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Integrated Life Sciences: Biology, Biomathematics and Biophysics (MSc)

Please note: this degree programme is offered in English.
What is the Programme About?

Modern biology profits from new mathematical algorithms and technical developments which make it possible to record and evaluate biological data with enormous speed and on a scale until recently deemed impossible. This is facilitated in particular through revolutionary developments in the area of DNA sequencing and synthesis as well as analysis techniques for biological macromolecules and new bioimaging methods. This knowledge means that today we have a better quantitative understanding of chemical and physical cell processes.

The interdisciplinary Master’s degree programme in Integrated Life Sciences (ILS) trains students for quantitative research on complex molecular biology and physical processes in cells using advanced mathematical and biochemical methods. Building on a Bachelor’s degree programme (ILS or a Bachelor’s degree in biophysics), students deepen their knowledge of molecular biology, biomathematics and biophysics and apply this knowledge in practice using microscopic and computer-assisted methods.

At the end of the programme, students will be able to apply mathematics, biophysics and bioinformatics tools in many areas of biological research. ILS students are prepared for interdisciplinary tasks in structural biology, synthetic biology, biophysics, biomathematics, molecular biology, cell biology as well as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics.

Research Priorities and Specialisation Options

The Master’s degree programme in ILS gives students the opportunity to acquire knowledge in two of the following fields from biology, physics and mathematics:

  • Mathematical modelling and systems biology: biomathematics, statistics, bioanalytics, omic technologies, genome and proteome analysis, metabolic networks in a biological context (metabolism, gene expression, complex systems, modelling etc.)
  • Bioimaging and biophysics: Imaging techniques, mathematical image processing, advanced optics, confocal microscopy, biological physics, molecular neurophysiology
  • Biological structures and processes: Structural biology (protein structures, modelling), membrane physiology: Ion transport and signal transmission, X-ray crystallography, neutron scattering, developmental biology, programming with Python

Students choose a specialisation during their studies and usually write their Master's thesis in this area.

Modules and Degree Programme Structure
  • 1.-2. Semester: Orientation Phase
    Students choose two of three specialisations and earn between 30 and 40 ECTS credits respectively in compulsory and elective modules. Compulsory electives in the three module groups offer a wide range of choice in the fields of biology, biomathematics and biophysics.
  • 3. Semester: Specialisation
    In the specialisation module, students work on a scientific project in one of three specialisations. This module is worth 20 ECTS credits. In parallel, students advance both their theoretical and experimental knowledge by attending seminars and special lectures.
  • 4. Semester: Master's Thesis
    Students work on their own research project and write a thesis on their research over the course of six months. Students also present the results and progress of their research to the members of their working group in the form of seminar lectures.
Admission Requirements

Applicants require a Bachelor’s degree in integrated life sciences, physics, mathematics or biology (with an above-average grade). The ILS Master’s degree programme is primarily intended for students who have already attended interdisciplinary biophysics or biomathematics courses in their Bachelor’s degree programme and have a strong interest in interdisciplinary biology topics.

Applicants must produce evidence of English language proficiency equivalent to Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Native speakers or applicants with a German university entrance qualification who can produce evidence of six years of English tuition at a German grammar school are exempt from this rule.

Degree programme start date and application deadlines

Für Masterstudiengänge gibt es unterschiedliche Bewerbungsfristen. Auf dem Merkblatt für die Masterstudiengänge (pdf) sind die Anmeldefristen und weitere Informationen hinterlegt. Hier gibt es weitere Informationen zur Anmeldung zum Masterstudium. Die Webseiten der FAU bieten eine Übersicht über die aktuellen Bewerbungsfristen sowie Informationen zum lokalen Auswahlverfahren und zur Bewerbung.

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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.

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Type of study: Master
Location: Erlangen
Standard duration of study: 4 Semester
Start date of degree programme: Summer Term, Winter Term
Language: English
Size: (1-24 Students)
Early entrance programme: no
Part-time study: no