Postgraduate programs


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M.Sc. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 

This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of biochemical processes at cellular and molecular level as well knowledge of key techniques in biochemistry & molecular biology and their applications in medicine and industry. It also aims to provide training in core transferable skills that are fundamental to all biological disciplines. The course has a strong practical foundation and will provide hands-on experience in core laboratory techniques as well as a solid training in research.

Course details

Course structure and content:

This is a two year full time course. The first year, which is conducted in three terms is structured around lectures, laboratory practicals, seminars and a library project.  Conducting an independent research project and reporting on it will comprise an integral part of the second year of the program.

The course content includes lectures based on the following topics  

Water, pH and buffers, Biomolecules, Cell membranes and transport, Cytoskeleton & extracellular matrix, Bioenergetics, Techniques in Biochemistry, Enzymology, Vitamins and minerals, Genome organization & gene Expression, DNA replication, damage repair and mutation, Endocrinology, metabolism, Molecular biology techniques and applications, Clinical chemistry & Molecular biology in Diagnostics and quality control.

There will additionally be lectures on special topics such as statistics and bioinformatics that will be useful for research, as well as advanced special interest topics

Laboratory Practicals:

  • Introduction to biochemical laboratory science
  • pH and buffers
  • Carbohydrates proteins and lipids 
  • Protein purification and enzyme kinetics
  • Chromatograpic techniquies
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • DNA isolation and quantification
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis
  • PCR
  • Restriction enzyme digestions & RFLP analysis
  • Growth and storage of bacterial cultures
  • Preparation of competent cells and transformation

Independent research projects

Individual research projects in biochemistry / molecular biology conducted under the supervision of one or more academic staff members provide an excellent opportunity for development of core transferable skills. Students will plan and even design aspects of their projects with their supervisors, conduct experiments, and report on it. Results of projects are frequently presented at conferences and may also lead to the publication of research papers in scientific journals.

 {Publications resulting from past M.Sc. projects}


Written examinations will be held at the end of each term (continuous assessments) and at the end of the second year (final examination).

Library project, Seminars and Dissertation will also contribute to the final assessment.

(Further details are available in the student handbook)


Lectures are conducted in an air conditioned lecture room with multimedia facilities. Several computers with internet facilities are available for students use. Text books and reference material is available from the department library as well as the faculty library. Reference material is also available through e-books and on-line facilities.

Laboratories equipped to conduct research in areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell culture and microbiology are housed in the Department.



The program is aimed at graduates in the fields of biology, chemistry agriculture, medicine veterinary and dental sciences.

 Eligibility criteria are as follow;

 a)      A Bachelor’s degree in Science (with chemistry, Biochemistry as a subject), Medicine, veterinary Science, Agriculture, or Dental Science from a recognized university.

 b)      A Graduateship of the college of Chemical Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon


Those who are in employment will be required to obtain 2 years leave, in order to follow the course.

Those who have completed their degrees and are awaiting results may apply, but will be required to have obtained their degree, by November.



The course will provide a broad understanding of biochemistry & molecular biology that is fundamental to all biological disciplines. Some of our graduates have gone on to do doctorates both abroad or locally, or into jobs in research or academia. Several of the current /past academic staff members of this department (namely Prof. Sunethra Atukorala, Prof. C.P.D.W Mathew, Prof. Preethi Soysa, Dr. Kithmini Siridewa) are graduates of this M.Sc. degree.


{Current positions of some of our past graduates}