Chemistry & Life science

Program type : Initial Training
Degree : Master
Discipline(s) : Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences - Environment
Place : Paris
Domains : Fundamental Sciences
Teaching language : English
Internship required
Prerequisites : Bachelor

Built on the renowned expertise of several schools and research institutes of Université PSL - the École normale supérieure, Chimie ParisTech, ESPCI Paris, MINES ParisTech, the Institut Curie, the Institut Pasteur and the Collège de France - the Master Chemical Frontiers of Living Matter (Chemistry and Life science) proposes high quality core courses in chemistry and biology, and a broad range of specialized courses covering various topics at the chemistry/biology interface.

This Master prepares students in exploring biological systems in new ways using the knowledge of chemistry and biology. Because of their complexity, biological systems appear to chemists as the ultimate playground in terms of chemical reactivity, analytical challenges and modeling, while chemistry is often considered by biologists as the most appropriate level of description to unravel biological processes.

Beyond the academic applications, exploring the chemical frontiers of living matters opens new opportunities for addressing important problems of our world. Small molecules able to restore and correct function in the context of human diseases can potentially have a transformative impact in medicine. Personalized medicine could benefit from a combination of chemistry, genomics and disease biology to establish novel diagnostic tools and alternative therapeutic approaches. Chemistry and Biology have also a major role to play in the development of new renewable energies and sustainable materials, in particular through the combination of knowledge in biosynthetic pathways, metabolic engineering and bioinformatics.

Learning outcomes

The Master Chemical Frontiers of Living Matter aims at training highly motivated students interested in interrogating quantitatively and comprehensively biological systems at the molecular, cellular and network levels using various experimental and theoretical approaches. It allows students to develop their creativity through various research projects and internships, and to learn the latest discoveries and innovations at the chemical frontiers of living matter through privileged interactions with PSL faculty members.


This program leads to a large number of opportunities, including:

  • Academic research (PhD, postdocs)
  • Private sector research, development and production
  • Medical research
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Scientific patenting
  • Consulting


The Master Chemical Frontiers of Living Matter is a two-year Master’s degree at the interface between Chemistry and Biology. Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Biochemistry or equivalent.
Please note that the Master is taught in English.

The Master Chemical Frontiers of Living Matter is a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS).
Each year consists in two semesters: one semester of courses in Chemistry and Biology (core and specialized courses), and one semester of research internship(s). With the assistance of tutors, students will build their two-year curriculum in function of their initial background choosing courses in the different partner schools and research institutes (Chimie ParisTech, ESPCI Paris, MINES ParisTech, the École normale supérieure, the Institut Curie, the Institut Pasteur and the Collège de France).


Semester 1 (30 ECTS)

  • Current topics and future challenges at the chemical frontiers of living matter
  • ‘Chemical frontiers of living matter’ seminars
  • n* courses to be choosen

Semester 2 (30 ECTS)
A 5-month lab internship (30 ECTS) or two 8-weeks lab internships (2 x 12 ECTS) complemented with academic courses (6 ECTS).


Semester 1 (30 ECTS)

  • Research design and project conception
  • ‘Chemical frontiers of living matter’ seminars
  • n courses to be choosen

Semester 2 (30 ECTS)
Master thesis (5 months).


Fundamentals in Chemistry and Biology
Topics: Organic Chemistry, Biophysical Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Sustainability, Biointerfaces, Catalysis & Green Chemistry, Biological Chemistry, Colloid Chemistry, Biophysics, Chemometrics, Biocatalysis, Statistics, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Morphogenesis, Microbiology, Epigenetics, Oncology  

Chemical and Biological Engineering for Biotechnology and Sustainable Chemistry
Topics: Synthetic Biology, System Biology, Chemical Biology, Applied Microbiology, Medicinal Chemistry & Biotechnology, Biomaterial Science, Tissue engineering, Hybrid Materials

Modeling Approaches and Analytical Tools for the Study of Biological Systems
Topics: Machine Learning, Big Data, Medical Imaging, Bioanalytics, Microfluidics, Analytical Physical Chemistry, Multiscale Theory and Computational Methods for Biomolecule Simulations, Principles and Applications of Fluorescence Microscopy


Applicants must hold a Bachelor degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Biochemistry or equivalent.
Admission after a Master 1 degree (or equivalent) is also possible.

Amission process

Processus en 2 étapes, sur dossier et entretien :

1. Candidature en ligne sur le portail PSL .
Pour le M1, le dossier de candidature doit comporter les pièces suivantes :
CV détaillé ; Lettre de motivation expliquant l’intérêt pour cette formation ; Relevés de notes des 3 années de Licence ou équivalent et attestation de réussite de Licence ; Certificats de niveau de français et/ou anglais (facultatif) ; coordonnées de 2 référents académiques (obligatoire) ; Photo d’identité ; Photocopie de la carte d'identité recto verso ou du passeport ou de la carte de séjour ou copie du récépissé de la demande du titre de séjour de l'année en cours pour les étudiants hors Europe.
2. Entretien pour les candidats admissibles (en présentiel ou à distance).

Droits de scolarité

Pour l’année universitaire 2017/18, les droits de scolarité sont de 256 €. A ces droits s’ajoutent les frais de médecine préventive (5,10 €) et - pour les personnes concernées - la cotisation annuelle à la Sécurité sociale (217 € en 2017/18).

Etablissement d’inscription : Ecole normale supérieure
Diplôme délivré : Diplôme national de master

Step 1 – Online Application on PSL portal (
Some of attachments and information to be provided:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in this program
  • Academic transcripts since first year of higher education
  • Copy of English language certificate (TOIEC, TOEFL etc.). C1 level recommended.
  • (For the record, the master is taught in English).
  • Contact details of 2 academic references
  • A recto verso copy of passport ID page(s)/ identity card/ or resident's card

Step 2 - Preselected candidates will be invited for interview.


2 years


Paris, 5th district, on the campus of the École normale supérieure, Chimie ParisTech, ESPCI Paris, MINES ParisTech, and at the Institut Curie, the Institut Pasteur and the Collège de France.

Academic Fees:

about 250 euros (fixed by ministerial decree)


Manager of the Master's : Arnaud GAUTIER (

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