Master’s Degree in Biochemistry

General Objectives of the Course

The main goal of the FCTUC Biochemistry Master degree is to provide advanced training, both scientific and technological, in fields of strong development in Biochemistry. The programme aims at preparing Master holders in two directions: one concerned with scientific research and further studies , namely the 3rd cycle in Biosciences (PhD); and the other concerned with professional integration in the job market in different areas, namely: Education, Health (clinical analysis/laboratories), Forensic Sciences, Industry (Food, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological) and Environment.
The program is run by the Department of Life Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) with the collaboration of several research centers at the University of Coimbra such as the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC); the Center for Functional Ecology (CFE) the Molecular Chemistry-Physics Unit; the Institute of Biomedical Research in Light and Image (IBILI) of the Faculty of Medicine and the laboratories of the Hospitals of the University of Coimbra (HUC), the Center for Histocompatibility of the Center and the Institute of Legal Medicine and the Biocant Biotechnology Park.
The study programme includes Master’s courses in the 1st year and a Dissertation or project or a technical traineeship in the 2nd year. The degree includes 12 curricular units, 6 in each semester, including theoretical/practical modules seminars and laboratorial rotations. The courses, taught in the form of four-week modules, comprise lectures, practical lectures and laboratory classes.
Mandatory scientific training focuses on areas with great development in Biochemistry such as Microbiology, Biotechnology and Metabolism and is complemented with extensive training in the area of Bioentrepreneurship and Bioinformatics. The creation of a wide list of options allows for more specialized training in areas such as Cellular and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Integrative Biology and Chemistry. In the Laboratory Rotation the student has the opportunity to 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. In addition to technological learning, the student contacts several training areas that he can choose to carry out his project in the 2nd year of the Master.
The preparation of the research project / internship starts in the 1st year, 2nd semester, with a literature survey and the writing of a review on the subject of the Dissertation and a proposal of the work plan to be carried out in the following year (Seminar in Biochemistry I).
The 2nd year of the Master is fully dedicated to the development of research or internship work, with an intermediate public presentation of the progress of the work (Seminar Biochemistry II).

Admission Requirements

a) Students with a 1st cycle degree (or equivalent degree) in: Biochemistry, Biology. Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Agronomy and related degrees. Chemical Engineering, Environment Engineering.
b) Students with a 1st cycle degree (or equivalent degree) in other areas of Engineering or Natural and Exact Sciences.
c) Students with a foreign academic degree that is considered to meet the goals of a 1st cycle degree by the Scientific Commission of the Biochemistry Department in one of the above mentioned fields.
d) In very specific and well justified cases, students with an academic, scientific or professional CV that are considered by the Scientific Commission of the Life Sciences Department to fulfill the conditions to enroll in the degree.

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

Professional Goals

The master's degree in Biochemistry provides scientific, technical and laboratory formation allowing the professional integration of the students into the job market in different areas namely: Education, Health (Clinical analysis/ Lab.) Forensic Science, Industry (Food, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology) and Environment.

Mode of Study

The course is delivered in the daytime schedule.

Teaching / Evaluation language(s)


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 assessment includes more than one item, the final grade is calculated by taking into account the relative weight of each item according to a formula published in the course outline under the terms of number 2 of article 7 of the UC Pedagogical Policy.

Learning Objectives and Intended Skills

Over the Master in Biochemistry the student will acquire skills that will enable it to: -Demonstrate advanced knowledge in Biochemistry and apply them in solving specific problems in new situations and extended and multidisciplinary contexts. -Integrate knowledge of the wide area of Biosciences and develop solutions by defining strategies, planning and execution of experiments independently. -Communicate results and support the conclusions of their work to specialists and non-specialists, using appropriate scientific language, clearly and succinctly. -Demonstrate initiative, decision-making skills, critical thinking and flexibility in professional performance in different fields related to biochemistry. -Demonstrate ability to integrate multidisciplinary work teams developing innovative projects scientific and technological base.

Course Coordinator(s)

Paulo César da Silva Pinheiro

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

Ângelo José Ribeiro Tomé

Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior learning is carried out in accordance with the Academic Regulation of the University of Coimbra.

Qualification Requirements and Regulations

Decree-Law No. 74/2006, of March 24, in the current wording

Graduation Requirements

The study programme includes Master’s courses in the 1st year and a thesis or project or a technical traineeship in the 2nd year. The degree includes 11 or 12 curricular units, depending of the optionals selected by the students, distributed by the first three semesters, including theoretical/practical modules (8-9) seminars (2) and Laboratory rotation (1). The intensive modules allow a flexible approach to the different activities (lectures, laboratory classes, small projects). This methodology allows an efficient interaction between teacher and students, boosting the development of competences and promoting the autonomy required for the original research paper or project/traineeship period. The mandatory scientific preparation includes five 6 ECTS courses in highly developed fields within the broad area of Biochemistry: Molecular Biotechnology, Molecular microbiology and Metabolism, areas where the Life Science Department has internationally and nationally recognized competence. The preparation in the areas of Bioentrepeneurship and Bioinformatics were also deemed essentials for a Biochemist. The master's program includes the participation of the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Informatics Engineering in the teaching of these sciences. For the specialized preparation in interdisciplinary areas, which are important to the Biosciences, a wide list of elective courses was prepared in fields like Molecular and Cellular Biology, Integrative Biology, Chemistry.

Access to Further Studies


Study Programme


Academic year

Course Type
2nd Cycle Studies - Continuity Master Programme

DGES Code: 9396

Qualification Awarded: Mestre

Duration: 4 Semester(s)

ECTS Credits: 120.0

Category: Continuity second cycle


Call for Applications


1st Semester
Start date: 12-09-2024
End date: 18-12-2024
2nd Semester
Start date: 03-02-2025
End date: 22-05-2025


Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
2020-07-31 a 2026-07-30
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior

Nº Registo: R/A-Ef 1555/2011