Master’s degree in Biology

Department of Life Sciences

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Academic year




Course Type

2nd Cycle Studies - Continuity Master Programme

Qualification Awarded



2 Year(s)

ECTS Credits



Continuity second cycle

Course Coordinator(s)

Isabel Luci Pisa Mata da Conceição (luci@zoo.uc.pt)

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

António Manuel Santos Carriço Portugal (aportuga@bot.uc.pt)

General Objectives of the Course
This MSc aims to deepen the skills acquired in the first cycle and train professionals who can play in our society several professional activities defined by the order of Biologists in its statutes. This is a course directed to the insertion of Biologists in the labor market. This does not exclude the possibility of the students to make the option for a third cycle of training. The opportunity to follow a wide range of options, in cell biology, ecology, molecular biology, etc., associated with the possibility of conducting a scientific training in a different research laboratories of the Department and research units associated, will also allow students to choose to do a PhD. The development of the Master's program with the collaboration of different research units of the Department of Life Sciences, which ensures faculty formed by domestic and foreign experts enabling the completion of the thesis work in national and international laboratories of high quality.
Learning Objectives and Intended Skills
"1. Instrumental skills, eg: competence in analysis and synthesis, competence in organizing and planning, competency in oral and written communication, knowledge of a foreign language, computer skills related to the scope of the study, competence in managing information, competence to solve problems, decision-making capacity
2. Personal skills, eg: competence in group working, competence in working in interdisciplinary teams, competence in working in an international context, competence in critical thinking, competence in understanding the language of other specialists
3. Systemic competences, eg: competence in autonomous learning, adaptability to new situations, creativity, leadership, initiative and entrepreneurship, concern for quality, competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice, competence in planning and management, competency in self-criticism and self-assessment, competence in investigating".
Mode of Study
Access to Further Studies
The MSc in Biology gives access to enter a PhD program in any area of Biology or Environmental Sciences.
Admission Requirements

Applications: May apply for the MSc in Biology students that have a BSc degree in the area of Life Sciences (eg Biology, Marine Biology and Biochemistry). A degree obtained in Portugal or abroad in other areas of knowledge recognized by the Scientific Committee of the Department of Life Sciences (eg Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Environmental Engineering).

Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.

Recognition of Prior Learning
The recognition of prior learning is carried out according according to the Credits for Previous Learning and Work Experience Policy of the University of Coimbra. The experience gained during the first cycle or by participating in extra-curricular activities related to biology are taken into account in the ranking of candidate’s process. These also constitute an added value in the integration of the students in different research teams and helps the students to choose the research project.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
The legal framework for the qualification is established by the decrees: Decree-Law nr 74/2006, 24th March, in its current wording
Professional Goals
The project can be done in different institutions with which FCTUC has maintained over the years a close collaboration, such as the Hospital of the University of Coimbra ; ICN ; Agriculture Institutions; Commissions for Coordination and Regional Development and different companies that carry out their activity in the field of life sciences where students can find career opportunities. The course has a wide range of optional courses that allow students to obtain a more specific training in certain targeted areas according to specialization seeking a future doctoral program.
Examination Regulations, Assessment and Grading
As assessment is a pedagogical activity inseparable from the teaching process, its aim is to establish the students' competencies and knowledge, their critical sense, ability to recognize and resolve problems, as well as their written and oral presentation skills. Students may only register for exams for classes they are currently registered for under the terms of number 6 of article 4 of the University of Coimbra Pedagogical Policy. The following are examples of assessment items: Oral or written exams, written or practical work, individual and group projects that may require an oral defense, as well as class participation. Assessment for each class may include one or more of the above mentioned items. Grading is based on a scale of 0 to 20 and a grade of 10 is required to pass. Whenever the grade comprises more than one item, the final grade is calculated by taking into account the relative weight of each item according a formula published in the course outline under the terms of number 2 of article 7 of the UC Pedagogical Policy.
Graduation Requirements

Students must complete a total of 120 ECTS, corresponding to the 1st year (2 semesters) to 60 ECTS with several curricular units, according to the syllabus. In the second year, students must also complete 60 ECTS, 3 of which in the "Research Project" course (1st semester) and 57 ECTS in the "Dissertation" course (annual), which must be defended, in public, in the presence of a jury constituted for this purpose.

Study Programme
Applications Notice (only in portuguese)
1st Semester
Start date: 10-09-2018
End date: 20-12-2018
2nd Semester
Start date: 04-02-2019
End date: 30-05-2019
- A3ES
Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
  • 2017-06-02 a 2023-06-01
R/A-Ef 1553/2011 - DGES
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior
  • 2011-03-18