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Admissions

Moksleiviams

Biochemistry

Biochemists of Vilnius University are auspiced by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Initially prospective biochemists join the Faculty of Chemistry to study by a biochemistry programme.

What Career Opportunities are Available to Biochemists in Lithuania?

  • Scientist: in research institutes and centers;
  • Scientist and a professor: in universities;
  • Specialist, manager: in biotechnology companies;
  • Specialist: in medical and biological laboratories;
  • Manager: in high-tech equipment business sectors.

After graduation, students may continue their careers in the Institute of Biochemistry (VU), Institute of Biotechnology (VU), National Cancer Institute (VU), Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, “Thermo Fisher Scientific”, “Biotechpharma”, Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, National Veterinary Laboratory and others.

How Much Do Biochemists Earn in Lithuania?

From 1 800 to 30 000 LTL a month.

“Future Profession” – Biochemist

Here we present you a video of a Lithuanian show “Ateities profesija (Future Profession)”. This episode reviews the profession of a biochemist:

I Cycle (BSc)

General Information

The duration of studies is 4 years which is equivalent to 240 ECTS credits. Graduates acquire a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry.

More information on I cycle studies is also available on VU website Vilnius University Invites.

Subject List

General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, General Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Lithuanian-Language Culture, Foreign Language, Biochemistry, Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry, Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Quantum Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Stereochemistry of Biomolecules, Physiology, Physical Chemistry and Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Introduction to Philosophy, Management, Psychology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Genetic Engineering and others.

Admission Score Structure

Final Exams Weighing Factors Grade Point Average Weighing Factors
Chemistry 0,4 Foreign Language 0,2
Mathematics 0,2
Lithuanian Language 0,2

Molecular Biology

Molecular biology is a comparatively young science, but its story strikes us with discoveries. It lead to scientific expertise and biotechnologies that made a huge impact on our lives. In 1953, structure of the basic life molecule – DNA was determined marking the beginning of molecular biology. One of the discoverers of the structure of DNA – F. Crick said: “[…] without understanding molecules we can only have a very sketchy understanding of life.”

What Does a Molecular Biologist Do?

Molecular biologists explore the processes of life at the molecular level: they investigate how biological information, encoded in DNA, is expressed in a cell by tens of thousands of biological molecules, such as proteins and RNA. Scientists study the molecular structure and interactions of these molecules, what molecular machines and cell structures they compose, what biological processes are run and influenced by them and what are their functions. Molecular biologists are interested in processes that occur in viruses, bacteria, eucaryotic cells and organisms. Being faced with a huge variety of biological objects, makes it crucial for scientists to understand their properties, structure and diversity. By getting to know the secrets of biological molecules, molecular biologists can apply their expertise to create new “molecular tools”, technologies and medicine. For example, discovering how DNA biosynthesis is carried out by the enzyme DNA polymerase, resulted in the invention of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of which every schoolchild is aware today and which is essential to modern molecular biology, genetic engineering, biotechnology and many other areas.

What is the Difference Between Molecular Biology and Biochemistry?

Biochemistry explores the chemical reactions that occur in living systems. Therefore, biochemists are usually great experts in chemistry. Intracellular chemical reactions involves biological molecules, such as enzymes which are biological catalysts. Molecular biologists are more concerned about the molecular structure of those molecules, their interactions with other molecules and their location in the cell. In general, biochemistry and molecular biology has a lot in common.

How Molecular Biology Differs from Biology?

Biology explores biological species, their diversity and evolution. Increasing knowledge of molecular biology and its applications penetrates biology: today the identity of species can be precisely determined by methods of molecular biology. Several decades ago, this was completely unthinkable.

Prospects for Further Education and Career Opportunities

After completing undergraduate studies, molecular biologists can continue their studies in molecular biology or other biomedical field (e. g. biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, biology, medicine) by undertaking a Master (graduate) programme at Vilnius University. As an alternative, students may choose other local or foreign universities. Those wishing to become a scientist are welcome to undertake PhD studies in our country or foreign universities. Molecular biologists work in various public and private institutions (biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies, biomedical facilities, diagnostic laboratories, food industry, environmental protection, public health, agriculture and veterinary services), where expertise in molecular biology is applied to create and develop innovative technologies.

Why is it Worth to Become a Molecular Biologist?

The biggest challenge of the 21st century for molecular biologists is to identify all the molecular processes occurring in cells of different organisms. You can definitely be the one of those to accept this challenge by choosing undergraduate and afterwards – postgraduate studies in molecular biology at Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vilnius University. We are looking forward to meeting new “Molecules” (so jokingly called molecular biology students) to present them with fascinating lectures, practical work and research in science labs, enjoyable leisure, and great post-graduation career opportunities in rapidly growing biotechnology, biopharmaceutical companies, biomedical institutions and other arising science hubs in country’s science and technology valleys.

