UTU Masters | Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics
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Master’s Degree Programme in

Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Turku

Master the exciting field of biotechnology!

The Master’s Degree Programme in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics will equip you for a career in the exciting field of biotechnology and translational research.

Here you will obtain extensive theoretical and practical expertise on central concepts and techniques in modern molecular biotechnology and diagnostics.

You will also learn to apply the acquired knowledge in practice for the development of novel tools and methods for the detection molecular substances. The education is focused on the key technologies of diagnostics and molecular biology with opportunities to apply this knowledge both to medical and other areas of diagnostics.

After graduation, you will be equipped with skills that enable you to join the industry, to pursue a career as a scientist, or to enter the public sector. In addition, the Programme provides a good foundation for those interested in entrepreneurship.


Programme structure

The Master’s degree in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostic is a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits. The degree is comprised of:

  • Major subject studies in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics (89 ECTS) including Master’s thesis and related research project and seminar (55 ECTS)
  • Mandatory language studies including Finnish for foreigners (5 ECTS) and English Academic writing skills (2 ECTS)
  • Selectable studies in different thematic areas and special themes (0-16 ECTS)
Academic excellence & experience

Focus areas of research in the Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics programme are novel diagnostic concepts and technologies. The Programme focuses also on diagnostics applications in various areas such as medicine, environmental and food quality monitoring. Other research topics of importance include:

  • antibody and protein engineering
  • fluorescence marker technologies
  • nucleic acid detection techniques
  • biomarker discovery
  • development related to both communicable and non-communicable diseases of global importance
Master's thesis & topics

The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis is based on independent, experimental research project in a laboratory. The research work is made under the guidance of a supervisor and takes 5 months.

The results obtained in the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings.

The Master’s thesis will be written based on the results from the experimental work and a review of relevant background literature.

Examples of thesis topics:

  • Effect of codon usage of signal sequence on Fab fragment expression
  • Antibody Expression, Purification and Assay development for the detection of Malaria
  • Colorectal cancer specific CEA lectin nanoparticle assay
  • Lateral flow assay platform for infectious disease diagnostics
  • Utilization of skeletal Troponin I recognizing binders in immunoassay
  • Enhanced cancer-specificity of tumor markers by lectin-labeled nanoparticles


Faculty strenghts – Biomedical sciences

Turku has longstanding research traditions in the field of biomedicine. Especially the areas of drug discovery, diagnostics, and biological and medical imaging represent the top level expertise of the University of Turku.

The Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics programme is part of a larger ensemble of MSc programmes in Biomedical Sciences. The close collaboration of three Master’s degree programmes forms a unique educational combination of biomedical sciences in Finland and worldwide.

Biomedical Sciences is a collaboration of two universities, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University.  The offered teaching is based on the true research strengths of the participating units:

  • Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku
  • Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku
  • Department of Biosciences at Åbo Akademi University.

Other programmes in the ensemble of Biomedical Sciences are Biomedical Imaging, and Drug Discovery and Development. Major subject studies in each are programme-specific but can be offered as selectable studies for all the programmes. Each student makes a personal study plan which helps to select the courses that best suit the personal interests and background of the student.

Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics Programme has close connections to the diagnostic and biopharmaceutical industry. Numerous industrial collaborators include both Finnish and major international players. An important partner in the development of the educational and research collaborations is the Indo-Finn Diagnostic Research Center.


Competence description

In the Programme, you will:

  • learn state-of-the-art and emerging techniques in modern molecular biotechnology serving the medical and other diagnostics fields
  • gain the ability to apply the acquired knowledge in practice to create novel bioaffinity tools and platforms
  • gain in-depth knowledge of infectious diseases, cardiac and cancer diagnostics
  • gain in-depth knowledge of biomarker discovery, proof-of-concept building and clinical validation
  • learn the prerequisites for translating novel technologies into routine applications
  • gain skills for co-operation in a multi-language laboratory environment
Job options

You will be equipped with skills that provide you with multiple career options. You will be able to join the industry in Finland or abroad, or to enter the public sector, for example, in various authoritative duties.

The biotech industry is among the fastest growing industrial sectors globally. In Finland, there is a strong demand for biotechnology experts at the moment. Especially the diagnostic industry, which is the largest sector of biotech industry in Finland, needs new professionals. The education in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics also provides a good foundation for those interested in entrepreneurship.

Possible job titles are:

  • researcher
  • quality manager
  • product developer
  • product manager
  • project coordinator
Career in research

Master of Science degree provides you with eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral and licentiate degrees. Degrees can be completed at the University of Turku.

Graduates from the programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of 16 doctoral programmes which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.


General degree requirement

A BSc degree that formally qualifies the applicant to access Master’s level studies in the country where it has been completed. This degree should correspond to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to a minimum of three years of full-time study.


A polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu). Students with such degree might however be required to complete additional studies while studying for the Master’s degree to qualify for Master’s degree studies (see Additional studies).

Track-Specific Degree Requirements

The degree on basis of which you are applying to the MDP in Biomedical Sciences must be in a relevant field of study. For the Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics track such fields are

  • biomedical sciences
  • molecular biosciences
  • biochemistry
  • other life sciences
  • chemistry
  • engineering

Applications are evaluated by the admission committee of the Master’s Degree Programme. The applicant is scored separately for each track s/he is applying to. The admission committee also interviews the best scoring applicants in each specialization track. The interview invitations will be sent by e-mail. If the applicant is not reached for the interview, the application will not be processed further.

