Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics

The Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences – Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics specialisation track will equip you for a career in the exciting field of biotechnology and translation research. 

Master the exciting field of biotechnology!

Here you will obtain extensive theoretical and practical expertise on central concepts and techniques in modern molecular biotechnology and diagnostics.

You will also learn to apply the acquired knowledge in practice for the development of novel tools and methods for the detection of molecular substances. The education is focused on the key technologies of diagnostics and molecular biology with opportunities to apply this knowledge both to medical and other areas of diagnostics.

After graduation, you will be equipped with skills that enable you to join the industry, to pursue a career as a scientist, or to enter the public sector. In addition, the curriculum also gives a good foundation for those interested in entrepreneurship.

Programme in brief


The specialisation track Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostic is a two-year programme of 120 ECTS credits. The curriculum is comprised of study modules:

  • Molecular Biotechnology (20 ECTS)
  • Diagnostics (20 ECTS)
  • Practical exercises (20 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis and related courses (40 ECTS)
  • Other studies including mandatory language studies (20 ECTS)

Major subject studies are track-specific but can be offered as selectable studies for all the study tracks of MDB in Biomedical Sciences. Each student makes a personal study plan which helps to select the courses that best suit for personal interests and background of the student.

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Biomedical Sciences Programme Structure


    Focus areas of research in the Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics studies are novel diagnostic concepts and technologies. The studies focuse also on diagnostics applications in various areas such as medicine, environmental and food quality monitoring. Other research topics of importance include:

    • antibody and protein engineering
    • fluorescence marker technologies
    • nucleic acid detection techniques
    • biomarker discovery
    • development related to both communicable and non-communicable diseases of global importance

    The final project aiming for the Master’s thesis is based on independent, experimental research project in a laboratory. The research work is made under the guidance of a supervisor.

    The results obtained in the research project will be presented in a Master’s seminar using common procedures known from scientific meetings.

    The Master’s thesis will be written based on the results from the experimental work and a review of relevant background literature.

    Examples of thesis topics:

    • Effect of codon usage of signal sequence on Fab fragment expression
    • Antibody Expression, Purification and Assay development for the detection of Malaria
    • Colorectal cancer specific CEA lectin nanoparticle assay
    • Lateral flow assay platform for infectious disease diagnostics
    • Utilization of skeletal Troponin I recognizing binders in immunoassay
    • Enhanced cancer-specificity of tumor markers by lectin-labeled nanoparticles

    Turku has longstanding research traditions in the field of biomedicine. Especially the fields of drug discovery, diagnostics, and biological and medical imaging represent the top level expertise of the University of Turku.

    The Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics specialisation track is part of the Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences. The close co-operation of four specialisation tracks forms a unique educational combination of biomedical sciences in Finland and worldwide. Other specialisation tracks of the Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences are:

    The Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences is organised in collaboration with two universities, the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University and managed together by the Faculties of Medicine, and Science and Engineering at the University of Turku.

    The offered education is based on the true research strengths of the participating units:

    • Department of Chemistry at the University of Turku
    • Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Turku
    • Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku
    • Department of Biosciences at the Åbo Akademi University


    Career options


    In the Programme, you will:

    • learn state-of-the-art and emerging techniques in modern molecular biotechnology serving the medical and other diagnostics fields
    • gain the ability to apply the acquired knowledge in practice to create novel bioaffinity tools and platforms
    • gain in-depth knowledge of infectious diseases, cardiac and cancer diagnostics
    • gain in-depth knowledge of biomarker discovery, proof-of-concept building and clinical validation
    • learn the prerequisites for translating novel technologies into routine applications
    • gain skills for co-operation in a multi-language laboratory environment

    Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics specialisation track has close connections to the diagnostic and biopharmaceutical industry. Numerous industrial collaborators include both Finnish and major international players. An important partner in the development of the educational and research collaborations is the Indo-Finn Diagnostic Research Center.

    You will be equipped with skills that provide you with multiple career options. You will be able to join the industry in Finland or abroad, or to enter the public sector, for example, in various authoritative duties.

    The biotech industry is among the fastest growing industrial sectors globally. In Finland, there is a strong demand for biotechnology experts at the moment. Especially the diagnostic industry, which is the largest sector of biotech industry in Finland, needs new professionals. The education in Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics also provides a good foundation for those interested in entrepreneurship.

    Possible job titles are:

    • researcher
    • quality manager
    • product developer
    • product manager
    • project coordinator

    The Master of Science degree completed in the Programme qualifies the graduates for PhD studies in Turku, elsewhere in Finland or universities worldwide.

    Graduates from the programme are eligible to apply for a position in the University of Turku Graduate School, UTUGS.  The Graduate School consists of doctoral programmes, which cover all disciplines and doctoral candidates of the University.