I Cycle (BSc)

General Information

Number of accepted students in 2012 – up to 35. The duration of studies is 4 years which is equivalent to 240 ECTS credits. Graduates acquire a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology.

More information on I cycle studies is also available on VU website Vilnius University Invites.

Aims

The Bachelor degree programme in Molecular Biology is designed to provide students with basic knowledge and skills in life sciences with the emphasis on molecular biology, which would create basis for their succesful carrier in bioscience-related areas. The aims of the Molecular Biology Bachelor Programme are:

  • to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to explain the structure and functions of biological processes in living systems;
  • to develop practical skills to perform molecular biology laboratory procedures, to work with standard biomedical science equipment, apply methods of bioinformatics;
  • to develop ability critically evaluate information in the area of molecular biology and related sciences, solve problems of familiar and unfamiliar nature, analyse ovel problems and plan their solution strategies;
  • to acquire skills to communicate effectively, to work individually and in a team, organize and plan their time, study and continuously develop their professionalism and general literacy.

Subject List

Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Immunology, Fundamentls of Genetics, Biochemistry, Enzymology, Bioorganic Chemistry, Bioinformatics and others.

Final Exams Weighing Factors Grade Point Average Weighing Factors
Biology 0,4 Mathematics or Chemistry 0,2
Chemistry of Mathematics 0,2
Lithuanian Language 0,2

Syllabus of the First Cycle Molecular Biology Study Programme*

Abbreviations: C– credits, L– lectures, S – seminars, E – exercises, LW – laboratory work, T – tutorials, SS – self-study hours, GUE – general university education course. * I-VIII semester – for 2013 admission; IV-VIII semester – for 2012 admission.

I semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main Subjects
General and Physical Chemistry
7
60
22
26
4
100
Exam
General Zoology
5
32
32
40
Exam
Organic Chemistry
6
48
16
16
8
74
Exam
Linear Algebra and Geometry
5
32
32
40
Exam
Introduction to Studies
3
32
48
Exam
English I
5
64
70
Exam
Total:
31

II semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main Subjects
Bioorganic Chemistry
5
64
6
60
Exam
Mathematical Analysis and Differential Equations
5
32
32
40
Exam
Physics
9
48
32
32
130
Exam
Botany and Mycology
5
32
32
76
Exam
English II
5
64
70
Exam
Total:
29

III semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main Subjects
Biochemistry
9
64
48
8
120
Exam
Human and Animal Physiology
7
64
32
90
Exam
Structural Cell Biology
5
32
32
70
Exam
Probability Theory and Mathematical Statistics
5
32
32
3
74
Exam
Biology Practice
5
6
36
78*
20
Exam
Total:
31

*Praktika

IV semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main Subjects
Bioinformatics
5
32
32
70
Exam
Functional Cell Biology
5
32
32
70
Exam
Molecular Biology I
5
32
48
53
Exam
Fundamentals of Genetics
9
64
48
128
Exam
GUE (selected from a dedicated list)
5
32
16
85
Exam
Total:
29

V semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main
25
Physical and Chemical Methods in Biology
5
32
32
70
Exam
Molecular Biology II
7
32
16
48
90
Exam
Genetic Engineering
5
32
32
70
Exam
General Ecology
3
32
16
32
Exam
GUE (selected from a dedicated list)
5
32
16
85
Exam
Elective
4
Bioenergetics
4
48
75
Exam
Biophysical Chemistry of Proteins
4
48
75
Exam
Total:
29

VI semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main
26
Biostatistics
5
48
16
Exam
Enzymology
5
32
32
Exam
Microbiology
7
64
48
Exam
Developmental Biology
5
32
32
Exam
Course Project
4
6
100
Exam
Elective
5
Plant Physiology
5
32
32
Exam
Neurobiology
5
32
32
Exam
Total:
31

VII semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
L S E LW T SS
Main Subjects
Biotechnology
5
48
32
Exam
Molecular Evolution
5
32
32
Exam
Immunology
5
32
48
Exam
Practise I
10
10
257
Exam
GUE (selected from a dedicated list)
5
32
16
85
Exam
Total:
30

VIII semester

Subject C Total Student’s Work Load (Hours) Assessment
P S PR LD KN SD
Main Subjects
Practise II
10
20
240
Exam
Bachelor Thesis
20
40
500
Defense
Total:
30

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