Master's Programme in Biology – Cell and Molecular Biology

120 credits

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.

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

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

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

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

Courses within the programme are listed on the Department webpage or found in the programme outline.

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.

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.