Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology is the ideal programme for students who want to build a solid foundation of operational knowledge, techniques and methods in the area of biotechnology. 
It is aimed at holders of official bachelor's degrees or equivalent undergraduate degrees and professionals in the areas of biomedicine, industry, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, food and the environment, as well as anyone with an interest in basic aspects of biotechnology, such as its processes and products.

This course provides students with the training required to access third-cycle studies in the area of biotechnology or doctoral programmes in related areas, or to obtain employment in the field of biotechnology.This is an interdisciplinary master's degree that is organized by various departments of the UB faculties of Biology, Pharmacy and Chemistry, in which it is taught. It has served as the basis for implementing the Erasmus Mundus master's degree in Biohealth Computing in 2017 and to implement the new Erasmus Mundus master's degree Be in Precision Medicine implemented in academic year 2021'2022.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Pharmacy and Food Science
Branch of knowledge
  • Biochemistry and biotechnology
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available70
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instruction50 % English - 50 % Catalan
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesYes

Objectives and competences


The overall aim of the master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology is to train professionals in applied biotechnology, in other words, to train specialists who can use a wide range of technical resources to design and improve bioprocesses. This aim is met through the detailed learning objectives listed below:
  • Acquire a strong foundation of conceptual and methodological training (valid for holders of bachelor's degrees and equivalent undergraduate degrees, as well as for professionals interested in basic aspects of biotechnology, such as its processes and products).
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the processes involved in product research and development, based on the selective and programmed modification of cellular and biomolecular processes.
  • Learn how to identify problems, seek practical and creative solutions, and use them in future professional or research practice.
  • Learn management methods and techniques for research and companies.
  • Understand legislation on handling biotechnology and biohealth products with respect to patents and biosafety.
  • Acquire a sound foundation that can be used to start a research career or to work in the biotechnology and biohealth field.


General competences:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
  • Display a capacity for the analysis and synthesis of scientific publications.
  • Design, write about and present a specific topic and apply logical and critical thinking to biotechnology or related projects.
  • Work independently and as part of a group.
  • Demonstrate an ability to take the initiative in new challenges, and in coordination and leadership tasks.

Specific competences:
Successful students will also be able to:
  • Use knowledge of molecular and cell processes in pathologies to design new therapeutic agents.
  • Understand and correctly apply genetic engineering or cell engineering techniques, according to the overall objective.
  • Design and implement comprehensive protocols for the purification and analysis of a molecule, organelle or cell fraction.
  • Detect market needs in biotechnology and potential areas of innovation.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

This master's degree is particularly suitable for holders of official bachelor's degrees or equivalent undergraduate degrees in experimental or health sciences, as students with these qualifications will have sufficient previous training in the field. Applicants should also have a basic knowledge of cell biology, molecular biology, genetic engineering, immunology and microbiology.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
  • Ideally, candidates should hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent undergraduate degree in biology, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, pharmacy, veterinary science, biotechnology or a related discipline.

  • The course is also open to holders of bachelor's degrees or equivalent undergraduate degrees in chemistry, environmental sciences, food science and technology, and agricultural and forestry engineering, once the required bridging courses have been determined. In this case, the Coordination Committee will evaluate the subjects taken, the content of the subjects, and the skills acquired during the degree course.

  • Prospective students should have basic knowledge of cell biology, molecular biology, genetic engineering, immunology and microbiology. Students who have insufficient previous training must take these subjects as bridging courses, which will be taught intensively in September, before the start of the main master's degree course.



15 March'15 June 2024.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.
  • Other specific documentation related to the selection criteria

Where to submit the documentation:
Secretary's Office for Students and Teaching Staff at the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Documents can be submitted in person or sent by email to secretaria-estudiants-farmacia@ub.edu.

Selection criteria

The Coordination Committee will be responsible for the selection and admission of students, in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. Evaluation of the applicant's curriculum vitae (75%):
    • Academic transcript
    • Suitability of previous studies
    • International mobility
    • Professional experience in the biotech sector or related areas
  2. Accredited English language skills above the minimum required to take the master's degree (B1) (10%)
  3. Statement of interest, outlining the candidate's reasons for applying (10%)
  4. Personal interview, if necessary (5%)

Students who wish to take subjects in English must score the maximum number of points for their English language skills. This score is assigned automatically to candidates from English-speaking countries.

In the statement of interest, the committee will assess candidates' career interests and whether their expectations are in line with the skills provided by the master's degree. The wording and objectives will also be evaluated, as these factors demonstrate the candidates' level of maturity and reflect their previous training.



As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 15
Optional 25
Compulsory placements 0
Compulsory final project 20

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: BC for admission to the master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology
Molecular Biology Optional 1st semester 5

Bridging courses

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Molecular Biotechnology
Animal Biotechnology Optional 1st semester 5
Biotechnological Applications Optional 1st semester 5
Cell and Tissue Engineering Optional 1st semester 5
Drug Design and Production Optional 1st semester 5
Enzyme Biocatalysis and Technology Optional 1st semester 5
Ethical, Legal and Management Issues in Research and Development and Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology Compulsory 2nd semester 5
Final Project Compulsory 2nd semester 20
Food Biotechnology Optional 1st semester 5
Gene, Cell and Tissue Therapy Optional 2nd semester 5
Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics Compulsory 1st semester 5
Microbial Biotechnology Optional 1st semester 5
Molecular and Genetic Principles of Biotechnology Compulsory 1st semester 5
Molecular Diagnosis Optional 2nd semester 5
Nanobiotechnology Optional 2nd semester 5
Plant Biotechnology Optional 1st semester 5
Research Seminars Optional 1st semester
2nd semester
Structure and Analysis of Macromolecules Optional 2nd semester 5
Use of Animals in Testing Optional 1st semester 5
Vaccine Design and Production Optional 2nd semester 5
Water and Soil Biotechnology Optional 1st semester 5

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 750 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

This master's degree is closely related to other national and international master's degrees and doctoral programmes that are focused on applying the principles of biotechnology in the following areas: agrifood, bioprocesses, chemical engineering, agrobiotechnology, biochemical engineering, biotechnology of microorganisms and animal cells, food biotechnology, environmental biotechnology and renewable energies, biotechnology of natural and pharmaceutical products, and marine biotechnology. Therefore, the main professional opportunities are as follows:
  • Academic, research and professional careers in universities, institutes or research centres.
  • Positions in research, development and innovation departments and in the bioprocess plants of companies in different sectors (agriculture, food, environmental, pharmaceutical, bioenergy and marine) that are totally or partially based on biotechnology.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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