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Studium Biologie Masterstudium

Genetics and Development

  • Drosophila melanogaster copyright

    Drosophila melanogaster (copyright R. Fuhrmann)

MSc Coordinator of the Master in Genetics and Development

Prof. Dr. Alex Hajnal (alex.hajnal *

Study Coordinator

Dr. Karin Isler (studienkoordination *



Genetics describes the functions and inheritance of genes. Moreover, genetic techniques are used to investigate fundamental biological processes such as development, growth, aging, metabolism and behavior. Molecular genetics provides a basis for studying the diversity and evolution of all living organisms and is increasingly applied in the diagnostics of many human diseases. In the Master's program in Genetics and Development, students obtain detailed insight into the state-of-the-art methods in Molecular Genetics, Genomics and Developmental Biology. The ethical implications of newly emerging technologies are discussed.



The central element of the program is the Concepts lecture in Modern Genetics and Genomics combined with one of the two seven-week block courses in Modern Genetics and Genomics and Experimental Developmental Biology. These two laboratory courses give students an introduction to both theory and experimental practice in Genetics and Developmental Biology using different animal model organisms (fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster; threadworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, and zebrafish Danio rerio). By performing individual research projects, students get to know the different research groups and the methods they use. The students expand on this knowledge in additional, freely selectable modules (lectures and courses on subjects including developmental biology, molecular biology and human genetics). During their Master's thesis, students experimentally investigate a biological or medical question in one of the research groups participating in this Master's program.



Compulsory courses:

BIO 348 06 ECTS Concepts of Modern Genetics
  and one of the two Block courses:
BIO 323 12 ECTS Modern Genetics and Genomics
BIO 326 12 ECTS Modern Concepts in Animal Development, Evolution and Disease (previously: Experimental Developmental Biology)
BIO 338 00 ECTS Introduction to Scientific Writing (one day in September or February). The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.

Strongly recommended:

BIO 347 03 ECTS Concepts in Developmental Biology: from Cells to Animals
BIO 557 02 ECTS Scientific Writing and Experimental Design for Life Sciences

Recommended lectures:

BCH 252 03 ECTS RNA & Proteins: Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Gene Expression
BIO 243 03 ECTS Epigenetics
BIO 254 03 ECTS Functional Genomics
BIO 257 03 ECTS DNA Metabolism and Cancer
BIO 336 02 ECTS From DNA to Diversity: the Evolution of Multicellular Organisms
BIO 344 03 ECTS Development of the Nervous System
BIO 388 02 ECTS Human Genetics
BIO 390 03 ECTS Introduction to Bioinformatics
BIO 416 03 ECTS Microscopy
BME 320 01 ECTS Forensic Genetics
BME 327 02 ECTS Current Approaches in Single Cell Analysis

Recommended block courses:

BIO 205 06 ECTS Evol. Genetics & Genomics of Humans & other Primates
BIO 244 06 ECTS Signal Transduction and Cancer
BIO 245 06 ECTS Cell Signalling
BIO 253 06 ECTS Research Cycle in Genomics
BIO 255 06 ECTS Cancer Epigenetics
BIO 260 06 ECTS Molecular Biology Course for Biology and Medicine
BIO 285 06 ECTS Genetic & Epigenetic Control of Plant Development
BIO 286 06 ECTS Plant Sensing
BIO 288 06 ECTS Mechanisms of Plant Disease Resistance against Fungal Pathogens
BIO 294 06 ECTS Bioinformatics for Comparative and Evolutionary Genomics
BIO 321 06 ECTS Modern Microscopy in Life Science Research
BIO 325 06 ECTS Systems Dynamics in Cell and Developmental Biology
BIO 373 06 ECTS Next Generation Sequencing for Evolutionary Functional Genomics
BIO 392 06 ECTS Bioinformatics of Molecular Sequence Variations
BIO 407 06 ECTS Practical Microscopy
BIO 413 06 ECTS Genome Modification in Mammals
BME 308 06 ECTS Human Molecular Genetics

Master’s thesis in Genetics and Development: BIO 503


Weiterführende Informationen

UZH Course Catalogue


The module BIO338 Introduction to Scientific Writing (0 ECTS, one day in September or February) is mandatory for all Biology Master’s students. The module should be taken before writing the Master’s Thesis.