Molecular Biology, Master's, 2 years
- Years2 years
- LanguageEnglish, Norwegian
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to apply
Follow these links to find the general entry requirements and guidelines on how to apply:
- Citizens from outside the European Union/EEA/EFTA (1 December)
- Citizens from within the European Union/EEA/EFTA (1 March)
- Nordic citizens and applicants residing in Norway (15 April)
You will also have to meet the programme specific entry requirements.