Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Education Bachelor's degree programmes Biology
Header image Biology


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 broad based 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 (5 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)


The first semester is the same for everyone, so you can orientate yourself in the different areas within Biology. Afterwards, you will choose a major. In the first year and a half you take many compulsory courses (within you major), then there is a lot of room to choose your own courses and to plan your own programme.

Every year consists of 60 ECTS (study credit points). Most courses are good for 5 ECTS.

Programme options
Integrative Biology (major)

This major is perfect for student that are interested in multi- and interdisciplinary perspectives within Biology.

Next to course units that focus on in-depth knowledge, students will develop scientific, communication and critical thinking skills, which will help them with practical problem solving in a variety of areas.

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

Students have the possibility to study abroad during their minor programme (30 ECTS) in the first semester of the third year of the Bachelor's degree programme.

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Natuur & Techniek


  • Natuur & Gezondheid


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:

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021

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:

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL internet based90

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202101 September 2021
EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202101 September 2021
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2020-2021€ 2143full-time
non-EU/EEA2020-2021€ 14000full-time

The Dutch government is halving tuition fees for first-year students in higher education.

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

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Campus TourNijenborgh 9More information
Online Bachelor's WeeksMore information
Online Bachelor's WeeksMore information


  • Ask Our Students Via Google Meet (Starting in September 2020 and still have some questions? Please e-mail us for an appointment)
    Email: voorlichtinglevenswetenschappen
  • (For international students who are interested in a Campus Tour or have other practical questions)
    Email: sciencebachelors
  • Academic Advisors FSE
  • 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.

    Also, Groningen is an amazing city, plus I feel particularly welcomed as an international student. I now live in a nice house in a village just outside the city, and really enjoy cycling to the Zernike Campus or to the city centre each day.

						Testimonial of Sami Balahsioui

    An opportunity to develop myself

    – Sami Balahsioui
    Read more

    As a student in Groningen, there are lots of opportunities to become active in your student life by joining one of the many committees that exist for all types of associations or within the University. I became active within GLV Idun, the study association for Biology, Biomedical Engineering and Life Science and Technology.

    Over the years, I have been a member of several committees, where I organized fun activities for the association and learnt a lot about teamwork and planning. I am currently the chair of the association’s board. I not only became a board member to have a fun year, but I considered it an opportunity to develop myself and learn more about the structural organization of study associations and the University. I am able to work closely with my fellow board members and learn more about leadership, teamwork and communicative skills.

    I can definitely recommend students doing something beside their studies. During your student life, you will have enough freedom to do whatever you want. It is not only a great way of meeting new people; you are also able to learn one or two things that can be quite useful in your future career. Whether you become active at a study association, student association or a student sports association, it will be a great experience.

    After wrapping up my board year, I would like to start my Master’s degree programme in Biomedical Sciences in Groningen. Being able to conduct research and finding different answers for how the human body reacts attracted me to Biomedical Sciences as a major. The fact that the programme collaborates closely with the University Medical Center Groningen, where ground-breaking research is being performed, makes me very excited and it is something I wish to be involved in. I am looking forward to further developing my scientific skills and working in a medical-oriented environment.


Study associations

GLV Idun

GLV Idun is the study association for students taking programmes in Biology, Life Science & Technology and Biomedical Engineering 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.

Related master's programmes