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The programme deals with fundamentals in structural biology and biochemistry, with special focus on protein chemistry and biophysical methods for high resolution analytics. Fundamentals in thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and theoretic aspects of molecular interactions are discussed. The students become familiar with biophysical methods allowing to delineate the structures of single cells down to single molecules. Examples include electromanipulation and dielectrical spectroscopy of cells, electrokinetic techniques, protein folding, single molecule fluorescence methodology, high resolution, and dynamic microscopy. Further topics are current approaches in bioinformatics, including the analysis of genomes and sequences, protein domains and protein families, further large-scale data analysis (e.g. next generation sequences, proteomics data), and the analysis of different functional RNAs (e.g. miRNAs, lncRNAs). Aspects of computational systems biology include functional genomics, dynamics of the transcriptome, of metabolism and metabolic networks as well as regulatory networks.

Educational organisation

The study programme Protein Chemistry is a combination of A) protein chemistry including biophysical approaches and biochemistry and B) computational biology aspects including bioinformatics and systems biology. During the first year of the programme, the students enrol in two theoretical courses and one practical course in each of the two topics. All modules are accompanied by a graded examination. In semesters three and four, further specialised research training is provided in a selected field of interest. The students are actively involved in ongoing research projects. They learn to independently plan and perform both theoretical and experimental work and finally, to summarise and discuss the obtained results in their thesis. The thesis has to be presented and defended in a final colloquium. The thesis (25 ECTS) is preceded by an ungraded preparatory practical course of 12 weeks (15 ECTS).
Further modules (15 ECTS) are selected within the sub-area "Additional Qualifications" to cover special aspects of interest. These modules will not be graded (pass/fail only).

Forms of assessment

Graded exam, oral presentation in seminars, and combinations thereof (theory modules, 10 ECTS; or additional qualifications, 5 ECTS), scientific protocol/report (practical courses, graded, 10 ECTS), scientific report and discussion (thesis, graded, 25 ECTS), thesis colloquium (graded, 5 ECTS)

Course objectives

The students understand the principles of protein chemistry, biophysics, and biochemistry including structural biology. They also become familiar with fundamental methods in biophysics and get an idea of how to apply these to various experimental settings. This enables the students to get deeper into the field by reading current scientific literature and by acquiring sufficient quantitative understanding of biophysical mechanisms. They further understand recent results in systems biology and are able to work on related research projects.

University requirements


Program requirements

Language requirements

Language requirements in English
The proof of skills in the English language should be at a level not lower than:
a) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with at least 570 points (paper-based TOEFL), 240 points (computer-based TOEFL), or 90 points (Internet-based TOEFL)
b) International English Language Test System with a score of 6.5 or better
c) Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)
d) Bachelor's degree from an English-taught course
e) any certificate issued by the Faculty of Biology's admission committee after approving of English skills based on the assessment of a Bachelor's thesis written in English, of a language course other than specified above, or an interview held in English
In addition, German language skills (e.g. B1 CEFR) are highly recommended and may be achieved during the first phase of the programme.

Academic requirements

Bachelor of Science in biology or equivalent study degree that fulfils the criteria of the "Fachkanon Biologie", in particular:
(i) required basic skills in biology in the fields of botany, zoology, and microbiology which may have been achieved in the areas of cell biology, developmental biology, genetics, systematics, physiology, ecology, neurobiology, behavioural biology, 30 ECTS in total
(ii) required advanced skills in biology achieved in any of the following areas: cell biology, developmental biology, behavioural biology, virology, immunology, neurobiology, human genetics, microbiology, biotechnology, ecology, pharmaceutical biology, bioinformatics, biophysics, biochemistry, 45 ECTS in total
(iii) required skills in chemistry: inorganic, organic, physical, 20 ECTS
(iv) required skills in physics, mathematics, biostatistics, 15 ECTS

Documents required:
  • certificates of a degree in a Bachelor study programme (acquisition of 180 ECTS points) at the University of Würzburg or another national or international institution or a comparable national or international degree (for example state examination)
  • proof of a university or equivalent degree attesting the achieved overall grading
  • proof of previously achieved study and examination performances (transcript of records) which documents the basic and advanced skills in biology and all required skills in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biostatistics
  • proof of English proficiency

Please submit either your final degree or your transcript of records to certify a minimum requirement of 150 ECTS. You have to submit your completed transcript of records not later than 15 September or 15 March, respectively.

Enrolment fees

Approx. 110 EUR per semester. Fee includes a semester ticket covering public transportation in the Würzburg metropolitan area.

Costs of living

Approx. 600-700 EUR per month

Job opportunities

See: http://www.international.uni-wuerzburg.de/studieren_in_wuerzburg/studium_mit_abschlussziel/vor_der_abreise/kosten_und_finanzierung/

Services and support for international students

International students are invited to use the university's support service for enrolment and visa affairs, for orientation in town, etc. During the first weeks in Würzburg, tutors are provided to help with the following:
  • pick-up at the train station
  • support with moving into the hall of residence (get the key to your room, contact with the caretaker)
  • accompanying students to officials (town hall, health insurance, Studentenwerk, etc.)
  • assistance with filling out necessary forms (enrolment at university, residence permit, etc.)
  • answers to questions about everyday life in the city of Würzburg (shopping, how to open a bank account, free time/sport and much more)

More information at: http://www.international.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/studying_in_wuerzburg/information_for_all_foreign_students/find_assistance/student_tutors/

The senior adviser to international students (International Office) can be contacted with questions and problems and will do his or her best to provide adequate assistance throughout your stay. He or she is also in charge of coordinating a semester programme that includes cultural events, excursions, guided library tours, etc.
Several other institutions within and closely related to the university offer services for international students: http://www.international.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/studying_in_wuerzburg/information_for_all_foreign_students/activitiesfriends/get_connected/#c365184
At the University of Würzburg, international students are well taken care of.

Accommodation

International students can apply for a place in a student hall of residence or find private accommodation in Würzburg. Prices for housing are reasonable and range from 150 to 350 EUR per month for a single room. Information on housing can be found online at:
http://www.international.uni-wuerzburg.de/en/studying_in_wuerzburg/degree_programs_at_the_university_of_wuerzburg/before_arrival/living/
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