Master's Programme in Infection Biology

120 credits

Infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance continue to be serious threats to all things living. Knowledge of how viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi develop, spread and interact, from molecular to global level, is vital. With a broad and medically scientifically anchored knowledge base, you can contribute to preventing, diagnosing and treating infections as well as monitoring and stopping both local and global spread of infection. Are you ready to take on the challenge? Study the Master's Programme in Infection Biology.

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

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

To provide an up-to-date, research-based education, the Master's programme in infection biology collaborates with approximately 200 researchers and specialists. All course leaders are researchers or specialists in the field covered by the course. The programme benefits from Uppsala's strong infectious biology competence with two universities (Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU), two university hospitals (Uppsala University Hospital and the University Animal Hospital) and three national authorities (the Food and Drug Administration, the Medical Products Agency and the National Veterinary Institute) which are responsible for food safety, medical products and surveillance of disease outbreaks.

The programme gives you knowledge about infectious diseases, from molecular processes to a global health perspective. Lectures are interspersed with practical exercises, laborations and research preparatory cases and seminars to provide theoretical knowledge, practical skills and assessment abilities. Together, this provides competence and a basis for working with research and development at universities, authorities, medical technology companies, clinical laboratories or research institutes. The programme's strong international character also prepares you for work in an international environment, and the programme's many partners and alumni give you a wide network of contacts within the field. The final degree project and optional research project courses give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in the field you think is relevant to your future career.

During the programme, you will:

  • identify and analyse problems based on complex contexts,
  • use relevant scientific strategies and methods to solve infectious biology problems,
  • evaluate global infectious biology problems from broad perspectives,
  • work with scientific research projects, both individually and in teams,
  • compile and present scientific information in speech and writing in a relevant way to both research colleagues and the general public.

Student profile

You have a genuine interest in all aspects of infectious diseases, from molecular mechanisms to surveillance in a global arena. You have a solid theoretical base in relevant subjects and practical experience that makes you feel confident in the lab.

You find it easy to express yourself in English in speech and writing and are happy to share your knowledge with your fellow students, just as you expect to be able to learn from their experiences and knowledge. You are curious and like to critically analyse and discuss problems and develop solutions that withstand sharp discussions. Regardless of whether you work alone or in a team, you take responsibility for your studies.

You are passionate about research and development.


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

The first year of the programme provides you with molecular and cellular knowledge about infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites and how they can be fought by the immune system. With this knowledge as a base, knowledge is added about the clinical effects of infections as well as relevant methods for diagnosis and how different treatment and vaccination strategies work. Particular focus is given to the driving forces behind the development of antibiotic resistance. With bioinformatics tools, you gain knowledge to explain the evolution of microbes. Through basic epidemiology, you learn to describe the frequency and spread of infections in populations, as well as to evaluate causal relationships and predict risks.

The second year provides knowledge about infectious diseases from a global "one world - one health" perspective. You will learn how infectious diseases spread from food and between animals and humans. The focus is on possible measures and research strategies to reduce the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, with particular emphasis on the problems in low-income countries. You will also learn how to design research studies in a scientifically correct manner and to make knowledge-based choices of relevant methods and analysis in advanced infectious biology research.

The final individual degree research project corresponds to 30 credits but can be started already during semester three and then constitute 45 credits. The chosen subject must be within the subject area of ​​infectious biology and can be carried out at an academic unit, company or within the public sector, in Sweden or abroad.

Courses within the programme

Year 1

Year 2

During semesters two and three, courses can be exchanged for individual research project courses.

The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, project work and laboratory exercises. The lectures are strongly rooted in ongoing infectious biological medical research and during these, you will meet specialists from various fields in infectious medical biology.

Seminars and group exercises develop your ability to critically examine methods and results, compile facts and draw conclusions from scientific texts and achieved results, as well as discuss and argue in a scientifically grounded way. Here you also get to practice your skills in planning, running, following up and reporting on projects, both individually and in teams. The practical experimental work will train your practical abilities and understanding of the choice of methods, interpretation of results and creation of hypotheses based on these.

The programme's courses are mainly given at Uppsala University's Biomedical Centre (BMC), but some courses are located at the Swedish University of Agriculture (SLU). The degree project can be carried out in any location.

The programme is given in Uppsala and the teaching is in English. The programme is given full-time, which means 40 study hours per week. On average, 15 to 20 hours each week are scheduled. Of the scheduled hours, approximately half are lectures and half are lab work, exercises and various types of seminars. The remaining time is set aside for project work and preparation for scheduled assignments on your own or in teams.

Broad and deep knowledge of infection biology will prepare you for work in basic and applied research and development in a wide variety of areas, such as diagnostics, drug development, antimicrobial resistance problems, vaccinations, emergency management, food production, surveillance and epidemiology and developing country-specific diseases in animals and humans as well as zoonoses.

Employment may be found in academia and drug and biotech companies. In the public sector, you can work in microbial laboratories related to health care, food and agriculture. In the One World perspective, there is also a need for your competence in predictions, surveillance and follow-up of outbreaks, both nationally and on a global scale. The strong research links will be of particular use if you are heading for further PhD studies and a research career.

The programme's strong international character gives you, in addition to obvious course objectives, also increased cultural intelligence of great importance for future collaborations.

Graduates from the Master's Programme in Infection Biology are found spread around the world working to a very high degree within infectious biology-related subjects as academic and biotech researchers, PhDs, hospital microbiologists and investigators at public health authorities.

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.