Master in Molecular Sciences UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Teaching and assessment
The Master Degree includes topical coursework, where 20 ECTS are obligatory for all students admitted to the program, and 40 ECTS are to expand on the student's chosen discipline and other special curricula (total 60 ECTS). The student will in addition work on a research project to complete an independent scientific dissertation (thesis, 60 ECTS).
The Master's candidates become members of one of the research groups at the Department, with an assigned thesis supervisor. The student is advised to contact potential supervisors already the first semester in order to start planning course work and the research project, which may be started the first year. A contract and a project description should be approved by the Department before the project work starts. Throughout the research project, the Master´s students may work closely in teams with Ph.D. students, post-doctoral fellows, and senior scientists, and for some projects, local industry and enterprises.
Courses are taught as classes, some in combination with experimental laboratory exercises, and some purely through laboratory work. Canvas is used as the electronic learning portal in all courses. Various assessment methods are applied. Courses are assessed through oral or written exams, some through assessment of a laboratory or project report, and some as a combination of methods.
To achieve the learning goals, students are expected to work 40 hours per week on the project and courses, including lectures, labs, and seminars.
Access to further studies
Completed Master's degree studies qualify for admission to PhD-programs in chemistry or other natural sciences, provided grades from the Master's and Bachelor's degrees are sufficient. PhD-studies in natural sciences (discipline chemistry) are offered at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.
The master's program is structured such that the student can spend shorter or longer periods studying abroad, preferably in the second or third semester. Courses must be approved in advance.
After completion of the program, the candidate:
- has an overview of scientific approaches to analyze and understand natural phenomena, using theory and methods of molecular sciences.
- has a thorough knowledge of theory and methods within at least one of the disciplines offered in the Master of Molecular Sciences program.
- has advanced insight into international research and development within one of the disciplines offered in the Master of Molecular Sciences program.
- has acquired advanced knowledge and understanding sufficient to enable innovation and discovery within her or his discipline.
- can critically read, cite, analyze, and understand scientific literature.
- can communicate scientific information clearly and precisely, both written and oral forms.
- can critically produce, analyze, and evaluate the quality of data, products, and results generated within the chosen field of molecular sciences.
- can use sophisticated and advanced methods and instrumentation relevant for the chosen discipline, and interpret the results generated. The candidate can:
Biomolecular Chemistry and Bioinformatics
- manipulate and study biological macromolecules at DNA and amino acid levels experimentally (recombinant protein production) and/or computationally (bioinformatics).
- study structural, functional, and biophysical properties of biological macromolecules experimentally (crystal structure determination, intermolecular interactions, enzyme function) and/or computationally (molecular modeling, drug design).
- apply informatics tools to analyze biological macromolecules and their properties at the genetic sequence and/or amino acid and/or structural levels.
Chemical Synthesis and Spectroscopy
- pan and carry out chemical syntheses of organic or inorganic molecules.
- analyze synthetic and natural substances with advanced chromatographic, spectroscopic, and/or crystallographic methods.
Theoretical and Computational Chemistry
- use state of the art software to model molecular structure, molecular properties, or chemical processes.
- develop and implement computational protocols to model chemical systems.
- predict or interpret the behavior of chemical systems by making use of advanced computational infrastructure.
- has become proficient within the chosen discipline of molecular sciences, and has acquired basic tools needed to carry out independent research and to complete an advanced research project under the supervision of a supervisor.
- can analyze and judge the reliability of information obtained from different sources and has a sound critical attitude towards knowledge from all sources.
- can apply the obtained knowledge to solve problems in natural sciences.
- can accomplish some independent research and communicate the research questions and results in both written and oral forms.
- can carry out knowledge-based evaluations of general problems in science and communicate this to the public.
- can accomplish research projects under guidance, e.g. under a PhD-programme in molecular sciences, chemistry, or related areas.
A Master of Science Degree in Molecular Sciences can provide a stepping-stone for exciting careers in a variety of fields, in Norway or abroad. The fields of study are crucial in the development of new sources of renewable energy (e.g. biofuels, solar cell materials), new solutions for the treatment of pollutants and waste (e.g. biomass conversion), and new technological tools that improve the efficiencies and reduce the costs of industrial processes (e.g. design of novel biocatalysts). A Master's in Molecular Sciences from UiT is also well suited for work in the pharmaceutical industry or academia in topics related to life sciences and drug discovery and development.
A Master of Science Degree in Molecular Sciences provides the graduates with the qualifications to work as professionals in chemical or biotechnology industries or to apply for Ph.D. programs in relevant scientific fields. The scientific computing projects can also qualify the graduates for positions in computational modeling and data handling and analysis, software development, or high-performance computing. The program is also relevant for students who wish to strengthen their knowledge about chemical and biochemical processes, in order to apply it in fields such as medicine, biology, geology, material science, nanotechnology, pharmacy, and environmental studies.