Biology Education Centre

Master programme in biology - nine specialisations

Uppsala University is among the world leaders in biological research with centres of excellence and strong research groups in such widely differing fields as evolutionary biology, genomics, ecology, limnology, RNA research, biophysics and structural biology. Studying ecology and environmental science in Sweden is facilitated by easy access to pristine nature for field studies. Uppsala is also one of the top ten biotech regions in the world with a great number of small and large biotech companies, influenced by, and employing, new researchers from Uppsala University. Collaborations between Uppsala University, biotech companies and national authorities generate a stimulating educational environment.

Excellence ranking

Biology in Uppsala in late October 2010 got a renewed Excellence Ranking by the German Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE). Their ranking is specifically aimed as a guide for students who, after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, intend to continue their studies with a Master’s programme at a European university but who have no idea which programme to choose or where to attend. Uppsala was ranked no 1 in Europe for student contentment.

Programme information

This Master Programme in Biology is characterised by close connections to the frontlines of research within the area. The teachers are all active researchers at different research departments within the Biology section, and as a student here you will come into close contact with researchers at the frontline of international science. In all our courses, a major aim is to stimulate and encourage analytical thinking and the ability to solve problems using new knowledge.

The Master programme offers many alternative course combinations, and there are a number of specialisations preparing for research or professions outside the academy. Each specialisation has a set of profile courses, with possibilities to add other courses aiming at different professional careers. The programme is completed by a 20 or 30 weeks degree project.

By combining suitable courses in your MSc with a relevant degree project you will be well prepared for a job career e.g. in the industry, at companies, national agencies or NGOs as well as with research and development. You will also have an excellent basis for pursuing academic research through PhD studies.

Download the programme folder

Cell and Molecular Biology

This specialisation provides you with an in-depth understanding from molecular systems to interactions within complex systems and within cells and organelles. This course is suitable for pharmaceutical research and other biotechnical applications, as well as basic scientific research in cell and molecular biology. The student may also turn towards microbiology or structural biology.

Read more about the specialisation in Cell and molecular biology

Ecology and conservation

Within this specialisation, you may choose among theoretical courses dealing with plants, animals and micro-organisms and their interactions, or alternatively, vocational courses aiming at a future career in nature conservation within industry, the public sector or other organisations.

Read more about the specialisation in Ecology and conservation

Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME)

This is a research-oriented international programme within evolutionary biology linked to the EU's Mundus scholarships. Applications for this specialisation may not be made through Uppsala University, but instead via MEME where applications are made for both the programme and the scholarship simultaneously.

Read more about the Erasmus Mundus specialisation

Evolutionary Biology

This specialisation is characterised by the integration of field, laboratory and theoretical studies, and embraces areas such as evolutionary ecology, genomics, macro-evolution, and development biology. Studies may also be turned towards biological multiplicity and systematics.

Read more about the specialisation in Evolutionary biology

Genetic and Molecular Plant Science

The growth of plants, developments and interactions with surroundings and other organisms (for example, symbioses) are studied in this specialisation. Applications are found within research, plant breeding, genetic engineering and biotechnology. Cooperation with Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Stockholm University.

Read more about the specialisation in Genetic and molecular plant science

Immunology and Microbiology

This specialisation focuses on how the immune system discovers and removes pathogenic bacteria, viruses and parasites. In addition to studies in microbiology, analyses are also made of events at cellular and molecular levels when the immune system overreacts or has insufficient tolerance towards body tissue when, for instance, allergies and autoimmunity arise.

Read more about the specialisation in immunology and Microbiology

Limnology – Ecology and Environment of Inland Waters

Freshwater ecology, including physical, chemical and biological interactions in aquatic ecosystems, from microbes to fish. This specialisation can be directed towards a research carrier, but also has strong coupling to practical management of aquatic ecosystems and water resources.

Read more about the specialisation in Limnology

Environmental Toxicology

This specialisation covers the entire chain of the impact of chemicals on nature, from biochemical effects in living cells, via physiological effects on cells, organs and individuals to consequences at population and ecosystem levels. The programme has substantial applied aspects within fields such as risk assessment, environmental impact descriptions and the testing of chemicals.

Read more about the specialisation in Environmental toxicology

NABiS – Nordic Master in Biodiversity and Systematics

Biodiversity and Systematics concerns the multitude of organisms living on our planet and the evolutionary relationships among them. Far from all existing organisms have been discovered and described, and among those organisms science knows of, classification is still ambiguous. In this programme, students are trained to gain the systematic and taxonomic expertise needed in our society to be able to take action against loss of biodiversity.

Read more about the NABiS specialisation

After the programme

The master programme in Biology provides knowledge and skills for a qualified professional career with advanced tasks in industry, government, self-employment or for continued PhD studies. After the programme, you have a good base to participate in research and development in your area.

Biologists from Uppsala University has a broad field of opportunities, depending on the specialization and interest. With an ecological or evolutionary biological specialisation, you can work with nature and environmental conservation on for example county councils, the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental organizations or consulting firms. With a cellular or molecular specialisation, you can work with, for example, product development or microbiological analyses, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Biologists can also work as teachers, science journalists, or in various media contexts. The Master programme also provides a good basis for further research and a large part of those who complete their education in biology at Uppsala University will continue with PhD studies.