Photos of university / #universitaet.tuebingen

Why come to Tübingen for your Master's in life science?
  • We focus on laboratory and organisational skills. Theoretical education is becoming easier to access. What gives you an edge is practical proficiency in research and personal skills.
  • We offer a broad degree. You are not pushed into premature specialisation before you have gained a good overview of different areas of the life sciences and you can make a well-informed career decision.
  • Our programme is flexible. You have your own personal preferences and instead of changing them to fit the course, courses are designed to meet your needs.
  • The Tübingen Master of Biochemistry is international and career-oriented. Firstly, we teach in English, the lingua franca of science, and support you with writing and presenting courses. Secondly, our student body is international; it is your first step to a worldwide peer network. Thirdly, the majority of our students do lab rotations abroad in Europe, North America, and Asia supported by our faculty.

Biochemistry is the science of the fundamentals of life and disease. How do nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and sugars come together to form cells and, ultimately, organisms? What has gone wrong in the diverse diseases that plague us and how can this be fixed? Most modern drugs stem from biochemical research.

Biochemistry combines biology (more macroscopic) and chemistry (more atomic). In this course, you will have a chance to learn about a selection of the following topics: immunology, cell biology, molecular and structural biology, biophysics, virology/microbiology, pathobiochemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, bioinformatics, developmental biology, neuroscience, and molecular medicine.

Educational organisation

The Tübingen Master of Biochemistry allows for a very flexible curriculum. You do not have to take all the elements in a specific order or at a specific time. Nevertheless, we recommend that you organise your degree roughly in the following order: advanced biochemistry, current topics, modules, labs, and, finally, the Master's thesis. The theoretical elements are a good starting point to gain an overview of the fast moving field of biochemistry and are thus well positioned at the beginning. They may also serve as preparation for the laboratory work later on in the programme. Modules are designed to be a transition from theory to more practical work, since they contain both the background and corresponding guided experiments. Labs require more organisation on your part and are your stepping stone from pre-designed modules to the more independent Master's thesis that concludes the Master of Biochemistry.

The first year typically kicks off with a joint lecture series presented by all the research group leaders at the institute. Building on the basics you have acquired in your previous degree, this series takes you into the advanced topics of biochemistry and to the research frontier. At the same time, you will choose your first modules and your first lab placements. In parallel to the lecture series, you will take a course on current topics, which includes a lecture series given by guest speakers from outside the institute and abroad. At this lecture series, these speakers present their latest discoveries. In addition, you will most likely select a third module and a second lab placement.

As you enter the second year, the elements of the programme will become longer and more in-depth, culminating in the half-year Master's thesis at the end of the degree. You may decide to do one or more of the research placements outside the institute or abroad. We will support you with national and international placements using our contacts. At the end of the last semester, you will write up the data collected during your thesis and present the results to the faculty. During the entire degree, you will be able to acquire transferable skills ranging from numerical proficiency, IT, self-management, and communication to interpersonal skills. The IFIB (Biochemistry Institute) faculty will support you while you make your future professional decisions following your Master's degree in Tübingen. We hope that you will be an active member of our alumni network.

Study abroad unit(s)

International placement is optional. The vast majority of our students choose to do research abroad. We support them in their search for a suitable lab group by using our contacts and by coaching students. Typical destinations for study abroad include other European countries, East Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan), and North America (USA, Canada).


The Master's programme contains four lab rotations. The duration of each lab rotation is two months. Several students opt to do one or more labs in companies working on a biochemistry-related topic. Recent examples include well-known international companies such as Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, Zeiss, etc.

Forms of assessment

  • Written and oral exams
  • Written work (protocols, essays)
  • Scientific presentations
  • Practical laboratory work

9 credits Advanced Biochemistry (oral exam)
3 credits Current Topics in Biochemistry (pass/fail)
6 credits 3+ Modules (mixed examination)
15 credits 4+ Labs (pass/fail)
30 credits Master's thesis (written reports)
120 in total

Course objectives

  • Students will be equipped with detailed biochemical knowledge to formulate and critically evaluate scientific hypotheses.
  • Students will be well versed in biochemical methods to plan and execute independent experimental analyses.
  • Students will be fluent in spoken and written scientific English.

Language requirements

Evidence of very good written and spoken English. No documentation is required if your mother tongue is English, if you have studied in English, if you lived for an extended period in an English-speaking country, or if sufficient English skills are documented in your school leaving certificate. Otherwise, you will need to provide one of the common certificates. If you make the short list, we may verify your English skills in a short conversation.

Academic requirements

  • Excellent Bachelor's degree in biochemistry or a closely related discipline (typically top 10% of the class)
  • Extensive biochemical lab skills (describe these in detail in your CV; supply independent evidence)
  • Very good spoken and written English
  • University entrance qualification

See also:

Enrolment fees

Just over 140 EUR per semester
A six-month ticket for public transport is optional and costs around 70 EUR.

Costs of living

We estimate minimal living expenses of about 500 EUR per month. The biggest cost is rent; the cheapest student houses start at 180 EUR per month. Apply for student accommodation at the same time that you apply for admission to the Master's programme (i.e., before you have a confirmed study place).

Job opportunities

The Biochemistry Institute (IFIB) and nearby labs provide many teaching and research assistantships to Master's students. Once you are in Tübingen, you can submit an application directly to the course organiser or the group leader.

Arrival support

Welcome events are organised by the university (, by the lecturers of the Biochemistry Institute, and by the biochemistry students' union.

Services and support for international students

There is a dedicated counselling and information service for international students at the University of Tübingen (


The university offers student accommodation starting at about 180 EUR per month. Many students opt for private accommodation. See our "getting started guide": Do apply early as there are few places. (In other words, apply for accomodation when you submit your application and before you know whether you will be admitted.)
Similar programs:
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Local:$ 21.5 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 21.5 k / Year(s)
251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 851 You need IELTS certificate
Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Local:$ 21.5 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 21.5 k / Year(s)
251–300 place StudyQA ranking: 1565 You need IELTS certificate