Master in Biomedical Research


Program Description

Master in Biomedical Research

The master's program in Biomedical Research is focused on the study of the molecular, cellular, physiological and evolutionary foundations of biological processes and their pathological or adaptive alterations. It is primarily, although not exclusively, aimed at students seeking to pursue doctoral studies in different areas of biomedicine.


The program's main objective is to help students acquire advanced conceptual and experimental knowledge of the molecular and cellular foundations for cellular processes and dysfunctions involved in physiological function and disease and to teach them to apply this knowledge to basic and biomedical research.

Who is it for?

Candidates will typically hold an undergraduate degree in biology, biochemistry or biotechnology. However, students with undergraduate degrees in medicine, chemistry, engineering, pharmacy, and nursing have also successfully completed the program. Students must have a solid grounding in and/or ability to grasp and work with the concepts of cell function and molecular interactions (proteins, nucleic acids).

Admission requirements

To be admitted to the master's program, applicants must first contact a research group and obtain a letter of acceptance to carry out the six-month master's degree project within it. The master's program website offers a list of groups that students may join to carry out their projects. Applicants may also propose projects not included on that list. In such cases, they must submit proof of their acceptance by the corresponding laboratory, as well as a summary of the proposed project.

The research projects for the master's program may be carried out at UPF laboratories or at other universities or centers in Spain or abroad. Candidates are welcome to contact the master's program secretary's office at any time during the application period (from November to June) should they require specific guidance regarding research topics or assistance contacting and setting up interviews with the laboratories in which they are interested. All compulsory subjects and most of the optional ones (eight out of a total of nine) are taught in the first term of the academic year (from September to December), thereby allowing students to devote the last two terms (from January to June) exclusively to the master's degree research project. During the first term, classes are held for four hours a day, from Monday to Friday. Classes are offered between 8:30 am and 1 pm or between 11 am and 4 pm, depending on the chosen optional subjects. All subjects entail a similar number of classroom hours. The master's degree research project is carried out from January to June on an exclusive and full-time basis (at least 40 hours a week).


While the training received in this master's program is applicable to a variety of environments (research, academic and professional), most students primarily seek to continue onto the doctoral program. The master's program is divided into one intensive term of theory-based subjects (from September to December), followed by two terms of practical activity (master's degree final project; from January to June). For the theory portion, students must take two compulsory subjects and two optional ones (to be chosen from a total of nine). All theory subjects (except for Scientific Communication and Advances in Neuroscience) are taught exclusively in English.

Compulsory subjects

  • Molecular and Cellular Pathology (MCP)
  • Molecular Pathology of Systems (MPS)

In MCP, students will explore the molecular mechanisms used by eukaryotic cells to respond and adapt to stress, understood as disturbances in the cell environment or alterations in the function and stability of the cell's processes and macromolecules. In MPS, students will study the cellular and molecular bases underpinning diseases that have a major impact on public health, such as cancer, immunological disorders, cardiovascular disease and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Optional subjects

  • In English: Genes and Cell Function, Genomes and Systems, Cell Communication, Model Organisms in Biomedicine, Advanced Seminars in Biomedical Research, Science in Action, and Elements of Biocomputing.
  • In Catalan: Scientific Communication.
  • In Spanish: Advances in Neuroscience.
  • Master's Degree Final Project

To complete the master's degree, students must carry out a supervised experimental research project at a research laboratory. This project will have a duration of six months - from January to June - and must be carried out on a full-time basis. Upon completion of the project, the student must submit an original manuscript, written in the format of a scientific paper, and present it at a public seminar. The master's project will be assessed based on the student's written work, the oral presentation, and the evaluation provided by the project tutor.

Knowledge, skills and competences acquired

  • Advanced conceptual and experimental knowledge of the molecular bases underlying key cell processes and dysfunctions with regard to physiological function and human pathologies.
  • Application of this knowledge to basic and biomedical research.

Career prospects

The primary aim of this master's program is to serve as a starting point for a doctoral thesis. Most of the students who complete the master's degree (more than 80%) continue on to the doctoral program.

Scholarships and grants

The master's program offers two tuition fee scholarships and one scholarship granted by Obra Social de CatalunyaCaixa.


Remember that in order to be successfully enrolled, the presentation of an official English certificate is an essential admission requirement. Only applicants whose mother tongue is English do not need to present an English certificate.

Official results must be sent directly by the examining institution to the school’s Admissions Department and must comply with the required minimum scores:

  • TOEFL CBT: > 235
  • TOEFL PBT: > 575
  • TOEFL IBT: > 100
  • CAE: C1
  • IELTS: > 6.5

Applicants who, at the time of the application, still do not possess an official English certificate or who are in the process of obtaining it must include this information in their admission applications.

Applicants who have completed their full Bachelor’s Degree at an English-speaking university must submit written evidence that the language of instruction of their studies was English.

Last updated Dec 2017

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About the School

Its international orientation is one of the distinguishing features of UPF, a university with "its feet in Barcelona and its head in the world". This international projection has been recognised by th ... Read More

Its international orientation is one of the distinguishing features of UPF, a university with "its feet in Barcelona and its head in the world". This international projection has been recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Education through the International Campus of Excellence seal (2010) and is backed up by the UPF's distinguished position in international rankings as one of the top Spanish universities... Read less