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Master's degree in Biochemistry

InformationCourse/CS accredited by the Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education (A3ES).

This master’s degree imparts theoretical concepts and high-level techniques in order to furnish highly specialised workers to the sectors in biochemistry-related fields, namely life sciences, health and biotechology. Biochemistry master’s holders are set to undertake fundamental or applied research or to carry out highly specialised technical functions.

Why the Master’s of Science in Biochemistry? The discipline aims to define and characterise all biomolecules, analysing their structural and functional properties and their interconversions and interactions. It seeks to understand and integrate all biological process along the scale of increasing complexity. Thus, it has always been a thoroughly interdisciplinary science. Biochemists are indispensible is the following productive proccesses: providing insight into division and cellular differentiation at the molecular level (phenomena with implications spanning oncology to tissue engineering); manipulating molecules and cells in order to achieve the optimisation/production of biologically active substances (such as in the development of novel drugs); developing strategies for the systhesis and purification of biological substances; and monitoring all the processes mentioned above and more. Thus it is logical that a qualified workforce must be trained, particularly in the areas of critical analysis and the resolution of biochemical issues at the molecular and cellular levels.

The Master’s of Science in Biochemistry targets, primarily, first cycle degree holders in biochemistry or related fields wanting to improve and broaden their expertise in preparation for demanding careers requiring a high level of autonomy and combined with a drive for self-improvement and constant innovation.

Admissions Requirements

  • Hold a degree in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, or related fields with a strong curriculum in chemistry and/or in biological sciences, with a minimum classification of 14 points after correction to the nearest integer on the Portuguese scale from 0 to 20.
  • Candidates who do not hold a bachelor's degree in those scientific areas at the date of application, but who are in conditions to complete the degree by the date of enrollment in the study cycle, must present the necessary documents to support calculation of the curriculum average weight by the ECTS (or legal equivalent) of completed curricular units, which value must also be equal to or greater than 14 points after correction to the nearest integer on the Portuguese scale from 0 to 20.
  • Hold of an academic path, scientific or professional curriculum that the selection committee of the study cycle recognizes as sufficient to certify the ability to carry out this cycle of studies.

Note 1: Candidates with a rating lower than 14/20 points may eventually be admitted if the selection committee considers their curriculum vitæ to be relevant. These may be interviewed if the selection committee deems it necessary.

Note 2: All candidates who do not prove that they have completed the degree (or equivalent) by the end of the enrollment deadline will be excluded.

Note 3: Candidates who fail to demonstrate that the previous academic training is compatible with the ability to carry out this cycle of studies through official documentation validated by the academic services (via syllabus, teaching loads and specifications of the curricular units) will also be excluded.

Note 4: Foreign candidates may be subject to an interview to ascertain proficiency in the working language of the study cycle (e.g. Portuguese - “Suitable for English-speaking students”). All candidates who do not demonstrate this proficiency in oral and written language will be excluded.

Note 5: Candidates whose academic path does not specifically include a degree or professional experience in specific areas for the study cycle may be subject to an interview.

Note 6: Candidates must provide documents demonstrating that they meet the required criteria, namely diplomas of the academic degrees obtained or the respective degree recognition in Portugal, when awarded by a foreign higher education institution, with final grade (see https://www.dges.gov.pt/pt/page/recognition?plid=374). If the documents proving the degree submitted by candidates do not present the final grade with the respective score converted to the Portuguese classification scale, the selection jury will consider that the candidate has the minimum classification required to obtain the degree in Portugal.

Note 7: In situations where it is necessary to check the parallelism between different classification scales, namely in the case of candidates of foreign nationality and/or holders of a foreign academic degree, it is requested to present a document with the classification according to the European scale of comparability of classifications or, in cases where this scale is not applicable, another that allows it. Failure to submit these documents within the deadline set for the application determines the candidate's exclusion.

Criteria for Selection and Ranking

  • 60% (ML) – Numeric degree final classification or ECTS (or legal equivalent)-weighted average of completed curricular units at the time of application in relation to the total number of ECTS (or legal equivalent) required to complete the degree; these classifications will be rounded to the nearest integer on the Portuguese scale from 0 to 20. This value will be adjusted to the ranking of the institution of higher education where the course was held in relation to that of the University of Porto, adding the value of ln (R/r), where ln is the natural logarithm of the ratio between the relative classification of the University of Porto (R) and the institution of higher education where the course (r) was carried out using the updated world metrics referred to on the website http://www.webometrics.info.
  • 20% (AL) - Adequacy of the degree area and ranking of the higher education institution where the degree was obtained - punctuated with 4 values for graduates in biochemistry, 1 to 2 values for graduates in chemistry or biology, and 0 to 1 value for other related degrees, depending on the number of ECTS in the areas of chemistry and biological sciences.
  • 20% (AC) - Curriculum evaluation - scored 0 to 4 points, depending on the candidate's curriculum vitae. Scientific publications, participation in congresses, accredited extracurricular training, and curricular internships abroad will be mostly considered.
  • The candidate´s interview will have a weight of 30% in the final classification, with the sum of the remaining points mentioned above (ML + AL + AC) weighting 70%. In the absence of an interview, the final classification will be the same as that obtained in the ML + AL + AC analysis.

Criteria for untying candidates
(applied in the following order):

  • Hold a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, or related fields at the date of application;
  • Number of ECTS (or legal equivalent) and classification in fundamental biochemistry curricular units;
  • Best ranking of the higher education institution where the degree was obtained using the updated world metrics on the website http://www.webometrics.info.
  • Candidate with a bachelor's degree obtained more recently.

Teaching Language

  • Fully in Portuguese



Course Director: m.bq.diretor@fc.up.pt
Postgraduate Section: pos.graduacao@fc.up.pt
Students: m.bq@fc.up.pt

This information is provided strictly for informational purposes
and does not preclude consultation of the Official Gazette.

General information

Official Code: 9396
Director: Paulo Correia de Sá
Acronym: M:BQ
Academic Degree: Master
Type of course/cycle of study: Masters Degree
Start: 2007/2008
Duration: 2 Years

Study Plan

Involved Organic Units


  • Master's degree in Biochemistry (120 ECTS credits)
  • Specialization in Biochemistry (60 ECTS credits)

Predominant Scientific Areas

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