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Physics of Life

Master HEU

Universität Basel UNIBAS

Lieu de formation

Bâle (BS)

Langue d'enseignement


Type de formation

Hautes écoles universitaires HEU

Modalités temporelles

À plein temps

Thèmes de formation

Chimie, matières synthétiques, papier - Nature, sciences naturelles

Filières d'études

Biologie - Sciences de la vie, biotechnologie - Sciences et technologie biomédicales


6.540.1.0 - 6.540.5.3 - 6.540.5.2

Mise à jour 05.02.2024


Description de la formation

Breakthroughs in life science research often occur at the interface between biology and physics, chemistry, mathematics, programming, as well as engineering. In the past, this has led to revolutionary developments of new methodologies, such as super-resolution microscopy, magnetic resonance techniques, and DNA sequencing techniques. Furthermore, scientists with training in physical and mathematical sciences, as well as engineering, have made broadly impactful contributions to the understanding of living systems by introducing quantitative concepts and theoretical models. This has not only led to innumerable discoveries at the atomic and molecular scale but also at the cellular, multicellular, and ecosystems scale, and for the origin of life itself. As recent developments of molecular techniques have led to the rapid acquisition of huge amounts of quantitative data for biological systems, the impact of scientists with training in physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering is expected to grow. To accelerate future discoveries in life sciences, the MSc Physics of Life therefore trains students with a BSc education in physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering in the concepts and techniques of frontier research in life sciences.

Focal areas of teaching and research

The MSc Physics of Life offers courses and research training in both experimental and theoretical approaches. The major focus of the MSc Physics of Life program are research projects: Two smaller research projects and a longer research project for the Master thesis. These projects are conducted in research groups at the Biozentrum, or in research groups at other departments within the Faculty of Science at the University of Basel, the Department of Biomedicine, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, or the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. This practical research is supplemented by attending courses in Physics of Life, and courses in your field of choice, which may include courses from physics, mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, developmental biology, biophysics, structural biology, microbiology, infection biology, immunology, neurobiology, pharmacology and computational biology – a wide variety of options for theoretical and experimental topics are available.

Through the combination of coursework and research projects within the MSc Physics of Life program, you will be able to identify important biological research questions and deploy appropriate physical, mathematical, or biological methods to address these questions. You will also have the practical experience to complete a research project and the skills to communicate your results.

Course structure

The Master of Science degree program is a postgraduate degree program. To enroll in a Master of Science degree program, a successfully completed Bachelor’s degree is required. The Master’s degree program Physics of Life awards 90 ECTS credits and is a so called «mono-course» consisting of only one core subject.

Plan de la formation

One ECTS credit point corresponds to approximately 30 hours of study.

Curriculum master studies ECTS
Master’s degree program Physics of Life
Foundations in Physics of Life 18
Research projects 20
Electives (inside MSc programs of the Phil Nat Faculty, at least 6 KP in Msc Molecular Biology) 12
Master’s thesis 30
Master’s examination 10
Total 90

Combinaison des branches

The degree programs at the Faculty of Science are generally mono-courses.


Conditions d’admission


The course is aimed at bachelor's graduates, for example in the following fields of study: Physics, mathematics, computer science, computational science and engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, life sciences and technologies, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, micro engineering, material science, chemical engineering. More information under: MSc in Physics of Life - Biozentrum (

Binding information under:



Application under; the application fee amounts to CHF 100.-. Application deadlines are April 30 for the fall semester and November 30 for the spring semester.


The letter of admission also informs students on the procedure of enrollment. In general, students with a Swiss educational background do not have to be present in person for enrollment.


Universität Basel UNIBAS > Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


Die Anmeldegebühr von CHF 100.- wird nicht rückerstattet, falls das Studium nicht aufgenommen wird.
Begründete verspätete Anmeldungen erfordern eine Zusatzgebühr von CHF 150.-


Pro Semester (auch für Prüfungssemester) ist eine Pauschale von CHF 850.- (+ CHF 10.- freiwilliger Beitrag für die Studierendenschaft skuba) einzuzahlen.
Hinzu kommen je nach Fachrichtung noch Auslagen für Studienliteratur sowie Lebenshaltungskosten.


  • Master haute école universitaire HEU

Master of Science in Physics of Life (MSc)


Doktorat / PhD

A Master’s degree in Physics of Life builds the basis for doctoral studies (PhD) in Life Sciences, Physics, or Chemistry. The doctoral studies usually take three to four years and are completed with a written thesis and oral exam covering the postgraduate studies in the doctoral subject.

Infos pratiques

Lieu / adresse

  • Bâle (BS)

Spitalstrasse 41
4056 Basel

Déroulement temporel

Début des cours

The program is to be started preferably in fall but can also be started in the spring semester.

Durée de la formation

The Master’s program typically lasts three semesters. There are no restrictions on the duration of study.

Modalités temporelles

  • À plein temps

Langue d’enseignement

  • anglais

The language of instruction is English. The Master’s thesis is generally written in English.


Guidelines and regulations


Universität Basel UNIBAS > Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Tag der offenen Tür

Im Januar findet ein Infotag für Schulklassen statt.
Jeweils im September stellen sich die einzelnen Fächer an den Informationsabenden für Maturand/innen ("Live aus der Uni Basel") vor.
Weitere Informationen

Reglemente der Fakultät

  • Ordnung für die Bachelor- und Masterstudiengänge sowie die Doktoratsstudien an der Philosophisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Basel
  • Wegleitungen und allfällige Stundenpläne für die einzelnen Fächer sind auf den entsprechenden Websites veröffentlicht.


Renseignements / contact

Questions regarding the Master's degree program of Physics of Life can be discussed personally with the study coordinator or the study counselor (registration via e-mail):

Study Counselor for the Master Program Physics of Life
Prof. Dr. Knut Drescher, Biozentrum, Spitalstrasse 41, 4056 Basel, T +41 61 207 65 23, e-mail:


Universität Basel UNIBAS > Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät

Studienberatung Basel

Steinengraben 5, 4051 Basel
T +41 61 207 29 29/30

Studiensekretariat der Universität

(Anmeldung und Zulassung)
Petersplatz 1, 4001 Basel
Anfragen über (Kontaktformular)