The two-year Master’s degree programme in molecular biology at the University of Aarhus targets students from tertiary education institutions in Denmark and abroad. The degree programme is both practical and research-oriented and is aimed at the business community, research institutions and the public sector. The degree programme is also flexible and shaped to match your academic interests, and you can therefore specialise in a particular subject area within molecular biology while at the same time acquiring general competences in molecular biology.
You do not need to have knowledge of the Danish language before commencing the degree programme. At the University of Aarhus, the teaching is in English unless all participants speak Danish.
The teaching at the university is greatly influenced by the research conducted here, as the teachers are active researchers. As a Master’s degree student, you have excellent opportunities for working with researchers in the laboratory and you can also complete a project in collaboration with a private company.
The Master’s thesis written during the last year of the degree programme carries considerable weight and, in this context, you benefit from the down-to-earth, informal atmosphere between staff and students. When you write your thesis, you have excellent opportunities for being associated with a group of researchers. In this way, you can participate in the group’s research projects, academic discussions and articles. As researchers at the Department of Molecular Biology collaborate with many foreign universities, the department is frequently visited by foreign students and researchers, which creates an international atmosphere in the laboratories. These contacts also make it possible for the Danish molecular biology students to carry out research abroad for shorter or longer periods of time.
The teaching at the Department of Molecular Biology is of a high academic standard with research at a high international level. The department has both teaching and research competences within all levels – from organisms such as bacteria to humans – and the understanding of biochemistry is based on the entire spectrum from atoms to entire organisms.
You can specialise in a topic within a broad area, including one of the six areas of molecular biology in which the University of Aarhus has particular strength:
- Structural biology
- Plant molecular biology
- RNA processing
- Protein chemistry
- Molecular medicine
- Molecular nanotechnology
Structure and Content
The Master’s degree in molecular biology counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the molecular biology field of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a teacher from the Department of Molecular Biology by choosing courses from a course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelor’s degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.
Forms of teaching
At the University of Aarhus, you are in close contact with researchers in a way that you rarely experience at other universities. The door to the professor’s office is always open if you need clarification of the study material, and you are encouraged to ask questions at lectures and during exercises. We make heavy demands on your academic skills and independence. In return, you gain considerable benefits in the form of academic challenges and scientific knowledge, in addition to broad competences.
The teaching at the university focuses on independence, critical thinking and collaboration. Part of the teaching is in the form of lectures that introduce new angles to the material compared with the textbooks. The theoretical and practical exercises take place in small groups where you study relevant issues in depth. Most molecular biology students also spend a certain amount of time on laboratory work.
The varied forms of teaching, collaboration in groups and the opportunity for close scientific dialogue with the researchers provide you with general competences that are in great demand in the global job market. These competences include abstract, critical and independent thinking, analytical skills and strategic planning. You can use these skills in many contexts – even in jobs you didn’t know you were qualified for.
A year divided into four terms
The teaching is divided into terms with four terms per year. Each term consists of a block of seven weeks followed by an examination period of 2–4 weeks.
If you have the necessary skills and interest, you have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree or when you have completed your Master’s degree. In the PhD programme, you start working on a research project and are gradually trained through courses and personal guidance to become a researcher.
With a Master’s degree in molecular biology, you have the following competences:
- You have general knowledge of molecular biology and detailed knowledge of key disciplines, methodologies, theories and concepts within molecular biology.
- You can independently plan, manage and implement projects and apply the results in scientifically relevant decision processes.
- You can assess the applicability and appropriateness of theoretical, experimental and practical methodologies for the analysis and solution of scientific questions and issues.
- You can structure your own competence development independently and critically.
- You are able to systematically and critically familiarise yourself with new subject areas.
- You can communicate academic questions and issues to both a scientific and a general audience.
- You can collaborate constructively on a scientific basis to solve subject-related issues.
- You are familiar with ethical questions and issues relating to molecular biology.
The University of Aarhus educates molecular biology graduates for the regional, national and international job markets. Graduates from the Department of Molecular Biology find work in a wide range of fields and institutions. Most jobs are within research, administration and consultancy as well as teaching and communication in the private or public sectors.
Molecular biology graduates are employed in positions within a wide range of molecular biology areas ranging from biotechnology, nature and the environment to the food industry.
If you have a burning desire to communicate about molecular biology, you can choose to teach at upper secondary school or at laboratory technicians’ and teachers’ training colleges, or in connection with different forms of adult education. Finally, some molecular biologists work with communicating molecular biology knowledge in the media and publishing worlds. A molecular biology degree is the key to many different types of jobs throughout society.
Jobs in the industrial sector
Molecular biology graduates mainly find work in the industrial sector – especially the large Danish and international pharmaceutical and health industries, and the modern advanced technology food industry. This applies particularly to companies that have a strong link to research environments or carry out their own research. In addition to research, molecular biology graduates increasingly work in areas such as patent administration, communication and project management.
Jobs in the health and food sectors
As a molecular biologist, you primarily work with finding solutions to the many health and food challenges that our society is facing. These are due to the ageing population and more stringent standards for food development and quality. These areas are growing rapidly – a trend that is expected to continue. The employment prospects for future molecular biologists therefore look very promising.
Stark im Netzwerk
Die Aarhus University ist eine lebendige und moderne Hochschule, die mit Unternehmen, kulturellen Zentren und anderen Universitäten rund um den Globus zusammenarbeitet. Das verstärkt die internationale Atmosphäre und bietet dir viele professionelle und internationale Perspektiven. Eine Möglichkeit besteht zum Beispiel darin, ein Austauschsemester an einer der zahlreichen exzellenten Partneruniversitäten zu verbringen.
Ein Master-Abschluss von der Aarhus University ist einer der besten Startpunkte für deine zukünftige Karriere – egal ob in der Forschung, Industrie oder im öffentlichen Sektor.
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