MSc in Biology

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Program Description

MSc in Biology

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Master of Science (MSc) in Biology

As an MSc student of Biology you will be part of a rapidly developing field in which modern biology is integrating molecular techniques in the solution of biological problems such as climate change, pollution, diseases and loss of biodiversity. If you would like to make a difference and make your mark on the future, an MSc degree in Biology might well be the obvious choice for you.

The programme is offered in English.

The 21st century is rapidly becoming the biological century. Master’s students in Biology have the chance to partake in modern biology’s revolutionary current where, among many other developments, molecular techniques are being integrated to address biological problems. The graduate programme allows you a learning opportunity to understand, utilize and protect nature and its diverse abundance of organisms.

Profile and Career

You should pursue studies in Biology if you are into biological phenomena like DNA, have an interest in nature management or would like to investigate the issues that life itself confronts us with every day. If you are the type who likes to poke their fingers into ponds or grapple with genetic puzzles while wearing lab garb, then Biology is for you. It is a programme where theory alternate with practical work in the field, in the lab or both. The wide range of courses in the programme offers you the opportunity to specialize in one of the many disciplines in the field of biology and thereby tailor your education to your interests and dreams for the future.

Competence Description

A graduate degree in Biology offers you a strong foundation for mastering important scientific techniques. You will leave the graduate programme equipped with skills applicable in nature as well as in the lab.


An graduate in Biology is able to

  • effectively and systematically acquire new knowledge and make themselves acquainted with biological subjects at a high scientific level
  • think and work systematically and analytically
  • survey and analyse large amounts of data and complex biological relationships
  • evaluate and analyse biological problems at a high professional level
  • analyse and evaluate own and others findings in a scientific context and apply the results within relevant commercial and community connections
  • critically evaluate and put into perspective findings within the thesis subject area and related fields
  • formulate, structure and conduct research projects, biological innovation projects and other advanced biological tasks
  • apply and develop biological methods within the thesis subject area with the aim of generating new knowledge
  • assess the expected future developments within the thesis subject area
  • work independently but also to initiate and constructively contribute to interdiciplinary collaboration
  • effectively and precisely communicate biological knowledge and problems both in writing and orally
  • independently and critically structure own professional progress and specialisation


A person holding an MSc in Biology has acquired the skills to

  • use the methods related to the thesis subject area, including operation of relevant scientific equipment
  • conduct biological investigations, including scientific experiments, in the laboratory or in the field
  • generate and work up complex biological data sets
  • work scientifically


A graduate in Biology has knowledge about

  • the thesis subject area at high scientific level and related areas at scientific level

Career Opportunities

Biologists work in a variety of occupational settings. The MSc programme in Biology covers a broad set of skills, so immediate job prospects are good. Also, your education and training can easily be targeted to suit specific career aims. Often, biologists get jobs in:

  • biotech
  • pharmaceutical companies
  • government ministries
  • municipalities
  • universities
  • upper secondary schools
  • intellectual property consultancies
  • environmental organisations
  • the media
  • biotech start-ups

All in all, equipped with a graduate degree in Biology, your prospects are extensive.

Programme Structure

According to the curriculum for the MSc degree in Biology you must complete between 60 and 90 ECTS of biology coursework. You can select from one of the seven academic profiles.

  • Profile in Aquatic Biology: You will learn about organisms in streams, lakes, seas and oceans - including their physiology and ecological interactions.
  • Profile in Microbiology: You will focus on bacteria and fungi, molecular biology and environmental adaptability, and learn how bacteria and microfungi can be biotechnologically exploited
  • Profile in Ecology and Evolution: You will work with animal behaviour, interactions between living organisms, together with ecological and evolutionary processes and their importance for organisms.
  • Profile in Cellular Biology and Physiology: You will specialize in an understanding of biology at the cellular level and integrate this understanding with research of physiological responses in humans and other fauna.
  • Profile in Molecular Biology and Genetics: You will learn about the genetic and epigenetic basis for cell functioning, regulation and differentiation, including immune systems and genetically modified organisms.
  • Profile in Marine Biology: You will learn about the Danish marine habitats, the complexity of marine ecosystems, biodiversity, energy balances and turnover of organic and inorganic matter.
  • Profile in Ecosystem Function and Management: You will immerse yourself in the services provided by terrestrial ecosystems, including plant growth, carbon sequestration, clean air, clean water and soil remediation.

