The Master of Molecular Life Sciences consists of 7 modules that focus on applying research to the development of products in various disciplines. You learn to plan and execute projects of a few months independently, while taking both scientific and project-related aspects into account.
Module 1: Fundamentals
This module refreshes your basic knowledge and skills in the following areas: • molecular biology • cell biology • biochemistry • gene technology • statistics • using databases • reading scientific articles • presentation skills
Module 2: Drug Discovery and Development
You follow the entire drug development process from the discovery of a suitable target for a medicine in a cell/organism right up to the testing of a new medicine in pre-clinical studies. To this end, you analyze the data of high-throughput sequence analysis, you design a possible medicine and draw up the experimental strategy to make and test it.
You gain insight into the process of medicine development and the related laws and regulations. The context of the case studies is the development of medicines to fight cancer. To complete your assignments, you use up-to-date literature and follow lectures on: • molecular aspects of cancer development • various targets and drugs • assay development • pharmacology • toxicology • pharmacokinetics • statistics • bio-informatics: analysis of next-generation sequence data • drug registration
Module 3: Production of Biomolecules
You learn about the efficient production of biomolecules for various industrial applications. Topics include: • production strains • fermentation technology • downstream processing (DSP)• bio-analysis methods • metabolic engineering • gene annotation • Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) • Quality by Design (QbD)
Module 4: Vaccines and Diagnostics
This module focuses on the development of vaccines and diagnostic tests. You map out strategies for the further development of a new vaccine and the validation of a new diagnostic test, while considering the scientific, practical and financial aspects. You also study the latest literature and quality guidelines to complete your assignments. Lecture topics include: • immunology • infectious diseases • vaccine development • diagnostic testing • quality control • statistics
Module 5: Research and Product Development Skills
This module is carried out in your own professional practice. Based on the learning outcomes, educational activities and feedback, you develop your research skills in a professional setting. You create a number of professional products which strengthen your understanding and development in the practical context. For example, you:
- write a scientific report draw up an Design of Experiments (DoE) • give a presentation • describe the regulatory guidelines and their consequences for your own professional practice • write a business plan/business case
Module 6: Project Management
This module is carried out in your own professional practice. Based on the learning outcomes, educational activities and feedback, you develop your professional and project management skills in a professional setting. You write a project proposal for a project in your professional practice and reflect on its realization and your own contribution. To this end, you learn to define, plan and organize projects and to draw up a risk analysis.
You also develop your interpersonal effectiveness in various ways:
- You gain insight into work and communication styles and cultural aspects
- You analyze your own strengths and weaknesses and set out a plan for further professional development
- You make an analysis of your network and describe how you use it
- You learn about situational leadership and meeting techniques
If you have work experience in this field, you have probably already obtained some of the learning outcomes of modules 5 and 6. You can then take an exam independently of the standard program to determine your starting level. In that case, you will be exempt from taking certain educational activities.
Module 7: Graduation Project
You finish your course with the graduation project, which is the final assessment of your knowledge and skills. This involves carrying out a project in applied research or product development for the organization where you are working or doing a work placement. During the project, you write a project plan and ensure that it is carried out. After completing your project, you write a report on the project results and reflect on its execution.
The final step is defending your project in front of a board of examiners and discussing aspects of the research/development and project management with a panel of experts.
A significant part of the course is learning in practice. As a full-time student, this will be at your work placement (internship); as a part-time student, this will be at your workplace.