Cell and Molecular Biology - Master's Programme in Biology

Academic year 2023/2024

Photo for Cell and Molecular Biology - Master's Programme in Biology 2023/2024

Understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the function, reproduction and communication of cells is fundamental for the understanding of multi-cellular animals and plants. The combination of cell and molecular biology in the Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Cell and Molecular Biology, encourages you to develop a deep insight into biological systems, from molecular interactions at the subatomic level to complex systems and their interactions in cells and organelles.

Why this programme?

Uppsala University is internationally renowned and the Master's Programme in Biology gives you a degree with a good reputation worldwide. We strive for all kinds of biology to exist at the university. Each student in the Master's Programme in Biology has their personal study plan and you can choose freely from a large number of courses according to your interest. We also give you suggestions for a well-thought-out course of study.

The cells are the smallest units of all living organisms. As a student in the Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Cell and Molecular Biology, you will obtain an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind e.g., the biological processes governing the function and behaviour of proteins. This makes you well equipped for the pharmaceutical and other biotechnical job markets and basic research. You can also specialise in microbiology or structural biology.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • obtain an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the function, reproduction and communication of cells
  • gain necessary skills for a career in the pharmaceutical and other biotechnical job markets
  • get insights into molecular interactions at the subatomic level to complex systems and their interactions in cells and organelles.

In most courses, the lectures are intertwined with discussion seminars and laboratory practices to give you general knowledge about cells and cellular processes, and how to work with cells.

Student profile

You have a broad interest in biology or more narrowly focused interest in a specific sub-area. Either way, you are willing to take a lot of responsibility yourself to form your own educational experience from the very wide range of biology courses offered at Uppsala University.

Ideally, during your Bachelor's studies, you had the opportunity to work in a laboratory and do some field work as well as use statistics to analyse data from your work. Writing lab reports and shorter essays is something you already have experience doing.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in this international field.


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

All specialisations of this programme


There is a joint starting course for this specialisation and the specialisation in Immunology and Microbiology. The course is Trends in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. It covers modern applications of molecular biology and also builds on the knowledge gained in your Bachelor's studies. This starting course also includes a general introduction to the Master's programme. Thereafter, you can choose among the courses such as Structure and Function of Macromolecules, RNA: Structure, Function and Biology, Microbiology and Genes, Brain and Behaviour, according to your interest and your personal study plan.

In the course Molecular Cell Biology (the first course in the second semester) you will delve much deeper into the structure and function of the cell. Together with some of your classmates, you will choose a topic for deeper studies, and present and discuss this topic at a symposium concluding the course.

During the last period of the first year, we recommend the course Functional Genomics. It provides in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the large-scale and technology-driven strategies that are currently applied within the field of molecular biology.

In the second year, you can study one or two courses, or combine a research training course with a degree project of 30, 45, or 60 credits. This allows you to be well prepared for an academic career or a career outside academia.

Courses within the programme

See the outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

Biology instruction at Uppsala University is done in close connection to current research. All teachers for the individual courses in the Master's Programme in Biology are active scientists, ensuring that you will get an education that reaches the absolute forefront of the respective field.

The courses provide factual knowledge and practical training in the form of laboratory work and field trips, as well as the ability to solve problems, think analytically and work scientifically. Communication training is integrated into all courses of the programme.

The Master's Programme in Biology has a strong international character, and all courses are taught in English.


Your primary work area will be in research and development in academia or industry, for instance in the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnical industry, forensic medicine, diagnostics or agriculture industry.

In the programme, you will be trained to apply solid theoretical knowledge in solving problems or conducting projects, to present projects or research orally and in writing, and to work both individually and in groups. All these capabilities will be valuable for you to raise in your future work.

The specialisation in Cell and Molecular Biology also builds a strong ground for PhD studies in Sweden or internationally. Your most important merit in this aspect is your degree project. With a careful choice of the courses and topics for your degree project, you will graduate with solid theoretical knowledge regarding molecular processes in the cell and practical knowledge of the methods you need in further studies.

As a biologist, you can also work as a teacher or science journalist.

Examples of titles that biologists may have:

  • Researcher
  • Administrator
  • Agricultural auditor
  • Project manager
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Investigator
  • Laboratory engineer
  • Research engineer
  • Consultant
  • Specialist

The average salary in Sweden for biologists was SEK 42 100 in 2021, according to the trade union the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists (in Swedish).

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: an Application Summary Sheet (including your statement of purpose).

Cell and Molecular Biology

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M1760 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Also required is:

  • 40 weeks of full-time studies (60 credits) in biology; and
  • 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits) in chemistry.

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.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose.

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 programme-specific information, please contact: Richard Svanbäck or Fredrik Sundström


+46 18 471 29 38 (Richard) / +46 18 471 41 38 (Fredrik)

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:


Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyvägen 14 / BMC A8:1

Norbyvägen 14, 752 36 UPPSALA/Box 592, 751 24 UPPSALA


Last modified: 2022-10-27