Master's Degree ProgrammeMaster of Science – Biochemistry

Biochemistry pursues the goal of exploring and describing the molecular structures and chemical processes at all organisational levels of living organisms. It is based on the views, knowledge and methods of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry as well as molecular biology.

The Subject

Aspects of biochemistry are, for example, the structure, biosynthesis and function of proteins and nucleic acids, metabolism and its regulation, the mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis, the structure and mode of action of molecular machines for cell transport and movement, the composition, properties and function of membranes, and the mechanisms of cellular energy conversion and biological signaling processes.

Biochemistry thus determines the fundamentals of research in many areas of biosciences, including their applied disciplines, and is increasingly initiating research projects in basic chemical research.

Training Objective

The study programme is part of a research-oriented Bachelor/Master degree programme. In the Bachelor's programme, the scientific and methodological basics are taught that establish an initial basic scientific qualification of the students in biochemical professional fields and lay the foundation for independent further education and professional orientation.

In particular, the bachelor's programme is intended to prepare students for the consecutive master's programme in biochemistry or for further qualification in related subjects. To this end, the programme first lays a broad foundation in the basic subjects of chemistry and acquires knowledge of mathematics and physics which is indispensable for biochemistry. Building on this, comprehensive theoretical knowledge, methods and practical skills are taught in the disciplines of biochemistry, which are supplemented by an introduction to current topics in biochemical research. One focus of the training is to introduce students to the practice of the biochemical laboratory at an early stage and, to this end, to provide them with the knowledge and skills to work independently in a research team.

Course Structure

The Master's programme in Biochemistry is designed for an interdisciplinary four-semester course of study, which is completed with degree in Master of Science (M.Sc.). The study programme is divided into modules, in each of which a subject area is taught thematically and chronologically in courses (lectures, seminars, exercises, laboratory practicals) and concluded with an examination. Course-related modules are completed in the first three semesters, and the Master's thesis is written in the fourth semester.

Credit points are awarded for successfully completed modules and a total of 120 credit points must be acquired by the time the degree is awarded.

The Master's degree programme in Biochemistry is divided into compulsory and elective modules.

The compulsory module Biochemistry provides in-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of biochemical research. The interdisciplinary compulsory module Focus in Biochemistry provides students with an insight into current research at selected chemical and biological institutes in Heidelberg as an orientational aid for the choice of research focus within the Master's thesis.

In addition to the compulsory modules, a total of three elective modules are selected from an interdisciplinary range of courses in chemistry and biology. This allows students to individually choose the focus between chemistry and biology. Practical training takes place in a total of four eight-week research internships. 

The modularisation of the study programme is also intended to promote student mobility. The third or fourth semester is recommended for a semester abroad. In consultation with the Dean of Studies of the Department of Biochemistry, courses of these semesters, including the Master's thesis, can be completed abroad.


Model Curriculum

The study programme is divided into compulsory and elective modules. The compulsory modules in biochemistry (blue) are obligatory. In addition, a total of three compulsory elective modules (grey) are chosen. These can be freely selected in any combination depending on individual preferences.

Please refer to the module manual for a detailed description of the structure of the degree programme and the individual courses.

Übersicht Master Januar 2017