mcc structure

The ambitious learning objectives proposed and the interdisciplinary nature of crystallography and crystallization shaped an innovative master programme. The Master is structured in three modules with coordinated contents:

mcc Structure


1st Module: Foundations of Crystallography and Crystallization

(28 ECTS/mandatory)

Teaching Module 1It is compulsory and consists of 4 core subjects (crystallization, crystallography, diffraction and resolution of structures) common to all orientations and fundamental to follow the rest of the Master. These four subjects are taught in the CSIC's Casa de la Ciencia in Seville from October to December. The fifth course of the module (Crystallography and Society) deals with significant scientific and technological developments of crystallography for society, it is taught within the Summer Course Programme of the UIMP in Santander and is open to all participants, even those not enrolled in the Master.

Module 1 classes are taught for 5 hours daily from Monday to Friday. They include theoretical and practical training as well as guided visits to research centres and companies. Registered students will have access to teaching and supporting material via this website.

After completing the core subjects of Module 1, students will have acquired the fundamental knowledge and skills to follow the rest of the course. At this point, the student must decide the laboratory where they will carry out the guided practical work, the subject of their Master thesis and his Supervisor. The "Programme and Schedule" section contains a description of each of the subjects in Module 1.

2nd Module: Guided Practical work

(165 ECTS offered/14 ECTS required)

modulo 2The second module of the Master is a period of supervised practices lasting two months. During this time, the student will be integrated into the daily work of a research laboratory specialized in the topic of his choice. The student must select 14 credits of guided work between the 100-200 credits that are offered annually. These credits can be taken in a single laboratory (14 credits, 2 months) or two laboratories (7+7 credits, 1+1 months). The laboratories offered are selected by the mcc Academic Committee on the basis of their quality, relevance in the respective fields and commitment to the objectives of the Master among universities, research centres and companies in Spain and the rest of Europe.

This period of supervised practical work is intended to serve as an introduction to the world of research and development, to daily life in the laboratory and to the scientist's work. It is also an opportunity to initiate their own project of Master thesis. The training is fully practical and includes:

  • Introduction to the specific methods and instrumentation of the research laboratory selected.
  • Development of real experiments on the selected topic.

The list of laboratories offered is available in the "Programme and Calendar" section.

3rd Module: Specializing courses in Crystallography and Crystallization

(36 ECTS offered/6 ECTS required)

After assimilating the foundations (module 1) and having started a practice in the area of his choice, the student is ready for specialized training. The wide and interdisciplinary nature of Crystallography and Crystallization imposes a relatively large number of specializing courses, that is in conflict with the limited number of students accepted in the Master and the high quality standards imposed on mcc learning. This fact has been turned into an advantage by defining the specialized subjects offered as part of the mcc 3rd module as open, international courses, accepting and promoting the participation of students not registered in the master. The advantages of this scheme are twofold:


  • Ensures the quality standards in teaching regardless of the number of students enrolled in each course. The participation of foreign students increases their interest and ensures funding to attract the best teachers.
  • Allow mcc student to interact with international experts in each field and, most importantly, with future researchers in the field that will pursue their activity in concurrence with the mcc student.

Within this scheme, the courses offered in module 3 can be organized by mcc professors or by organizations outside mcc, but in all cases should be international and open courses. The content, quality and access requirements for each course must be evaluated and approved by the mcc Academic Committee for inclusion among the courses offered. The list of these courses is updated yearly based on the demand from previous years, the availability of new courses and the learning quality they offer. The list of courses offered in this edition of the mcc is available in the "Programme & Courses" section. The student must take a minimum of 6 credits (two courses) of this module.

Master Thesis

(12 ECTS)

modulo 4The write up and presentation of a Master thesis is a requirement for the award of the Master degree. The thesis may consist of either:

  • A report on work carried out during the Module 2 and/or as a result of the subjects in the module 3.
  • A PhD project in some area of research relevant to the Master (see list of proposals in the "PhD" section).
  • An independent research work carried out during the Master.

The presentation of the thesis must be done be in English, typically during the month of July at the headquarters of the UIMP in Santander. The student should select the research theme proposed by any of the supervisors. Additionally, the students can propose other subjects to the Academic Committee. Evaluation of the Master thesis will take into account the intellectual depth of the work, the ability demonstrated by the student, the technical difficulty and presentation skills.

Additional information