Master in Molecular Techniques in Life Science


Program Description

This two-year master's program 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 program 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 the human body at a molecular level has advanced dramatically in recent years, which has led to the development of new therapies and diagnostic tools for the effective treatment of diseases. Students in the master’s program in Molecular Techniques in Life Science will receive a comprehensive education in life science. The program emphasizes cutting-edge methods in bioinformatics analysis of molecular data, including learning how to program, combined with state-of-the-art techniques used in modern "high throughput" molecular biology. Students will also learn how to translate biological findings into diagnostic tools and novel treatments.

The program is delivered by a team of teachers who are internationally recognized 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 program 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 program (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science.

Degree project

The degree project is carried out during the last semester of the program 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 recognized university or research institute or industry (Harvard Medical School and 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.


The combination of molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, and data analysis provides an excellent profile for a professional research career in an academic setting or in 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.


Find out what students from the program think about their time at KTH.

Vijay Sai Josyula, India: "Graduating as a student of one of the leading universities in the world is a dream for many. Imagine being an alumnus of three such universities after the completion of this program! Well, that sums up my choice to pursue MTLS at KTH."

Sustainable development

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 programs. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's program in Molecular Science and Engineering are:

  • Good Health and Well-Being
  • Gender Equality
  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

After graduating from the master's program, 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 program 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.


The two-year master's program in Molecular Techniques in Life Science consists of three terms of courses and one final term dedicated to the master's degree project. Each term consists of approximately 30 ECTS credits. The courses presented on this page apply to studies starting in autumn 2020.

Year 1

The first year includes advanced level courses in genetics, translational medicine, molecular life science methods, and biological membrane dynamics, as well as the foundations of programming, bioinformatics, and comparative genomics. Karolinska Institute (autumn semester) and Stockholm University (spring semester) offer the courses during the first year.

Mandatory courses

Fall semester 2020, Courses organized by Karolinska Institute

  • 5MT009 Genetics 5 credits
  • 5MT006 Frontiers in translational medicine 16,5 credits
  • 5MT008 Applied communication 7 credits
  • 5MT007 Applied programming for life science 1 1,5 credits

Spring Semester 2021, Courses organized by Stockholm University

  • DA7062 Applied programming for life science 2 1,5 credits
  • KB7016 Bioinformatics 7 credits
  • KB7015 Structure and dynamics of biological membranes 7 credits
  • BL8060 Methods in molecular life science 7 credits
  • KB8019 Comparative genomics 7,5 credits

Year 2

The second-year contains mandatory courses in applied gene technology with bioinformatics analysis of large-scale data and clinical applications of biotechnology. The second half of the fall semester offers three courses, of which the student should select two: systems biology, drug development, and a project course. The courses during the autumn term are offered by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. During the spring semester, the individual degree project is performed.

Mandatory courses

  • Clinical applications of biotechnology (CB2021) 6.0 credits
  • Applied gene technology and large-scale data analysis (CB2040) 7.5 credits
  • Applied programming for life science 3 (CB2060) 1.5 credits

Conditionally elective courses

  • Systems biology (CB2030) 7.5 credits
  • Project in molecular life science (CB2050) 7.5 credits
  • Drug Development (CB2090) 7.5 credits

Admission requirements

To be eligible for the program, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English and meet the program-specific requirements.

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognized university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programs, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English proficiency

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: 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)

Specific requirements for the master's program 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

Application documents

  1. Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
  2. Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
  3. Proof of English proficiency
  4. A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents

Specific documents for the master's program in Molecular Techniques in Life Science

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Description and documentation of relevant work or research experience, if any.
  • Completed summary sheet (including motivational text)
Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical univer ... Read More

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical university, KTH is also the country’s oldest and largest. With over 12,000 students and an international reputation for excellence, the university continues to nurture the world’s brightest minds, helping to shape the future. Read less