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What are the effects of climate change on sea life? How does a disease like cancer arise? What happens in the brain when you are asleep?

The field of Biology is concerned with how plants, animals and humans are made up and how they function. The difference with biology at secondary school is that this degree programme involves more science: you will study more mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Scientists are expanding their horizons more and more. As a biologist, you will increasingly work together with scientists of other disciplines. This interaction will provide you with useful knowledge.

Choose the specialization that suits you best

Many universities offer Biology degree programmes. The big advantage of studying in Groningen is that you can choose exactly the specialization that suits you best. The first semester covers basic topics that are essential for all fields of biology. After the first semester you can choose to follow the Major in Ecology and Evolution or the joint programme for the Majors in Molecular Life Sciences, Behaviour and Neurosciences and Biomedical Sciences. During the second year, these Majors will gradually start to differentiate. In the third year, you start with a Minor of one semester, in which you can either broaden or deepen your knowledge. In the last semester, you will complete your Bachelor’s programme with a Bachelor’s project in the specialism of your choice.

All your lecturers are involved in research in some way. Their research will help you become acquainted with the many new developments in the field of life sciences.

Facts & Figures
BSc in Biology
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Science and Engineering
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • The degree programme all offer a wide choice of specializations that you can major in. During the first semester you will follow a broadbased programme, after which you can make your definitive choice.
  • The biomedical degree programmes have close ties with the University Medical Center Groningen. If you choose one of these programmes, you will spend a lot of time at the UMCG, for practicals, among things.
  • Groningen also offers a unique master degree programme in Marine Biology.
  • Our faculty is the home of the 2016 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, Ben Feringa, and the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, Frits Zernike.
CoursesCourse Catalog >12
Basic Cell and Molecular Biology (5 EC)
Biostatistics 1 (5 EC)
First year symposium (2 EC)
Genetics, Ecology and Evolution (5 EC)
Lab course (3 EC)
Microbiology (2 EC)
Physiology (5 EC)
Behavioural Neurosciences (5 EC)
Biochemistry and Cell Biology in Ecology and Evolution (5 EC)
Cell Biology and Immunology (5 EC)
Ecophysiology of Plants and Animals (5 EC)
Evolutionary Ecology (5 EC)
Metabolism (5 EC)
Molecules of Life (5 EC)
Research Skills in Ecology and Evolution (10 EC)
Research Skills in Life Sciences (10 EC)


Het eerste, brede semester is voor iedereen gelijk, zodat je je kunt orienteren op de verschillende gebieden binnen de biologie. Daarna kies je een major. In de eerste anderhalf jaar volg je veel verplichte vakken (binnen je major), vervolgens is er veel ruimte om zelf vakken te kiezen en je eigen route uit te stippelen.

Elk jaar bestaat uit 60 ECTS (studiepunten), de meeste vakken zijn goed voor 5 ECTS.

Programme options
Ecology and Evolution (major)

This specialisation considers the interactions within living nature, and the way they came into existence.

The focus is on educating the student to become an ecology scientist. But this specialisation also provides a good starting point for working in government, consultancy and other companies in the nature and preservation sector.

Behaviour and Neurosciences (major)

This Major is ideal for students who are interested in the workings of the brain and the behaviour of humans and animals.

The programme gives insight into what effect different factors have on (the development) of behaviour.

Molecular Life Sciences (major)

This major is ideal for students who are interested in, for example, the functioning of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells in their environment.

But it also attracts student interested in cellular functions and many other related fields. Students can choose to focus on developing new molecular techniques for use in medicine. But they can also focus on the field of biotechnology, in which scientist of various disciplines work together.

Biomedical Sciences (major)

Within this Major you will learn everything about the human as a biological organism.

The goal of medical biology is to better understand the biological basis of how diseases start, how it progesses into perceivable symptoms and how to find better ways to make diagnoses.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • Maximum of 30 EC

Er zijn mogelijkheden om in het buitenland te studeren in de minor (30 ECTS) in het eerste semester van het derde jaar van de bachelor.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Natuur & Gezondheid


  • Natuur & Techniek


Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Een voldoende voor je vwo-Engels is aan te bevelen omdat de opleiding Engelstalig is.

other admission requirements


Make sure to visit 'BSc Application Procedure' at: for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

If you apply, you participate in the mandatory matching process of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. More information:

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is compulsory. The advice is not binding.

