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Master of Science in Life Sciences

You choose one of the following specialisations for your research-based Master's programme: Innovations in the Food and Beverage Industry, Biotechnology, Chemistry or Applied Computational Life Sciences.

Why a Master’s degree?

In the English-speaking Master of Science programme, you will be studying at the cutting edge of science and at the heart of society. The consecutive Master's programme in Life Sciences  prepares you for demanding professional or managerial positions. You will examine a topic of your choice in detail, expand your knowledge and improve your research skills.

The most important points at a glance

  • Title: Master of  Science (MSc) ZFH in Life Sciences with specialisation in (name of your specialisation)
  • Duration: Full-time 3 semesters, part-time possible (recommendation 4-7 semesters)
  • Start of studies: twice a year in February (spring semester) and September (autumn semester)
  • Cooperation: with the universities of applied sciences BFH, FHNW and HES-SO. One third of lessons take place jointly with these institutions.
  • Workload: 90 credits (ECTS), one credit point corresponds to 25 – 30 hours of work.
  • Teaching locations: Wädenswil, Olten or Berne. Block weeks can also be held directly at partner universities.
  • Language: mainly English
  • Costs: semester fees CHF 720.00* plus learning material, membership in the ASVZ sport association and individual living costs (subject to alteration). * Additional semester fee of CHF 500.00 payable by students legally domiciled outside Switzerland.
  • Conditions for admission: see Admission


In the specialisation, you are integrated into one of your institute's competence centres as well as the research group that relates to your chosen field. Applied research will be the focus of your studies. Your Master's thesis will contribute to the challenges of our time.

Support and didactics

Study agreement

Before your studies begin, you decide on your personal educational goals, define the topic of your Master’s thesis, and, together with your supervisor, decide on your individual plan of study from the selection of modules. The focal points you select are recorded in your individual study agreement (ISA). Your personal study programme is based on your educational background, your interests and your objectives. Not only at this stage, but also throughout your studies, you profit from fruitful interaction with your supervisor.

Independent, research-based learning

The study agreement, a teaching approach that is comprised of independent learning and contact lessons, and modern e-learning technology create a contemporary learning environment with a high degree of flexibility.

The central focus of your studies is the Master's thesis. As part of a research group, you work on a specific issue from the business world or from the field of applied research - often in cooperation with national or international partners.

Practice and science

At the ZHAW in Wädenswil you study and perform research in fields where science meets practice. As part of various international networks, you will work with modern equipment and methods. Cooperation between the four Swiss universities of applied sciences, ZHAW, BFH, FHNW and HES-SO, allows you to profit from interdisciplinary and intercultural knowledge exchange during the Master's programme.

Classroom language

Teaching for the cooperation modules is in English (language competence level C1). For the specialisation in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Applied Computational Life Sciences, the entire programme is in English.

Changing from full- to part-time studies

If necessary, you can change from full- to part-time studies. Notify us of your request to change via: Any change for the upcoming spring semester must reach us by calendar week 5. If you would like to change next autumn semester, the deadline is calendar week 35.


Counselling services

We offer students a range of confidential counselling services free of charge both before and during their studies.

Do you have any questions?

Please contact us ...