Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Apr 30, 2025
StudyQA ranking:5579 Duration:2 years

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The Master of Science in Biology programme allows you to build on your Bachelor's degree studies and further deepen your knowledge through a variety of specialised modules. The Master's programme is taught in English and is oriented toward a highly motivated and globally diverse next generation of researchers. It offers a state-of-the-art education in a wide variety of biological fields, including anthropology, cell biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, human biology, microbiology, neurobiology, plant sciences, systematic biology, and zoology.
The Faculty of Biology at LMU Munich is made up of internationally recognised researchers and award-winning instructors. The faculty provides excellent facilities for contemporary research and studies in the modern "Biocenter LMU", part of the HighTechCampus in Großhadern/Martinsried, just outside Munich. High-profile institutions are situated in close proximity, including the Max Planck Institutes for Biochemistry and Neuroscience, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, the Gene Center, the Faculty for Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science and the Biomedical Center. The existing cooperative network with these institutions provides students with excellent teaching resources and a rich and unique research environment.
The curriculum of the Master's programme is based on topic-related modules, including lectures, seminars, and practical courses, with a strong emphasis on learning in the context of ongoing research projects. Modules can be individually composed according to the student's goals and interests, either aiming toward exposure to a wide variety of fields or toward focussing in-depth on a particular subject. Training is kept as research-oriented as possible. The Faculty of Biology's web page is the best way to gain an overview of current research areas as well as linked fields of research. After completing one of the Master's programmes, a direct transition to doctoral research is possible.

Educational organisation

Programme structure:
The Faculty of Biology offers two different Master's programmes. One comprises four semesters with a total of 120 ECTS, and the other comprises two semesters, during which a total of 60 ECTS are acquired. The curriculum is based on earning 30 ECTS per semester, made up of the students' custom-designed modules. Modules in various subjects can be composed with 9, 15, or 21 ECTS. Interdisciplinary modules worth 3 or 6 ECTS are also available.

Module Structure:
9 ECTS modules generally include a lecture (3 ECTS), a practical course (3 ECTS), and a seminar (3 ECTS) or include a lecture and a long practical course (6 ECTS). 15 ECTS modules include e.g. two long practical courses and a lecture or a research practical course (12 ECTS) and a lecture in the respective field of study. 21 ECTS modules provide a combination of a research practical course with one of the 9 ECTS module alternatives. Modules may contain only one lecture (see programme catalogue).
Example 1: You are interested in microbiology and take a combination of lecture/seminar/practical courses in this area, amounting to 21 ECTS. You are then free to choose the area in which to take the remaining 9 ECTS- for instance, in genetics.
Example 2: You would like to concentrate on molecular biology, but you do not wish to decide on a focus yet. You choose three molecular modules each worth 9 ECTS, such as in plant sciences, cell biology, and human biology. Additionally, you select another area for the remaining 3 ECTS.
The same applies for second and third semesters.
The fourth semester of the two-year Master's programme is composed of a mandatory Master's final module, consisting of: a 24 ECTS Master's thesis, thesis defence, and Master's colloquium.

Study abroad unit(s)

More than 89 optional exchange possibilities are offered around the world.


Research courses are part of the regular programme. Research courses could be lab courses, field work, or computational biology courses.

Forms of assessment

Written and oral exams, written essays and oral presentations

Course objectives

After completion of a Master's degree, students may pursue an individual doctoral research project or a doctorate in one of the Faculty of Biology graduate schools.
Graduates have learned many techniques and approaches that are used in research. These could include laboratory techniques, field experiments, use of natural history collections, mathematical modelling, statistical analyses, and modern genetic methods.
Students will also have obtained further key qualifications:
  • ability to investigate, evaluate, summarise, and structure knowledge and information
  • general overview of relevant areas of information concerning their specific field of study
  • network thinking
  • ability to transfer knowledge and apply it successfully to other situations
  • language and IT competencies

Language requirements

Applicants must have sufficient English skills.

Academic requirements

The Master of Science in Biology programme starts every winter semester in mid-October.
You are eligible to apply for the programme if you have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree in biology or a related subject. Your Bachelor's degree must include a minimum 12 ECTS final project with a written thesis. If your Bachelor's programme does not require a thesis, you are still eligible to apply if you have completed an equivalent course or internship; please describe the equivalent in the online form and in your cover letter.
The next entrance period will be in October 2017. We will accept applications starting on 28 February 2017. Deadline for submission of application documents is 30 April 2017.
Applications to the programme must include the following documents:
  • cover letter explaining which programme (one-year or two-year) you are applying for
  • curriculum vitae, indicating your name, nationality, academic background, and work experience if relevant
  • Copy of your degree certificate and proof of completion of a written thesis. If the degree certificate is not yet available, a transcript of records indicating at least 144 ECTS points (for a two-year programme) or 210 ECTS points (for a one-year programme) is acceptable. The documents must indicate a grade point average, and whether a written thesis is required for completion of the degree.
  • Essay of up to 500 words (for a two-year programme) or 650 words (for a one-year programme). The essay should reflect your interest in and qualifications for the programme. Please note that the essay should elaborate on why you would like to study at the Faculty of Biology and at the LMU.
  • GRE scores may be included.
  • No additional proof of German or English language proficiency is required. However, excellent proficiency in English is necessary for the programme, and basic knowledge of German is helpful for everyday life and cultural exchange.

Enrolment fees

Approx. 120 EUR per semester. The fee includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the Munich metropolitan area.

Costs of living

Living costs (including accommodation and health insurance) in Munich range from 800 to 1,000 EUR per month.

Job opportunities

Part-time jobs are offered in the various working groups.

Services and support for international students

The International Office offers a support and integration programme to assist international students, doctoral students, and postdocs at LMU:


Accommodation is available through the student services office or on the private market. Rent for a single room in a student residence is approx. 400 EUR.
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