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Biology and Biosciences

Degree: Bachelor of Science
Application: yes
Course commences: winter semester only
Standard course duration: 6 semesters
Focus options: 100%; 50% (with Teaching Degree option)
Language requirements: none
Language of instruction: German and English


 Faculty of Biosciences


Note for prospective students interested in coming to Heidelberg University to take the Teaching Degree course qualifying its graduates to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany:

In accordance with the statutory provisions laid down by the State of Baden-Württemberg, students wishing to embark as of winter semester 2015/2016 on a Teaching Degree qualifying them to teach at higher secondary (grammar) schools (Gymnasien) in Germany can only do so by enrolling in two-tier courses with a Bachelor/Master structure (polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor programme with a Teaching Degree option; Master of Education course scheduled to start in winter semester 2018/2019).

As of winter semester 2015/2016, the subject described on this page can be studied in a polyvalent two-subject (50%) Bachelor course with a Teaching Degree option. It has to be combined with another 50% subject of relevance for secondary-school education.

For more information, go to

Note for students already enrolled in a Teaching Degree course in the framework of the Examination Regulations for Teachers at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO I):

In the winter semester 2015/2016 and later, students enrolled by 31 July 2015 in a Teaching Degree course regulated by the provisions of GymPO I (2009) are entitled to switch to a different main subject under the conditions set out in said GymPO provided that the change is in accordance with the statutory provisions.

In this case, the following transitional regulations apply:

For more information, go to

Course outline

Research and teaching in Biology investigate the interrelated systems of the biosphere. These include inter-reactions between different organisms and between organisms and the environment; the diversity of organisms, their structure, growth and functions; and the functions of cells and their components. All parts are related to one another and interdependent. This is all controlled and regulated by the genetic information in the DNA and its inter-reactions with proteins and other cell components. Genetic engineering makes it possible to understand the functioning of genes and proteins and to give organisms new properties by means of recombination. Of all the natural sciences, Biology is the one that has the greatest impact on human life and is thus one of the absolutely essential areas for scientific study.

While all these issues are fully dealt with in Heidelberg at the research and teaching levels, there is a slight bias towards molecular biology at the University. The professors and lecturers teaching Biosciences are not only members of the institutes of the Faculty (Neurology, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology (IPMB)) but are also associated with other institutions active in Heidelberg: the Centre for Organismal Studies Heidelberg (COS), the Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH), the Biochemistry Centre (BZH), Bioquant, the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, the Institute of Scientific Computing (IWR) and the Institute of Human Genetics. With some 100 scientific research groups, Heidelberg has the largest molecular biology complex in Germany and one of the largest in the world. For the scope and quality of the research done here, Heidelberg is both nationally and internationally renowned and offers its students a uniquely challenging degree programme. The scientific status of the institutions in the city and its environs has prompted numerous firms operating in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries to engage in a variety of collaborative projects with them. Other offshoots are the extensive Technology Park on the University’s Neuenheimer Feld campus and the establishment of the Rhine-Neckar Triangle Bio-Region.

Course structure

In the biology sector, the Faculty of Biosciences at present offers three courses leading to different degrees:

The B.Sc. course in Biosciences leads to an initial degree and represents a first-class basis for ongoing national and international M.Sc. or PhD programmes in Biology, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology or related subjects. The Bachelor course in Biology 50% with Teaching Degree option prepares for the Master of Education.

The international M.Sc. programme in Molecular Biosciences opens the door to further academic training at a more focused and specialised level (so-called “majors”).

Click here for more information.

Both the first part of the Teaching Degree (Staatsexamen) and the entire B.Sc. programme are modular. Credit points (CP) in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) are awarded for successful completion of the modules. Classes of different kinds are grouped into modules and examinations on the subject matter contained in these modules are integrated into the course. The intermediate examinations of the Teaching Degree and the B.Sc. examination no longer consist of specific tests. Instead, the grades are calculated in accordance with student exam performance in the individual modules. Accordingly, careful preparation for every examination is essential.

Students of the Biosciences are expected to have a sound knowledge of the related subjects Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Today, it is impossible to graduate in the Biosciences without such knowledge, let alone carve out a career for oneself in this sector. Also important is adequate knowledge of English, so as to understand international literature on the subject and communicate with international biologists. First-year students given less of a grounding in these subjects at school are strongly recommended to remedy such deficiencies as they may have in the early stages of the course.

Formal requirements


B.Sc. and Teaching Degree (Staatsexamen)

Access to the course is restricted (NC = numerus clausus). Click here for the current Selection Regulations. Applications are required not only for entrance to the course but also for higher semesters. Biology as a Teaching Degree (Staatsexamen) is due to expire. As of winter semester 2015/16 no more students will be admitted to this course.

Application and matriculation occur online.

Supplementary examination Teaching Degree (Staatsexamen)

No application is necessary to study Biology as a supplementary subject in the Teaching Degree. Students can embark on this supplementary subject in both main subjects by producing evidence of having passed at least the Orientation Examination.

Ausländische Studienbewerber

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2). International applicants can participate in a preparatory course lasting one semester and taking place in the summer term prior to the start of the course proper.

Subject combinations

The B.Sc. and M.Sc. programmes are one-subject courses (100%). Combinations with other subjects are not possible. The planned B.Sc. course in Biology will be a two-subject course.

Study and examination regulations

Examination and study regulations B.Sc. Biology (4 August 2015)
Examination and study regulations B.Sc. Biosciences (10 April 2014)
Intermediate exam regulations for Teaching Degrees (29 April 2010, in acc. with GymPO)
Examination and study regulations for Teaching Degree courses qualifying graduates to teach at grammar schools – general part (29 April 2010)
Intermediate examination regulations: Teaching Degree (23 March 2002, in acc. with WPO)
Intermediate examination and study regulations of Heidelberg University for the Teaching Degree course in Biology – special part (29 April 2010, amended 28 November 2014)

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook (B.Sc. Biology).
Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook (B.Sc. Biosciences).

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


Tuition fees at Heidelberg University are payable at the beginning of each semester.

M.Sc. course

Heidelberg University offers a consecutive M.Sc. course in Molecular Biosciences.



Academic advisor

Bachelor, Master:

Dr. Andrea Wolk
Im Neuenheimer Feld 234, Office 515
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-12 am
phone: +49 (0)6221 545640

Teaching Degree:

Prof. Dr. Claudia Erbar
Wednesdays 11-12 am (outside term time by appointment only)
phone: +49 (0)6221 544629
Im Neuenheimer Feld 345, Office 212




Faculty of Biosciences

Student representation

Editor:: Email
Latest Revision: 2018-07-10
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