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Master of Science in Life Sciences - Chemistry for the Life Sciences

In the life sciences, competencies from the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, (bio)analysis, green chemistry, materials science, and nanotechnology are required. This is where you, as a specialist, can bring your expertise to bear.

Best prospects for a successful future!

Career - symbiosis of chemistry, biochemistry and nanotechnology

After completing your Master's degree, you have the best career opportunities in the market thanks to both your broad and specialised knowledge.

Areas of application include not only the traditional sectors represented by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, but also the food industry and biotechnology companies.

As a Master's graduate, you will ...

The programme offers you ...

At a glance

Degree / Title: Master of  Science (MSc) ZFH in Life Sciences with specialisation in Chemistry for the Life Sciences
Workload: 90 credits (ECTS), one credit point corresponds to 25 – 30 hours of work
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)
Teaching locations: Wädenswil, Olten or Berne. Block weeks can also be held directly at partner universities.
Language: English
Study fees: CHF 720.00 per semester + additional study-related expenses ...»
Cooperation: Some modules take place jointly with the universities of applied sciences BFH, FHNW and HES-SO.
Admission requirements / acceptance: University of Applied Sciences Bachelor's degree ...»

Registration deadlines: 30th April and 31st October ...»
Application deadline for the start of studies autumn 2020 extended to 31 July 2020.

Studies – Structure and Content

Your studies include three areas of competence plus a Master's thesis, with a total of 90 credits (ETCS). A part-time study is possible.

Before starting your studies, you meet the head of your specialisation and your supervisor to work out your personal training goals, define the topic for your  Master Thesis and create your individual curriculum from the modules on offer. The selected modules are recorded in your Individual Study Agreement (ISA).

Structure of the study programme

Master's thesis - 40 credits

The core of your studies. On the basis of research you have carried out, you answer a specific question in this field and work out solutions that are relevant for research, industry and society, often in co-operation with national and international partners. Through the thesis you not only demonstrate your knowledge and skills, but also expand the state of research in your specific field of scientific expertise.

Specialisation Skills- 20 credits

Your scientific studies take place at the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology at the ZHAW in Wädenswil. teaching is scheduled on three weekdays (Monday to Wednesday) and other learning activities may occur throughout the week. They deepen and specialize your knowledge in chemistry for the life sciences.

Core Competencies – minimum 15 credits

Visualisation Core competencies «Management, Business and Society»
Visualisation Core competencies «Handling and Understanding Data»

These modules provide you with work-oriented skills. With these core competencies you acquire knowledge in the following areas: «Management, Business and Society» as well as «Handling and Understanding Data». Each module lasts half a semester – 2/3 of the lessons are held centrally in Olten and 1/3 consists of decentralised teaching (accompanied exercises, case studies etc.) directly in Wädenswil. You choose at least five from seven modules.

Cluster-specific modules – minimum 9 credits

Cluster-specific modules complement the specialisation modules. The specialisation Chemistry for the Life Sciences is part of the cluster Chemistry. You choose at least three from the offered modules out of the cluster Chemistry. In addition you also can choose elective modules out of other clusters (see list by the module descriptions).


Do you want to make your studies international? The modular structure of the study programme allows you to study abroad for a year or to focus your Master's thesis on a foreign topic.

Study models

The Master's programme in Life Sciences takes 3 full-time semesters and comprises 90 credits (ECTS). This corresponds to a workload of approximately 2,700 hours. This intensive workload requires good planning and organisation.

Part-time study opens up numerous ways to achieve the objectives of the programme - adapted to your personal circumstances and needs. We recommend that students do not engage in any additional professional activities that exceed a maximum workload of 50% of a full-time position. You should consult your specialisation team individually about this matter. For administrative questions, please contact the registrar's office.

How you structure your part-time studies should be discussed and determined before commencement thereof when creating your Individual Study Agreement (ISA).

Researching for practice

In the course of your studies, you expand your personal competency profile holistically, working on your personal competence as well as your professional and methodological skills. The focus on the Master's thesis, involving application-oriented research, fosters your ability to solve problems, to change perspectives, and to combine entrepreneurial and scientific thinking.

You take part in a research group from the very beginning of your study programme. This provides you with valuable and intense scientific interaction with colleagues, and enhances your ability to work in a team. Modern teaching methods promote self-discipline, language proficiency, and intercultural exchange.

Film Master's programme Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Brochure Master's programme Chemistry for the Life Sciences

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