Molecular Life Sciences

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English German Duration:2 years
Foreign:$ 1.62k / Academic year(s) Deadline: Apr 30, 2021
StudyQA ranking:206

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The Program in Molecular Life Sciences of the University of Bern is run jointly by the Institutes of Cell Biology and Plant Sciences and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Science Faculty. Moreover, many research groups of the Medical and Veterinary Faculties take an active part in shaping the program. This interdisciplinary aspect is one of the key advantages for studying Molecular Life Sciences in Bern.

Molecular Life Science research in Bern is particularly strong in the fields of Host-Pathogen Interactions/Molecular Parasitology, RNA Biology and Membrane Biochemistry, but many other research projects exist and offer opportunities for students to do their MSc or PhD theses.

In the master curriculum, and in particular by preparing their master thesis, the students deepen and specialise their knowledge and skills in the area of molecular life sciences. A particular emphasis of the program is to involve the students actively in research projects. The degree of „Master of Science (M Sc) in Molecular Life Sciences“ can lead to an employment in industrial, governmental and research settings or to a further education, e.g. to PhD studies.

MLS Specializations

  • Biochemistry/Chemical Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology/Immunology
  • Neuro-/Developmental Biology (jointly with University of Fribourg)
  • Plant Physiology

Module structure

Regular learning units

30 ECTS points divided into two modules of 15 ECTS points each:

Special qualification module consisting of learning units from the selected specialisation area.
General module consisting of learning units from a wider list, including those of the entire master program and certain units of the BSc programs in biology, biochemistry and chemistry.

In each module, the average of the obtained grades, each weighed according to its ECTS points, must be 4.0 or more. Students have to mark by themselves any insufficient grades that they want to be included and compensated in a given module.

Master thesis

60 ECTS points. The grade given by the supervisor, in consideration of the research work and the written thesis, must be 4.0 or more. An active participation in seminars and group meetings specified by the supervisor is mandatory.

Compound grade

The grade of the M Sc diploma is the average between the grades of the modules of regular learning units and the master thesis, weighed according to their ECTS points.
The grades of the additional learning units do not count for the compound grade but will be listed in the diploma supplement.

Biochemistry/Chemical Biology

A typical master thesis is carried out at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry or at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine in a research group oriented towards biochemistry or organic chemistry.
The research topics include RNA processing and transport, nucleic acid chemistry, ribosome function, mitochondrial biogenesis, membrane biochemistry, structure determination of proteins as well as combinatorial and medicinal chemistry.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Cell and Molecular Biology

Master theses can be carried out in a large number of research groups of the Institutes of Cell Biology, Plant Sciences, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Medical and Vetsuisse Faculties.
Research topics include DNA repair and recombination, molecular biology of RNA, molecular parasitology, developmental biology, signal transduction, protein biochemistry, microbial physiology and biochemistry. Yeasts, bacteria, trypanosomatids, insects and mammalian cell cultures are used as model systems.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Microbiology/Immunology

Master theses can be carried out in selected research groups of the Science, Medical and Veterinary Faculties.
The participating groups work on various aspects of immunology, inflammation, pathology, infectiology, virology, bacteriology and parasitology.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Neuro-/Developmental Biology

Master theses can be carried out in research groups of the Institutes of Cell Biology, Plant Sciences and the Medical Faculty. Additional groups at the University of Fribourg also participate in this specialisation, but, to do a MSc thesis in one of these labs, students must be immatriculated in the MSc in Biology program of the University of Fribourg.
Research topics include cell cycle and growth regulation, developmental biology, RNA localization, neurodegeneration, gene expression control and epigenetics. Drosophila, C. elegans, mice, cliliates, plants and cell cultures are used as model systems.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Plant Physiology

The research groups of this specialisation focus on different aspects of plant nutrition, metabolism, cellular and organism-wide transport processes, as well as on plant development.
Students enrolling in this specialisation perform their master thesis research in one of the plant physiology-oriented groups of the Institute of Plant Sciences, as well as in one group from an outside institution.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Molecular Life Sciences (mono):

a) Bachelor's degree from a Swiss university or an equivalent degree in one of the following branches of studies:
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
Depending on previous education and the special qualification in which the person is interested, admission may depend, however, upon evidence of additional knowledge and expertise or upon additional attainments. Additional attainments are generally units of credit from the bachelor's degree programs in Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Chemistry and Molecular Sciences to a maximum of 60 ECTS credits. *
b) Bachelor's degree from a Swiss university or an equivalent degree in another branch of studies.
Admission may depend upon evidence of additional knowledge and expertise or upon an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits. *
c)

Bachelor's degrees from the University of Bern:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology with special qualification in Cell Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology with special qualification in Plant Sciences, including the required (as listed in appendix 2 to the plan of studies) units of credit associated with Plant Physiology as part of the bachelor's degree program
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
are required in at least one of the special qualifications in order to embark upon the master's degree program without any further admission requirements. By contrast, certain switches of specialization between bachelor's and master's degree programs do require an additional maximum 60 ECTS credits.

* The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

  • Curriculum vitae in table form with uninterrupted chronology of your education and academic studies up to the present incl. up-to-date passport photo (45 mm high by 35 mm wide)
  • Motivation letter (incl. family name, given name, full address, e-mail address, date and signature and – if you have one – mobile phone number)
  • If you are holding a bachelor degree's: Originally certified photocopies of your degree (e.g. diploma and diploma supplement). The correspondence of the photocopy to the original must be officially certified.
  • Originals (stamped and signed) or originally certified photocopies of all official proofs of your achievements (transcripts) with grades/scores
  • Grading system of the degree issuing university, if the grading system is different from ours. Our scale goes from 1 to 6, with 6 being excellent and grades below 4 being unsatisfactory.
  • Brief description of the content/learning objectives of the different courses/lectures (annotated course catalog or module handbook)
  • Originally certified translations of the original documents (e.g. diploma, diploma supplement, bachelor's or master's degree, transcripts of diploma records), if these are not written in German, English, French or Italian. These translations have to be inseparably connected with the originally certified photocopies of the original documents.
  • Photocopy of your valid passport or identity card
  • Application fee: CHF 105
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