Digital Health and Life Sciences: Molecular Systems Biology - UTU Masters
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Master's Degree Programme in

Digital Health and Life Sciences: Molecular Systems Biology

Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Turku



The Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences offers extensive training ranging from molecular level interactions to individuals and society. Molecular Systems Biology is one of the four tracks offered by the programme. Other tracks in the programme are Health Technology, Medical Analytics and Health Internet-of-Things, and Bioinformatics.

The students graduating from this cross-disciplinary programme will have acquired scientific and analytical skills, expertise in present theories and up-to-date technologies, as well as practical skills including teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills in an international environment. The acquired methodological skills and advanced knowledge allow the students to continue their career paths in academia or industry.


Programme structure

The Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences is a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits. The degree is comprised of

  • common courses which provide you essential knowledge needed in modern bio-health sciences as well as transferrable skills including mandatory language studies,
  • track-specific major subject studies that will provide the state-of-the-art theories and practical skills relevant to the field,
  • Master’s thesis and associated research project where you will apply your newly acquired knowledge,
  • selectable studies in different thematic areas and special themes.
Academic excellence & experience

The Programme offers four tracks with specific focus on digital health and life sciences:

  • Health Technology,
  • Medical Analytics and Health Internet-of-Things (IoT),
  • Bioinformatics,
  • Molecular Systems Biology.

Molecular Systems Biology offers extensive training in modern molecular biology and specialised education focused on systems biology. In Molecular Systems Biology track, you will get a solid understanding of the theories and concepts behind state-of-the-art technologies used for systems biology research in a variety of molecular bioscience disciplines. Hands-on training provided in practical courses and research projects allows you to develop methodological proficiency in current systems biology techniques. The course facilitates strong expertise and active participation in modern bioscience research.

Master's thesis & topics

The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis is based on an independent, experimental research project, research seminar and written Master’s thesis. Depending on the study track, the final project can consist of a research project focusing on data analysis or other information technological aspects and/or a research project carried out in the laboratory under supervision.

The results obtained at 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 in Molecular Systems Biology track:

  • Do the secreted molecules of gut bacterium Faecalibacterium prausnitzii inhibit the fat accumulation in hepatocytes in vitro?
  • Potential of native microalgae strains grown in wastewater for biodiesel production in Nordic climate
  • Calcium induced proteome changes in isolated chloroplasts of Arabidopsis thaliana


Competence description

In the Molecular Systems Biology track of Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences, you will:

  • learn to work in an international and interdisciplinary environment,
  • learn to work in a research group,
  • gain expertise in current theories in systems biology,
  • learn to master state-of-the-art technologies in modern biosciences, including transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics.
Job options

The Master´s Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences educates future experts for positions in academia, industry and public sector. Students graduating from the programme may work, among others, as:

  • project manager
  • research coordinator
  • research scientist
  • university lecturer
  • entrepreneur
Career in research

A Master of Science degree provides you with an eligibility for scientific postgraduate degree studies. Postgraduate degrees are doctoral or licentiate degrees.

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 requirements

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 Digital Health and Life Sciences, Molecular Systems Biology track must be in a relevant field of study. For the Molecular Systems Biology track such fields are molecular biosciences including

  • biochemistry
  • cell and molecular biology
  • molecular plant biology
  • molecular microbiology.

You may choose only one of the four available tracks upon application. Therefore, it is very important to choose a track that is close enough to your previous degree.

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 2019 is available online during the application period on 3 December 2018 at 8:00 (local time in Finland) – 31 January 2019 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).

During one application round to the international Master’s Degree Programmes the applicant may apply to a maximum of three Programmes at the University of Turku.

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 8 July 2019 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)

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 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 programme specific questions. 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 for the Master’s Degree Programme in Digital Health and Life Sciences. The application form is available and a completed application can be updated until the end of the application period on 31 January 2019 at 15.00 (GMT +2).


Annually 30 students are admitted to the programme. The decision for admission will be based on

  • the relevance of the applicant’s awarded degree(s)
  • the amount, relevance and grades of the courses in the degree(s)
  • the language test result (see Language requirements)
  • the motivation letter
  • possible answers to the optional questions included in the application.

A previously earned Master’s degree does not automatically place the applicant ahead of other applicants.

The admission decisions are published by 29 March 2019. 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

Digital Health and Life Sciences:
Molecular Systems Biology Track


Degree: Master of Science

Duration: 2 academic years, 120 ECTS credits

Mode of study: Full-time

Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Biochemistry

Location: Turku, Finland

Language of instruction: English

Start date: August/September 2019

Application period: 3 Dec 2018 – 31 Jan 2019

Tuition fee for citizens of EU/EEA countries or Switzerland:  None

Tuition fee for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries:  €14,000 / academic year

Scholarships available: check the website




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