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The Specialized Master’s degree program in Infection Biology at the University of Basel is run by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), an internationally recognized center for public health excellence. Infection biology focuses on host-pathogen interactions and aims to understand the mechanisms through which viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites colonise their hosts and cause disease. Infection biologists study molecular, cellular, metabolic or immunological aspects of pathogen biology and infection, try to elucidate mechanisms and evolution of drug resistance and immune evasion, or investigate dynamics of transmission and infection in the field. Knowledge gained from studying these and other aspects of infection biology provides the basis for the development of novel diagnostic tools, drugs and vaccines for improved prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
The main goals of the M Sc course in Infection Biology are the following:
- To understand the phenomenon of infection from a molecular, immunological and cell-biological viewpoint.
- To understand host-parasite interactions and be able to suggest control measures.
- To understand basic concepts in bioinformatics and acquire skills for computational data analyses.
- To have a good understanding of molecular, cellular and epidemiological methods for the analysis of host-parasite interactions.
- To be able to plan and carry out laboratory experiments in order to address a scientific hypothesis, to analyze the results and to report them orally and in writing.
- To obtain an overview on the current research literature in areas of infectious diseases.
The major pathogens studied in the research laboratories at SwissTPH include Plasmodium parasites (malaria), African trypanosomes (sleeping sickness), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium ulcerans (Buruli ulcer) and various parasitic worms (helminthic diseases).
The Master of Science degree is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed Bachelor’s program. The Specialized Master’s degree program Infection Biology awards 90 ECTS credits and is a so called mono-course consisting of only one core subject. Supervised practical work over the course of one year constitutes the core of the studies. One ECTS credit point roughly equals 30 hours of studying.
The degree programs at the Faculty of Science are generally mono-courses with the possible addition of an in-depth subject and an elective subject. The Specialized Master’s degree program Infection Biology includes an elective subject; however, no other subjects are required. It is possible to study biology in combination with a second subject from the Faculty of Humanities or the sports sciences (see UNI INFO “Biologie - ausserfakultäres Fach”). The professional exam for the teaching diploma for secondary schools requires a Master’s degree in one or two subjects (i.e. biology). At least one of the two subjects has to be successfully completed at a Master’s level. For the second subject at least 90 ECTS credits have to be awarded in consultation with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and the teaching commission of the respective subject. The mandatory courses in biology are stated in an information sheet which can be obtained from the Studies Secretariat Biology.
The following degrees of a Swiss University allow for direct admission to the Specialized Master's degree program Infection Biology: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology or BSc in Biochemistry or BSc in Medicine or BSc in Veterinary Medicine or BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences; minimum average mark of 5.0 for all BSc degrees and basic knowledge in infection biology/microbiology of at least 4 CP are required.
Students with a BSc in a different branch will be assessed individually. Students with a BSc degree but insufficient mark can alternatively pass the GRE test in the area of “Quantitative Reasoning” or pass the GRE® subject test “Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology” or pass the GRE® subject test “Biology” all with a score in the top 35 % (GRE = Graduate Record Examinations®).
BSc degrees from other Swiss or foreign universities are also eligible but have to be approved by the respective teaching committee of the Faculty of Science.
The University of Basel currently collects CHF 850 in tuition fees per semester, along with CHF 10 for the student body.
Please note that there are also costs for books and, of course, your personal living expenses. The following list provides a general indication of monthly living expenses if you are not living at home with your family.
Rent (room, shared living space, student dormitory)
Minimum: CHF 400; Average: CHF 600
Food, household, clothing
Minimum: CHF 450; Average: CHF 600
Minimum: CHF 200; Average: CHF 300
Minimum: CHF 60; Average: CHF 90
Minimum: CHF 100; Average: CHF 150
Minimum: CHF 150; Average: CHF 220
Minimum: CHF 1500; Average: CHF 2100