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Dr hab. Irena Horwacik
phone: +48 12 664 63 69
room: 3.0.32 (B139), 1st floor

Molecular Biotechnology is the second-cycle study programme run in English. The programme encompasses 4 semesters of courses and focuses on broadening knowledge of the molecular basis of modern biotechnology with the emphasis on practical uses of this knowledge in, for instance, improving human life and health, in industry or environmental sciences.

The programme offers compulsory courses as well as elective ones. The main block of compulsory courses provided in the first year of studies focuses on obtaining broadened theoretical knowledge and practical skills in molecular biotechnology, genetic engineering, biochemistry, cell biology, medical biotechnology, plant biotechnology, the application of biotechnology in the environment protection as well as in bioinformatics. Another block of compulsory courses in the first year of studies is devoted to the protection of industrial property and copyright laws. In the same year of studies the students attend a course in the English language so that they can learn it at least on the B2+ level as set up by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 

In the second year of studies the students participate in diploma seminars on selected issues in molecular genetics and cell biochemistry. They also learn how to prepare an academic research paper. Moreover, they attend a course on practical and philosophical problems of science. 

The study programme in Molecular Biotechnology emphasizes developing practical skills. During three semesters the student who attends a course in Laboratory Practice in the chosen science team of the Faculty and carries out a research project, develops and broadens his/her array of advanced research techniques and tools used in biochemistry, cell biology, genetic engineering and microbiology. The projects carried out by the students are biotechnological in nature or have well-defined aspects of molecular biotechnology and the results they yield serve as the basis for diploma dissertation. 

The study programme also offers an array of elective course that the students may select throughout their studies depending on their own academic interests. It is worth nothing that some elective courses have also a practical character (laboratory classes) having a decisive biotechnological character, related to, among other things, using different types of virus vectors, production of monoclonal antibodies, methods of producing biofuel, industrial microbiology, stem cells or cell engineering.

  • broadening and increasing knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology and selected fields of biotechnology
  • achieving theoretical basis and practical skills of using advanced research methods and techniques of cell biology, biochemistry, immunochemistry, microbiology and genetic engineering, which are applicable in biotechnology; learning possibilities and limitations of particular methods
  • learning how to proficiently use academic literature on biotechnology and related disciplines
  • learning how to fluently use specialist language of biology and biotechnology in academic conversations and in writing
  • achieving proficiency in English at the B2+ level as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which allows for an effortless academic discussion in English and using English terminology pertaining to biotechnology and related disciplines
  • becoming aware of bioethical problems accompanying the development of  biotechnology as well as of the necessity to be guided by ethical work principles
  • getting into the habit of lifelong learning; learning how to develop professional skills on one’s own, as well as learning teamwork
  • getting ready to enter a doctoral school or take up professional work at research and diagnostic institutions and in biotechnological companies

The duration of the programme: 2 years 
Number of semesters: 4  (year I – winter and summer semester, year II – winter and summer semester)
Language of the Curriculum: English
The number of ECTS points required for graduation: 120
The total number of instruction hours required for graduation: 1553
Professional title granted to the graduates: magister
The programme comprises:

a) compulsory courses (53 ECTS points), including specialization courses and the courses in the humanities and social sciences, two diploma seminars, a foreign language course, practicum in thesis preparation and occupational safety and health training. 
b) elective courses (67 ECTS points), including: Laboratory Practice – part 1, 2 and 3, as well as specialized elective courses. 
The study programme does not include internship. To graduate, the student is required to prepare and submit a thesis and to pass the diploma examination. The student works on his/her thesis under the guidance of the thesis supervisor. 

SEMESTER 1 (winter)

Essential Aspects of Cell Biology, 75 h, 6 ECTS, exam
Genetic Engineering – Practicum, Part 1, 30 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Genetic Engineering – Practicum, Part 2, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Milestones in Biotechnology, 20 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Molecular Biotechnology, 15 h, 1 ECTS, exam
Plant Biology, 55 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Practical Biochemistry, 60 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Intellectual Property, 10 h, 1 ECTS, exam
Foreign language*, 30 h,1 ECTS, assessment
Safety at Work Training, 4 h, assessment
Elective courses, 4 ECTS


*Foreign language Students attend a course in a foreign language that is credited with an exam for two semesters in the 1st year of study and that matches their language skills. They may choose a course in a different foreign language or be exempt from a course in a foreign language as long as they can submit a certificate of the English language skills (following the rules which are in force at the Jagiellonian University). 

