Name of qualification

Master of Science in Molecular Biology

ECTS Credits

Two years of full-time study, where the normal workload for a full-time student is 60 credits for one academic year.

Language of Instruction




Objectives and content

The master programme in molecular biology provides the candidate with solid and advanced understanding of current topics within this discipline. We conduct research on important biomolecules and their roles in the various life processes including diseases. The candidate can choose a research project among the areas of protein structure and function relationship, signal transduction and regulation in biological systems, and biological computation and bioinformatics . The research project is often part of a larger project where the candidate collaborates in groups with researchers. Through project work the student will learn how to work both independently and collaboratively in the laboratory. The candidate will learn to evaluate own results in relation to the hypothesis being tested. In addition, the candidate will develop skills to present own results, both orally and in writing. The student will also learn how to read and evaluate relevant literature. In addition to the practical work, other requirements include both mandatory and elective courses.

Required Learning Outcomes


The candidate

  • has advanced level of knowledge within the field of molecular biology - including protein structure and function, and holds specialized knowledge within the subfield connected to the master work
  • has advanced knowledge about the theory behind basic molecular biology techniques such as gene technology and protein purification
  • can collect, analyse and apply new knowledge within the field of molecular biology


The candidate

  • can apply a wide range of basic molecular biology methods covering gene technology, protein expression and purification, and cell culture work
  • can plan and carry out biochemical and molecular biology experiments and evaluate critically the results in relation to the hypothesis being tested
  • is able to carry out an independent research project under guidance of supervision
  • will develop good skills to present and discuss quantitative data and to master basic statistical tools
  • can read relevant literature and apply this knowledge in reasoning and in the formulation of new ideas within the field of molecular biology

General competence

The candidate

  • can analyse scientific problems and participate in discussion to solve such problems
  • has the skills to present scientific knowledge and research both orally and in written form both to scientists and to the public
  • can reflect about key ethical issues and scientific problems in research
  • has the skills to demonstrate understanding and respect for scientific values such as transparency and accuracy, and to discriminate between knowledge and opinions

Admission Requirements

In order to apply for the Master Programme in Molecular Biology you need a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology or the like.

Bachelor's degree from UiB that qualifies:

  • Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology
  • Grade average is calculated from the bachelor's degree specialization.

External bachelor's degrees can qualify if they have the following:

  • minimum 20 ECTS in chemistry, 10 ECTS must be in organic chemistry
  • 10 ECTS in mathematics
  • 70 ECTS in molecular or biochemical topics where:

    • minimum 10 ECTS documented practical molecular biology laboratory work practice
    • minimum 40 ECTS must cover following subjects:

      • Basic molecular biology
      • Molecular cell biology
      • Regulation of metabolic pathways in cells and organs
      • Gene-structure and function
      • Bioinformatics

You also need to document:

Compulsory units

The master's programme consists of two components: Coursework of 60 credits and an individual research project (master's thesis MOL399) of 60 credits. Courses: The courses MOL300 Practical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and MOL310 Structural Molecular Biology are compulsory. In addition, there are 30 credits of elective courses, chosen in agreement with the supervisor.

Master's thesis: MOL399 Master's thesis in Molecular Biology of 60 credits

The Master's thesis must be submitted within a deadline at the end of the fourth semester, 1 June.

1. semester: MOL300 - one elective course

2. semester: MOL310 - one elective course - one elective course

3. semester: MOL399 Master's thesis in Molecular Biology

4. semester: MOL399 Master's thesis in Molecular Biology

Recommended electives

30 course credits in the Master's programme are elective and have to be chosen in agreement with the supervisor.

Teaching and learning methods

A combination of teaching and learning methods is used in the various courses, including lectures, hands-on laboratory and colloquiums.

You may find more information in the course description.

The Master's thesis is an independently scientific work, under supervision of an academic supervisor.

Assessment methods

The most common assessment methods are lab-reports, semester thesis, written and oral examination. The assessment methods for each course are described in the course description.

The final step in the programme is an oral examination. The examination is held when the master's thesis is subitted, evaluated and approved.

Grading scale

At UoB the grades are given in one of two possible grading scales: passed/failed and A-F.

The master's thesis will be graded A to F. The grading scale for each course is given in the course description.

Diploma and Diploma supplement

The Diploma, in Norwegian, and the Diploma Supplement, in English, will be issued when the degree is completed.

Access to further studies

To be eligible for admission to the Doctoral education (PhD) the candidate must have completed a master's degree.

To qualify for the Doctoral education (PhD) at UiB the average grade for the master's thesis, the Master's degree and the bachelor's degree should be at least C.

In order to get enrolled you have to be granted a fellowship for doctoral training.


With a degree in molecular biology you can work with research and teaching at universities, university colleges, university hospitals and other major hospitals. Molecular biologists work in a variety of fields such as food research, petroleum industry, marine research, forensic science and environmental research. Medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry and research are also relevant fields of work.

Programme committee

The programme committee is responsible for the academic content, and structure and the quality of the program.

Administrative responsibility

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by the Department of Biological Sciences, holds the administrative responsibility for the programme.

Contact information

Please contact the student adviser for the program if you have any questions: