Molecular biology syllabus: the subjects

Article written by CEMP's team

Do you know what the Molecular Biology syllabus looks like, both at the undergraduate, master’s and postgraduate levels? In this article, we compile the main subjects that are studied in this type of degree, so that you can get a more precise idea of the typical content of a molecular biology syllabus. Keep reading to find out about all the details.


Molecular Biology syllabus: the university degree subjects

First of all, we must clarify that not all university degrees in Molecular Biology present the exact same subjects. Therefore, you can find certain differences depending on each university.

In any case, after looking at the model for a molecular biology syllabus throughout various degree-level opportunities, it’s possible to see a number of overlaps. In this way, we can say that the main Molecular Biology subjects at this educational level include, among others, the following:

  • Biology
  • Maths
  • Statistics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Genetics
  • Cell biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Enzymology
  • Proteomics
  • Biocatalysis
  • Immunology
  • Microorganism metabolism
  • Methodology and experimentation
  • Bioethics
  • Biophysics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular evolution
  • Nanobiotechnology


What are the categories to classify the subjects in Degree in Molecular Biology?

Fundamentally, the Molecular Biology syllabus and its subjects are classified as follows:

  • Basic training subjects, including those that present a general nature within a certain branch of knowledge. For example, it is common for Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics or Biology to be considered basic training subjects in Molecular Biology.
  • Compulsory subjects. This category includes those subjects that all students must undertake and that respond to the specific skills related to achieving the degree. Therefore, they refer to the specific content of this degree (not of the branch of knowledge). For example, depending on each center, they could be Organic Chemistry, Bioinformatics,Biophysics or Enzymology.
  • Finally, the optional subjects are those that the student can freely select, within the academic offer of the degree, and until completing the minimum required in each degree. An example could be Molecular Nutrition, Forensic Biochemistry, etc.

Of course, students are also required to finalize the end-of-degree project with which the Molecular Biology syllabus finalizes at this educational level. Thus, through this work, an overall assessment of the skills acquired during these studies is carried out.


What are the Molecular Biology subjects at the graduate level?

Here’s a summary of our Master’s in Molecular Biology syllabus, so that you can get an idea of the Molecular Biology subjects in the various master’s and postgraduate courses:

Module 0. Basic concepts:

  •       Laboratory equipment and material
  •       Basic laboratory techniques
  •       Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization
  •       Literature searches in PubMed

Module 1. Nucleic acid analysis and manipulation technologies:

  •       DNA
  •       RNA
  •       Purification, quantification and separation of nucleic acids
  •       DNA Extraction from Regular Samples

Module 2. Technologies for the analysis and manipulation of proteins:

  •       Protein structure and function
  •       Importance of receptors and antibodies in molecular biology
  •       Protein quantification
  •       Protein separation and analysis techniques

Module 3. Molecular biology of the cell:

  •       The cell
  •       Cell culture techniques
  •       Techniques for the study of cell functionality: markers
  •       Microscopy techniques for cell study

Module 4. Bioinformatics applied to molecular biology:

  •       Main databases
  •       Analysis of nucleic acid sequences
  •       Phylogenetic analysis
  •       Bioinformatics analysis applied to functional genomics and epigenomics

Module 5. Safety in the laboratory:

  •       Security norms in the lab
  •       Physical risks
  •       Chemical hazards
  •       Biological risks


What characteristics define a good Molecular Biology syllabus?

When choosing your bachelor’s or master’s degree studies and their respective Molecular Biology subjects, keep the following issues in mind:

  • The content of the program must meet your training expectations. Therefore, if you compare the programs of different degrees, masters or postgraduates, you can choose the one that offers you content that is more aligned with your academic and professional interests. For example, if you are interested in the more technological side, perhaps you should prioritize the master’s degree or degree that offers you a Bioinformatics subject.
  • In relation to the above, try to ensure that the content of the program is duly updated. In a field as dynamic as molecular biology, it is necessary for the Molecular Biology syllabus to be up-to-date and accommodate the latest developments that have taken place.
  • At the undergraduate level, it is recommended that the offer of elective subjects is sufficiently wide and varied. This will allow you to personalize your Molecular Biology studies according to your preferences.


Study recommendations

Whatever the academic level, we recommend that you take into account the following study tips for Molecular Biology:

  • Try to stick to a proper study routine, without letting your work pile up. To do this, you may find several things useful:
    • Find a fixed study space, where you can work without interruptions.
    • Set a schedule that you can follow daily.
    • Set up goals. For example, study a certain number of topics or modules each month. In this way, it will be easier for you to maintain motivation, as well as control your progress in each subject.

 – Do not entertain doubts. If there is a concept or explanation that you do not fully understand, ask your teachers or tutors. Otherwise, you could accumulate certain gaps that make it difficult for you to advance in your studies or pass the final exams.

Combine the study of new contents with the review of the previous ones. Without a doubt, this is the best way to settle what has been studied as part of long-term memory.

 – Use questionnaires, tests and other self-assessment tools to check your level of learning and adjust your study system if necessary. Although you may sometimes think you have mastered a subject, you will only know for sure when you face a test.

Now that you know more about the typical Molecular Biology syllabus, do you find it an interesting study plan? Without a doubt, good training in this field can open many doors for you in a sector as dynamic and exciting as this one.

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