Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the programme?

Anyone, regardless of nationality, who fulfils the admission requirements.

Is there any age limit for application?


If I have already received a master degree, can I still apply for this program?


Who is in charge of admission to the programme?

Biology Education Centre at Uppsala University.

How/when does one apply and what documentation must be prepared for the application?

See the application page.

What are the requirements for admission?

See details under "Admission requirements" for each of the programmes and general requirements on the application page.

How are the applicants evaluated and chosen for admission?

On the basis of study results, statement of intent and letters of recommendation (if provided). For further details, see also application page.

Can I attend a pre-language school for several months before the course if I do not have sufficient knowledge in English?

No, you must have sufficient knowledge in English at the time of application.

Must students learn Swedish to be able to meet the requirements of this programme?

No. All courses are given in English. Swedish people in general also have a good knowledge of English so you will get along easily even outside of the University. In addition however, a basic level course in Swedish is offered by the University as a courtesy to all newcomers interested in learning Swedish. The course is free of charge and runs as an evening course in order not to interfere with the programme courses.

Does Uppsala University offer scholarships to international students?

Uppsala University is currently building up a scholarship scheme since we have just introduced fees for non European students. At present there are only a few scholarships available.

Are there any institutes in Sweden that offer scholarships to international students?

A very small number of scholarships are available, mainly through the Swedish Institute. See further information at

What is the average budget for a master student in Uppsala?

You need about 7000 SEK per month (700 Euros).

What is the average cost for acommodation?

Roughly 2500–3000 SEK.

Can students take part-time jobs?

In principle, students are free to take a job while in Sweden (without the need for a specific work permit) as long as their student residence permit or visa is valid. However, it may not be an easy task to find a job, and you should not plan on significant additional income from work to finance your studies in Sweden.

Do we have to pay tax in Sweden and what is the tax rate?

If you have an income in Sweden above ca 17 000 SEK you must pay tax. As long as you do not earn a whole lot, the tax rate is approximately 30% of your income.

Can students benefit from Swedish health insurance?

As a master student, you have a health insurance through Uppsala University. You will be part of the Swedish health care system and be able to receive care very cheaply as soon as you get a Swedish civic registration number (which you will be able to get very soon after your arrival). You are also entitled to heath care in Sweden if you have an EHIC-card (European health insurance card). Dental care is usually not included. Please call Försäkringskassan (0771-524 524) for information on costs of dental care before you go to a dentist.

How can I get a Swedish ID card?

When you have your Swedish civic registration number you can apply for an ID card at the Tax office. It costs 400 SEK but is very useful since you do not have to carry your passport around at all times. How to apply.

Which field is Uppsala University famous for and advanced in, especially in Biology?

Uppsala University is a research university of great diversity. In a large number of fields Uppsala University is right at the cutting edge of international research. Relevant for the IBG master programmes are for instance Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Evolutionary Biology, Biotechnology, Genomics, etc.

Is this master programme internationally recognised?

Yes. Sweden is fully adapted to the European system for higher education - along the lines of the so called Bologna process.

How is the academic year organised at Uppsala University?

It has two distinct terms. There is an autumn term (end of August until around January 18) and a spring term (from around January 19 until beginning of June). The Christmas/New Years break lies at the end of the autumn term (a few days before Christmas until early/mid January). Note that different programmes may have slight differences as to exact dates for the Christmas break! Summer break is from beginning of June until end of August.

How does the credit system work at Uppsala university?

One semester of full time studies equals 30 hp/ECTS credits. Course modules are usually 15 hp or in some cases 5 or 7.5 hp. There are some generalised differences for the various master programmes as to what is more prevalent when it comes to the course modules.

How much time does an average student spend on studies per week?

Approximately 40 hours per week is considered full time studies. The intensity of the master programme may for some students require slightly more than that.

Do exams at the programme give scores or just pass/fail?

Most courses within the programmes will give scores according to the European standard (with 7 levels).

Will master students be able to do laboratory work already during the first year?

Yes. Theory and practical work are integrated in all courses.

Can I do a research project in a company or elsewhere during the last year?

Yes, if you so wish. Uppsala has an excellent tradition in connection with the industry.

Does the program allow time for courses in social sciences, the arts, etc. if I want to take courses outside of natural science or engineering?

Uppsala University offers a wide range of courses within all disciplines. However, as the schedule of the program is very tight, you will not have much time to take additional courses. One option could be to take an evening course.

Can we continue with PhD studies after the master program? How is this financed?

In principle yes. Students who are accepted for PhD studies also receive a salary (SEK 16000-18000 before tax (tax rate 30%). Admission to PhD studies is handled by individual professors and group leaders at the research departments and not by IBG.

What kind of work can we find in Sweden after graduation?

You can apply for a PhD or find a qualified job in the biotechnological industry. Uppsala has several biotech companies famous world wide, such as Amersham BioSciences/GE Health Care, Phadia, Q-med, Åmic (Amic), Biacore, Biotage, NeoPharma, etc.

What are the extracurricular activities like in Uppsala?

Uppsala has a very rich student life. Thirteen so called Student Nations organise a variety of after-school activities and provide food services, sports, dancing, balls, pubs and parties. New students are welcomed every year by a special welcome programme, a "buddy system" of senior students, etc. Each year at the end of April, a famous Rafting Festival attracts students from all around Sweden, as part of the celebration of Walpurgi´s night.

What is the most common way of transportation in Uppsala?


What is the climate like in Uppsala?

The summer average temperature is 20-25°C, with occasional rainy weather which makes it a little cooler. Winter is characterised by snows, with a temperature average of less than or slightly above 0°C. Occasionally during winter it may get considerably colder than that of course.

What are common foods in Sweden?

Breakfast and small meals are often based on bread, cheese, cereals and dairy products. Larger meals often include meat or fish and potatoes, rice or pasta.