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 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.
The M.Sc. programme 'Biotechnology' comprises a mandatory section, an electives section and a key-skills section. Each of these sections contains modules or module groups that themselves comprise different teaching units in a specific subject area (lectures, problem-solving classes, practical skills classes, seminars or excursions).
The modules in the mandatory section of the programme aim to teach students the fundamentals of the following branches of biotechnology:
- Biotechnology Fundamentals
- Bioreaction Engineering
- Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
- Molecular Biotechnology
- Systems & Synthetic Biotechnology
- Medical Biotechnology
- Instrumental Bioanalytics
The mandatory section is supplemented by a multi-semester biotechnology seminar and a six-week advanced practical training course.
The six elective module groups offer students the opportunity to deepen their understanding in the following fields:
- Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomics
- Business Start-Ups and the Patent System
- Advanced Methods in Biotechnology
- Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology
- Biotechnology and Active Substances
- Biomaterials and Biopolymers
In the 'key-skills' section, students have the opportunity to acquire interdisciplinary skills ('transferable soft skills').
The Master’s programme concludes with the Master’s thesis project.
To graduate from the Master’s degree programme, students are required to earn a total of 120 credits as defined by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). 90 credits have to be earned from assessments or examinations; 30 credits are awarded for completing the Master's thesis project. Students are therefore typically required to earn 30 credits per semester.
- Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) or equivalent university qualification in Biotechnology or a closely related subject area. As a rule, Bachelor's degrees in the following disciplines will be accepted: Bioengineering, Bioprocess Engineering, Bioprocess Technology, Biology, Biosciences, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical Science, Chemistry or Bioinformatics. Other Bachelor's degrees will be assessed by the members of the examination committee who will evaluate the relevant supporting documentation as part of the admissions selection procedure.
- Applicants must submit the following documents: a personal statement ('statement of purpose'), a current copy of your transcript of records (containing the provisional grade awarded for your Bachelor's degree) and your CV.
- International applicants must also provide proof of adequate proficiency in German, by submitting a recognized language proficiency certificate (a Goethe-Institut certificate at level C1 or higher, a TestDaF certificate with a grade of at least ‘TDN 4’ in all parts of the examination ('TDN 4444') or a DSH certificate with a grade of at least 2 ('DSH-2')).
- Depending on the specific content of an applicant's first degree, the applicant may be provisionally admitted to the Master's programme on the condition that, while studying for their Master's degree, they also acquire additional knowledge in the subject areas biochemistry, microbiology or genetics by attending appropriate lecture courses. Students have three semesters in which to satisfy any provisional admission conditions imposed.
Please find the regulations and all documents concerning the grogramme content on the website of the study programme (in German only).
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.
Applications for admission are submitted online via Saarland University's student information management (SIM) portals.
If you have any questions about using the SIM portals, please check out our SIM Saarland help pages.
A list of the documents to be submitted and additional information on the application process is provided on the programme website.
|Standard period of study||4 semesters|
|Languages of instruction||German and English|
|Foreign languages requirements||Sufficient knowledge of German and English|
|Application deadline||Winter semester (recommended): 15 July|
Summer semester: 15 January
|Tuition fees||Not applicable|
|Semester fee||See current fee structure|
Coordinator and course advisor
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.