M2 Molecular Biology and Environmental Microbiology



Increasingly strong societal demand in the fields of the Environment, sustainable development and health now calls for a synergy of cutting-edge skills involving Chemical and Biological Sciences.

The Master's degree in Molecular biology and Environmental Microbiology trains specialists with a mastery of modern molecular biology and environmental microbiology, with a solid background in chemistry, capable of grasping environmental issues related to:

  • The protection of ecosystems,
  • The ecotoxicology of soils, sediments and water,
  • The identification of microorganisms representing a risk to the environment or public health,
  • The bio-rehabilitation of sites affected by anthropogenic (industrial and agricultural) pollution.

The Molecular Biology and Environmental Microbiology Master's degree is at the heart of this technological and socio-economic evolution. At a meeting point between the professional world and the University in a region that is home to large-scale facilities of several industrial companies concerned by bio-depollution (Total, Arkema, chemical industries at the Lacq site) and a strong agricultural activity.

Biological methods developed for the remediation of contaminated sites, the treatment of effluents, the control of the use of phytosanitary products or the search for pathogens in natural waters and cooling or water distribution systems are increasingly in demand and proposed as necessary alternatives for the sustainable improvement of environmental problems.

The implementation of these methods as well as the development of molecular analysis tools and techniques (quantitative PCR, DNA chips, high-throughput sequencing, bioinformatics analysis, microbial biosensors, GMOs, protein engineering) is one of the challenges for industrial and environmental policies in the coming years.

An orientation towards research may be envisaged, depending on the choice of options and especially internships.


Taught in English, the first semester is devoted to theoretical and practical teaching by teacher-researchers, supplemented by conferences in which professionals from the sector share their experience on the field, as well as visits to companies. The course is mainly taught through project-based scenarios.


The second semester consists of an internship of 4 to 6 months in a company, a professional organization or an academic research laboratory.

Knowledge and skills

At the end of this course, graduates will develop the following skills according to their choice of optional courses:

• Identify the concepts and approaches of modern microbiology and biology,
• Understand the complexity and importance of microbial processes in the environment,
• Master modern biochemical, molecular and genetic methodologies, as well as mathematical, statistical and computer bioinformatic tools,
• Search for pathogens in natural environments and industrial installations or select micro-organisms likely to degrade contaminants of biotic or abiotic origin in the laboratory or in the natural environment,
• Conduct experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of biological or chemical methods of environmental remediation,
• Conduct studies and formulate opinions to solve practical problems posed by the protection of ecosystems: assessing the benefit-risk of the methods used, setting up field study protocols,
• Conduct field experiments to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical or biological methods for the protection of eco- and agrosystems.

Additional information

International Welcome Desk



Training content

SEMESTER 1 from September to January

Mandatory courses





English or French as a Foreign Language


Data analysis

Statistical tools-project


Molecular biology 


environmental microbiology

Molecular Biology Technological applications (EC3) (6.0 crédits ECTS)

Microbial biotransformations and environmental applications - conferences (EC1) (2.0 crédits ECTS)

Microbial biotransformations and environmental applications - project (EC2) (4.0 crédits ECTS)







 Electives: choose for 10 ECTS



 Quality assurance for analysis


Environmental Chemistry







Molecular Ecology (2.0 crédits ECTS)



Champignons et biotechnologie (2.0 crédits ECTS)

NB:Taught in French



Water treatment : Lab work on Bilogical water treatments (EC3) (2.0 crédits ECTS)



Environment Health Safety (2.0 crédits ECTS)

NB:Pending for 2021-2022


Group project

Environmental engineering project



SEMESTER 2 From January to June


Course title



- Internship



- Bibliographic research


Control knowledge

  • Final exams
  • Ongoing assessments
  • Oral presentations

Access condition

Academic requirements

Applicants must hold at least a 4-year university level in chemistry and/or biology fields.
The M2 MBEM is open to students who have completed an M1 (4-year degree) in "Molecular Biology and micro-biology for the environment" (BME) or an equivalent level.
For students outside the UPPA, integration in the second year is subjected to a selection on curricula with equivalent training level and with sufficient skills in biology, chemistry and environment (Molecular biology, bioinformatics, microbiology, environmental microbiology, ecotoxicology, biostatistics, field sampling and data processing, physico-chemistry, analytical chemistry, environment).

English Language Requirements

Applicants must be fluent in English, both in writing and speaking. An applicant whose native language is not English has to take a recognized international English test.

 Minimum required score: CECRL B2 level in English

French Language Requirements

None: French language courses are included in the formation.
For any additional information or questions related to application, please contact:

Inscription modalities


Administrative tuition in France is determined at a national level. The French Ministerial Order of April 19, 2019, amended on June 9, 2020, sets university tuition for a Master Program as follows: European nationals: €243, extra-European nationals: €3770.

For academic year 2022-2023, the Board of Directors has extended its policy of automatically providing partial reduction of these fees at the UPPA. As a result, extra-European nationals will be granted automatic partial reductions such that they will be able to pay the same enrollment fees as European nationals.

Extra fees: 

In addition to academic tuition, most students must pay a student body fee (CVEC, which cost €92 in 2020-2021). 

NB: Admitted candidates in any course of study who have taken a break of more than two years from their studies will enroll via the UPPA’s Continuing Education service (Formation Continue / FORCO). They are exempt from the CVEC, however they may be subject to a different tuition scale.

Organizational unit

Administrative contact(s)

LAUGA Béatrice (Responsable M2 BME)

Responsable M2 BME

Email : beatrice.lauga @ univ-pau.fr


  • Pau

More info

ECTS credits 60

Duration 1 year

Type of education

  • Foreign students
  • Initial training

Distance learning No

Education language English

From October 29, 2021 to April 30, 2022

Teaching start
September 1, 2022

Partner laboratories