    Together with the doctoral programmes, the Graduate School provides systematic and high quality doctoral training. UTUGS aims to train highly qualified experts with the skills required for both professional career in research and other positions of expertise.

    Several doctoral programmes at University of Turku are available for graduates:

    Entry requirements


    General Requirement

    You are an eligible applicant for Master’s-level studies if

    • you have a nationally recognized first cycle degree – normally a Bachelor’s degree – from an accredited institution of higher education,
    • your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study,
    • your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to. Please check the programme page for detailed degree requirements.

    Language Requirements

    Applicants must have excellent English language skills and a certificate that proves those skills. You can indicate your language skills by taking one of the internationally recognized English language tests. 

    Applicants must reach the minimum required test results to be considered eligible to the University of Turku. No exceptions will be made. Read more about the language requirements here.


    The degree on basis of which you are applying to the MDP in Biomedical Sciences must be in a relevant field of study. For the Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics track such fields are

    • biomedical sciences
    • molecular biosciences
    • biochemistry
    • other life sciences
    • chemistry
    • engineering

    The applicants should also be familiar with the basics of laboratory practice.

    You may apply to maximum two of the four specialisation tracks offered at the Master’s Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences. The choices must be prioritized. 


    The contents of formally eligible applicants' previous degrees do not always correspond to the academic level of the programme. Therefore admitted students can be advised or required to complete up to 60 ECTS of additional, Bachelor level studies while studying for the Master's Degree. The extent and contents of the supplementary studies are defined individually for each student when a personal study plan is formulated in the beginning of the studies. The supplementary studies may be part of the Master's Degree only up to 20 ECTS and they may therefore extend the targeted study time.

    Since the language of instruction in Bachelor’s level at the University of Turku is Finnish, an applicant needing supplementary studies available only in Finnish can be required to submit proof for Finnish skills during the application process. In case such proof is not submitted, the applicant needing supplementary studies must be rejected.


    Yearly 40 students will be admitted to the Master's Degree Programme on Biomedical Sciences.

    Applications are evaluated by the admission committee of the Master’s Degree Programme. The applicant is scored separately for each track s/he is applying to. The admission committee also may interview the best scoring applicants in each specialisation track. The interview invitations will be sent by e-mail. If the applicant cannot be reached for the possible interview, the application will not be processed further.  

    The admission committee scores the selected applicants by following application components: 

    • Compatibility of the background studies 0-5 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1p = sufficient relevance, 2 p. = good relevance, 3 p. =  very good relevance, 4 p. =excellent relevance, 5 p. = outstanding relevance) 
    • Previous academic success and study history 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient/not suitable, 1 p. = sufficient, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = very good, 4 p. = excellent. Here it should be noted, that if the applicant has already an MSc degree(s) or higher, or is already studying at University of Turku, it is not necessarily considered to be beneficial.)
    • Laboratory working experience 0-4 p. (0 p. = no experience, 1 p. = laboratory course work as part of previous studies, 2 p. or 3 p. = additional experience which is not directly included in the previous studies, e.g. internships, summer projects, other working experience), 4 p. = extensive experience (e.g. worked many years in the lab)
    • Motivation letter 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = somewhat motivated, 2 p. = sufficient and well-justified motivation, 3 p = good motivation, 4 p. = excellent motivation) (max. 4000 characters in the application form)
    • The interview performance and the English skills during the interview are both scored on scale 0-4 p. (0 p. = insufficient, 1 p. = satisfactory, 2 p. = good, 3 p. = excellent, 4 p. = outstanding).
    • Completing a possible pre-assignment task during the interview (0-4 p.)
    • First priority track selection (0.5 p.)

    Motivation letter should include answers to the following questions:

    • Please tell us why are you interested in the Master's Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences and the particular track(s) you are applying to?
    • What kind of career plans do you have?
    • Why are you interested in applying to Turku, Finland?
    • Expected living expenses in Finland are minimum 560€/month. How do you intend to finance your studies at the University of Turku?

    If the applicant scores 0 p. in any of the components, the application will not be processed further. In the case of the same amount of points, all of the applicants with the same score will be selected. The admission committee reserves a right to decide into which university the applicant will be admitted, if the applicant has applied to both universities, ÅAU and UTU in Biomedical Imaging. The preferred choice of the applicant will be taken into account when possible.

    In the application form, an applicant should include name, affiliation, full address and e-mail address of two referees, who are willing to give information about the applicant, if needed.

    It is possible to have only one Bachelor’s or Master’s study right at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Therefore, when accepting an offered study place, the student will lose any previous BSc. or MSc. study right at the Faculty of Science and Engineering.