• Orientate Yourself
  • Inform Yourself
  • Online Test
  • Degree Programmes
  • Begin Studies

Cell and Molecular Biology (MSc)

What is the degree programme about?

Cell and Molecular Biology focuses on advanced theoretical and practical knowledge of all areas of modern cell and molecular biology. The degree programme is closely linked to research and is based around the research priorities in biology at FAU. You will build on the knowledge gained in your Bachelor's degree programme and prepare for a career in research or development. Four elective modules give you the opportunity to put what you have learned in lectures in to practice. You will receive initial insights into the current research topics of the respective working groups. In core skills modules you will learn how to conduct independent literature research and write manuscripts and presentations in English. You can improve your proficiency in English by taking specialist language courses, such as scientific English. An elective module in a non-biology subject provides you with a chance to broaden your horizon and gain interdisciplinary skills.

Core subjects and specialisation options

Elective modules (free choice of 4 modules):
Autoimmunity; Bacteria-plant interactions; Bioanalysis; Biosynthesis of plant-based natural materials; Computer simulations of embryonic pattern formation processes; Genetic models in immunobiology; Immunology*; Ion channels and signal transduction; Light signalling in algae; Membrane proteins; Molecular human genetics*; Molecular control of stem cell and organ differentiation; Molecular neurophysiology; Molecular tumour research; Molecular genetics of fungi-plant interaction; Pattern formation, growth and evolution; Neurobiology; Palaeobiology*; Pathogenicity factors in Gram-negative bacteria; Pathogenicity factors in Gram-positive bacteria; Perl programming for biology; Plant biotechnology; Phylogeny; Protein design and designer proteins; Signal proteins; Signal transduction; Structure and function relationships in biological macromolecules; Virology*

Only one subject marked with * can be chosen.

Compulsory elective modules:
Scientific English (UNIcert III) or external placement, a 5 ECTS module outside of biology.

Modules and degree programme structure
  • 1st-2nd semester: orientation phase
    In the orientation phase you take two core module lectures and elective modules which can be chosen from a wide range of subjects and topics. In this phase you begin to acquire advanced knowledge of your chosen biological topics. You can also complete a placement outside the University in order to gain practical experience or bring your English proficiency up to a more advanced level (UNIcert III).
  • 3rd semester: specialisation
    Here you focus on one subject in which you deepen your theoretical knowledge through specialist lectures and seminars and carry out an eight-week experimental project. This module is completed with an oral examination. You also take seminars where you build on your presentation skills and improve your methods of presenting research.
  • 4th semester: Master's thesis
    You have six months to work on and complete a research project of your choice and write your Master's thesis. Students also present the results and progress of their research to the members of their working group in the form of seminar lectures.
Good to know
  • The modules in Cell and Molecular Biology are closely linked to the research priorities at the chairs within the Department of Biology. After completing the Master's degree programme you may begin work on a doctoral degree in one of these research groups. Various research groups that are coordinated by the Department of Biology offer structured doctoral programmes.
Admission requirements

For Cell and Molecular Biology, applicants require an above average completed degree in biology or a related subject and must pass a qualification assessment process. Applicants with an average grade of 2.5 or better are admitted directly; applicants with an average grade of up to 2.51 must pass an oral admissions examination.

As the majority of the degree programme is taught in German, international applicants require proof of German language proficiency:
DSH: minimum of DSH-2 in the written examination, minimum of DSH-1 in the oral examination
TestDaF 3: at least 3 results at level 4; maximum of 1 result at level 3.

Application procedure

The degree programme begins in the winter semester. Applications must be submitted via the application portal campo. If you have not yet completed your Bachelor's degree you must have obtained at least 135 ECTS credits at the time of application. In exceptional cases, applicants with insufficient ECTS credits at the time of application may be allowed to hand in proof of these later, but prior to the qualification assessment process.

Further information about the Master's application procedure: (German)

Core skills
  • Literature research
  • Writing manuscripts in English
  • Holding presentations in English
Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Please find more detailed information on how to apply for a Master or advanced degree programme on the following website:

Compare degree programs

Open comparison on a new page


Please note: Despite careful checks, we cannot rule out errors or omissions. For this reason, all prospective students are advised to seek detailed information from FAU's Student Advice and Career Service (IBZ) before commencing their studies.

Back to degree programmes


Degree type: Master of Science (MSc)
Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Winter Term
Language: English, German
Admission: Qualification assessment
Size: (50-99 Students)
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no
Faculty: Faculty of Natural Sciences