Master's in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
Chemistry teaches us about the building blocks of life and the matter, from the nano level of atoms and molecules to macroscopic materials, with which the world around us is constructed. It teaches us about the simplest molecules, from which life developed billions of years ago, right through to the latest nanotechnology.
The master's in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences is research-focused, enabling you to specialize over the course of three semesters. The first module involves attending a certain number of compulsory and optional courses, the second module is a twelve-month long project (master's thesis) in a research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. All master's courses offered are conducted in English.
Master's students in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences can choose between two specialisms: "Type A Master's" specializing in Chemical Biology - Organic Chemistry or "Type B Master's" specializing in Material Sciences - Physical Chemistry. Details on both types can be found in the "Appendix to the plan of studies".
Work on the master's thesis is undertaken in one of the research groups in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. An overview of the various research groups and their specialisms can be obtained by clicking on the link below.
Master of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Universität Bern
Number of credits:
90 ECTS credits
Offer for other degree programs:
95 % English / 5 % German
Fall or spring semester
Details of program
Bachelor's and master's degree programs are offered as majors and as subsidiaries (minors) earning various numbers of credits.
Scheme of program
Chemistry and Molecular Sciences studies is divided into:
- The bachelor's degree program (6 semesters, 180 ECTS credits, in German, title: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
- The master's degree program (3 semesters, 90 ECTS credits, in English, title: Master of Sciences in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
- The PhD program (3 - 4 years, in English, title: PhD in Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences)
The period of full-time study for the master's in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences is usually 3 semesters. However, it is possible to extend by two further semesters without having to apply for an extension of your studies. For any additional semester (6th semester and up) an application for an extension of duration of study must be made.
The master's thesis, which takes twelve months and counts 60 ECTS credits, is usually written during the 2nd and 3rd semester of the master's degree program. We therefore recommend that you attend as many lectures as possible for the remaining 30 ECTS credits during the 1st semester. This means that, during the 2nd and 3rd semesters, only a small number of courses need to be completed in parallel with the master's thesis.
Each course within the master's program is examined by a final examination, seminar work, a written report or a presentation. The performance assessment is a requirement for earning ECTS credits, whereby according to articles 33 and 37 of the plan of studies, students can make up for certain inadequate grades. The title Master of Science in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences is obtained by the cumulative acquisition of 90 ECTS credits within three semesters. One ECTS credit corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work (attending courses and self-study)
Information on admission requirements for examinations in Chemistry or specific grade calculations can be found in the Appendix to the plan of studies (see heading "Study content", in German) or in the corresponding CTS entry. Also the following website contains information regarding exams: Exams, Deadlines and Admittance
Individual academic requirements
The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (mono):
|a)||Bachelor's degree in the field of Chemistry or Biochemistry from a Swiss university or an equivalent university degree|
|b)||Bachelor's degree in the field of Chemistry or Biochemistry from a recognized foreign university or an equivalent university degree|
|c)||Bachelor's degree from a university or an equivalent degree with a minor in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences (minimum 60 ECTS credits). Additional attainments of up to 30 ECTS credits may be required.|
|d)||Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from a Swiss university of applied sciences with a grade of at least 5.0. The appropriate body decides on any additional attainments or exemptions.|
Successful completion of a master's degree program in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences may depend upon evidence of additional knowledge and expertise that was not acquired as part of the student's bachelor's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.
Please consult the admission requirements for the minor as presented in the plan of studies.
The degree used for assessment purposes may not be more than ten years old.
Swiss bachelor's degrees
If you are applying with an international degree, you must provide evidence of having achieved a minimum grade in a language test. Alternatively, a valid TOEFL or IELTS test will be recognized, provided this is not more than six months old at the time of application. Any test with a date older than this will not be accepted.
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.
Application and admission
Current UniBE students
Apply for a change to the M Sc in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration
Application with a Swiss degree
Application with an international degree
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.
Once you have met the specific requirements for the degree, you can apply for your degree to the Dean's Office. You will find more information on the graduation process here.
Supplementary subject-specific information for the master's degree in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences
When you have written your master's thesis, you should submit 1 copy to your supervisor. The supervisor will then grade the thesis within 4 weeks and could also suggest corrections. As soon as you have made the corrections (if any) you should give one copy of the final (corrected) version of your thesis to the Directorate of Studies' Office. The supervisor submits the assessment to the Directorate of Studies' office, which then forwards it to the Dean's Office. After submitting your master's thesis, you can apply to the Dean's Office for your degree at any time. To do this, click on the above link to take you to the appropriate website where you should then follow the steps detailed under point 2 "Procedure".
You can also apply for your degree even if you have not yet obtained all ECTS credits in the CTS, but if you are expecting to do so at the next examination sitting. Please also note that the Dean's Office can only start the process for confirming master's thesis grades when they have received a copy of your master's thesis. This process can take up to two weeks. The sooner the thesis and degree application is completed, the quicker the master's thesis grade will appear in the CTS.
As soon as you have obtained the necessary 90 ECTS credits in the CTS, the Director of Studies automatically sets the status of the degree program in the CTS to "complete" and the Dean's Office is informed. (Therefore it is not compulsory to apply for your degree via the CTS. However, it would not be incorrect to do so.) When the Dean's Office has received your degree application, they issue the certificate and advise you when you may collect it.
After your master's
Many master's graduates in Chemistry decide to go on to study for a doctorate (PhD studies). This is undertaken in a research group at a Swiss university or abroad
The University of Bern doctoral program lasts for 3-4 years. Anyone who is interested should first find out whether a doctoral post is being offered in a research group at the University of Bern in their field of interest and at the appropriate time. The easiest way of obtaining information is by speaking to the leaders of the relevant research groups or by consulting their website. The links to the various research groups in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry can be found here.
Career opportunities for PhD graduates include working in industry or pursuing an academic career.
PHBern - Post master's training
Master's graduates in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences can continue their university studies at the PHBern by pursuing an additional course which qualifies them to teach Chemistry at secondary school level.
Click on the following link to go to the PHBern website, which contains detailed information regarding PH studies.
Other career opportunities and professional profiles
Chemistry is fundamental to many other disciplines: for example, biochemistry, biology, medicine, pharmacy, earth sciences and agronomy all require a knowledge of chemistry. Chemistry is therefore of central importance as an economic factor: small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies of all types need chemists. The latest career opportunities for Chemistry and Molecular Sciences graduates can be found on the career guidance website www.berufsberatung.ch. The website gives a number of tips and information on the world of work after studying Chemistry. Here are a few professional profiles and other useful information contained on this website: (in German)
Various websites with information on job hunting and careers.
University of Bern Career Service
Job vacancies in Chemistry - job placement and more
ETH-gethired - job placement
Experteer - job placement
MyScience - job placement
Careerjet - job placement (lists jobs advertised on various job placement websites)