This two-year master's programme prepares students for a professional research career in life science. It has a strong focus on molecular techniques for disease therapies and diagnostic tools, coupled with substantial training in data analysis (bioinformatics and programming). The programme is a unique collaboration between Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University in the environment of Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm.
Molecular Techniques in Life Science at KTH
Our understanding of biology at a molecular level has advanced dramatically in recent years, enabled by the rapid technological progress of molecular techniques used in all aspects of life science. This has led to the development of new therapies and diagnostic tools for the effective treatment of diseases, as well as novel insights into complex environmental phenomena.
Students in the master’s programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science will receive a comprehensive education in life science. The programme emphasises cutting-edge methods in bioinformatics analysis of molecular data, including learning how to programme, combined with state-of-the-art techniques used in modern "high throughput" molecular biology.
The programme is delivered by a team of teachers who are internationally recognised researchers in their respective disciplines, so as to ensure a relevant curriculum at the research forefront. The courses give a solid education in a combination of molecular biology, biotechnology and medicine. There is a strong focus on high-throughput biology and data analysis, including programming, and the translation of biological findings from lab bench to patient bedside. The programme also develops skills and abilities essential to a professional career. These skills and abilities include oral and written presentation, teamwork, and how to make ethical and societal considerations about life science-related issues, all of which are important for the ability to lead projects in academia and industry.
This is a two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science.
The degree project is carried out during the last semester of the programme and involves the student working on a research topic related to the subject in the curriculum. The project is carried out in a research group at Karolinska Institute, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory, or in any other internationally recognised university or research institute or industry (Harvard Medical School and the University of Oxford are two examples from previous years). Molecular mechanisms of exercise effects on cancer, Use of conditional Generative Adversarial Networks (GANS) for introducing lesions to mammogram data of healthy individuals, Cryo-EM identification of plant cytosolic ribosome-associated protein, and Modulation of B cell autoimmunity in experimental Myasthenia gravis with tolerogenic nanoparticles are some examples of the wide variety of degree projects.
Bioinformatics, genomics, molecular life science methods, programming, translational medicine.
The combination of molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine and data analysis provides an excellent profile for a professional research career in an academic setting or the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry. The life science industries and academic institutions working in these areas are active and the life science sector is expanding worldwide, which gives students a wide range of possible employment.
The first students from this programme graduated in 2017, and most of them have taken on research positions at prestigious research institutions.
"As the programme is conducted by three universities in Stockholm, not only do you get insights from all three of them, you also experience all their advantages throughout the entire programme."
Linda from Germany
Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Molecular Science and Engineering are:
3 Good Health and Well-being
5 Gender Equality
9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
After graduating from the master's programme, you will be able to contribute to UN Goals #3 Good Health and Well-being and #9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (subgoal 9.5 - Enhance scientific research). The reason is the focus of the programme on training students to understand, use, and develop molecular techniques for disease therapies and diagnostic tools, aiming at translating biological findings into medicine. This may also include conditions primarily affecting women and developing countries, hence addressing UN Goal #5 Gender Equality.
Faculty and research
Karolinska Institutet, KI, is the largest institution for medical and biomedicine education and research in Sweden. It is ranked as one of the best universities within its field and placed 40 among all universities in the THE World University Rankings 2019. Teachers engaged in courses within the programme and given by KI are all active researchers in basic or clinical research.
Stockholm University hosts one of the largest faculties of Science in Sweden, and the programme teachers are active researchers in bioinformatics, biophysics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. The Stockholm University faculty at SciLifeLab have developed several widely used research tools, including projects such as Pfam, Pcons, and GROMACS.
At the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health at KTH, there are strong research groups affiliated with the programme within for example gene technology, bioinformatics, and proteomics. In particular, the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health is the home of Spatial Transcriptomics and the Human Protein Atlas projects.
To be eligible for the programme, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English, and meet the programme-specific requirements.
A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognised university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programmes, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students in their final year of undergraduate studies may apply and, if qualified, will receive a conditional acceptance. These applicants must include a written statement according to the instructions given by University Admissions. Students in the final year of undergraduate studies at a Swedish university do not have to provide a written statement in order, if qualified, to receive a conditional acceptance. They must, however, have completed 150 ECTS credits in the bachelor’s programme by 1 February.
English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6 is required. The requirement can be satisfied through a result equal to, or higher than, those stated in the following internationally recognized English tests:
TOEFL Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, a total score of 575.
TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
TOEFL iBT internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, a total score of 90
IELTS Academic/IELTS UKVI: A minimum overall mark of 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5
Cambridge ESOL: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): Minimum score of 90
The University of Michigan, ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 62 (writing 61)
The language requirement can also be fulfilled through previous university and upper secondary school studies. More information on recognized English tests, previous studies, and required documents is provided by University Admissions.
​​Specific requirements for the master's programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science
A bachelor's degree, corresponding to 180 ECTS credits, including courses in:
Life science, e.g. courses in cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, gene technology or molecular biology corresponding to a total of at least 20 ECTS credits.
Mathematics corresponding to at least 10 ECTS credits
Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation. The following general and programme-specific documents must therefore be included in the application in the specified order:
Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
Proof of English proficiency
A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents
Specific documents for the master's programme in Molecular Techniques in Life Science
Description and documentation of relevant work or research experience, if any.
Completed summary sheet (including motivational text)