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Master of Science in Life Sciences - Applied Computational Life Sciences

From Biologist to Bioinformatician. From Food Technologist to Data Analyst. From Environmental Engineer to Data Scientist. From Biotechnologist to Application Developer. From Chemist to Cheminformatician. Make your life science degree digital. Become proficient in AI, Data, and Models. The future is here. Are you?

The video of the Master's programme in Applied Computational Life Sciences: this is how to study at the ZHAW in Wädenswil (1:49 min.)

Why pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Computational Life Sciences?

The digital revolution is profoundly transforming our scientific and business world. Expertise in Artificial Intelligence AI and Big Data is becoming an essential skill. This Master's programme enables you to develop these competences and to integrate them seamlessly into your field of study from the previous Bachelor's programme.

The job market is calling for domain specialists with specific skills in AI, data, modelling and simulation. Gain excellent career opportunities in various areas of the life sciences and establish yourself as a sought-after professional in the industry, universities, as well as in public authorities.

«I grew up in Zimbabwe and studied in Malaysia, Australia and now Switzerland. During the pandemic, I became increasingly interested in all the digital health initiatives that were being developed and how fast the uptake of them seemed to be. I realized that these technologies were here to stay and that we were only at the beginning of their potential. I wanted to be a part of this exciting field and saw this Master's programme as a way to bridge my interests and skills. By combining my background in health economics and policy with the technical knowledge gained through the Applied Computational Life Sciences programme, I hope to make a real difference in implementing sustainable digital health solutions."»

Shannon Vlahakis, Master's student and research associate at the Center for Computational Health, ZHAW

"I studied Health Sciences and Technology at the ETH, specialising in neuroscience. Since the topic of data science has become increasingly important in recent years, I also completed a Master's degree in Applied Computational Life Sciences at the ZHAW. This enabled me to expand my expertise with digital skills such as programming, neural networks and machine learning. In my current job as team leader responsible for the clinical information system (HIS) at Hirslanden, I use this mix of skills on a daily basis."

Sofia Rey, Graduate and Team Leader Clinical Information System, Hirslanden

Your background

You are fascinated by: Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics, Biomedical Simulation, Citizen Science Technologies, Climate Modelling, Complex Systems, Computational Genomics, Data Integration and Semantic Web Technologies, Digital Health, Forecasting & Decision Making, Geoinformatics, Health Technologies, Lab Information and Management Systems LIMS, Personalized Medicine, Process Optimization in Food Technology, Smart Environmental Systems, Smart Farming.  

You have a Bachelor's degree in: Agronomy, Bioanalytics and Cell Biology, Biology / Biotechnology, Chemistry, Energy and Environmental Technology, Information Technology, Engineering, Food Science and Management, Food Technology, Medical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, System Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Technology, Forest Sciences or similar (admission with other degrees may be granted at the programme directors' discretion).

Career: What a Master’s degree in Life Sciences in Applied Computational Life Sciences will allow you to do.

This specialisation in Applied Computational Life Sciences lays the foundation for a career in a rapidly developing field. The programme provides essential knowledge in a field where science meets business, and opens up career paths in international companies, agile start-ups and research institutions.

The possibilities for graduates are almost endless. Many find employment during their studies. They work as data analysts, data scientists, application developers or researchers in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agro-food, environment and medicine.

Suitable students have the opportunity to be accepted onto our Data Science PhD programme run in collaboration with other Swiss universities.

Absolventenporträt zum Masterstudium in Applied Digital Life Sciences (1:51 Min.)

Good reasons for a Master’s study in Wädenswil

"How could a vegan world look like?"


Patricia Krayer has completed her Master's in Applied Computational Life Sciences (ACLS) and dedicated her thesis to the interesting question of what a vegan world might look like. Read about the surprising results she obtained in this interview.

"At the University Hospital Zurich, a new data science project is initiated almost every week. For example, attempts are being made to use data analytics to gain new insights for the treatment of patients or to use AI models to calculate forecast probabilities for diagnoses. As a graduate of the Master's programme Applied Computational Life Sciences, I am able to understand the technical aspects of such projects and assess the possibilities and limitations of using artificial intelligence. The solid understanding of data acquired during my studies helps me in my daily work with highly sensitive data, be it in the development of database interfaces or in the programming of various applications for data transformation and integration."

Matthias Joos, Graduate and Data Solution Engineer at the University Hospital Zurich

Your new skillset

Click with the mouse on the blue dots for more information.

The picture above shows the general structure of a full-time Master's programme. Students design their own study paths and choose their own focal points.

Together with your supervisor, you design your own individual study plan from the range of compulsory and elective modules. The selected modules are recorded in your individual study agreement (planning).

In addition, elective modules from the specialisations of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Chemistry for the Life Sciences or Food and Beverage Innovation can be taken.

Researching for practice

During your studies, you will expand your personal skills in technical expertise, and self-management. The practice-oriented research focus of your Master's thesis will foster your ability to innovate, change perspectives, and combine entrepreneurial with scientific thinking.

The work in your research group will not only help you develop your creativity, initiative and critical thinking abilities, but also your leadership and teamwork skills. We promote inductive, inquiry-based learning in small classes with interactive learning activities such as group work and presentations.

Do you have any questions?

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