Preparatory Course for Master programmes – Natural Sciences

M. Sc. Advanced Materials, M. Sc. Biology, M. Sc. Biophysics, M. Sc. Chemical Engineering, M. Sc. Energy Science & Technology.

Ulm University focuses on life sciences, bio- and nanotechnologies as well as on energy conversion and storage. It has constantly obtained a high ranking for its academic research and quality of teaching. To improve the academic formation of its future graduates, our university offers a preparatory course for international students seeking admission in one of the following English-taught master programmes: Advanced Materials, Biology, Biophysics, Chemical Engineering and Energy Science & Technology.

Each year we bring together very motivated and talented international students from different areas of Natural Sciences and Engineering. We want to ensure that all students start our programmes at the same level and will complete their master programme successfully. The pre-master course is designed to strengthen your lab skills and to give you the chance to brush up on bachelor`s knowledge.


Purpose and Objectives

Based on your application documents, the admission board of the respective master programme will assign you to lectures and practical lab training in a state-of-the-art lab environment. During the preparatory course, classes in physics, biology, chemistry and/or mathematics will be offered.

Moreover, you will have enough time to get used to the life in a foreign country and more specific student`s life in Ulm before starting the full-time master programme.


  • Biology


    • Cellular anatomy, basic biology, biomolecules
    • Energy, metabolism, enzymes, photosynthesis
    • Heredity, chromosomes, DNA
    • Transcription, translation, genes, viruses
    • Cellular communication, action potentials, synapses, nervous system


    • Aseptic technique, germs in water samples, bacterial growth
    • Light and temperature dependency of photosynthesis,  starch detection in plant leaves, microscopy, enzyme kinetics
    • DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, gel electrophoresis
    • Gene expression in E.coli at the example of the lac operon
    • Recording of action potentials from the ventral nerve cord of the earth worm
  • Chemistry


    • Work, heat, heat capacity, perfect gas, first law of thermodynamics, state functions, internal energy, enthalpy
    • Entropy, second law and Carnot, Statistic thermodynamics, Third law
    • Free energy, free enthalpy, chemical potential, real gases, phase diagram
    • Clausius-Clapeyron, Equilibrium, Kinetic theory of gases
    • Simple reaction kinetics, more reaction kinetics, Arrhenius


    • Adiabatic exponent
    • Clausius-Clapeyron Equation
    • Critical data of a real gas
    • Specific heat of solids – Mixing calorimetry
    • Temperature measurements using different methods


  • Mathematics

    • Differential & Integral Calculus: derivatives of univariate functions, partial derivatives of multivariate functions, local and constrained extrema, fundamental theorem of calculus, calculation rules, integration by parts, integration by substitution
    • Ordinary differential equations of first and second order, variation of parameters, separation of variables
    • Basic descriptive statistics, linear regression, Gaussian distribution
    • Complex numbers: definition, complex plane, exponential functions, polar coordinates
    • Basic linear algebra: vectors, products, matrices, systems of linear equations and Gaussian elimination (not for Biology M.Sc. students)
    • Convergence of sequences and series (not for Biology M.Sc. students)


    Test your knowledge! : OMB (Online Mathematics Bridging Course - available in English only for registered users). This is a basic refreshing course in mathematics, and students are expected to already have this knowledge when they join the PMC. 

  • Physics


    • Mechanical Oscillations: Pendulum and Rolling Ball
    • Viscosity of Fluids
    • Electric Current and Direct-Current Circuits
    • Geometrical Optics and Image Formation
    • Dispersion of Light by a Prism / Spectroscopy

Quick Info

  • Start of the Orientation Programme: 14 September 2020
  • Start of Pre-Master's course: 16 September 2020
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Application: included in your application for master programme