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Overview Start Autumn Term 2017

  • Location: Zürich and Basel. Lectures can be taken in Zürich and Basel, with University of Basel offering lectures in Basel, University of Zurich offering lectures in Zurich and ETH Zurich offering lectures at the Basel campus as well as Zurich campus. Nearly all the credits can be covered in either of the two cities alone. The student administration and coordinator of studies is based at ETH in Basel (D-BSSE), with one day a week presence in Zurich during the semester. Please note that travel costs for commuting between the two cities cannot be remunerated
  • Joint Master Degree Programme: ETH Zürich, University of Basel, University of Zürich
  • Two-year Master Programme, 120 ECTS, Language: English
  • 12 weeks total lab rotations
  • Option for industrial internship
  • 6 months Master`s Thesis
  • Four core areas: Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Biosystems and Big Data
  • Flexible course selection
  • Mentor-based study Programme
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The structure of the CBB Master aims at an optimal trade-off between the breadth of education and flexibility in specialization according to the student‘s own choices. The programme is developed around three closely interrelated themes:

  1. It provides intensive training in foundational, General methods and concepts that enable one to address the fundamental scientific challenges associated with the increasing need to analyze and design highly complex biological systems. In particular, Theory courses cover methods in computer science and applied mathematics in areas such as modelling, optimization, and data analysis. To enable successful applications of computational biology and bioinformatics approaches, Biology courses complement the quantitative foundations with a wide range of areas of modern biology such as genetics, genomics, stem cell biology, or cancer biology.
  2. The programme’s Core Courses are designed to combine methods and applications in four essential areas of computational biology and bioinformatics: (a) Bioinformatics: analysis of DNA and protein sequences, for example, in comparative genomics and molecular evolution studies; (b) Biophysics: development of models for, and analysis of structures of biomolecules such as proteins; (c) Biosystems: modeling and analysis of biological networks in a systems-oriented view, for example, to elucidate disease mechanisms; and (d) Big Data: data science approaches such as machine learning to integrate and analyze large biological data sets, for example, for personalized medicine applications.
  3. The programme’s flexible, short research projects (Transfer via ‘lab rotations’ or industry internships)  provide a practical overview of different research areas, applying concepts taught in the General and Core courses, and preparing for further specialization through the Master thesis. They also help to train general skills such as interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Master Thesis (30 credit points)

A research project of 6 months duration, including a written report and an oral presentation.

Lab Rotations (18 credits)

Flexible, short research projects (total 12 weeks) providing a practical overview of different research areas and applying concepts taught in the general and core courses. The lab rotations are performed in different research groups or as industry internship.

General Courses (32 credits)

This area encompasses courses in:

  • Theory (18 ECTS)
  • Biology (12 ECTS)
  • Science in Perspective (2 ECTS): enrichment of students’ general education

Core Courses (40 credits)

The are four different core course areas:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Biophysics
  • Biosystems
  • Big Data

At least one course from each of the four core course areas must be attended. Attendance of one mandatory seminar (2 CP).

Courses marked with an asterisk are mutually exclusive courses (students cannot take both marked courses within the same core course area).

Core Course Area Core Course Name Location Univ.
Bioinformatics Computational Biology* Alternating live/stream in BS/ZH & rec. ETH
  Bioinformatics Algorithms* BS UBas
  Principles of Evolution ZH UZH
  Evolutionary Dynamics BS live / ZH stream & rec. ETH
  Evolutionary Genetics BS UBas
Biophysics Molecular and Structural Biology I ZH ETH
  Molecular and Structural Biology II ZH ETH
  Protein Biophysics ZH UZH
  Computational Structural Biology BS UBas
  Molecular Biophysics I BS UBas
Biosystems Computational Systems Biology* ZH ETH
  Synthetic Biology Alternating live/stream in BS/ZH & rec. ETH
  Spatio-Temporal Modelling in Biology ZH & rec. ETH
  Comp. Systems Biology: Stochastic Approaches BS ETH
  Comp. Systems Biology: Deterministic Approaches BS ETH
  Computational Systems Biology* BS UBas
Big Data Data Mining I BS live / ZH stream & rec. ETH
  Data Mining II BS live / ZH stream & rec. ETH
  Functional Genomics ZH UZH
  Statistical Analysis ZH
  Machine Learning* ZH
  Machine Learning* BS UBas
  Statistical Modesl in Computational Biology BS live / ZH stream & rec. ETH
CBB Seminar CBB Seminar BS Autumn Semester / ZH Spring Semester ETH
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