Master’s degree programme

Human and Molecular Biology

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Number of places: 40
Start of programme: Winter semester (summer semester start also possible)
Duration: 4 semesters (120 ECTS credits)
Grade threshold (Bachelor's degree): 2.5 (on German grading scale, please take note of the grade improvement options available)
Possible degree qualifications: Master of Science (M.Sc.), Dr. rer. nat. ('fast-track PhD')
Programme introduced: Winter semester 2011/2012 

The Master's programme 'Human and Molecular Biology' at Saarland University is run jointly by the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology and the Faculty of Medicine. The interdisciplinary structure of the programme provides students with a solid education and training at the interface of modern biology and medicine.


Curricular content and programme structure

The four-semester programme comprises interdisciplinary modules that enable students to build and expand on the knowledge they acquired in their undergraduate degree. The programme focuses on four advanced fields in biomedicine and molecular biology, which are complemented and expanded by strongly research-driven teaching activities. 

Year one
In the first year, students take three of four advanced modules. Each module lasts seven weeks and includes two hours of lectures per day, seminars and a significant amount of practical laboratory work. Additionally, the 'Project Proposal' module (15 credits) teaches students the skills needed to compile successful project proposals in their future research careers – a key activity of any research scientist. 

Year two
The focus of the second year of the programme is research specialization. Students undertake a supervised laboratory internship (20 credits) lasting several months in a research group of their choosing where they contribute to the group's current research projects. Students then present their results at a joint research seminar (5 credits). Students individually present and defend the results of their experimental Master's thesis project (30 credits) in the final Master's thesis colloquium (10 credits).

Fast-track PhD
The best students in a year may be offered a fast-track route to a doctorate. Students who successfully complete the first year of the Master's programme are given the opportunity to take a 'fast-track' assessment exam. Those students whose overall average grade calculated on the basis of the grade awarded for their Bachelor's degree, the results achieved during the first year of the Master's programme and the results of the assessment exam is 1.5 or better (German grading scale) may be fast-tracked into the PhD programme.

How to apply

Who can apply for the Master’s degree programme?
Students seeking admission to the consecutive Master's degree programme 'Human and Molecular Biology' must have a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) or equivalent university qualification in biology or a closely related subject area. Applicants with a Bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, biomedicine, biosciences, human biology, molecular biology, molecular medicine or medical biology will be admitted automatically; all other degrees must be assessed for equivalence as part of the application procedure. 
Applicants must have achieved an overall grade of 2.5 or better (on the German grading scale) in their undergraduate degree.

When do I apply?
There are 40 places available each year on the Master's degree programme. Most of these places are allocated to students starting in the winter semester. If not all of the places have been allocated, the remaining places can be awarded to students starting in the summer semester. Applications can be submitted online until 15 July (for those seeking admission in the following winter semester) or until 15 January (for admission in the following summer semester).

How can I improve my chances of admission?
If you spent at least one semester studying abroad during your Bachelor's degree, you will be receive a bonus of 0.2 ECTS credits for the first study abroad semester completed successfully and a further 0.1 ECTS credits for a second semester.
Example: You were awarded a grade of 2.7 (on the German grading scale) for your Bachelor's degree and you spent two semesters studying abroad. The grade used when assessing your application will then be 2.4 (= 2.7 – 0.3). 

Dr. Björn Diehl
Programme Coordinator – Biosciences
+49 681 302 3926