Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology

120 credits

The Master's Programme in Applied Biotechnology is designed for ambitious future professionals who want to specialise in biotechnology and gain knowledge of project management and entrepreneurship. Uppsala is Sweden's biotechnology hub and your studies will largely benefit from the proximity to the biotechnology industry. The programme will give you a unique profile that prepares you for both an academic and industrial career in biotechnology.


Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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.

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 programme 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. 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.

Thanks to courses in project management, marketing and entrepreneurship, you will gain insight and learn how projects are planned and carried out in the biotechnology industry. One important element of the 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.

Student profile

As a student in Applied Biotechnology, you will have courses with many lab hours, which means you need an interest in gaining hands-on skills in varied areas. You will actively study, conduct group work for lab exercises or small projects, and take part in scientific discussions and presentations. You should be motivated and ready to take responsibility. You should see biotechnology as a toolset that you can apply in different problem areas, which will improve the quality of life in the future. You can opt to do a PhD or work in a company or agency after completion of your Master's degree.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Applied Biotechnology as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

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 the 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 your 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 years one and two, you can even take iGEM-based course/s Project in Laboratory Synthetic Biology I or II (15 credits) if you fulfil 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 the 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, a biotechnology company, a government agency or a 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 an oral presentation.

Courses within the programme

See the programme outline for courses within the programme.

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 the biotechnology industry with experience of work outside the University. You will meet both Swedish and international students and teachers in this programme, which will help you build up a valuable network during and after your studies.

The language of instruction is English. Teaching involves lectures, seminars, group exercises (presentations), laboratory work in small groups, and project/research work. You will read scientific literature along with textbooks 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.

In a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar with your classmates, 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 is also based on your prior knowledge and experience. You are expected to participate actively in your education and take responsibility for personal learning outcomes as well as contribute 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 is based 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.

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 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 managers and sales executives. We also have examples where our graduates have made their own business ventures.

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.

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.