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

Bachelor of Science 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 three years of full-time study.


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

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of a degree from Finnish University of Applied Sciences should note the language requirement concerning Finnish language.

Programme-Specific Degree Requirements

The Programme is open to applicants with sufficient background knowledge in life sciences and/or natural sciences, and with a lower university degree, BSc degree (180 ECTS), in the field of:

  • biomedical sciences
  • molecular biosciences
  • biochemistry
  • other life sciences
  • chemistry
  • engineering
  • other relevant fields of studies where sufficient knowledge of molecular biosciences is achieved

The applicants should be familiar with the basics of laboratory practice. Both Finnish and international students are welcome to apply to the Programme.

The decision for admission will be based on the relevance of:

  • the applicant’s previous degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • language test result (see language requirements)
  • motivation letter
  • possible online interview

Study merits in the applicant’s previous degree (BSc) are highly relevant. The letter of motivation is another important factor in considering the applicant’s suitability.

If needed, the most promising applicants will be invited to an interview. A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.

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’s level studies (see language requirements). 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 additional studies may be included in the optional studies of the Master’s degree only if the applicant lacks previous knowledge in a certain field that is required for following a specific course within the Programme.

The extent and contents of the additional studies are defined in a personal study plan in the beginning of the studies. The amount of required additional studies cannot exceed 60 ECTS.

Language Requirements

All applicants must prove their English language skills 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 must prove their proficiency also in Finnish. This is because the additional Bachelor level studies that need to be completed during the Master level studies are available only in Finnish.


Application Form and Enclosures

The application period for the Programme is yearly around the turn of the year. The studies start in the following September. There is only one intake per year and the studies can be started only in the autumn.

The application period for for studies starting in September 2017 is 1 December 2016 – 13 January 2017 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GMT +2).

Please read all the application instructions and detailed admission requirements carefully before applying! Make sure that you fulfil both the admission and language requirements before applying.

How to apply

Applications are done on the Studyinfo portal (www.studyinfo.fi). Search for the Master’s Degree Programme in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics, University of Turku.


Fill in the online application form. The online application is open only during the application period, so make sure you will finish your application before 13 January 2017 at 15:00:00 (Local time in Finland, GTM+2).

When filling in the application form, be prepared to:

  • write a motivation letter
  • 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.)

Collect the required application documents.


Send the following application documents to University Admissions Finland office by mail. The application documents have to arrive by the application deadline:

  • an officially certified copy of the original degree certificate (in the original language) AND an English, Finnish or Swedish translation (or Diploma Supplement from European institutions of higher education)
  • an officially certified copy of 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 institutions of higher education).
  • certificate of English language skills (see Language requirements)
  • certificate of Finnish language skills (required only from applicants who are seeking admission on the basis of a polytechnic degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences, see Language requirements)

Please see the country specific requirements for certifying the copies and submitting the documents: http://universityadmissions.fi/?page_id=24

Address of the University Admissions Finland:

University Admissions Finland
Unioninkatu 40 C
FI-00170 Helsinki

Additional information

Because of the limited admission quota possession of the degree requirements does not guarantee admission. Only those applicants who have attained a high level of academic performance in their previous studies will be admitted.

Students graduating after the application deadline may apply on the condition that the following attachments are submitted:

  • certified copy of the original degree certificate (in the original language)
  • final transcript
  • their English, Finnish or Swedish translations
  • or an English-language Diploma Supplement concerning graduates from European institutions of higher education

The attachments need to be submitted and arrive at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences by 14 July 2017 at 15:00 (local time in Finland, GTM+2).

The general and country specific requirements concerning the way of certifying and submitting the documents must be followed also after the expiry of the application period.

The application documents required as officially certified copies must bear the official stamp and signature of an authorised university official from the institution awarding the degree or a notary public.

All translations must be made by an authorised translator. If copies of translations are submitted those must also be officially certified.

The following document is optional and does not affect the application in any way. It is simply asked for identification purposes when handling the applicant’s documents which sometimes contain the applicant’s name in different forms:

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

During the application round, a secondary/high school certificate may be requested from the applicant. This might be necessary for determining the length of the applicant’s previous education (this concerns degrees from a minority of countries).

An applicant should enroll to a language test early enough, e.g., 1-2 months before a test day. This is important because the test results are needed at the end of the application period. Tests might be full for a late applicant.

Application documents will not be returned to the applicant. It is not possible to apply with the same submitted documents in later application periods.

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


Email: MBDmasters@utu.fi

Internet: www.biomedicine.fi, www.utu.fi/MBD