MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Introduction

The MSc in Molecular Biology programme is both practical and research-oriented, reflecting the interests of business and industry, research institutions and the public sector. This flexible programme accommodates the interests of the individual student, because it allows you to specialise in a particular subject area while acquiring a general mastery of in molecular biology.

Specialisation

Students can choose to specialise within a more general field, including one of the five branches of molecular biology in which Aarhus University is particularly strong: molecular medicine, structural biology, systems biology, plant biology, and quantitative genetics.

The MSc in molecular biology programme counts as 120 ECTS credits. Students can tailor the study programme to fit their qualifications and interests. In the first year, students follow an individually planned course programme.

In the second year students write a thesis. There are excellent opportunities for collaboration with a group of researchers in connection with work on the thesis project. This gives students a chance to participate in the group’s research projects, academic discussions and articles.

World-class research

Teaching at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics is greatly influenced by the research conducted here, as the lecturers are active researchers. Students gain insight into on-going research projects across the entire spectrum of molecular biology, from bacteria and yeast to humans. The understanding of biochemistry and molecular biology is based upon the entire spectrum, from atoms to organisms.  

Read, print and be inspired

Download and print a short presentation of the MA programme in Molecular Biology.

Admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Molecular Biology:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Aarhus University, the University of Southern Denmark or the University of Copenhagen.

The following other degrees can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme in Molecular Biology:

  • Another Bachelor of Science degree with subject components in Molecular Biology equalling 60 ECTS credits, as well as basic subject components in Mathematics, Chemistry and Statistics.

Other qualifications can provide admission to the Master’s degree programme, provided the university assesses that their level, extent and content correspond to the degrees mentioned above.

Legal right of admission

Students of the Bachelor's degree programme in Molecular Biology at Aarhus University have the right to be admitted to the Master's degree programme in Molecular Biology on the condition that application is made with a view to continuing directly from the Bachelor's degree programme to the Master's degree programme. The legal right of admission requires receipt of the application by Aarhus University within the appropriate period of time.

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programme in Molecular Biology (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Language Requirements

Since English is the language of instruction in all subjects, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency.
Please see the page on language requirements.

Documentation

Please see the general admission requirements.

Programme structure

The Master’s degree in molecular biology counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the molecular biology field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Molecular Biology by choosing courses from a course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelor’s degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.

For more information about the individual courses, go to: kursuskatalog.au.dk/en/

Forms of teaching

At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professor’s office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.

The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and practical exercises take place in small groups where you study relevant issues in depth. Most molecular biology students also spend a certain amount of time on laboratory work.

The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts – even in jobs you didn’t know you were qualified for.

The teaching is divided into two semesters per year. For an example of a course calendar, go to: studerende.au.dk/en/studies/subject-portals/studies/teaching/teaching-calendar/

PhD programme

If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree or when you have completed your Master’s degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.

For more information, go to: phd.au.dk/gradschools/scienceandtechnology/

Academic regulations


 

Student life

Students on this programme are based at the Department of Molecular Biology – a large facility at Science Park Aarhus which students have furnished themselves and where they meet in connection with academic and social activities. In addition, a number of student organisations at the department organise academic activities, excursions, celebrations and social functions.

The University Park campus – a unique place

The main Aarhus University campus is unique, with buildings closely grouped together and surrounded by nature. The campus is conveniently situated close to the city centre, and student accommodation is readily available as long as you apply on time. There are a range of activities, ranging from running to regatta on the lake, as well as guest lectures, film screenings, and university events taking place throughout the year. To ensure student well-being, counselling services are available for students, to offer support and guidance during their time at Aarhus.

Aarhus as a city

As the second-largest city in Denmark, Aarhus is a young and dynamic place with plenty of opportunities. The 40,000 students at the university make up 17.5% of the city’s population, which leaves its mark on city life. An attractive feature of Aarhus is that there are beaches and woods a short bike-ride away, as well as cultural events taking place throughout the year, including the Aarhus Festival in September. The theatres in the city and the ARoS international art museum offer many events that enable you to experience the Danish culture. 

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

-experienced, photographed and filmed by the students themselves.

 With thousands of pictures #yourniversity gives insight into the everyday life as a student at AU; the parties, procrastination, exams and all the other ways you’ll spend your time at university.

 

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.

Meet our graduates

Here are examples of jobs for a graduate in Molecular Biology.

I work as a project manager, which means that I make sure things get done, and I’m responsible for following up afterwards. Projects could concern new products, for example, and solutions for industry, where I’m part of the chain all the way through from development to testing, sales and customer support.

CASPER HØY SIMONSEN, Graduate, MSc in Molecular Biology, Application Specialist at DANISCO

Career

Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2013/2014 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Competence profile

With a Master’s degree in molecular biology, you gain the following competencies:

  • You have general knowledge of molecular biology and detailed knowledge of key disciplines, methodologies, theories and concepts within this field.
  • You can independently plan, manage and implement projects and apply the results in scientifically relevant decision processes.
  • You can assess the applicability and appropriateness of theoretical, experimental and practical methodologies for the analysis and solution of scientific questions and issues.
  • You can structure your own competence development independently and critically.
  • You are able to systematically and critically familiarise yourself with new subject areas.
  • You can communicate academic questions and issues to both a scientific and a general audience.
  • You can collaborate constructively on a scientific basis to solve subject-related issues.
  • You are familiar with ethical questions and issues relating to molecular biology.

Job opportunities

As a molecular biologist, you primarily work with finding solutions to the many health and food challenges that our society is facing. These are due to the ageing population and more stringent standards for food development and quality. These areas are growing rapidly – a trend that is expected to continue. The employment prospects for future molecular biologists therefore look very promising.

Graduates of the MSc programme in molecular biology are in demand on both Danish and international job markets. They work across a wide range of fields and institutions, mostly within research or administration and consultancy, in both the private and public sectors. If you are interested in becoming a communicator, you can teach at laboratory technician and teacher-training colleges or in adult education. Molecular biologists also work in specialist molecular biology fields in the food industry, the health sector and the pharmaceutical industry.