Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Computational Life Sciences


Program Description

There is a growing need for experts who have specific knowledge in a scientific discipline combined with skills in data science, modeling, and computation.

Programming, Algorithms, Data-Structures, Mathematical Modelling, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition, Data Bases, Data Architecture Systems, Handling and Visualising Data, Neural Networks, and Deep Learning are the relevant Keywords. Those who master these contents have key qualifications for the future.

Become a data scientist and simulation expert!

Master of Science in Applied Computational Life Sciences

Science and business are undergoing profound changes as a result of the developments of the digital revolution. Expertise in working with digital tools and large quantities of data are key supplementary skills for subject specialists. In this Master’s program, you will acquire these supplementary skills and combine them with the subject-specific experience and knowledge gained in your Bachelor’s degree.

Your Background

Do you have a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields or in a related field?

  • Agronomy
  • Bioanalytics and Cell Biology
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Energy and Environmental Technology
  • Engineering
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Environmental Technology
  • Food Science and Management
  • Food Technology
  • Forest Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Medical Technology
  • Pharmaceutical Technology
  • System Technology

Are you fascinated by the potential of digital technology? Then come and master up your degree by becoming a data scientist and simulation expert!

Flexible Study Agreement

Before your studies begin, you decide on your personal educational goals, define the topic of your Master’s thesis and create your individual study plan together with your supervisor from the selection of available modules. Your personal study program is based on your educational background, your interests, and your objectives. You will be able to profit from close interaction with your supervisor both at the beginning and throughout your studies. The Study Agreement is a learning tool that defines the balance between independent learning, contact lessons, and e-learning. It enables you to create your own contemporary learning context that incorporates a high degree of flexibility.

Studying Applied Computational Life Sciences

The program is divided into three semesters, or more if you study part-time. In the first two semesters, you will learn and practice essential generic computational science, data science, and business skills in combination with your specialization.

Structure at semester start in autumn:


Weekly structure:


Your Field of Interest

Are you interested in any of the following fields?

  • Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics
  • Biomedical Simulation
  • Citizen Science Technologies
  • Climate Modelling
  • Complex Systems
  • Computational Genomics
  • Data Integration and Semantic Web Technologies
  • Digital Health
  • Forecasting & Decision Making
  • Geoinformatics
  • Health Technologies
  • Lab Information and Management Systems LIMS
  • Process Optimization in Food Technology
  • Smart Environmental Systems
  • Smart Farming

You can choose your thesis topic and your advisor based on your field of interest. You will be placed in one of our specialization tracks, which will prepare fully for your Master’s thesis in your field of interest.

Hand-On Master's Thesis

As you work on your Master’s thesis, you will become part of a cutting-edge research group. This may be in close collaboration with our industry partners or as part of a research group in one of the life science institutes at the ZHAW. Visit our thesis Marketplace or even contact us with your own ideas!

Your New Skills

  • processing and analyzing data of various sizes and levels of complexity
  • conceptual and technical skills to combine your expertise in a life sciences discipline with the potential of computational methods
  • computational modeling and simulation of processes
  • statistical modelling with machine learning and neural networks
  • programming using modern scripting languages such as Python and R and you will understand the basic concepts of software and computer architectures
  • analysis and solving of complex problems that combine scientific, social and entrepreneurial thinking
  • planning, implementation, evaluation, and presentation of major research and development projects

Your Future

This specialization in Applied Computational Life Sciences lays the foundation for a career in a rapidly developing field of research and business. The program provides essential knowledge in a field where science meets business and opens up career paths in international companies, agile start-ups, and research institutions.

As a graduate of this program, you will find a job that shapes the future.

Suitable students have the opportunity to be accepted onto our Data Science Ph.D. program run in collaboration with other Swiss universities.

Last updated Jul 2020

Keystone Scholarship

Discover the options our scholarship can give you

About the School

The ZHAW is one of the leading Swiss universities of applied sciences. Around 1,500 students are currently enrolled at the School of Life sciences and facility Management, which has more than 600 empl ... Read More

The ZHAW is one of the leading Swiss universities of applied sciences. Around 1,500 students are currently enrolled at the School of Life sciences and facility Management, which has more than 600 employees. Read less