Education with focus on research

All our MSc programmes give a firm foundation for continuing in research. The teachers at the programme courses are active researchers and many of them are internationally distinguished and renowned within their respective fields. Many IBG students continue with PhD studies after obtaining their initial degrees.

Biology research at Uppsala University is performed at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (ICM), at the Department of Organismal Biology (IOB) and at Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG).

As an IBG student you are able to do Research training. This is an individual course intended to give insight into research and/or development within academic research departments, companies or authorities.

Post-graduate studies in biology

The two types of degree awarded for post-graduate studies in Sweden are Licentiate (Licentiate degree) and Doctor (Doctor of Philosophy, PhD). The former should take about 2 years and the latter about 4 years of full-time studies.

The Swedish term for the continued studies is “forskarutbildning”, meaning research education, and the general aim is to give the student knowledge and skills needed to carry on independent research in his/her scientific field. It should also provide the student with ability for a general scientific approach, for critical analysis and constructive discussions in various societal issues. The studies include courses (usually a mix of theoretical and practical training) and research activities, and at the end to publicly defend a written thesis on the research subject. 

In the “Handbook for postgraduate students” (the National Agency for Higher Education) you can find general as well as detailed information about views and rules concerning post-graduate studies in Sweden. More informal and for local information about post-graduate studies at Uppsala University can be found at Uppsala student union. They also has an ombudsman for postgraduate students (Doktorandombudsman) available to provide help and guidance in case of conflicts or other matters connected to regulations and social issues.


In the Swedish system the admission to post-graduate studies is fully decentralized and handled by respective research department, which also setup most rules and prerequisites for admission to the program. The selection process is organized like appointments for positions at governmental institutions, and has no connection or resemblance to admission to graduate university courses.

If you are interested in continuing your studies at the post-graduate level you should therefore take direct contact with the department organizing the research of your interest. At the homepage of respective department current research activities are presented as well as names and addresses to responsible persons to contact with questions about post-graduate studies. However, the selection process for a post-graduate position is rather informal, and it may be fruitful to discuss ways into post-graduate studies with other persons. This may be a teacher you have met, the chairman of the department (prefekt), a professor, or a scientist you have found to conduct interesting research. You can also contact us at Biology Education Centre for more information and names on scientists to contact for such issues.

It is important to realize that admission to post-graduate education is highly restricted, so that you plan for alternative ways into a future profession. You need to be highly motivated for the subject and the studies to become admitted to as well as to finish your PhD studies.

Financing post-graduate studies

A financing system special for post-graduates is regulated by the government, and includes three different types of economic support (besides costs for the research): doktorandtjänst, utbildningsbidrag, and stipends. The time for support is strictly limited to a maximum of 4 years full-time studies, independent on the type of support. The resources for financing may come from the university or from external sources (usually as research funding for the supervising scientist).

Before starting a post-graduate program the student and the supervisor must arrange an individual study plan, including a research plan as well as a financial plan for the whole period of studies, that has to be approved by the department board. It is important that you inform yourself about the regulations for post-graduate studies before entering a program. You can get help and information from the student union and their doktorandombudsman (se above).

Research in Uppsala with post-graduate programs for biology students

Uppsala University harbours research from a very broad selection of scientific areas, and in total about 2500 post-graduate students are registered. The biological research subjects are organized within the Faculty of Science and Technology, and includes basic research in a wide range of disciplines as well as strong elements of applied science, particularly in biotechnology, energy- and environmental research.

For a student graduated from a program at Biology Education Centre the research conducted in other Science and technology subjects may also be of interest, i.e. Chemistry and Technology, as well as research at other faculties, such as Medicine and Pharmacology. Moreover, SLU (the Swedish Agricultural University) just outside Uppsala has many relevant research activities and offers post-graduate programs that may be of interest.


For more information, please visit the university research education page.

För more information about the postgraduate education in biology, please contact the coordinators of postgraduate education. You will find their contact information on this page: