Molecular Biology, Master's, 2 years

Molecular biology has invaluable contributions to the understanding of diseases, including HIV, cancers, diabetes and prionic diseases.
  • TuitionNone
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake20
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish, Norwegian
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn and Spring (Spring: Only supplementary admission)

Main content

Welcome to master’s programme in Molecular Biology, a study at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences!   

Start-up meeting: 

The start-up meeting in spring 2024 will be on Monday 8 August, 10:15-12:00, Inkubatoren, 4th floor, Høyteknologisenteret,  Thormøhlensgate 55

Attendance is mandatory. At the meeting, important information will be given. If compelling reasons make it impossible for you to attend the meeting, send an email to studie@bio.uib.no

What to bring with you: computer

Checklist: Follow the steps in our checklist to make sure you’re on track: uib.no/en/checklist 

Students with special needs: If you have a disability and need special arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can find good solutions for you. 

Queries? Please contact your faculty information centre at 55 58 30 30 or send an email to studie.matnat@uib.no.    

At a fundamental level, molecular biology looks at life from a molecular perspective – how it started and how it keeps going. The molecules that we study can only be fully understood by considering their information content and properties in relation to a living organism.  

In Molecular Biology we ask:  

  • How do genes cause function and characteristics in organisms? 
  • How do diseases emerge, and how do we develop new treatments? 
  • How do we improve our access to food, its nutritional value and safety? 

Knowledge of theoretical and practical molecular biology is necessary to understand and create new knowledge in biotechnology and biological and medical science. There are many techniques specific to our field, which are being developed intensively. Molecular biology is also important for developing good data tools for the analysis of biological data.   

Master’s projects in Molecular Biology cover a wide professional range and are carried out in different research groups and departments at the university but also at the University Hospital and Institute of Marine Research.  

You can choose a research project among the areas of  

  • protein structure and function relationship  
  • signal transduction and regulation in biological systems 
  • biological computation and bioinformatics 

Master’s students have their own study hall and social area close to the research facilities, and there is a close connection between staff and students.

More information below



With a master’s 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  
  • environmental research 

Medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry and research are also relevant fields of work for molecular biologists. 

7 out of 10 of alumni with a degree from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences say that they have found relevant work within two years of graduating.   

 You can also continue in academic research by pursuing a PhD


As a master’s student in molecular biology you will spend your first year doing coursework (60 ECTS) and your second year working in the lab, and on writing your master’s thesis (60 ECTS).  

Some courses are mandatory, the rest can be chosen to match your academic interests. 

First semester (autumn): 

  • MOL300 Practical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (20 ECTS), mandatory 
  • Elective course on 200- or 300-level (10 ECTS) (MOL203 or MOL204 is recommended) 

Second semester (spring):  

  • MOL310 Structural Molecular Biology (10 ECTS), mandatory 
  • Elective course on 200- or 300-level (20 ECTS) (MOL217 or MOL320 is recommended) 

Third and fourth semester: 

  • MOL399 Master's thesis in Molecular Biology  

Read more about course combinations and content. 

Academic life

Molecular Biology belongs to the Department of Biological Sciences (BIO), which is situated on the Marineholmen campus close to the city centre. This is an international environment with both students and scientists from all over the world. Our working language is English.  

The Students’ council Heliks is very active and invites master and bachelor students to participate in different social happenings.  

Work load

In a typical week as a master’s student, you will spend a lot of time in the lab. You will also have lectures, seminars, study groups, projects, presentations and papers. This is a busy, fulltime study, with many activities every day. 

Your master’s project will often be part of a larger research project where you collaborate in groups with researchers. You will work both independently and collaboratively in all teaching activities.  

Master's thesis

 Our supervisors offer a wide range of master’s projects that you can choose from. You can also find your own project and supervisor and apply to get it accepted as a master's project.  

You can carry out your research project in one of our research groups or choose external supervision, for example at the Institute of Marine Research or at Haukeland University Hospital.  

What do our students write about in their theses? Take a look at our master thesis archive for molecular biology students

Get to know our students and staff. 

What will I learn?

With a master’s degree in molecular biology, you will have an advanced level of knowledge within the field of molecular biology—including protein structure and function—and hold specialised knowledge within the subfield of your chosen master’s topic.  

  • can plan and carry out biochemical and molecular biology experiments and evaluate critically the results in relation to the hypothesis being tested 
  • have the skills to present scientific knowledge and research both orally and in written form both to scientists and to the public 
  •  will learn through project work how to work both independently and collaboratively in the laboratory.  
  • will learn to evaluate your own results in relation to the hypothesis being tested.  
  • will learn how to read and evaluate relevant literature. 

Full list of learning outcomes. 

Study period abroad 

You can perform some of your thesis work in a collaborating lab abroad if it suits your master’s project and your supervisor agrees. 

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 15 ECTS in chemistry, 5 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:

How to apply 

Follow these links to find the guidelines on how to apply:

All applicants with citizenship from outside the EU/EEA must pay tuition fees. 

You will also have to meet the programme specific entry requirements.

The programme has main admission in fall and supplementary admission in spring (application deadline 1 November), if not all spots have been filled in the fall admission. The spring admission does not apply for applicants from outside the European Union/EEA/EFTA.