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CAS in Digital Life Sciences

The world is becoming increasingly digital and is changing all areas of life and work. In this CAS, you will learn how to recognise the potential of the ever-increasing digitalisation of the life sciences. And how you can successfully apply your specialised knowledge in a digitalised working environment. People like you are in great demand. Today and in the future.


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At a glance


Certificate of Advanced Studies in Digital Life Sciences (12 ECTS)


on request


CHF 6'900.00

Comment on costs: 

CHF 575.- per ECTS point

Individual courses last a few days; The CAS should be completed within a period of up to 3 years.

All courses can also be taken individually.

Language of instruction:

German, English

Available courses: 

Objectives and content

Target audience

The CAS DLS is aimed at professionals in all areas of the life sciences who have a university degree and wish to further their development in digital data processing. Practitioners with comparable professional competence can also be admitted (Sur-Dossier admission).


Digitalisation is changing all areas of life and work at an increasing pace. The disciplines of the life sciences are particularly affected. Especially at the interfaces of biology and medicine, ever larger amounts of data are generated that have to be processed. The new digital possibilities bring great potential, but also challenges for the economy and society.

While the importance of topics related to keywords such as "big data" or "data science" has risen sharply in recent years in many companies and among the general public, this importance is countered by a proven shortage of skilled workers. At the moment, the demand is largely fed by the pool of experts with an IT background in the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. However, the new occupational fields in the field of "data science" go beyond the formal presentation, storage, processing and transmission of information. In the life sciences sector in particular, a sound background knowledge of the data context and methodological meta-knowledge are often of central importance, as the interpretation of the data for the acquisition of information and knowledge is particularly important. Thus, the ability of technical programming is pushed into the background and a basic understanding of the technical possibilities as well as programming knowledge with script languages becomes more important. This speaks for the possibility of a new access to "data science" from the professional context of life sciences experts. 

In order to exploit the potential of the ever-increasing digitisation of the life sciences, specialised professionals must understand the basic concepts and processes. This includes both a technical understanding of modern data structures and the use of scripting languages. The CAS DLS enables the participants to recognize the advantages of digitization, to use them and to be able to use the already existing specialized knowledge in their field successfully also in a digital working environment. The CAS DLS is thus also intended to close the existing gap in Switzerland's continuing education landscape.


The CAS DLS is modularly structured from the broad range of courses offered by the IAS in the field of Data Sciences for Life Sciences. Participants can either choose a predefined course combination that focuses on a specialized topic. Or they can put together their own individual focus with their own combination of topics. 

The courses are divided into two categories: Methods and technologies. While the method courses teach basic concepts and principles (e.g. machine learning, data engineering), the technology courses cover the practical application of methods through the use of current and popular technologies (e.g. programming languages, frameworks, etc.).

More details about the implementation

Participants have the opportunity to complete the CAS DLS with 4 credits of project work. The project work will be carried out within the framework of an industrial partnership with the company of the participating person or with a partner company in cooperation with the IAS. The first 8 credits must be earned through the successful completion of courses.

Enquiries and contact

  • Dr. Claus Horn

    Dr. Claus Horn is a physicist (formerly working at CERN and Stanford University) with over ten years of experience in leading applied AI projects in various industries in Switzerland. He works as a lecturer and researcher at ZHAW where he focuses on the development of life science-specific methods and applications of artificial intelligence. He is the founder of the Reinforcement Learning Zurich community and leads the continued education at the Institute of Applied Simulation.



Admission requirements

The certificate course in Digital Life Sciences is open to those who meet the following requirements:

  • Diploma from a state-recognised university of applied sciences or a predecessor school such as ZHW, HWV, HTL or certificate from a state-recognised university or technical college (diploma, licentiate, bachelor's or master's degree) and at least 2 years of professional experience - preferably in the field of life science and / or computer science or in a field related to life science.
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Passive knowledge of English ( study of literature)

Information for applicants

There is no specific registration required for the CAS. After successfull completion of the required courses a request can be sent to Dr. Claus Horn to get the CAS certificate.

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