Master’s Degree in Biochemistry

Department of Life Sciences

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Academic year




Course Type

2nd Cycle Studies - Continuity Master Programme

Qualification Awarded



4 Semester(s)

ECTS Credits



Continuity second cycle

Course Coordinator(s)

Paula Cristina Veríssimo Pires (paulav@ibili.uc.pt)

ECTS Departmental Coordinator(s)

António Jorge Rebelo Ferreira Guiomar (aguiomar@ci.uc.pt)

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 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 12 curricular units, 6 in each semester, including theoretical/practical modules (8) seminars (2) and tutorial practices (2). The intensive module allows 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 four 6 ECTS courses in highly developed fields within the broad area of Biochemistry: Molecular Microbiology, Molecular Biotechnology and Metabolism, areas where the Life Science Department has internationally and nationally recognized competence. The preparation in the area of Bioentrepeneurship was also deemed essential to expand and add value to the Biochemistry 1st cycle. 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. The Tutorial practices include the participation of the students in teaching mainly practical curricular units of the Biochemistry 1st degree. The tutorials intend to foster the development of cross competences, namely communication of important information, synthesis and discussion of knowledge, organization and planning, evaluation of situations, decision-making skills, team work, interpersonal relationships, adaptation to new situations, creativity and leadership.
Mode of Study
The course is delivered in the daytime schedule.
Access to Further Studies
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.
Selection criteria for the applicants: The Master’s degree in Biochemistry is a follow-up degree for the students that finished the 1st cycle degree in Biochemistry; they are automatically accepted. The students with former degrees from FCTUC or other Higher Education Institutions will be screened after their application according to the FCTUC criteria.

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

Recognition of Prior Learning
In the application form for Masters in Biochemistry the candidate can request the validation of prior formation. The candidate CV is evaluated and the previous training can be credited in the master course in accordance with the FCTUC criteria.
Qualification Requirements and Regulations
Decree-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. 20222/2009.
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.
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.
Graduation Requirements

In order to receive the degree, the student must achieve the minimum number of 120 ECTS.
60 ECTS are obtain in the frequency of mandatory and elective courses and 60 ECTS are allocate to the implementation of an original work towards the elaboration of a thesis / report and defended before a jury in accordance with FCTUC regulations.

Study Programme
Applications Notice (only in portuguese)
1st Semester
Start date: 11-09-2017
End date: 21-12-2017
2nd Semester
Start date: 05-02-2018
End date: 30-05-2018
- A3ES
Agência de Avaliação e Acreditação do Ensino Superior
  • 2015-04-28 a 2021-04-27
R/A-Ef 1555/2011 - DGES
Direcção Geral de Ensino Superior
  • 2011-03-18