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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Biology
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Biology

Do you want to become an all-round biologist, or explore connections between different domains in biology to develop an interdisciplinary profile? If so, Biology in Groningen is the master's degree programme for you.

With five pre-designed research profiles in Integrative Biology focused on interdisciplinary areas such as Evolutionary Medicine or Biological Data Science and Modelling , a Science, Business, and Policy track, as well as the option to design a tailor-made programme, the MSc Biology offers unlimited flexibility to shape your personal study programme.

The MSc Biology has two tracks that prepare you either for a career in scientific research (in academia or a company R&D department, for example), or for a societal career in policy, business, or consultancy. The research-oriented option is the Integrative Biology track. This track contains substantial individual research projects, in which you learn in practice how to conduct scientific research from start to finish. You will develop skills such as exploring scientific literature, formulating hypotheses, designing and performing field or lab experiments executing computational analyses, and presenting your research results. Before starting your research projects, you have developed in-depth knowledge in your chosen area of specialization, by choosing one of the available Integrative Biology specialization profiles, or by selecting a tailor-made programme of electives from Ecology and Evolution, Biomolecular Sciences, Biomedical Sciences or other disciplines. The Science, Business & Policy track combines a solid foundation in biology with a skills-oriented training on how to connect science to real-world issues in society. Besides an academic research project in biology, this track also contains a six-month internship focused on the application of scientific insights in business, policy, consultancy or administration.

Throughout the programme, you will interact with teachers who are active at the frontiers of biological research. You will be able to select one of them as your personal study mentor; s/he will help you find the most interesting study route among the many available options and coach you throughout your master's programme.



Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Biology
Course type
Master
Duration
24 months (120 ECTS)
Croho code
66860
Language of instruction
English
Start
September
Faculty
Science and Engineering
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • Combination of in-depth training and the opportunity to design a tailor-made programme
  • Specialize in an Integrative Biology programme or in Science, Business & Policy
  • Focus on the study of causes and consequences of Animal Behaviour
  • Coaching by a personal mentor
  • Under certain conditions, there is a possibility to enroll in the Master's degree programme four times a year (every half-semester, please contact the academic advisor for more information about this option at academicadvi
Programme

Curriculum

2-year programme; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

Programme options
Integrative Biology (profile)
Science, Business and Policy (track)

Interested in the business side of science? You can combine this Master's programme with the Science Business & Policy profile. The SBP profile includes a six-month internship as a scientific advisor.

For the complete curriculum, please see: https://ocasys.rug.nl/current/catalog/programme/66860-5514

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America. Our exchange programmes have a typical duration of one semester and count toward your final degree.

Entry requirements

Transfer options

Transferring from...

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
BiologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements
Life Science and TechnologyUniversity of Groningen

Additional requirements

More information:

Old curriculum: with the majors Biomedical Sciences, Behaviour and Neurosciences, or Molecular life sciences.

New curriculum: https://www.rug.nl/fse/education/ter/

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
BiologyAll Research universitiesNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bachelor's degree in Biology or a related field. For admittance to the track Modelling in the Life Sciences, you will need a degree which contains enough courses relevant to this field.

Information about admission possibilities and requirements for students from a Dutch HBO institute is published on: https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission

other admission requirements

Dutch students can start in September, November, February and April.

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Please fill out this checklist to describe your pre-education.

For admittance to the track Modelling in the Life Sciences, students have to show that their Bachelor's degree contains enough courses relevant to this field. The Admissions Board will decide whether a student can be admitted to the Master's programme.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Bachelor's degree in Biology or a related field.

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 master programme for which you applied.

additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Board of Admissions on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT http://www.rug.nl/fwn/fmns-programme/admissions/msc/language-requirements for all the necessary information about required language tests and minimum scores.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at https://www.rug.nl/fse/msc-admission for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

Please fill out this checklist to describe your previous education.

Registration procedure

The Board of Admissions will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. Applications are evaluated on a continuous basis. You do not have to wait until the application deadline to apply.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 20700full-time
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 24200full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Graduates of the Master's degree programme in Biology who have chosen the Research track Integrative Biology often enter a PhD programme or join a research and development team in a company or research institute. Students who have chosen the Science, Business and Policy track find jobs (e.g. as science advisor) in a variety of fields, such as governmental organizations, research institutions, museums, publishers, or companies.