SEMESTER 2 (summer)

Biotechnology for the Environment – Ecological Aspects, 20 h, 2 ECTS, exam
Essential Bioinformatics, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions, 15 h, 1 ECTS, exam
Plant Biotechnology I – Laboratory, 50 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Foreign language 30 h, 2 ECTS, exam
Laboratory Practice (Part 1)**, 120 h, 8 ECTS, assessment
Elective courses, 10 ECTS

**Laboratory Practice (part 1,2,3) has a set number of hours (700 hours in total) and ECTS points (45 ECTS in total). The students may choose where to take it (either a Laboratory/Department of the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology or an institution/unit outside the Faculty, as long as they obtain a permission to do so) and the subject of the research project (from among those offered). The courses enable students to acquire more advanced knowledge in selected fields of biotechnology, including the subjects related to the research project carried out as a part of the diploma thesis, to develop and improve the use of selected research methods, to develop and improve planning and executing experiments, as well as to document, examine and present obtained results. 

SEMESTER 3 (winter)

Introduction to Scientific Writing, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Practical and Philosophical Problems of Science, 30 h, 3  ECTS, assessment
Seminar – Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biochemistry (Part 1), 30 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Laboratory Practice (Part 2), 280 h, 17 ECTS, assessment
Elective courses, 5 ECTS

SEMESTER 4 (summer)

Seminar – Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biochemistry (Part 2), 30h 2 ECTS, assessment
Writing of a Diploma Dissertation – Practicum, 30 h, 5 ECTS, assessment
Laboratory Practice (Part 3), 300 h, 20 ECTS, assessment
Elective courses, 3 ECTS

The study programme (including the detailed descrpitions of all courses) is avaiable on Aplikacja Sylabus UJ.

Among elective courses there are specialized courses which the students choose during two years of study, following their own academic interests (22 ECTS points). Among those courses there is also Laboratory Practice (part 1, 2, 3) (45 ECTS).


Advanced Methods of Biology on the Molecular Level, 60 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Animal Models in Contemporary Biology and Biotechnology, 20 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Contemporary Subjects in Cell Biology – Focus on Regenerative Medicine, 30 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Fluorescence and Confocal Microscopy, 45 h, 5 ECTS, assessment
Mechanisms of Cell Trafficking: from Leukocyte Homing to Metastasis, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Mechanisms of Cell Trafficking: from Leucocyte Homing to Metastasis – Seminar, 15 h, 1 ECTS, assessment
Molecular Aspects of Bacterial Pathogenesis, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Phage Displayed Peptide Libraries and Their Application, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Plant Biotechnology II – Advanced Course, 60 h, 5 ECTS, assessment
Plant Photobiology, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Principles and Prospects of Gene Therapy, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Principles of Molecular Bioenergetics, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment Viral Vectors in Medical Biotechnology, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
In Vivo Veritas – Practical Course in Animal Research, 120 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Types of cell death and their biological significance, 15 h, 1 ECTS, assessment


Analysis and Processing of Microscopy Images, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Biotechnological Methods of the Fuels Production, 50 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Biotechnology and Industrial Microbiology – Practical Course, 36h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Cancer – Molecular Aspects of the Disease and its Treatment, 20 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Cell Biomechanics, 35 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Ethical Aspects of Genetic and Cell Manipulations, 15 h, 1 ECTS, assessment
Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress and Us, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Introduction to Medical Biotechnology, 18 h, 2 ECTS, assessment
Introduction to Secondary Metabolites – from Identification to Practical Application, 48 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Introduction to Stem Cell Biology, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Molecular Mechanisms of Angiogenesis, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Molecular Principles of the Biology of Plant Development, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Monoclonal Antibodies – Advanced Course, 70 h, 6 ECTS, assessment
Nuclear Receptors in Gene Regulation and Diseases, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Phytotechnologies – Biological Mechanisms and Applications, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Plant Experimental Biology, 75 h, 4 ECTS, assessment Practicum in Cell Biology, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Programming Python for Bioinformatics, 45 h, 4 ECTS, assessment
Selected Methods of Cell Engineering, 30 h, 3 ECTS, assessment
Types of cell death and their biological significance, 15 h, 1 ECTS, assessment

The student works on his/her thesis under the guidance of the thesis supervisor. The thesis should offer a solution of a given scientific problem and should contain original research results obtained by the student in the field of broadly understood biotechnology. He/she prepares the written thesis following the rules that apply to original academic publications on biology and specified in detail at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology. The student may take the final examination when he/she meets the requirements set in “Regulations for the First-Cycle, Second-Cycle and Long-Cycle Study Programmes”. 

As a part of their laboratory practice students carry out an academic research under the supervision of their academic tutor, which leads to the preparation of diploma dissertation. Guidelines for writing diploma dissertation are available HERE as a PDF file. 
The role of the on-line Jagiellonian University Theses and Dissertations is to help store theses and dissertations in an Internet-base archive. It is available at: Guidelines in English for using AP are available HERE
Students are required to provide the following information at the Secretaries Office for Student Affairs:
  • ultimate dissertation title (in English and Polish) 
  • the name of the dissertation supervisor and its reviewer
  • information on the language the dissertation is written in.
The information mentioned above may be also sent by e-mail by the set deadline (see below) to the address: or The message subject should be: MGR – the first name and the second name.

