection biology research are discussed and applied on the upcoming master thesis project.

The third semester of the Master Programme in Infection Biology includes two-weeks of field training that focuses on infectious diseases in the context of low-income settings of developing countries. You get experience in how the society together with clinics and laboratories at the hospital work together to gain knowledge and implement new methods that is a foundation for a global strategy to save lives.

The programme is completed by an independent research project during the fourth semester corresponding to 30 credits. It is also possible to perform a 45 credits project, which you start working on in the middle of the third semester. The selected topic must fit within the field of infection biology and can be performed at an academic unit, company or public sector in Sweden or abroad.

Courses within the programme

Year 1
Microbiology and Immunology 3MK000, 30 credits
Parasitology, Mycology and Clinical Infection Biology (partly at SLU) 3MK012, 15 credits
Antimicrobials, Evolution, Resistance and Epidemiology 3MK013, 15 credits

Year 2
Infection Biology in a Global Perspective 3MK014, 15 credits
Advanced Scientific Research and Methodology 3MK015, 15 credits
Master's Degree Project in Infection Biology 3MK007, 30 credits or Master's Degree Project in Infection Biology 3MK011, 45 credits

Learning experience

Teaching in the Master Programme in Infection Biology consists of lectures, seminars, assignments and laboratory exercises. The lectures are strongly linked to the on-going research in infection biology and at these you will meet specialists from different areas of infection biology.

Seminars and assignments will develop your ability to critically review the methods and results, compile facts and to draw conclusions from scientific texts and results. Here you will train your skills to plan, operate, monitor and report, both individually and in teams.

Practical lab work will train your manual skills but also provide understanding about methods choices, interpretations and hypothesis development. The lab work is partly performed in research laboratories at Uppsala University and SLU, as part of on-going research. If resources are available, the third semester includes two-weeks of field course on infectious diseases in the context of a low-income setting developing country.
Most courses are taken place at Uppsala Biomedical Centre (BMC) at Uppsala University, but during some course modules you will study at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). In other words, you will meet teachers and researchers from both SLU and Uppsala University as well as professionals from hospitals and local authorities. The strong link to on-going research will therefore offer an excellent stepping stone for further doctoral studies.

During the first semester, you will participate in a lectures series on common science-related topics given jointly to several Master's programmes by the programme committee for the medical Master's programmes.

The programme offers the possibility to exchange single courses with practical research project courses. A limited number of slots are also available to continue with the Master Programme in Medical Research during the second year.

The programme is given in Uppsala and all teaching is in English.


A broad and deep knowledge in infection biology will prepare you for work in basic and applied research and development in a wide variety of areas, such as, diagnostics, drug development, antimicrobial resistance problems, vaccinations, emergency management, food production, surveillance and epidemiology and developing country-specific diseases in animals and humans as well as zoonoses.

Employment may be found in academia and in drug and biotech companies. In the public sector, you can work in microbial laboratories related to health care, food and agriculture. In the One World perspective, here is also a need for your competence on predictions, surveillance and follow-up of outbreaks, both nationally and on a global scale. The strong links to research will be of particular use if you are heading for further PhD studies and a research career.

Graduates from the Master Programme in Infection Biology are found spread around the world working as academic and biotech researchers, PhDs, hospital microbiologists and investigators at public health authorities

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 turn 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.


Among the applicants fulfilling the entry and programme-specific requirements, there will be a selection based on their qualifications specified in a merit template. After you have completed your application online at, download and fill out the programme-specific merit template. The merit template and all supporting documentation must then be uploaded on by 1 February.

Master Programme in Infection Biology

120 credits

Autumn 2019 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2019-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M3350 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 in biology, bio-/medicine, biotechnology, pharmacy, pharmaceutical bioscience, (pharmaceutical) chemistry, medical science, agriculture, animal science, veterinary medicine or education giving knowledge in cell biology, genetics, (bio)chemistry and molecular biology. Knowledge and previous experience of laboratory work.

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 with emphasis on grades in relevant fields;
  • a statement of purpose;
  • a summary in English (1-2 pages) of a degree project; and
  • experience of laboratory work.


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 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000