Master Molecular Biosciences
Welcome to the Major
Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences
Plants do not only provide the food, feed, shelter and energy to sustain our growing global population, they are also fascinating objects for basic research that aims at understanding the principles of life.
The major Molecular and Applied Plant Sciences (MPS) is a research-oriented degree program that provides students with an understanding of the manifold life processes in plants at biochemical, molecular, cellular and physiological levels. The focus of the program is on the in-depth scientific investigation of the molecular mechanisms that control the processes of plant development and adaption to the environment as well as how to translate this knowledge to applications.
Heidelberg is home to a very active community of plant researchers that are based at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS). All researchers involved in MAPS are world renowned leaders in their fields and addresses the global challenges of food security, green technology and climate change. The range of topics studied is wide: sulfur biochemistry, cell wall biology, cellular transport and trafficking systems, stem cell behaviour, root development and plant defences. In this research environment, MAPS has developed into an internationally distinguished master program that provides students from around the world with a high-level education at one of the leading universities in Germany. The MAPS curriculum covers a broad spectrum of topics and is integrally taught in English. The program is focused on intensive stays in the labs. Already by the second semester students spend most of their time actively doing research. The lectures and practical allow students to study the biochemistry, cell biology, physiology or developmental biology of plants using advanced equipment for high-end microscopy, genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. A key strength of the program is the international network of academic and industrial host labs that the program has built over the years. This offers many opportunities to our students to discover an even wider range of topics and methodologies.
MAPS students are internationally selected and form a small (max. 12) group fully embedded into the scientific life of the COS. Compared to other curriculums, MAPS students benefit from an inverted ratio of lecturers to students, leading to high quality mentoring of their progression.
Over the last 10 years, MAPS alumni have followed exemplary career paths in and outside of academia, illustrating that MAPS training will not only qualify you for an academic career (in plant and in non-plant research areas) of the life sciences but also in the industry. Our alumni additionally secured job opportunities in management, policy and communication in governmental and non-governmental organisations or scientific journalism.