Molecular Biotechnology

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

The master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology is devoted to the production and design of natural and artificial biomolecules, the central focus of “molecular” biotechnology.

TUM School of Life Sciences

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Required Language Proficiency Language of Instruction
  • German
Main Locations
Admission Category Start of Degree Program
  • Possible for both winter and summer semester
Standard Duration of Studies
(Number of Semesters)
  • 4 semesters fulltime
Credits Costs

Information on Degree Program

Classical biotechnology has mainly focused on the production process and related questions concerning technical processes (such as fermentation, separation etc.).  In the age of genetic engineering and synthetic biology, however, it has become much simpler to optimize the biosynthetic performance of the cell itself. Further, it has also become possible to design and efficiently synthesize artificial biomolecules with enhanced or even new functions (protein design). This, in turn, has established links to the new research area of synthetic biology. As a result, the technical know-how and added value for a commercial enterprise no longer principally relate to the production process but, increasingly, to the structure and function of the biomolecule, as well as to the (purposefully manipulated) genetic features of the cell (or of the organism) being produced. This field of work therefore requires the interdisciplinary application of the methods of genetic engineering, protein chemistry, biophysics and bioinformatics.

The central focus in “molecular” biotechnology is on the biomolecules themselves and, more specifically, on the macromolecules – in addition to lipids and intermediate metabolic products (metabolites) – as well as the cells that synthesize these. Cells, whether microorganisms or cultivated animal or plant cells, are not only of interest as producers but also as objects of study.

Technical instruments and resources play a key role in molecular biotechnology. They range from state-of-the-art physical measuring instruments through fermentation systems to computerized methods (molecular modeling and bioinformatics). The interdisciplinary character of this bioscience degree program therefore provides five thematic pillars on which the master’s program is based: biomolecules, cells, organisms, medicine and technology.

For a comprehensive description of the program, please refer to the degree program documentation:

The degree program is structured in modules. The required elective disciplines in the core modules provide the foundations and account for 40 credits. The modules cover biomolecules, cells, organisms, medicine and technology.

In addition, areas of specialization provide students the opportunity to create an individual competency profile. Theoretical and practical specialization modules are offered, with the latter providing the opportunity to learn experimental techniques in an everyday research setting. The selection from this area must total at least 37 credits.

Students can choose from a range of extradisciplinary modules totaling 8 credits to advance their knowledge in languages, politics, economics, ethics, culture and/or interdisciplinary topics.

The fourth semester is devoted to the master’s thesis, the topic of which is independently developed during the third semester in the module “Scientific Project Planning.”

Required language skills for admission:

You need sufficient German language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your German language skills.

This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.   

Language of instruction:

The language of instruction for this program is German.

Upon completion of the master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology, graduates are able to assess complex scientific questions in the fields of biotechnology and molecular biology, as well as neighboring fields. They can structure their approach and evaluate their research results. They are thus well-positioned to acquire the ability to work independently and scientifically in a doctoral program. They have knowledge of specialist areas, such as protein engineering, molecular microbiology or structure-based bioinformatics and can apply, convey and write about this knowledge. In particular, the degree program enables students to independently identify research questions when developing and applying biotechnological and biochemical lines of inquiry; to carry out studies concerning such questions; to critically scrutinize the results; and to conduct analysis and drive further development.

In the field of protein design, for example, they can contribute to the development of biological active ingredients for the treatment of serious illnesses. They are able to grasp the structure and properties of a protein and thus conceive of approaches to changing the function of the protein or first gaining the requisite information on its structure. Further competencies acquired concern methods of molecular biology, such as genetic analysis and cell structure techniques, or enzymatic procedures and their theoretical foundations, which find application in research and in industry. The application-oriented training is particularly advantageous, insofar as it enables graduates of the master’s degree program in Molecular Biotechnology to quickly familiarize themselves with complex tasks.

After completing their degree, graduates have the option to embark upon a doctoral degree or enter the biotechnology sector directly:

  • Medicine – development of pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, further development of diagnostics and development work on the interfaces between disciplines, e.g. prosthetics, tissue substitutes
  • Industrial biotechnology – development of new processes and materials (including from renewable resources)
  • Agriculture – genetically modified plants and animals, modified microorganisms

Binding Regulations for Progression of Studies, Examinations and Application

Application and Admission

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hardcopies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

In detail:

We may require additional documents depending on the type of educational background you earned and your country of origin. After accepting an offer of admission in TUMonline, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hardcopy for enrollment.

Application period for winter semester: 01.04. - 31.05.
Application period for summer semester: 01.11. - 15.01.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents. Please be aware that we can only process your application if you upload all required documents within the application period.

We will review your application as soon as it is complete. Please check your TUMonline account regularly, to see if we have any queries to your documents or if you have to amend one or more documents.

After receiving admission, you will see in TUMonline which documents you have to submit for enrollment, and in which form. Please note that you always have to send the signed application for enrollment and all notarized hardcopies by post.

We recommend that you submit the documents for enrollment as soon as possible after receiving admission. If individual documents are not available by then, you can submit them up to 5 weeks after the start of the lecture period. You will, however, only be enrolled once we have received all documents.

You can check the status of your application at any time in your TUMonline account.

Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.

In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admitted, rejected or invited to an admissions interview. 

In detail: 

The Online application process takes place through our application TUMonline.

This degree program does not encompass a compulsory internship nor is an internship a requirement for admission. However, it is recommendable, as a rule, to gain practical experience as soon as possible.

What are my options after earning this degree?

You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career? TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application.

If you are interested in continuing your studies, you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.

Additional Information

If you have further questions concerning the master's degree program in Molecular Biotechnology, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Astrid Bauer.

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