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A two-year theoretical and practical programme of studies in biochemistry at the Faculty of Physical Sciences, School of Engineering and Natural Sciences of the University of Iceland. The programme provides 120 ECTS units of credit and qualifies for the degree of magister scientiarum, MS. The entrance requirements are a BS degree in biochemistry or a comparable qualification, usually completed with the marks 6.5 or higher.
The scope of the research project shall be 60 or 90 ECTS. The MS degree provides access to third cycle doctorate studies.
Type of knowledge
The student possesses significant understanding of problems and subjects, based on the most recent information and research in the field of biochemistry.
The student has acquired knowledge by attending courses and carrying out research in a specific area of biochemistry.
Knowledge ability and skills
On completion of the masters degree the student should have fulfilled the following criteria in addition to those fulfilled at the former level:
1. Knowledge and understanding
1.1. The student has broadened and deepened his knowledge of a selected subject area within biochemistry and has acquired systematic understanding of the most recent knowledge within that area and the research methods used.
1.2. The student has acquired deeper knowledge of the application of bioscience in his area of expertise.
1.3. The student has knowledge of the most common instruments of bioinformatics which are relevant to his field of study.
1.4. The student is able to use his knowledge and understanding in a professional manner within his field of expertise.
1.5. The student has acquired the ability to reason and substantiate is opinions about his research work and its relevance to basic knowledge in the field of study.
1.6. The student has acquired the ability to provide a written review of research relevant to his field of study.
2. Practical ability and skills
2.1. The student is able to design, organize, develop and execute experiments in the laboratory bearing in mind the technical, logistical, safety and ethical considerations.
2.2. The student is able to write a research plan or a grant application.
2.3. The student can assemble and develop appropriate biochemical methods for the purpose of answering research questions within his area of expertise.
2.4. The student is able to describe and explain the basis and limitations of the methods most commonly used in biochemical research.
2.5. The student is capable of efficiently using all common laboratory instruments used in biochemical research.
2.6. The student is able to work in a team with others and can contribute to the organization and execution of biochemical research.
2.7. The student has demonstrated his ability to keep efficient records of research data.
2.8. The student is able to use statistical methods as appropriate to his research.
2.9. The student has demonstrated an ability to provide a written overview of research concerning his field of knowledge.
2.10. The student is able to write scientific abstracts, articles and reports
3. Theoretical skills
3.1. The student can in an independent and professional manner define a research topic, formulate research questions and hypotheses.
3.2. The student is able to formulate new hypotheses concerning his own research topic.
3.3. The student can independently assess which methods are appropriate as well as an approach to the analysis and investigation of problems.
3.4. The student is able to define and describe what is involved in well organized and executed experiments.
3.5. The student is able to make use of appropriate means of data handling, including the use of appropriate software.
3.6. The student has increased and deepened his understanding and acquired a wider view of his field of knowledge than that acquired at the previous level of study.
4. Communication skills and information literacy
4.1. The student is able to organize his work and time, meet reporting targets, work professionally with superiors, peers and assistants, organize his career, write a CV and is aware of his options as regards work and research.
4.2. The student demonstrates an ability to use information technology, including the use of databases, word processing, spreadsheets, statistical software and web page design and can make use of web-based and other sources of information.
4.3. The student can apply numerical and statistical analysis in the scrutinization of research data and can describe and explain the statistical methods relevant to biochemistry.
4.4. The student is able to discuss science in a commercial context, understands the nature and function of small and medium sized enterprises, multidisciplinary research, ways of applying research licensing, the establishment of start-up companies, the assessment of market potential and the financing and areas of emphasis in research and development.
4.5. The student is able to initiate research and development projects within his field of expertise, to direct such projects and be responsible for the work of individuals and groups.
5. Learning skills
5.1. The student has acquired such learning skills and independence as to be able to undertake further studies, maintain his knowledge and add to it. He is ready to begin studies towards the doctorate at third cycle level.