Study tracks

In the Master's programme of Genetics and Molecular Biosciences you can specialise according to your interests in Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Genetics and Genomics or Molecular Analytical Health Biosciences.

More detailed information about the structure of studies and courses can be found in pdf-file.

What is the code of life, how is it interpreted and how does its variation lead to different traits and disease?

The study track of genetics and genomics covers the structure and function of genes and genomes. Current research in this field requires strong integration of theoretical knowledge, experimental approaches and computational data analysis. Achieving such integration is the key learning objective of the study track. The student will obtain strong knowledge on genome properties, gene regulation, epigenetics and population genetics, and will learn to apply this knowledge to address questions in development, physiology and evolution of organisms as well as human health and disease.


The student will learn key concepts and methods currently in use in genetics and genomics. Practical courses will strengthen the student’s laboratory skills and ability to carry out statistical and bioinformatic data analysis. Further training can be obtained by participating in research at local research groups. The student will also learn transferable skills, including critical thinking, scientific writing, project management and presentation of research to professional and general audience.

Examples of courses:

  • Genomes and cytogenetics
  • Basic course of gene regulation & epigenetics               
  • Advanced course of gene regulation & epigenetics               
  • Population genetics and genomics                    
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Quantitative genetics
  • Gene mapping

What are the molecular mechanisms underlying life´s processes at the most fundamental level?

The study track of biochemistry and structural biology focuses on macromolecular structure and function and molecular interactions. Research laboratories associated with the study track use a wide range of modern techniques and experimental and computational approaches relevant to address the molecular basis of key biological phenomena.  

The courses provide the student with up-to-date theoretical knowledge in biochemistry and structural biology and strong hands-on methodological experience through lab rotations and thesis work. In addition to quantitative and analytical skills, the courses support the development of creative and critical thinking and good communication skills.

Examples of courses:

  • Advanced Research Project in biochemistry/structural biology research
  • Introduction to Structural Biology
  • Protein structure, function and folding
  • Enzymes
  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology Lab Course
  • Chemical Biology

How do cells function, what makes them so diverse, and how do their complex interactions guide the normal development of multicellular organisms?

The study track in the Cell and Developmental Biology covers molecular biology of cells and organelles, as well as mechanisms the cells use to form tissues and organs during development and regeneration. 
University of Helsinki has strong research traditions in many aspects of cell and developmental biology, particularly in organelle biology, cytoskeletal dynamics, cell signaling, stem cell biology, ectodermal and neuronal development and in evolutionary developmental biology. 
Our teaching methods include lectures, student seminars, writing exercises, laboratory courses and practical training in expert 
laboratories. Our mission is that the student should become a critically thinking independent expert, skilled in scientific 
communication and equipped with excellent theoretical and practical knowledge about cells and their interactions in development and disease.

In addition, the students will also learn transferable skills, including scientific writing, project management and presentation of research to both professional and general audience.

Examples of courses:

  • Advanced cell biology
  • Methods in functional genetics and development 
  • Stem cells and organogenesis
  • Seminars in cell and developmental biology
  • Book exams in Cell Biology or Developmental Biology
  • Drosophila genetics
  • Research project  

Which molecules and networks underpin human health? How can these be analyzed and used in personalized health strategies?

Molecular and analytical health biosciences (MAB) -study track  aims to train life science experts with an in-depth understanding of the analytics of biomolecules and their functional networks in health. After completing the master’s program, the graduates will have the expertise to handle omics-based big data and to combine it with an understanding of traditional laboratory testing. The MAB specialization course, ”Integrative biosciences for health” provides an introduction to new aspects of health biosciences including e.g. biobanking, precision/personalized medicine, and new cutting edge analytical health technologies, as well as an opportunity to explore different actors and career opportunities in the life science sector. In addition to a wide selection of courses in the other GMB study tracks,  the students can widen their their perspective of health biosciences by attending courses e.g. in immunology, pharmacy and nutrition.  A spectrum of human molecular health -oriented research projects on the Viikki campus and elsewhere in the University of Helsinki are obtainable for the MAB students  in the form of laboratory training and/or as the practical part of their master’s thesis.

Students will also acquire transferable  skills such as analytical thinking, scientific writing and project management. Interaction with  companies and other Biohealth actors and stakeholders is facilitated during studies.

Examples of courses

  • Integrative biosciences for health
  • Principles of bioscience omics
  • Laboratory medicine and molecular diagnostics
  • Physiology