Degree Programme Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology - Students hold their lab glasses

Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology master degree programme

Looking for an internationally respected master programme that will open up exciting career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and research? Potential employers hold our Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology programme in high regard thanks its broad curriculum.

On the master programme you enhance your methods-based and problem-solving competencies, putting you in a position to overcome the challenges associated with developing and producing innovative treatments for cancer, autoimmune conditions and neurodegenerative diseases. You use cutting-edge and interdisciplinary methods, such as culturing “mini tumours” to help predict the effects of cancer treatments.

The degree programme

Our four-semester, English-language Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology master degree programme is designed to provide you with extensive medical biotechnology knowledge and expertise in biotech product development and manufacturing.

An interdisciplinary approach is the key to success in biotechnology. To this end, you build on your knowledge of natural sciences, medical and engineering aspects. You also enhance your understanding of quality assurance frameworks, as well as learning how to combine knowledge from all of these disciplines.

The curriculum also features current trends and the latest developments: for instance, you use cutting-edge technologies, such as shotgun proteomics, to carry out a computerised bioinformatic analysis of all of a cell’s proteins under normal and pathological conditions.

Lecturers from European universities, international speakers from the pharmaceutical industry and plenty of lab work ensure that the programme has a strong practical focus and is aligned with the requirements of industry. When you graduate, you can choose from a wide range of career paths – the international nature of the programme opens up opportunities in the domestic and international job markets.

A particularly attractive option is the double degree we offer in conjunction with the Linköping University in Sweden. Besides obtaining a master of science at IMC Krems, you will also be accredited with completing the Experimental and Medical Biosciences programme at our partner institution.

" After completing your degree, you will be able start building a career in the international biotechnology industry or on a doctoral programme. "

Programme director Harald Hundsberger

A formula for success: theoretical knowledge + practical experience

The programme is built on three pillars.

  1. 1

    1. Advanced courses

    Semesters 1-2

    While the Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology bachelor programme has a strong focus on the natural sciences, on the master programme the emphasis shifts to the methods-based and problem-solving skills required in the field.

    In the first two semesters, you build on the knowledge you acquired on our bachelor degree or another related programme. Modules include Health, Disease and Therapeutical Strategies, Process Design, Bioprocess Technology and Analytical Methods in Life Sciences. You also start preparing for your research semester in semester 2.

    On top of this, the Institute of Biotechnology hosts its annual Life Science Meeting, which is designed to be a very broad-based scientific conference. There’s always an exciting international atmosphere at this event, where you’ll benefit from the insights of globally respected scientists from research and industry. The programme also features presentations by our students and graduates.

  2. 2

    2. The electives

    Semesters 1-4

    Right from the first semester you have the opportunity to tailor your degree according to your specific interests. You select one of two electives: Bioprocess Engineering or Advanced Therapeutics Development.

    Both of these will give you an overview of the current research landscape: you learn about numerous research projects connected to your specialism and the Institute of Biotechnology’s research focuses.

    This is a fantastic opportunity to become an expert in your chosen field: the elective you select will help give your professional profile a sharper focus. Ideally, in the next semester you will choose a research topic and internship placement linked to your specialism.

  3. 3

    3. The research semester

    Semester 4

    The Applied Research Semester (ARTS) is a core element of the master programme. You spend at least 22 weeks at a respected biotechnology company or research facility in Austria or abroad. Examples include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States or Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The focus of your work will be a project that forms the basis for your master thesis.

    The research semester is timetabled for the final semester so you can draw on all the knowledge you have acquired across the full range of disciplines. This also gives you maximum flexibility in terms of completing your thesis – you’re able plan according to the requirements of the project.

    After your research semester, you only have to return to university to take your final master examination. So if you’re offered a permanent job or a Ph.D. position by your internship provider, this means there’ll be nothing standing in your way.


What can you expect from your studies? The curriculum provides an overview.

Click on the individual courses for further information.

  1. CourseSWSECTS
    Health, Disease and Therapeutical Strategies
    Immunology 23
    Hallmarks of Cancer 11
    Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing 11
    Developmental Biology 11
    Bioethics 11
    Process Design
    Equipment and Production Design 23
    Standardization 12
    Biomedical Regulatiuons
    Legislation for Drugs and Medical Devices 23
    Bioprocess Technology
    Upstream and Downstream Processing
    Upstream Processing 12
    Downstream Processing 12
    Recombinant Protein Production - Theory 23
    Recombinant Protein Production - Laboratory 44
    Research Project in Industry and Master Thesis
    Research Project - Preparation 11
    Focal Subject - Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Process Control and Process Online Monitoring 23
    Focal Subject - Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Drug Discovery Systems 23
  2. CourseSWSECTS
    Integrative Methods in Biotechnology
    Biostatistics and Trend Analysis 12
    Systems Biology 11
    Structural Bioinformatics and Drug Design 22
    Analytical Methods in Life Science
    Bioanalytics Laboratory 23
    Personalized Medicine Laboratory 23
    Analytical Methods in Biomedicine 23
    Fundamentals in Pharmaceutical Sciences
    Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics 23
    Quality Management and Regulations in Biotechnology
    GLP, GMP and Risk Assessment
    GLP and GMP Regulations 11
    Risk Assessment 11
    Quality Management Systems 11
    Pharmaceutical Project Management
    Project and Portfolio Management 11
    Clinical Studies and GCP 11
    Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences 22
    Focal Subject - Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Fermentation and Scale Up - Scale Down Techniques
    Fermentation of Complex Host Systems 11
    Scale Up - Scale Down Techniques 12
    Fermentation Technology - Laboratory I 23
    Focal Subject - Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Advanced Therapeutic Developement Laboratory I 23
    Pathophysiology and Molecular Therapies 23
  3. CourseSWSECTS
    Focal Subject - Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Equipment Test and Process Validation 24
    Fermentation Technology - Laboratory II 511
    Focal Subject - Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Stem Cells, Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine 13
    Immunology Based Therapies 11
    Advanced Therapeutic Developement Laboratory II 511
    Research Project in Industry and Master Thesis
    Master Thesis - Part I 14
    Master Thesis - Coaching Seminar I 11
    Research Project 110
  4. CourseSWSECTS
    Focal Subject - Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Elective 1: Bioprocess Engineering
    Current Issues in Bioprocess Engineering 12
    Focal Subject - Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Elective 2: Advanced Therapeutics Development
    Current Issues in Advanced Therapeutic Developement 12
    Research Project in Industry and Master Thesis
    Master Thesis - Part II 118
    Master Thesis - Coaching Seminar II 16
    Master Exam 04