Set deadlines:

  1. delivering the dissertation title, the name of the supervisor and the reviewer, the language of the dissertation – 3 weeks before the date of the final examination.
  2. filling a form in the AP system with detailed data on the thesis work (including keywords, abstracts),
  3. approval in the AP system of declarations of independence and originality of  thesis
  4. uploading the dissertation in the Jagiellonian University AP system – 2 weeks before the date of the final examination (no later than September 15, 2022),
  5. the supervisor’s approval of the dissertation in the AP system and submitting it to preparation a review or withdrawing the thesis for review - 2 weeks before  the date of the final examination (by 30/09/2022 at the latest),
  6. uploading reviews by the supervisor and the reviewer in the AP system – 1 week before the date of the final examination.

Only students whose theses are approved by the supervisor and reviewed by the reviewer (theses which in the AP system are flagged as “5 – dissertation ready for defense”) can take the final examination.

Students are asked to report to the Secretaries Office for Student Affairs to set the final date of the final examination. 

Before taking the final examination the student should earn the required number of ECTS points, including

  • obligatory courses
  • elective courses
  • specialist/diploma seminars
  • specialist laboratory practice
  • writing of a diploma dissertation – practicum.

A week before the date of the final examination students should submit to the Secretaries Office for Student Affairs:

  • A study card, verified and signed by the student.
  • A request to issue diploma and diploma transcript (the form is available HERE).
  • Optionally, information for the diploma transcript (see below).
  • Each student who has benefited from the form of support (i.e. participated in courses with codes starting with "zin", regardless of whether the course was linked to the program or stage of study, is required to submit the document available HERE.

The documents required to admit the student to the diploma examination are specified in the Regulation No. 3 of the Rector of the Jagiellonian University of January 11, 2021 on: documents required to admit the student to the diploma examination.

After obtaining the supervisor's approval, the student is obliged to submit to the organizational unit of the Jagiellonian University conducting the course of study data on the diploma thesis, the name of the promoter and reviewer at least three weeks before the planned date of the diploma examination, but not later than on September 1 of the last academic year within the course of studies (Regulation No. 83 of the Rector of the Jagiellonian University of 28 July 2020).

Those graduates who wish to include additional information on their achievements accomplished during their studies should send a list of achievements by e-mail (as an editable file) to the address: or In the subject field please write: TRANSCRIPT INFO – first and second name.

Additionally, all relevant, printed documents that confirm the achievements should be submitted at the Secretaries Office in a string folder. Sample information that can be included in the diploma transcript include:
  • academic activities – i) publications (must include the name(s) of coauthor(s) and the place of publication), ii) posters (must include the name(s) of coauthor(s) and the place and date of presentation, iii) conferences (title, place, date).
  • earned awards and honorable mentions
  • earned academic scholarships (university, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Erasmus and the like)
  • offices held in student self-governing bodies
  • activities carried out at student academic societies
  • sport activities – as a member of the Jagiellonian University team or of other teams
  • cultural activities – theatre, fine arts, choir, folk art, music, etc.
  • other activities.
Finally, a kind request expressed by the Secretaries Office for Student Affairs – we would really appreciate it if you submitted ALL required documents with us!

An integral part of the final examination is the presentation of the diploma dissertation. Faculty criteria set for the evaluation of presentation as an integral part of the final examination:

  • presentation duration should be no longer that 10 minutes
  • presentation is evaluated according to the following criteria: i) a clear exposition of  the dissertation objectives and conclusions; ii) an ability to present methods and a larger research context (existing literature, the history of the problem, etc.); iii) a skillful analysis of the results accompanied by relevant conclusions; iv) the quality of the language used and visual aspects of presentation; v) the duration of presentation delivery
  • the final grade is decided by the examination board in a “closed” sitting during the examination.
The principles of computing and setting grades in the final examination record (following the Jagiellonian University bylaws):
  • study grade average
  • diploma dissertation grade (based on the review grades): mean average rounded up according to the grade scale (for instance, the supervisor’s grade: 4.5; the reviewer’s grade: 5, mean average: 4.75, grade set in the record: 5)
  • examination grade (presentation and the student’s responses).
The final study grade (to be set in the diploma) results from the weighted average computed in the following way:
  • study average grade x 4/8 weight
  • diploma dissertation grade x 3/8 weight
  • final examination grade x 1/8 weight.
The total study grade is rounded to two decimal places. In the graduation diploma the grade is set according to the grade scale in force:
  • 4.51-5.00 – very good
  • 4.21-4.50 – good plus
  • 3.71-4.20 – good
  • 3.21-3.70 – satisfactory plus
  • up to 3.20 – satisfactory.
Requirements for graduation magna cum laude
  • study average – minimum 4.5
  • final examination grade – 5.0
  • diploma dissertation grade – 5.0.

The ceremony of bestowing diplomas on the current graduates from the programmes of Molecular Biotechnology will take place in 30 June 2022 at 3 pm in auditorium of the Teaching and Library Complex (Gronostajowa 7 street, room P01.1).