Saarland University is one of the few universities in Germany offering a Master's programme at the interface of medicine and the biosciences. In contrast to traditional degree programmes in biology, the M.Sc. programme in Human and Molecular Biology focuses on molecular and pathophysiological aspects of a wide variety of human diseases.

The programme, whose content covers the natural sciences and biomedical sciences in equal measure, teaches both the theoretical foundations of the subject and the relevant practical laboratory skills, and provides graduates from the programme with excellent prospects for a career in industry or in academic research. The M.Sc. programme is run by the Centre for Human and Molecular Biology (ZHMB), which is itself a joint institution managed by the Faculty of Natural Science and Technology III and the Faculty of Medicine at Saarland University.

Interdisciplinary courses ensure that students on the Master's programme expand their knowledge beyond traditional subject boundaries. Advanced modules in the main fields of biomedicine and molecular biology allow students to acquire a deeper understanding of pathophysiological aspects of a variety of human diseases and health disorders. Currently, the following advanced modules are taught: 'Genetic Diseases and Epigenetics', 'Signal Transmission and Transport', 'Hormones, Stress and Memory' and 'Infection Biology'.

During the second year of the programme, students spend several months in one of the ZHMB research groups where they undertake laboratory work as part of a research project. Students can choose to specialize in a particular area of interest in biology or biomedicine when preparing their Master's thesis and when taking the associated advanced modules.

At the end of their first year of study, high-achieving students who have successfully completed the fast-track exam may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to join a doctoral research programme immediately. Saarland University also offers an international version of this course of study.

"Auf die praktische Laborarbeit wird besonders viel Wert gelegt."

Die Studentin Kim Marie Weisgerber findet die humanbiologische Ausrichtung ihres Studiums ideal. Im Masterprogramm wählen die Studenten drei thematische Schwerpunkte aus vier Modulen aus. "Morgens hatten wir immer Vorlesung, nachmittags bis 17 Uhr Praktikum", berichtet die 22-Jährige. Die Vorlesungen und Praktika in jedem Fach dauern jeweils zwei Wochen. "Inhaltlich lernt man die Standards des Fachs kennen, aber auch neue Forschungsmethoden." In der Epigenetik sei beispielsweise mit einer relativ neuen Methode gearbeitet worden – dem "CRISPR/Cas9"-Verfahren. Es ist auch als "Genschere" bekannt und dient dazu, DNA-Bausteine im Erbgut zu verändern. [mehr...]

Course of study Human and Molecular Biology
Type of programme Consecutive Master's degree programme
Accreditation Quality assurance system accredited by the Accreditation Council
Language of instruction German
Standard period of study 4 semesters
Degree qualification Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Start of programme Winter semester or summer semester (if possible)
Restricted entry Yes
Next application deadline Will be announced in December
Where to apply Online application portal (in German)
Tuition fees Not applicable
Semester fee See current fee structure
Study counselling Central Student Advisory Service
Course advisers Contact the course adviser
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