Master's Programme in Chemistry – Biochemistry

120 credits

The Master's Programme in Chemistry, specialising in Biochemistry, provides you with a firm basis in advanced Biochemistry. Focus is 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. The vivid biochemical research provides possibilities for a Master thesis project within a diverse and dynamic scientific environment.

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

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 be offered the opportunity to 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.


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

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:

  • 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 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.

The language of instruction is English.

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
  • Production processes
  • 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 2021, 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)
  • GSK
  • Alvotech
  • Thermo Fischer Scientific

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.