Master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology
General Objectives of the CourseThe Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology provides advanced, research-oriented training in emerging areas of modern Biology, from the molecular and cellular to the system level. The program provides the students interested in a scientific career in Life and Health Sciences with the knowledge and the experimental tools to deeply understand the mechanisms of life and disease, and the modern diagnostic tools and therapies, particularly in Neuroscience, Toxicology, Oncobiology, Human Reproduction and Fertility.
The program is run by the Department of Life Sciences of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra with the collaboration of the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC). The program also benefits from the collaboration of other research centers, particularly the Institute for Biomedical Research in Light and Image (IBILI) of the Faculty of Medicine, and other laboratories from the Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC), the Center of Histocompatibility, the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Coimbra, and the Biocant Biotechnology Park. This unique research and clinical environment existing at the University of Coimbra makes it possible to have courses taught by leading national and foreign scientists, and training in both research and hospital laboratories.
The Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology has been developing very active collaborations with foreign institutions. Every year, 2-4 students carry out their research projects at Janssen Pharmaceutica (Belgium), and agreements for the exchange of students were settled with the University of Sannio, the University of Trieste and the University of Bari (Italy). The Master with specialization in Neurobiology is involved in an Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Neurosciences (NEURASMUS), funded by the EU, with the Universities of Bordeaux Segalen (France), Vrije in Amsterdam (Holland), Charité in Berlin (Germany) and Georg-August in Gottingen (Germany).
The Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology is a two-year Master's degree. In the first year, the program comprises Courses, Laboratory Rotations and Seminars. The second year is dedicated full time to the research project, thesis writing and defense.
The courses, taught in the form of four-week modules, comprise lectures, practical lectures and laboratory classes. The teaching faculty includes national and foreign scientists. Some of the courses are linked to the Advanced Courses of the Doctoral Programme in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine of CNC. The curriculum is designed to expose students to top research areas and to instigate the development of analytical, technical and communicative skills required for today's biologists. The Core Courses aim at providing all the students, having a diverse background, with the fundamental concepts and experimental tools in Molecular Cell Biology. The rich diversity of optional courses allows the students to choose their own pathway.
In the Laboratory Rotations the students participate in research projects going on in research laboratories at the University of Coimbra and associated Research Centers, at the Hospitals of Coimbra or the Biocant Technology Park. The laboratory rotations provide the students with a rich diversity of modern technologies and scientific questions, and allow the students to get acquainted with laboratories they can join to carry out the thesis project.
The research project or traineeship is introduced in the first year of the program with a literature survey and the writing of a review (Seminar I) on the subject of the thesis. At the end of the first year, the student presents and discusses the research plan of the project or traineeship (Seminar II).
The second year is fully dedicated to the research or technical work, with regular presentations of the work progress.
Candidates should hold a Bachelor's degree/First degree (180 ECTS) in the field of Life Sciences (Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacy), with the final grade of at least 14 (out of 20). Applicants with lower grades may be considered provided they have additional technical or research experience (research traineeship, Erasmus programme). Degrees in other fields might be considered provided the candidate proves his/her interest for Life Sciences at the cellular and molecular level.
• Grades of first degree
• Additional technical or research experience
• Field of Bachelor/first degree
• Motivation letter
• Interview (if requested)
Candidates should check the admission requirements available on this site, in addition to the information provided here.
Professional GoalsThe Master's in Cellular and Molecular Biology is a Research Master, intended to prepare highly qualified professionals, with scientific and technical skills to work in Basic and Applied Research, in the field of Life and Health Sciences, both in Academic and Industry laboratories. Most of the graduates proceed to a PhD degree.
Mode of StudyThe course is delivered in the daytime schedule. The disciplines run in the form of intensive, four-week long modules. Students take only one course at a time.
Teaching / Evaluation language(s)Portuguese and English
Examination Regulations, Assessment and GradingAs 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 enrolled. 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.
João Miguel Peça Lima Novo Silvestre
ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)
António Xavier de Barros e Cunha Pereira Coutinho
Recognition of Prior LearningRecognition of prior learning is carried out in accordance with the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra.
Qualification Requirements and RegulationsDecree-Law no. 74/2006, 24th of March, amended and republished by the decree: DL no. 107/2008, 25th of June; Ordinance no. 782/2009, 23rd of July. The course plan was published in the Dispatch no. 20221/2009.
In order to be awarded the degree, the student must complete 120 ECTS, distributed in the following way:
For the Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology without specialization, the student must complete 84 ECTS in the scientific field Cellular and Molecular Biology, obtained with the disciplines Cellular Regulation, Laboratory Rotation I, Laboratory Rotation II, Seminar I and Seminar II of the 1st year, plus the Thesis/Project/Traineeship (60 ECTS) in the 2nd year. The optional credits (36 ECTS) might be obtained in the scientific areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology (up to 30 ECTS), Integrative Biology (30 ECTS), Neurobiology (18 ECTS), Biochemistry (18 ECTS), Physics (6 ECTS), Mathematics (6 ECTS) or Entrepreneurship (6 ECTS). Students might obtain 6 ECTS in free options, from any degree of the University of Coimbra (approval required).
For the Master in Cellular and Molecular Biology with specialization in Neurobiology, the student must complete 18 ECTS in the scientific field Cellular and Molecular Biology (obtained with the disciplines Cellular Regulation, Laboratory Rotation I and Laboratory Rotation II) and 78 ECTS in the scientific field of Neurobiology (obtained with Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Neurobiology and Disease, Seminar in Neurobiology I and Seminar in Neurobiology II, in the 1st year of the program, plus the Thesis in Neurobiology (60 ECTS) in the 2nd year). The optional credits (36 ECTS) might be obtained in the scientific fields Cellular and Molecular Biology (up to 24 ECTS), Integrative Biology (24 ECTS), Neurobiology (6 ECTS), Biochemistry (18 ECTS), Physics (6 ECTS), Mathematics (6 ECTS), or Entrepreneurship (6 ECTS). Students might obtain 6 ECTS in free options, from any degree of the University of Coimbra (approval required).
Access to Further StudiesPhD.
2nd Cycle Studies - Advanced Specialisation Master Programme
DGES Code: 6022
Qualification Awarded: Mestre
Duration: 4 Semester(s)
ECTS Credits: 120.0
Category: Advanced specialization second cycle
Call for Applications
- 1st Quarterial
Start date: 01-09-2022
End date: 30-11-2022
- 2nd Quarterial
Start date: 01-12-2022
End date: 28-02-2023
- 3rd Quarterial
Start date: 01-03-2023
End date: 31-05-2023
- 4th Quarterial
Start date: 01-06-2023
End date: 31-08-2023
- 1st Semester
Start date: 12-09-2022
End date: 17-12-2022
- 2nd Semester
Start date: 06-02-2023
End date: 20-05-2023
- 2021-07-31 a 2027-07-30