Explanatory notes

More information about matching:

Choice of degree programme check

More information about matching:

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics

This is merely an indication of required background knowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specific contents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the bachelor programme for which you applied.

language test

Proficiency in English is an admission requirement for all English-taught degree programmes. Please find our English language requirements (IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge and more) on this page:

previous education

Secondary education equivalent to Dutch pre-university education is required.

This is merely an indication of the required general level of applicants' previous education.

FOR MORE INFORMATION please visit the 'BSc Application Procedure' pages at:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 12500full-time
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 14000full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

In Biology, you will develop a scientific way of thinking that will help you to solve biology-related questions and problems. This analytical perspective is useful in all kinds of lines of work, so you will have plenty of career options after graduating.

Want to become a researcher?

A lot of biologists work as researchers, either for a short while or as a long-term career. The type of research will depend on the discipline you specialize in and the themes that play a role in your working environment. There are various types of research. For example, you could study the brain at the University Medical Center Groningen, or help to unravel the structure of genes in a laboratory. You could study the effects of gas drilling on the marine environment for the NAM, or coordinate research on the influence of large grazers on vulnerable ecosystems for a conservation organization. Or you could gather information about forgotten crops that can thrive without pesticides, or with very little pesticide, in our changing climate. These are all examples of research. What you achieve with this research will depend on yourself and the world around you. It's up to you!

Other Possibilities

But there are lots of other excellent job opportunities open to you. Some biologists become policy advisors in an organization or company, or find a job as a press officer, teacher, educational consultant or scientific journalist. A small number of biologists work in the corporate sector, for example as clinical research associates. Here too, there are jobs to be had with all manner of organizations.

Job examples

  • Researcher
  • Environmental advisor
  • Health advisor
  • Ecologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Policy advisor
  • Science communication or journalism
  • Teacher/lecturer

Our Bachelor's degree programme in biology is connected to the following research institutes of the University of Groningen.


The Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES) fills a special niche in the field of life sciences that not only covers mechanistic, evolutionary and ecological approaches, but also specifically aims at the integration of these fields that are traditionally studied in isolation.

GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and embraces fourteen research groups:

  • Animal Ecology
  • Behavioural Biology
  • Behavioural Physiology
  • Behavioural Ecology and Self-organization (BESO)
  • Chronobiology
  • Community and Conservation Ecology (Cocon)
  • Evolutionary Genetics
  • Marine Benthic Ecology & Evolution (MarBEE)
  • Marine Evolution and Conservation (MarECon)
  • Microbial Ecology
  • Molecular Neurobiology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Plant Ecophysiology
  • Theoretical Biology

GBB - Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute

GBB has the ambition to perform research of the highest standard in the field of biomolecular sciences, with a focus on proteins. We aim to understand the structure and dynamics of proteins in relation to their function and activity; to unravel the functional role of proteins in living cells; and to obtain insights in the fundamental properties of proteins that are relevant for application in health and the future bio-based economy.

Research groups: Bioinformatics , Biotransformation and Biocatalysis , Cell Biochemistry , Electron Microscopy , Membrane Enzymology , Microbial Physiology , Molecular Cell Biology , Molecular Genetics , Molecular Microbiology , Molecular Dynamics , Molecular Systems Biology, NMR, Protein Crystallography

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If you want to know more about the programme Biology, please contact:

  • (For international students who are interested in a Campus Tour or have other practical questions)
    Email: sciencebachelors
  • Academic Advisor
  • Watch this videoClose
						Testimonial of Ella Rees-Baylis

    Ecology and Evolution is really fascinating

    – Ella Rees-Baylis
    Read more

    Studying Biology in Groningen attracted me because you get lots of choice in relation to which areas of biology you''d like to study. This flexibility was important for me as I did not know what aspect of biology I wanted to major in. But from trying all the various courses in the first semester, I decided to major into Ecology and Evolution, which is really fascinating, as you get to study ecology on the molecular levels but also in terms of large ecosystems over lifetimes.


Study associations

GLV Idun

GLV Idun is the study association for students taking programmes in Biology and Life Science & Technology at the University of Groningen.
The association boasts more than 1,500 members and organizes study-related and social activities all year round. These include parties and drinks, as well as an annual conference, regular lunchtime lectures and a quarterly newsletter featuring scientific publications.
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system. N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

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