The Master's Programme in Chemistry, specialising in Biochemistry, provides you with a firm basis in advanced biochemistry covering all major areas, especially in the fields of protein structure and function, macromolecular interactions, enzymology and protein engineering, from both an experimental and theoretical perspective. It has been developed in cooperation with world leading research groups at Uppsala University.
Why this programme?
The Master's Programme in Chemistry, specialising in Biochemistry, 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 and structural biology methods. It includes the physical and chemical foundations you need to take part in the research of the complex regulation of cellular signal transduction, cross-talk between proteins and possible linkage to diseases. You will be prepared and well-equipped to participate in the development of new solutions for sustainable production of more efficient drugs, fuels, and new materials.
During the programme you can expect to:
have 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.
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. You will meet PhD-students and post-docs who have come to Uppsala to be part of an excellent research environment to perform 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.
To give you even further experience in working in a research group, you can also choose Research training courses which will further develop your theoretical knowledge and experimental skills.
Student profile You are probably coming directly from your Bachelor's degree or have had a relevant job to strengthen especially your experimental skills. Your university was well equipped with experimental facilities so you have good practical training in 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 will 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.
Name: Andrea Balderrama From: Bolivia Studying: Master’s Programme in Chemistry – Analytical Chemistry
Why did you choose to come and study in Sweden?
– A friend of mine was studying in Sweden and really enjoyed being here. She suggested that I look into Sweden since I was planning to study abroad. I did, and realised that Swedish universities are really good. Also, the way of life and culture seemed to be a good fit for me. Best decision ever!
Why did you choose to study this programme?
– I knew that analytical chemistry was what I liked. Uppsala University had a whole Master’s programme where I could focus on that!
How is it like to study at a university in Sweden?
– The relationship with your professors is horisontal. You call them by their name and discuss with them more like colleagues instead of a professor – student kind of way. Grades are not that important here, which makes you enjoy the learning process way more!
Does your programme live up to your expectations?
– Totally! I enjoyed and learned a lot from the lectures, labs and projects we had.
What is the best about studying at Uppsala University?
– I think being in a place with so much history and trajectory in science. I remembered being in some lectures and it was casually mentioned that whatever we were covering at the time was discovered here. It blew my mind!
How does a normal day look like for you?
– Just pointing out that I am not the most interesting person. Breakfast, lectures, lunch with classmates, more lectures and a bit of revising. Then I would mix either meeting with friends, exercise or just relaxing.
What has been the most fun and interesting so far?
– Valborg – Walpurgis Eve. It is celebrated in the spring and the biggest celebration is in the university cities of Uppsala and Lund. The whole city is closed for a week (specially two days) and students take over with many activities.
What is typical for your programme?
– We have a lot of labs per course. They are quite interesting and help you understand better what you cover in lectures.
How was it coming to Sweden for the first time?
– I thought it would be really cold, but it was August, so it was still sunny and relatively warm. That was a nice surprise.
How did you meet and get to know new people?
– Your corridor (shared accommodation), your programme and hobbies are great places to meet new people.
What is your future goal with your studies?
– For me the most important is that I use my skills to have a positive impact around me (even if it is small!).
What do you do beside your studies?
– I like reading, watching YouTube, enjoy the nature (we have a lot of that here) and fika with friends (important Swedish word to learn).
Three quick questions Favorite place in Uppsala?
– The botanical garden.
Best student tradition at Uppsala University?
– When you finish your PhD, you have a “nailing ceremony” where you literally nail your thesis to a wood stick!
What do you do in five years?
– I want to help others and continue learning!
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.
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 Master's thesis titles 2021:
C. Ottosson: The Role of Flanking Regions in Protein-Protein Interactions
C. Charrier: Development of a novel biocatalyst for asymmetric aldol synthesis: expression, purification and screening of recombinant TalB variants
V. Tiedermann: Exploring the docking interactions and catalytic activity of human kinases
L. Persson: Development of LC-MS/MSassays for post-translationalmodification of peptides and proteins by prolyl hydroxylaseandtyrosinase
Theory and practical work are always interwoven into the courses, and instruction takes place in the form of lectures, laboratory work, problem-solving, seminars, and projects.
The lecturers are active researchers who will coach you to adopt a scientific approach in your work, where you will develop the necessary skills to solve problems, think critically and analytically, plan and formulate research problems, and independently carry out the necessary experiments and analyse as well as interpret the results.
In seminars, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or work you have conducted; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills which will be required in your future professional development. All students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.
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% of those who obtained their degree during the last ten years being either employed or undertaking doctoral studies.
A degree from Uppsala University will give you close connection to excellent and world leading research. You will have many opportunities to build an exciting future career in academia, industry, the public sector, or in entrepreneurship. Not only will you gain the knowledge and ability to perform special and advanced tasks in chemistry, you will also be qualified for positions in many other areas where problem-solving, abstract thinking and analytical ability are required.
Possible career paths can vary. You may work with:
Research and development
Analysis of materials
Management of safety and legal issues
Patenting of inventions
Marketing and sales
Environmental and sustainability issues
Developing new and improved methods for quality control
Salary in Sweden can vary greatly depending on education level, work task, previous experience, location, sector, etc. According to one of the largest Swedish work union SACO's statistics of salary in Sweden in 2019, newly graduated students in chemistry earned between SEK 25 000 and SEK 35 000 per month before tax.
Our previous graduates today work at, for example:
Cytiva (previously GE Healthcare)
Thermo Fischer Scientific
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. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. 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: a statement of purpose.
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 including 10 credits in biochemistry.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on:
an overall appraisal 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.