Choose your own focus areas: you select one of two electives on the master programme.

Bioprocess Engineering

This elective prepares you for work in the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

Today, these products are frequently produced using biopharmaceutical techniques, by means of fermentation in large bioreactors. This requires genetically modified microorganisms, which are cultured in very high cell densities to manufacture the desired product. Such products range from medicines to ingredients for nutritional supplements, as well as substances like bioethanol.

If you take this elective, you will gain detailed insights into bioprocess engineering, process automation, and especially fermentation. This expertise will give you the skills required to take on positions at all types of biotech company – large pharmaceutical businesses as well as small start-ups specialising in innovative products such as nutraceuticals. You’ll be able to contribute in a wide range of areas encompassing the development, testing and large-scale manufacturing of brand new substances.

In the bioprocess engineering lectures and practicals you’ll use cutting-edge analytical techniques, ranging from simple online methods – which you’ll also evaluate – through to liquid LC-MS for proteomics work.

Advanced Therapeutics Development

This elective takes an in-depth look at research into active ingredients and their mechanisms. It lays the foundations for a PhD in a related area or a job in an R&D department in the biotech industry.

Medical biotechnology has seen some major breakthroughs in recent years, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1) for the treatment of advanced melanomas. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules are currently being tested for use in potential treatments for cancers and viral diseases, which are expected to come on to the market in the next few years.

High-throughput technologies in areas such as next-generation sequencing (NGS), mass spectrometry and imaging are becoming increasingly important in the development of new treatments. This means there is going to be an ever greater focus on linking together large data sets, and integrating the clinical results of treatment.

The Advanced Therapeutic Development elective module gives you a solid grounding in these areas. This is reinforced with a lab-based course linked to the elective, in which you reproduce the early stages of the drug development process. A journal club on topical biotechnology questions rounds out the programme.

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Career paths

As a graduate of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology master programme you will be especially well placed to assume positions at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies or medical research institutes.

You can also opt to take a PhD at a university in Austria or abroad. We have PhD cooperation agreements with Danube University Krems and the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. These agreements ensure that admission to the PhD programmes at these institutions is a straightforward process.

  • The professional areas open to graduates include:
  • R&D responsibilities in research and industry
  • clinical trials and drug approval
  • planning and management of biotechnological processes (fermentation)
  • biomedical and analytical testing procedures
  • coordination responsibilities in production, quality control, quality assurance and approval
  • marketing and sales
  • medical engineering
  • food technology and food safety
  • industrial and environmental biotechnology
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Our team

Get to know the core team of our master degree programme Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

  • Prof.(FH) Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Harald Hundsberger | Head of Institute Biotechnology / Programme Director Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology - IMC Fachhochschule Krems
    Prof.(FH) Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Harald Hundsberger
    Head of Institute Biotechnology / Programme Director Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

    Head of Institute Biotechnology / Programme Director Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

    Prof.(FH) Priv.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Harald Hundsberger

    Core Competencies
    • Recombinant Protein Expression, Cell Culture Models, Peptide Engineering,
    • Instrument Development
    • Recombinant Protein Expression, Cell Culture Models, Peptide Engineering,
  • Hon.Prof.(FH) Mag. Alfred Siedl
    Professor Department of Business
  • Prof.(FH) Priv. Doz. Mag. Dr. Andreas Eger
    Head of Research Institute Krems Bioanalytics / Professor Department...
  • Prof.(FH) Mag. Dr. Christoph Wiesner
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Dr.rer.nat.techn. Georg Sixta
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) DI Dominik Schild
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) Mag. Dana Mezricky
    Professorin Department of Life Sciences
  • DI (FH) Anita Koppensteiner
    Research Assistant / Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) Priv.Doz. Dr. Reinhard Klein
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) Dr. Christian Klein
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) DI Bernhard Klausgraber
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Prof.(FH) Dr. Barbara Entler
    Professor Department of Life Sciences
  • Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Franz Herzog
    Endowed Professor/Head Mass Spectrometry / Institute Krems...

Application and admissions – the next steps

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  1. 1

    Admission requirements

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  2. 2

    Admissions procedure

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  3. 3

    Important dates and deadlines

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  4. 4

    Apply online

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  5. 5

    Study-relevant dates

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