Master in Molecular Biology and Environmental Microbiology


Program Description


Increasingly strong societal demand in the fields of the Environment, sustainable development and health now call for a synergy of cutting-edge skills involving Chemical and Biological Sciences.

The Master's degree in Molecular biology and Environmental Microbiology trains specialists with a mastery of modern molecular biology and environmental microbiology, with a solid background in chemistry, capable of grasping environmental issues related to:

  • The protection of ecosystems,
  • The ecotoxicology of soils, sediments, and water,
  • The identification of microorganisms representing a risk to the environment or public health,
  • The bio-rehabilitation of sites affected by anthropogenic (industrial and agricultural) pollution.

The Molecular Biology and Environmental Microbiology Master's degree is at the heart of this technological and socio-economic evolution. At a meeting point between the professional world and the University in a region that is home to large-scale facilities of several industrial companies concerned by bio-depollution (Total, Arkema, chemical industries at the Lacq site) and strong agricultural activity.

The Master's degree in Molecular biology and Environmental Microbiology also offers an international outlook through both internships and the possibility of obtaining a double degree with the "Master in Biotechnology of Environment and Health" from the University of Oviedo (Spain).

Biological methods developed for the remediation of contaminated sites, the treatment of effluents, the control of the use of phytosanitary products or the search for pathogens in natural waters and cooling or water distribution systems are increasingly in demand and proposed as necessary alternatives for the sustainable improvement of environmental problems.

The implementation of these methods as well as the development of molecular analysis tools and techniques (quantitative PCR, DNA chips, high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics analysis, microbial biosensors, GMOs, protein engineering) is one of the challenges for industrial and environmental policies in the coming years.

An orientation towards research may be envisaged, depending on the choice of options and especially internships. It is based on the major research axes of the Environment and Microbiology Team (EEM) of IPREM (UMR CNRS 5254), recognized for its expertise in microbiology and the environment. The continuation of studies in doctoral thesis predisposes to jobs as teacher-researchers in higher education, researchers in public research organizations (CNRS, INRA) or industrial R&D departments.


At the end of this course, graduates will develop the following skills according to their choice of optional courses:

  • Identify the concepts and approaches of modern microbiology and biology,
  • Understand the complexity and importance of microbial processes in the environment,
  • Master modern biochemical, molecular and genetic methodologies, as well as mathematical, statistical and computational tools,
  • Search for pathogens in natural environments and industrial installations or select micro-organisms likely to degrade contaminants of biotic or abiotic origin in the laboratory or in the natural environment,
  • Conduct experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of biological or chemical methods of environmental remediation,
  • Conduct studies and formulate opinions to solve practical problems posed by the protection of ecosystems: assessing the benefit-risk of the methods used, setting up field study protocols,
  • Master the tools of statistical analysis and integrating the knowledge necessary to respect the environment within the framework of sustainable development,
  • Conduct field experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical or biological methods for the protection of eco- and agrosystems.

Knowledge and skills

The theoretical, methodological and practical teaching must lead students to acquire the necessary bases for effective integration into the world of business or research, but also for communication with representatives of the socio-professional world.

The 2nd year of the Master "Molecular biology and Environmental Microbiology" includes:

  • Theoretical and practical teaching by teacher-researchers, supplemented by conferences in which professionals from the sector share their experience on the field, as well as visits to companies,
  • An internship of 4 to 6 months in a company, a professional organization or a research laboratory.

The courses are oriented towards the acquisition of scientific and technical skills as well as knowledge of professional concerns so that students can be operational to meet the demands of the sector but also be a source of innovative perspectives in the context of the missions they will be assigned.

During the first semester, the emphasis is placed on carrying out personal work, in groups of one to four depending on the course, covering bibliographical research, analysis of bibliographical articles and/or papers in the field of expertise, writing scientific papers, oral presentations, lab work including the development, implementation, and analysis of the results of an experimental protocol.


M2 Training content


Control knowledge

  • Final exams
  • Ongoing assessments
  • Oral presentations

Admission Requirements

English language requirements

Applicants must be fluent in English, both in writing and speaking. An applicant whose native language is not English has to take a recognized international English test.

  • Minimum required score: CECRL B2 level in English


For any supplementary information or questions related to the application:

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Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

UPPA offers its students initial or continuing education, work/study programs or apprenticeships, to obtain Bachelor’s, Master’s and vocational degrees and Doctorates through its 5 UFRs (Teaching and ... Read More

UPPA offers its students initial or continuing education, work/study programs or apprenticeships, to obtain Bachelor’s, Master’s and vocational degrees and Doctorates through its 5 UFRs (Teaching and Research units) and two Doctoral schools. Read less
Anglet , Bayonne , Mont-de-Marsan , Pau , Tarbes + 4 More Less