Following application components are scored:

  • Compatibility of the background studies 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1p = sufficient relevance, 2 p. = good relevance, 3 p. = excellent relevance, 4 p. = outstanding relevance)
  • Previous academic success and study history 0-3 p. (0 p. = insufficient/not suitable, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = excellent. Here it should be noted, that if the applicant has already an MSc degree(s) or higher, or is already studying at University of Turku, it is not necessarily considered to be beneficial.)
  • Laboratory working experience 0-3 p. (0 p. = no experience, 1 p. = laboratory course work as part of previous studies, 2 p. or 3 p. = additional experience which is not directly included in the previous studies, e.g. internships, summer projects, other working experience)
  • Motivation letter 0-3 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = somewhat motivated, 2 p. = sufficient and well-justified motivation, 3 p. = excellent motivation)
  • The interview performance and the English skills during the interview are both scored on scale 0-3 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = satisfactory, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = excellent).


In addition, an applicant may receive additional points from a written thesis (1 p.) and possible academic awards and/or stipends (1 p.) and completing a possible pre-assignment task during the interview (0-3 p.).

If the applicant scores 0 p. in any of the components, the application will not be processed further. In the case of the same amount of points, all of the applicants with the same score will be selected. Rest of the interviewees will be shortlisted, and if any of the admitted applicants will not accept the offered study place, it will be offered to the next applicant on the list. The admission committee reserves a right to decide into which university the applicant will be admitted, if s/he has applied to both universities, ÅAU and UTU in Biomedical Imaging. The preferred choice of the applicant will be taken into account when possible.

Additional Studies

The contents of formally eligible applicants’ previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the Programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete additional, Bachelor level studies. These can be done while studying for the Master’s Degree, but they are not part of the degree and may extend the targeted study time. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Since the language of instruction in Bachelor’s level at the University of Turku is Finnish, an applicant needing additional studies can be required to submit proof for Finnish skills during the application process (see Language requirements). In case such proof is not submitted, the applicant needing additional studies must be rejected.

Language Requirements

All applicants must prove their knowledge of English in one of the ways accepted by the Faculty.

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of a polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu) may be asked to prove their proficiency in Finnish language also if they are required to complete such additional Bachelor’s level studies that are available only in Finnish.


Application Form and Enclosures

The application form for the studies starting in autumn 2018 is available online during the application period on 1 December 2017 – 31 January 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2). On the same form you can apply for any of the four tracks in the Biomedical Sciences programme. Enclosures are attached to the application in digital form (pdf).

If you are graduating only after the deadline, you may apply on the condition that the required application documents are submitted and arrive at the University of Turku by 10 July 2018 at 15:00 (local time in Finland).

STEP 1: Collect the required application documents

The following documents must be scanned and attached to the electronic application (in pdf format, in color) at the Studyinfo portal:

  • The original degree certificate (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the degree certificate.
  • The original transcript of study records (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European universities) of the transcript of records.
  • Certificate of knowledge of English (see Language requirements).
  • Certificate of knowledge of Finnish (requested only from applicants who are seeking admission on the basis of a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (


In addition, the following enclosure is required to help in handling of the applications, and identifying the applicants in the interview:

  • Copy of information page of the passport or identification card containing the applicant’s name, date of birth and photo


It is possible to attach additional documents, such as CV or work certificates, which provide more information about the applicant.


All translations must be made either by an authorized translator or by the degree awarding institution. Each page of an official translation must bear the translator’s stamp and/or signature. Official translations must be exact translations of the original documents. Translations done by the applicant him- or herself are not accepted.

STEP 2: Write a motivation letter

Prepare a motivation letter to be copy-pasted on the application form. The letter of motivation is an important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability to the programme and will be scored so please prepare it carefully. Please notice that the motivation letter may be checked for plagiarism with the Turnitin system of the University of Turku.

Also be prepared to describe the grading scale used at your institution at the time of your studies. The grading scale must include all the grades and marks appearing on your transcript of records and their relation to each other. You should also provide a link to an official website where this information can be verified. (In many cases this information is already included in the transcript of records.)

The application form also includes track specific questions the answers of which will be scored. Therefore reserve some time for filling in the application form.

STEP 3: Fill in the application form

The application form is filled online in the Studyinfo portal. Please search at www.studyinfo.fi for the Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences. The application form is available and a completed application can be updated until the end of the application period on 31 January 2018 at 15.00 (GMT +2). When filling in the form you should select the specialization track of the Master´s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences to which you will apply. If you wish to apply for several tracks, you’ll have to put them in the order of preference.


The yearly quota is 40 students shared out to the four specialization fields. In case the share is uneven, the applicants with best score will be prioritized. The admission decisions are published by 28 March 2018. All applicants will be informed by email, but also hard copies are sent upon request. All students are required to start in the beginning of the autumn semester, and there is no separate admission for the spring semester.


The admitted applicant will have to show the originals of his/her educational documents (degree certificate and transcript of study records) at the University of Turku after arrival in Finland. Depending on the country the original documents may have to be attested or legalized. Please see the country specific requirements for the submission of the documents upon arrival already before applying.

Master’s Degree Programme in



Degree: Master of Science

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biochemistry

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Tuition fee: None / €12,000

Start date: August/September 2018

Application period: 1 Dec 2017 – 31 Jan 2018