Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Apr 30, 2024
114 place StudyQA ranking:2696 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Master in Biochemistry focusses on a profound education in the areas of cellular biochemistry, chemical biology, biophysics and physiology.
The programme is research-oriented and is taught completely in English. Apart from an in-depth education of scientific knowledge in the mentioned areas, it is characterised by a high proportion of individual research projects in which students are integrated into the highly competitive and interdisciplinary research groups of the LIMES institute at an early stage. Alternatively, all students have the possibility to perform such research projects in other universities or abroad during their Master's studies. Additionally, students are trained in a large variety of methods and techniques applied in life sciences and gain first contact with representatives of life science industries. Finally, a mentoring system helps the students to study efficiently, to plan their careers in a more focused manner, and to become independent.

Educational organisation

The Master's phase of the programme comprises lectures, practical courses, workshops, excursions, and independent research projects. It is an interdisciplinary hands-on training programme that prepares students to solve scientific problems independently.

Lectures are given by the faculty of the programme throughout the first three semesters of the Master's programme. Lectures are intended to give a detailed overview of a particular topic in the life sciences that lies within the research area of the participating faculty. Lectures may also include tutorials and seminars in which examples of selected topics are highlighted and the latest publications in that particular field are presented and discussed.
Topics of the lectures are
  • methods in life sciences and statistics
  • introduction to experimental animal techniques and bioethics
  • cellular biochemistry
  • biophysics
  • chemical biology
  • molecular physiology and neurophysiology

Elective lectures
These lectures provide a detailed overview of a particular field and are intended to give the students the opportunity to overcome a lack of knowledge in that field.
Students should attend at least two of the following lectures:
  • biochemistry and organic chemistry
  • cell biology and immunology
  • genetics and molecular biology
  • inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry
These lectures are not graded.

Method Course I and II
All students participate in two introductory methods courses. In these practical courses, students are able to learn and become familiar with fundamental techniques applied in current research. The methods courses comprise eight weeks of experimental work in total.

Lab rotations
Every student conducts two individual research projects (lab rotations) in the participating departments or in another university in Germany or abroad. Each project is individually supervised. It involves seven weeks of experimental work, followed by one week of data analysis and a written lab report in the format of a scientific research publication.

Oral examination biochemistry
This oral examination will cover all topics from the lectures in cellular biochemistry, chemical biology, biophysics and molecular physiology, and neurophysiology. Such an examination gives the students the opportunity to demonstrate a broad understanding of the different subjects and the ability to recognise interdisciplinary correlations between different topics.

Insights into the workflow of life science companies
In this module, students will become familiar with activities and the workflow of companies from different fields of life sciences and will gain initial experience in industry. Students will be able to participate in one-day workshops with representatives from different scientific companies. Alternatively, students can visit such companies or related institutions in one-day excursions. These excursions can be organised either by the LIMES institute or by the students themselves. Each student should take part in two workshops, two excursions, or one workshop and one excursion.

Master's thesis
The Master's phase is completed by a six-month Master's thesis which is carried out in the research groups of the LIMES institute or at another university in Germany or abroad. The thesis project involves experimental work under the supervision of a faculty member of the Master's programme.

Study abroad unit(s)

The students benefit from the school's international research connections. Thanks to collaborations with LIMES partner institutions, participants may also complete part of their lab rotations or MSc thesis work abroad.

Forms of assessment

The Master's degree in Biochemistry is conferred if and when the candidate has obtained the required credits for the first segment of the programme, passed the examinations at the end of the first segment, and successfully completed the Master's thesis.

Course objectives

The intensive, research-oriented education qualifies students for professional work in the fields of molecular biosciences, biomedicine, and life science research and contributes to bridging the educational gap between chemistry, biology, and biomedicine.

Language requirements

Applicants who are not native speakers of English should demonstrate adequate competence of the English language by acceptable results in an internationally recognised test (e.g. TOEFL paper-based 550, TOEFL computer-based 213, TOEFL Internet-based 87-109, IELTS 6.0).
Applicants who took English courses at a German "Gymnasium" until their final examinations (Abitur) or wrote their Bachelor's thesis in English do not need the above-mentioned tests.
Basic command of the German language is recommended.

Academic requirements

The principal admission requirement for the MSc programme is a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in molecular biomedicine, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, molecular life sciences, pharmacy, or related fields. Additionally, applicants must have conducted an experimental Bachelor's thesis. 
All courses are held in English. Applicants who are not native speakers of English should demonstrate adequate competence of the English language by acceptable results on an internationally recognised test. Minimum language requirements are met by achieving the following test scores:
  • TOEFL paper-based test: 550
  • TOEFL computer-based test: 213
  • TOEFL Internet-based test: 87-109
  • IELTS: 6.0
In addition, the certificates APIEL and CPE meet the requirements of English proficiency.
Applicants who took English courses at a German "Gymnasium" until their final examinations (Abitur) or wrote their Bachelor's thesis in English do not need the above mentioned tests.
Admission to the graduate school involves a selection procedure.

Enrolment fees

Students must pay a social fee of 270 EUR per semester ("Sozialbeitrag") to the Student Union, which is used to support student activities and provides free public transport in the region.

Costs of living

We recommend a budget of around 800 EUR per month for accommodation, cost of living, health insurance, books, and miscellaneous expenses.

Job opportunities

Job opportunities for some students are available (e.g. help in preparing teaching and lab courses).
With its strong focus on biomedical research, the University of Bonn and the University Hospital offer several interesting opportunities to work closely with experimental researchers. In addition, the ABCD region (Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf) is home to many prospective employers, including global players such as Bayer, as well as many highly specialised medium-sized companies such as Grünenthal.

Arrival support

Special emphasis is placed on an all-round advisory service in both academic and extracurricular activities. The Coordination Office of the LIMES institute is closely connected with the supportive infrastructure of the International Office of the University of Bonn. This includes extensive pre-departure information as well as assistance and advice for managing day-to-day life in Bonn.

Services and support for international students

A mentoring system helps the students to study efficiently, to plan their career in a more focused manner, and to become independent.


Housing is available from 200 to 400 EUR. Availability of housing is good. There are some student housing facilities. For more information, please contact the "Studentenwerk" (Student Union). See:
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