portal for Physics and Astronomy at Lund University

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Biological physics and computational biology

Why should a physicist study biology? As a matter of fact, they already have for quite some time. Many famous physicists, such as Richard Feynman, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, Max Delbrück and Erwin Schrödinger to name a few, had profound interests in biological problems and some made substantial progress to specific fields such as molecular biology.

Biology is increasingly becoming a quantitative science and has a range of fundamentally unresolved problems at hand, e.g. how biomolecules adopt their specific shape, how they interact in cells and how cells divide and communicate. The methods of theoretical physics, among others statistical methods, modeling and simulation, can provide a powerful toolbox for approaching many of these problems.

The Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics offers a programme in biological physics and computational biology, which combines a solid base of courses in theoretical and mathematical physics with courses in other subjects given at the relevant departments, such as physics, chemistry and biology.

As a Master's student you will become part of a vibrant research community at the Computational Biology and Biological Physics division, engaged in cutting-edge theoretical studies of biological problems. The programme includes a Master's project carried out within one of the research groups.


During the second year you will carry out a Master's degree project corresponding to 30 ECTS. In some cases a project of 60 ECTS is also possible.

Career prospects

A Master of Science in biological physics and computational biology will give you opportunities to pursue a wide variety of careers. Whereas some students go on to do a PhD in theoretical physics or computational biology, it is also possible to find suitable careers outside academia, for example in the fields of information and communication technology or biotechnology, where advanced programming and modelling is sought after.

In addition, the upcoming MAX IV and ESS laboratories in Lund will give new opportunities for graduates with a degree in biological physics and computational biology.