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Master Programmes

MSc Ecology and Evolution

During the two-year Master programme Ecology and Evolution you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment. Ecology and evolution are strongly interdependent: without ecology, we cannot really understand natural selection; and without evolution, we cannot really understand the properties of organisms and their interaction with the environment. Ecology and evolution are relevant for all domains of the life sciences.

MSc Ecology and Evolution

Ecology and evolutionary biology play a crucial role in facing the grand challenges of our time. This includes the development of realistic plans for coping with the implications of global change, for stopping the alarming biodiversity loss, for designing evolutionarily stable strategies to set-up a sustainable society, and for developing evolution-informed medical treatment. The research fields of ecology and evolution are highly dynamic. Powerful new techniques (e.g. GPS-tracking of migrating birds over the whole planet; remote sensing; tracking of individual cells in a culture of micro-organisms; genome-wide sequencing; individual-based simulations; new methods to analyse ‘big data’) allow us to resolve long-standing puzzles. These new approaches lead to new insights and concepts that change our way of thinking, including a range of new integrative disciplines (e.g. evo-devo; evolutionary medicine; evolutionary community ecology; ecological immunology; evolutionary systems biology; adaptation and conservation genomics; evolutionary psychology). With this Master's programme, we aim to educate the new generation of scientists in ecology and evolution, both those who want to study of the big fundamental questions in all domains of the life sciences and those who want to contribute to solving the grand challenges of our time.

The Master programme offers a Science, Business & Policy profile for students that want to focus on the business and policy side of science, and a Research profile with three specialization options:

  1. Top Programme Evolutionary Biology
    This programme offers advanced theoretical and practical training to provide students with a head-start in a subsequent PhD. The first semester consists of three mandatory advanced courses, which are followed together with the students of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Programme Evolutionary Biology (MEME). Research projects can be conducted in all areas related to ecology and evolution. Admission to the Top Programme is restricted to the top 10-15% of a cohort.
  2. Erasmus Mundus double-degree programme Evolutionary Biology (MEME)
    Like the Top programme Evolutionary Biology, the MEME programme is designed to provide an optimal preparation for a subsequent PhD and eventually a career in scientific research. The MEME programme is special in that it is organized by four European universities (Groningen, Montpellier, Munich, Uppsala) and Harvard University. There are strict mobility requirements: students have to study at two (or more) partner universities and will in the end receive MSc degrees from two universities. Like the Top Programme, MEME is selective and strongly research oriented. The students who are most highly ranked during the admissions procedure receive a scholarship. For details, please consult the MEME website.
  3. Programme Ecology & Conservation
    This programme is designed for students that strive to become an ecologist that can contribute to an understanding of the global ecological problems, and help to solve them. In this programme, you will learn how organisms, populations and communities are affected by changing environmental conditions, and how this knowledge can contribute to successful ecological conservation and restoration programs. This specialization will equip you to work in scientific research, conservation & restoration, ecological consultancy, management, education, private corporations and (non-) governmental organizations.

Check the Education website for admission procedures and requirements.

Last modified:22 November 2017 1.39 p.m.