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Applied Biotechnology

Applied Biotechnology

120 ECTS - MS degree

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Applied biotechnology is an interdisciplinary master’s program within the field of biology, chemistry, pharmaceutical science and engineering. The program is aimed towards the increased need for specialized staff, trained in biotechnical methods.

Foundation of biotechnology

Students with diverse backgrounds within natural sciences are encouraged to apply. The program runs in collaboration with companies from the biotech industry and the University of Iceland where students will conduct research projects within Icelandic companies or academia. 

The program has a broad theoretical approach and is interdisciplinary in nature. The aim of studies is to give a broad but focused view on topics and methods within the biological industry such as:

•    Cellular biology
•    Genetics
•    Microbiology
•    Protein chemistry
•    Protein purification and upscaling
•    Pharmaceutical biotechnology
•    Production processing in biotechnology.
•    Chemical analysis.

Admission requirements

Graduate studies

  1. BS degree in health sciences, engineering, chemistry, biology or related fields with an average grade of 6,5 or higher (on the scale of 1-10). Applicants may be required to complete basic courses in life sciences (genetics, cell biology and biochemistry).
  2. All international applicants, whose native language is not English, are required to provide results of the TOEFL (79) or IELTS (6.5) tests as evidence of English proficiency.
  3. Applicants are asked to submit a letter of motivation, 1-2 pages, in English, where they should discusss their background relevant to this programme and state the reasons why they want to pursue graduate work in the field of applied biotechnology. Applicants schould also discuss their future plans and goals, as well as suggesting a possible field for their research project.
  4. Confidential letters of recommendation (2) should be submitted. These should be from faculty members or others who are familiar with the academic work of the applicant and qualified to evaluate his/her potential for graduate studies.

Students' comments

Reynir Freyr Reynisson
Biotechnology - MS

I chose Industrial Biotechnology because there was a very wide range of courses available in this interdisciplinary study, along with mandatory courses that were fascinating to me. It was very special to be in the first group of a new study program and to be able to develop the program further for those who come after. This study is in close collaboration with the private sector, so most of the students that hva graduated from the program have already been given careers opportunities with the companies that work in the field of Biotechnology.

Valdís Halldórsdóttir
Biotechnology - MS

Biotechnology is an interesting, exciting, and diverse profession, with great career opportunities in many fields after graduation. The master's program includes a mix of biology and technology/engineering, giving students many exciting possibilities for specialization. Developments in production, environmental protection, cultivation, and innovation are increasingly moving towards biotechnology. The program has raised my expectations and increased my interest in biotechnology.

Valdís Huld Jónsdóttir
Biotechnology - MS

My experience of Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Iceland was both interesting and exciting. I have a background in pharmacy but a passion for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In this study I was able to merge both and pack my schedule with courses that interested me personally. The courses are both academic and practical, with a great emphasis being placed on real life applicability of what is being taught. Having a small class also allowed us to get to know our professors on a more personal level which I consider valuable for future endeavours.

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Area of work

Internationally, a predictable shortage of employees with life-science background gives a bright future for a graduate program such as applied biotechnology. Students with a masters degree in applied biotechnology are highly sought employees within biotech companies such as Alvotech, Decode, ORF genetics, Benecta, Kerecis, Zymetech, Algalíf and Matís

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Eligibility for further studies

The program can provide entrance to doctoral studies within various areas of natural sciences. 

Contact us

SENS Student Service
Tel. +354 525 4466
Email: ​
Open weekdays 09:00 a.m. - 15:30 p.m.

Tæknigarður - Dunhagi 5, 107 Reykjavík
Askja - Sturlugata 7, 102 Reykjavík

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