Master in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

How to avoid microbial spoilage of food?

Why are microbes the most important group of organisms on our planet? How is knowledge of microbiology applied in medicine and industry, or in food production? What research techniques are used to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes?

In the Master's Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology, you find answers to these and many other importans questions. You learn about the global significance of microbes as processors of life and the environment. You will gain the potential and the tools for the development of new innovations in food or drug industry or in other biotechnological applications.

Studying

In the Master's Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology, you get an understanding of the global significance of microbes as processors of life and the environment. You gain the potential and the tools for the development of new innovations in food or drug industry or in other biotechnological applications.

You learn about microbes and the biotechnological applications as well as what research techniques are used to study viruses, bacteria and other microbes. Your studies include topics like the application of microbiological knowledge, biotechnology and bioinformatics, functional principles of microbial cells and communities, research methods in microbiology and solving microbiological problems. You can modify the master’s degree programme for your own interests with elective subjects.

Why Micro­biology and Mi­cro­bial Biotechnology?

Upon completing your degree, you will:

  • understand the global significance of microbes as remodelers and processors of life and the environment.
  • understand the potential for the use of microbes in the development of new applications, such as foodstuffs, drugs, and industrial processes.
  • understand the molecular mechanisms that underpin microbial function.
  • be able to evaluate the effects of changes in the environment on microbial communities and thus on the function of the biosphere.
  • be able to estimate the risks of microbes, and assess the use of microbes in a variety of environments and situations.
  • be able to evaluate ethical questions and the prerequisites of commercialisation related to the use of microbes and biotechnology.
  • understand the most important functional mechanisms of the major groups of microbes.
  • be aware of the most important pathogens and virulence mechanisms.
  • master the most important microbiological and biotechnological research methods, and become proficient in the interpretation and evaluation of research results.
  • be able to develop and evaluate new microbiological and biotechnological applications.
  • have the capability to plan and lead activities that involve microbiology and biotechnology, and will be able to propose appropriate actions in various situations.
  • know how to search for, produce and critically evaluate scientifically relevant information.
  • have developed the capacity for disseminating relevant information about your topic to various target groups in an appropriate manner within an international environment.

As a graduate, you will be well prepared to continue further with postgraduate studies or proceed directly into working life. You can work in sectors like research and development, surveillance/monitoring in healthcare, food and environment, administration and consultancy, business and management or teaching and education. Statistically, the situation for microbiologists proceeding to employment has been very favourable.

Struc­ture and con­tent

The scope of the Master's Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology is 120 credits (ECTS), to be completed in two academic years.

At least half of the study credits (60 of 120 credits) will be courses in microbiology and microbial biotechnology. By selecting elective and other study opportunities, you will be able to shape the study programme based on your interest towards many subject areas, such as the environment, food, viruses, fungi, health and microbial diseases, or microbial biotechnology.

The key contents of the studies in microbiology and microbial biotechnology are:

  • Research methods in microbiology, biotechnology and bioinformatics
  • Application of microbiological knowledge
  • Solving microbiological problems
  • Critical, research-based scientific thinking
  • Planning, implementation and reporting of microbiological and biotechnological research
  • Functional principles of microbial cells and communities
  • Development from research to product
  • Leadership, entrepreneurship and patenting
  • Other studies, through which you can adapt the degree towards your own interests
  • Discovery of novel findings in the field of biology

There are good opportunities to participate in international student exchanges and some parts of the degree can be completed at universities abroad.

Courses and teach­ing

There is intensive interaction between teachers and students in the Master’s Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology. A variety of learning methods are used in the courses, including:

  • Laboratory work, seminars, lectures
  • Oral presentations
  • Written reports (individual, paired, group)
  • Independent reading
  • Work practice, instruction in research groups, project courses
  • Oral group exams, written exams, home essays

The language of instruction is mainly English. You can write exams and your thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.

Mas­ter's thesis

The Master’s thesis is an integral part of your degree and accounts for 30 credits. The thesis is generally based on an experimental research project, which you can perform under the supervision of an experienced researcher.

During the thesis process, you train yourself in scientific thinking, identifying problems, constructing hypotheses, collecting material, working in the laboratory, analysing results and presenting the results logically, as well as putting your results into the context of current scientific views. You will write your thesis in the format of a scientific publication in which you critically discuss your results from the perspective of the relevant scientific field.

Stu­dents and stu­dent life

Student life and especially the student organisation culture is exceptionally rich and diverse in Finland. Also at the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active. More than 250 student organisations operate within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY), ranging from faculty and subject organisations to political and societal organisations, and from choirs and orchestras to sports and game clubs. Their activities include anniversary celebrations, academic dinner parties, cultural events, get-togethers and excursions.

As a student and member of the Student Union (HYY), you are entitled to many benefits and services. For example, affordable student housing, basic healthcare services, sports facilities and student-priced meals. You also get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country.

Career

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnology, you will be well prepared to continue further with your studies or proceed directly to a career in working life. Statistically, the situation for microbiologists proceeding to employment has been very favourable.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of Master’s Degree Programmes, taught entirely in English. The scope of our programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed with two years of full-time study. ... Read More

The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of Master’s Degree Programmes, taught entirely in English. The scope of our programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed with two years of full-time study. All programmes comply with the national legislation governing university education and are, therefore, recognised globally. Read less