Job examples

  • PhD research position
  • R&D in a company or research institute
  • Science advisor
Research

CHE Excellence Ranking in Biology since 2007

The MSc programme in Biology includes one (SBP track) or two (Integrative Biology track) individually supervised research projects, where students work on their own research question while being fully embedded in a research group. Topics can span the full range of the MSc educational programmes, and/or combine two or more of these fields:

  • Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the following three Research institutes:

GELIFES

The Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES; http://www.rug.nl/research/gelifes/) focuses its research on the level of the individual organism (behaviour, physiology, morphology, genetics, development) and on higher levels of organisation (population, communities, ecosystems). The research is being done on a broad range of organisms (terrestrial-marine; microorganisms-plants-animals) with a broad range of methods and approaches (field, lab, theoretical). A hallmark of GELIFES is that we strive to integrate mechanistic approaches (how does an organism function?) with evolutionary approaches (why does the organisms function as it does?). We specifically aim to integrate these fields that are traditionally studied in isolation.

GELIFES embraces six expertise groups:


Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen (ESRIG)

ESRIG focuses on two themes, of which the first is called Energy supply and energy conversion. This includes the sustainable role of bio-fuels, also in connection to food and land use, energy transition, second (and later) generation bio fuel research; Organic Solar Cells, determination and monitoring of bio-fuel admixtures, natural gas and new gas mixture combustion research, innovative production methods for fossil fuels, underground coal gasification, geothermal energy, gas transition, hydrogen as energy carrier and (de-central) electricity production control design.
The second theme, 'Transition towards Sustainability' consists of carbon cycle and greenhouse gases research, CO2 emission monitoring, CO2 storage surveillance, CO2 storage in relation to underground characteristics, combustion efficiency and harmful emission reduction, development and evaluation of (inter)national climate policies, societal and ethical context of scientific/technical transitions towards sustainability.


GBB

The Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) is a research institute at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen. GBB also acts as accredited Dutch research school and since 2010 is embedded within the Graduate School of Science.

Research groups GBB:

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Contact

  • Academic Advisors FSE (For questions regarding the programme)
  • studyscience@rug.nl Study Science (For students who are interested in a Campus Tour or who have other general questions)
    Email: studyscience rug.nl
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  • 
						Testimonial of Agus Bentlage

    "The freedom in my research, in a tight-knit interdisciplinary setting, is a great way to prepare for a future as an academic in Biology"

    – Agus Bentlage
    Read more

    Upon completing my Bachelor’s degree in Zoology at Bristol University, I was eager to improve my skills in coding and modelling to compliment my ecological knowledge and skills. The MSc Biology programme at Groningen stood out to me as a comprehensive mix of theoretical and empirical work, which I believe lays a solid foundation for any aspiring biologist's future academic pursuits.

    I found a similar Masters’ programme in the UK, however there the programme is only one year. As I wanted to focus on both theory and research skills, I found that the University of Groningen was a better fit for me.

    The Master in Biology is very broad. In my track, we needed to take courses in Mathematics, Biological Model Analysis, and C++. Next to these courses, I chose to expand my research projects.

    My first project focused on theoretical modelling. In the research group of Charlotte Hemelrijk on dominance hierarchies in primates. We wanted to investigate whether ecological factors could have influenced the differences we see between chimpanzees and bonobos. To do this, we built an agent-based model and analyzed the emergence of female dominance.

    Currently, I am working on publishing the results of my second Master's research project' Together with the research group of Hannah Dugdale, we investigated the effect of rainfall on partnership stability in the Seychelles warbler . In short, climate change is becoming more radical, which has an effect on the stability of relationships, which may lead to more divorces

    My next step would be to do a PhD programme. Preferably, this would be a double PhD. Here, I can combine theoretical and empirical research in different institutions. Luckily, the University of Groningen has a lot of collaborations. After this, I would like to focus more on conservation.

    The added value of my programme here is the freedom that I got in my research. We had a small, tight-knit community in the Life Sciences department. This meant that we had a lot of time and interaction to discuss a wide range of topics. This opened up doors to subjects that I normally would not choose to do. Furthermore, I could work independently on my research, which reflects a PhD research programme. As for the courses, the coding level is very high.

    I really enjoy my time here in Groningen. Next to having a small class where I met my new best friends, I followed my love for music. I found a lot of creative people to jam with. The vibe here in Groningen is similar to Bristol: there are a lot of students, it feels almost like a big village and there is always something to do.

    In my future work, I would like to focus more on the effect of climate change on animal behaviour. When I was a child I always wanted to work with reptiles, but now I am more open to other species.

    Close

Study associations

GLV Idun

Groninger LevenswetenschappenVereniging Idun is the study association for Biology, Life Science & Technology, Biomedical Engineering, and their connecting master programs.
The association organises various activities, from social activities, like our weekly drinks, or even traveling abroad. In addition, Idun also organizes career/education-related activities like company visits and lunch lectures. GLV Idun contributes to a fun student time by bringing students together, and preparing her members for their career ahead!
https://www.idun.nl/home
Read more