Biotechnology (M.Sc.)

Biotechnology is a very broad field and graduates from the M.Sc. programme in Biotechnology at Saarland University have access to a wide range of career options. Biotechnologists develop new drugs and diagnostic test procedures, they cultivate plants with specific resistance or tolerance properties and they design biofuels and biopolymers.


Students on the Master's degree programme in Biotechnology at Saarland University learn how to examine and analyse complex systems experimentally and how to describe these systems using mathematical and bioinformatics models. The focus of the programme is on systems biotechnology and on the associated fields of bioinformatics, natural products and active pharmaceutical ingredients, molecular biotechnology and bioprocess engineering. Work in this area is opening up new possibilities in metabolic engineering, whose goal is the targeted production of producer organisms and the development of corresponding production processes, and in the discovery and validation of drugs and drug targets.

The interdisciplinary M.Sc. programme is run by the Faculty of Natural Science and Technology III at Saarland University. The number of places on the programme is limited to 18 per year, which ensures an excellent student-staff ratio and meaningful interaction between students and their instructors. Students who graduate from the M.Sc. programme with good grades and who would prefer to pursue academic research rather than take up a position in industry can apply for admission to the doctoral research programme.


This four-semester Master's degree programme aims to teach students an interdisciplinary approach to tackling questions of biotechnological relevance. Modules and examinations are conducted in both German and English.

Compulsory stage

The compulsory stage of the programme comprises the first three semesters during which students take modules from the following categories (minimum number of ECTS credits (CP) to be earned in each category is shown in parentheses):

1. Lectures, problem-solving classes and seminars

  • Biochemistry and Biotechnology (6 CP)
  • Molecular Biotechnology (7 CP)
  • Bioreaction Technology and Bioprocess Engineering (6 CP)
  • Bioanalytics and Bioinformatics (4 CP)
  • Seminar: Biotechnology (10 CP)
  • Key qualifications (3 CP)

2. Lab-based modules

  • Molecular Biotechnology (5 CP)
  • Bioreaction Technology and Bioprocess Engineering (4 CP)
  • Bioanalytics and Bioinformatics (2 CP)
  • Advanced lab course (10 CP)

Elective stage

The elective portion of the curriculum comprises courses in the following areas and students can earn a maximum of 9 credits (9 CP) from any one category:

  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Genetics and Cellular Biology
  • Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Bioorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Biophysics

Students must obtain a total of 90 credits from the two programme stages, of which 50 credits must be graded. Students complete the research project for their Master's thesis (30 credits) in the fourth semester. The Master's thesis is to be completed within six months. Individual study plans may differ depending on an applicant's previous education and qualifications. Sample study plans are available on the programme website (in German only).


Admission requirements:

  1. Bachelor's degree in biotechnology or a comparable qualification in biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical science or bioinformatics from a German university or an equivalent qualification from a German or foreign university.
  2. Adequate proficiency in German and English
  3. Proof of suitability for the programme. This can be demonstrated by:
  • having achieved an above-average grade in one of the above-named degree programmes
  • having achieved particular academic merit in the field of biotechnology
  • providing evidence of particular interest in the subject either in the form of a personal statement written by the applicant or as letters of recommendation written by referees who know the applicant academically
  • providing details about relevant work/study periods abroad and relevant work experience or internships

How to apply

Students can join the programme at the beginning of the winter semester or, when appropriate, at the beginning of the summer semester. However, a winter semester start is recommended. Entry restrictions apply to this programme. Applications should normally be received by 15 July for students seeking to begin studying in the winter semester and by 15 January for students looking to start their studies in summer.

The application deadline for the winter semester has passed. Whether applications for the coming summer semester can be accepted will be announced at the beginning of December.

The application takes place online via the SIM portals of Saarland University. If you have any questions about the SIM portals, please visit our SIM Saarland support pages, where you will find information, videos and step-by-step instructions.

A list of the documents to be submitted and additional information on the application process is provided on the programme website.

At a glance

Standard period of study4 semesters
Languages of instructionGerman and English
Foreign languages requirementsSufficient knowledge of German and English
Restricted entryYes
Application deadlineWinter semester (recommended): 15 July
Summer semester: 15 January
Tuition feesNot applicable
Semester feeSee current fee structure


Course supervisor

Christoph Wittmann
Phone: +49 681 302-71971

Coordinator and course advisor

Michael Kohlstedt
Phone: +49 681 302-71974

Central Student Advisory Service

Saarbrücken Campus
Building A4 4, Ground floor
Phone: +49 681 302-3513

Central Student Advisory Service

Saarbrücken Campus
Building A4 4, Ground floor
Phone: +49 681 302-3513

Central Student Advisory Service

Accredited study programmes

Saarland University was one of the first universities in Germany to successfully complete the system accreditation procedure. Since 2012, it has carried the seal of the Accreditation Council.

Quality management