Master's programme in toxicology

Welcome to this site where we hope that you, as a prospective or just accepted student, will find more useful information about the Master's programme in toxicology.

What is the typical background of a Tox master student?

The specific entry requirements state that a bachelor's degree or a professional degree equivalent to a Swedish Bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits in biomedicine, biology, cellular and molecular biology, pharmaceutics, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, biotechnology, or the equivalent is needed for being eligible for starting the program.

As you can see below, Tox master students usually have a very diverse background in what their previous studies were focused on (data from 2010-2018). This is something that we think is a strength and that we are trying to take advantage of throughout the program. The most common is to have a Bachelor in Pharmaceutical sciences or Biomedicine. The subject "Other" includes everything from Environmental Toxicology to Forensic science.

Highlights during the program

This is what the current Tox master students think!

There have been many highlights in the program for me from different perspectives. Course structure-wise, it has been nice to experience the work-life balance here so that I could be relaxed enough to expand my interests. Content-wise, we have had an excellent molecular skill training course, which was well instructed and organised and serves as a good projection of the degree project coming up next year. People-wise, we have developed a very strong team bond through the nice trip at the beginning of the program and I have learned a lot of people skills by interacting with colleagues from China, the US, the UK, Mexico and Europe with very different mindsets and backgrounds. Food-wise, we often get spoiled by our lovely course leaders who would bring fika every now and then. - Boyao Zhang

How close our class has become. We really have a great group dynamic between the class and the teachers. - Alison Baxley

The trip to Finnhamn and the Laboratory animal course. - Marianne Brookman

Target Organ Toxicology and Lab Methods. - Moosa Awadha

Travels and study visits during the programme

During the programme you will visit different authorities and research institutes, but the most popular visits usually are the 2-day kick-off in the Stockholm archipelago at the beginning of the program and the visit to JRC outside Milan, Italy during the last semester.

Stockholm archipelago - Finnhamn

At Finnhamn we have our programme kick-off were we get to know each other, discuss topics related to being a student at the programme and at KI but also enjoy the usually very nice weather and nature.

Joint Research Center at Ispra, Italy

Since 2004 the ToxMaster programme has visited the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy, at the end of the 2-year programme. JRC has presented their work, mainly on alternative approaches to animal testing. In 2017 and 2019 these visits has been in the form of a Summer school inviting also other European master and PhD students and junior toxicologists. See more in the students’ travel report from 2019 here►.

Past Master thesis projects

Toxicology is a broad subject which allows for you to choose your Master thesis project based on your interest(s)! Thanks to Karolinska Institutet's good reputation and agreements with specific universities, the project can be performed all over the world. Below is a list of some of the projects performed during 2018. A more complete list of projects can be found here►.

  • A systematic in vitro lung health risk and toxicity assessment for electronic cigarettes using ALI-3D models @ Karolinska Institutet
  • Data extraction and Benchmark Dose Modeling of mycotoxin toxicity data in farm animals @ EFSA & University of Parma, Italy
  • Development of a novel 3D hepatic culture system for assessment of hepatotoxicity induced by gold nanoparticles @ Trinity College Dublin, Irland
  • Evaluation of human hepatic spheroids as an in vitro model for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) @ Karolinska Institutet
  • Evidence-based evaluation of endocrine-disrupting properties, based on European Commission’s scientific criteria: Silver nanoparticles have the ability to disrupt male testicular steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis @ Karolinska Institutet & Swedish Chemicals Agency
  • Metabolic impact of a low-dose mixture of common pollutants in female mice: intestinal outcome of a one-generationstudy @ INSERM, France
  • PBTK modelling of PFOS and PFOA with parameterization using machine learning approaches @ Karolinska Institutet
  • Role of mast cell mediators in the early allergic reaction in a novel house dust mite guinea pig model of asthma @ Karolinska Institutet
  • Setup of an early screening assay for toxicity using high-content imaging of markers for drug-induced oxidative stress in HepG2 cells @ AstraZeneca, Sweden
  • Synergistic cytotoxic effects of MTH1 inhibitor (TH1579) in combination with mitotic inhibitors (vincristine or vinblastine) in prostate cancer cells @ Karolinska Institutet

What happens with the Tox master students after graduation?

The programme is designed to provide a solid foundation for a career in toxicology as either a doctoral researcher or a risk/safety assessor in the public or private sector in Sweden or abroad. Below is an overview of what students from the 5 last classes (2010-2018) were doing up to 6 months after graduation. Students working as a research assistant usually do so for 6-12 months in the same lab where they performed their Master thesis. Some of these students later become PhD students or get a position in industry or at a regulatory agency.

This is a list of some companies and authorities who traditionally or recently have employed students from the Tox master program:

  • AstraZeneca
  • Perstorp AB
  • Apoteket AB
  • Swedish Chemicals Agency
  • Cepheid Inc
  • Swedish National Food Agency
  • Goodpoint AB
  • Swedish Public Health Agency
  • Nynas AB
  • Toxintelligence AB
  • OctaPharma AB
  • Trossa AB

Some of our students also take the opportunity to perform a traineeship at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. Read more here► about the experiences of our alumni Radek Gora during his traineeship. If you think this sounds interesting, more information can be found here►.

"I chose the Master programme in Toxicology because I wanted to work with research and science" - Elmira Tavoosi, Class of 2018.

Alumni portraits

Many of our alumni continue as PhD students at KI or other universities in Sweden and Europe. Quite many also get positions at Swedish/European chemical agencies, food safety authorities, pharmaceutical or chemical industries. Recently the number of former students employed at different types of consultancies has increased. If you want to read more about our great alumni click here ►

Here you can see a short presentation (in Swedish) of our alumni Katarina Beckman who is working as a toxicologist at Paragon Nordic

Course organizers at the Master's programme in Toxicology

Meet the teachers

Throughout the program you will meet many lecturers and tutors from KI, other universities, authorities and companies. The program is however run by a tight group of researchers at KI, all with a strong connection to different aspects of toxicology spanning from mechanisms, testing and risk assessment. If you want to get to know the course organizers click here►.

News! Professor Annika Hanberg, the Programme's Director, was awarded with the Mäster 2019 award as a recognition of her unwavering commitment and drive to improve education for KI's toxicology students. The award was presented to her at the annual Lucia ball organized by the student union. 


European Registered Toxicologist (ERT)

European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) is a register of toxicologists who meet Eurotox's requirements for education and competence. ERT is currently present in 17 European countries and an increasing number of international companies and agencies believe that being an ERT is more credible when looking for staff. The goal of ERT is to visualize and quality assure toxicology, facilitate international recruitments, improved career development, and support development and education in the field of toxicology.

More information can be found at the Eurotox ERT site here ►

Digital ambassadors and Tox student bloggers

Current and previous:

Asma Islam from Abu Dhabi

Jiehyun Choi from the Netherlands (current student!)

Jennifer Tsai from USA

Jessica De Loma from Spain

Radek Gora from Poland

Yitian Zhou from China


KI education (Ping pong)

Swedish Society of Toxicology (SFT)

European Society of Toxicology (EUROTOX)


Annika Hanberg

Programme Director
C6 Institute of Environmental Medicine

Kristian Dreij

Programme Study Director

Åsa Lycke

Programme administrator
C6 Institute of Environmental Medicine