An individualised academic profile can also be designed on the basis of some of the 40+ courses offered in our graduate biology programme and perhaps supplemented by relevant coursework from studies abroad.

Your MSc programmes concludes with a thesis project. Examples of thesis subjects include inquiries into:

  • Genes and mechanisms of programmed cell death
  • The effect of water pollution upon water fleas
  • Spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
  • Effects of global warming on ecosystems

 When and how to apply

The application procedure for EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens

  • Make sure to check the admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Service if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist) - Language tests and certified diplomas can be forwarded through the online application portal up until study start.
  • From 1 February to 1 April you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 1 April (Fall Semester).
  • After 1 April application deadline, your application will be evaluated by an academic admissions committee.
  • You will receive a response no later than 15 June.
  • Study start 1 September 2014.

Application Procedure Non-EU/EEA Citizens

  • Make sure to check the programme admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Services if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist). Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • From 15 November to 15 January you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 15 January (Fall Semester).
  • Your application is evaluated by an academic admission committee between 15 January and 15 March: All applicants offered admission will receive an invoice for tuition fees which must be paid by 15 April
  • If admitted, you will receive your letter of admission after we have received your tuition fee payment.
  • 1 May is the deadline for applying for your residence permit.

Checklist for Documentation

In order to make sure we have all the information needed to evaluate your past achievements and future potential, you are required to submit the following items:

  • An original or certified copy* of your academic transcript from your Bachelor degree. If the transcript is in a language other than English or a Scandinavian language, please include an official English translation.
  • A certified copy* of your Bachelor diploma. If you are yet to receive your diploma, please provide a letter from your university stating the date when the diploma will be issued.
  • Course descriptions of courses undertaken in your Bachelor degree relevant to the programme you are applying for. These can be in the form of photocopies from your university's academic handbook/course lists or print-outs from the university's website. They should describe what was required of you to complete the courses, what was studied and hours of study. These course descriptions allow us to understand exactly what you have studied in your prior degree, and help us to determine whether you meet the requirements and are eligible for the MSc degree at the Faculty of Science.
  • An updated version of your C.V. (curriculum vitae)/résumé A photo is not necessary.
  • A photocopy of your passport. Should you have more than one passport (citizenship) please copy the passport with which you will use to travel to Denmark. NB: You must use your EU/EEA passport should you wish to be given a tuition fee waiver.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (not applicable to native English speakers) 1) Acceptable TOEFL/IELTS exam results (these test results should be sent to us separately from the test centre upon your request) OR 2) Proof that English was the language of instruction in your prior education. See more information on the language requirements.

* An official certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been certified as a true and correct copy by a person who is authorised to witness a statutory declaration. Official certified copies are usually a photocopy of the original document stamped, signed and verified by an official in your country. Each country varies in whom is qualified to certify documents, however generally speaking your university, lawyers and embassies can certify documents for you, so that we can verify that what we have is a true replica of the original (and therefore determine if you are eligible for the MSc with us).

Please note that when you apply for admission through the digital application system, you are responsible for including and uploading all relevant documents listed in the application package as described above. If you do not have the necessary documentation at time of application you must instead upload an explanation. You can not continue the application process, if you fail to upload information when the application system requires it.

Please note that if you are admitted to an MSc programme at SCIENCE, you may be requested to present your original diploma and transcript at your arrival in Denmark. This will allow us to verify the documents.

If you have already applied digitally, you can always log on to the system and check up on the status of where in the application process your application currently is. Once your application is processed, you will also receive messages regarding your application through the online application system.

Application deadlines

  • EU/ EEA/Swiss applicants:   

1 April 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

  • Non EU/ EEA applicants:   

15 January 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
Denmark Copenhagen
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price - No tuition fee - EU/EEA