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Master Programmes

MSc Marine Biology
Field research

The central theme of the two-year Master programme Marine Biology is adaptation of marine systems and organisms to a changing world through the lens of ecology, eco-physiology and evolution. Marine Resource utilization is also considered within the curriculum. The programme is taught by several research groups in Marine Biology at the University of Groningen in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) on Texel and in Yerseke.

We provide an initial block of exclusive and compulsory master courses dealing with the Principles of Marine Biology. This block is followed by a more specialized set of facultative Marine Biology modules.

Intertidal flats, Schiermonnikoog
Intertidal flats, Schiermonnikoog
We focus on Biology!

We are good at conservation of marine mammals, biomimics, polar ecosystems, coastal food webs, the Wadden Sea; we work with fish, seagrass, algae, whales, seals and schooling fish.

We are strongly committed to hands-on research and learning by doing: thus knowing how to do science and not just understanding science. Field work opportunities include:

  • The Principles block excursions to our "backyard": the Wadden Sea, Schiermonnikoog, Texel (NIOZ); and also Sweden's west coast in the Gullmar Fjord
  • Mediterranean rocky shores, Corsica (in even years)
  • Researchers also have links with many marine laboratories throughout the world for co-supervised MSc projects.
Rocky shores, Corsica
Rocky shores, Corsica
Research opportunities for MSc projects

There are plenty of options within both the Research profile and the Science, Business & Policy profile. You will design your own study programme to fit your personal preferences. Some examples of potential research areas include:

  • climate change on pelagic food webs (Polar and North Sea);
  • conservation of marine vertebrates (global issues for marine mammals and other top predators as well as marine conservation more generally);
  • the function of coastal food webs (Wadden Sea and Baltic Sea research);
  • phylogeography or marine organisms;
  • ecological and evolutionary genomics of adaptation;
  • marine applications (biomimetics, algal applications);
  • host-parasite interactions..... and more.

Check our facebook page for up-to-date changes and project opportunities!

Shallow sublittoral with seagrass beds, Gullmar fjord, Sweden
Shallow sublittoral with seagrass beds, Gullmar fjord, Sweden

An academic Bachelor's degree in any field of biological sciences*. This includes, but is not restricted to, ecology, evolution, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, theoretical biology and behavior. Students entering with no marine biological background will be brought up to speed in the Principles courses. This MSc programme is research oriented. Although there are no official requirements with respect to grades, candidates are encouraged to have a strong quantitative background in, e.g., analytical -multivariate statistics, data processing, programming, modelling, molecular lab skills or other hard skills.

*Interested candidates with a background in other fields such as chemistry, physics, engineering, economics, or other cross disciplines will be considered but will need to contact the admissions committee to discuss their particular case.

Check the Education website for admission procedures, requirements and a detailed study guide.

Deep sublittoral, Gullmar fjord, Sweden
Deep sublittoral, Gullmar fjord, Sweden
Study elements research track Marine Biology ECTS credits
Principles courses:
•  Biological oceanography
•  Marine biology & ecology
•  Marine conservation

Specialization/Profiling courses Marine Biology:
•  Evolutionary ecology of marine organisms
•  Marine ecosystem service & global change
•  Polar ecosystems
•  Numerical Modeling for Marine Biologists
•  Mediterranean rocky shores

Tool box courses Ecology & Evolution/Marine Biology:
•  Practical bioinformatics for biologists
•  A primer in population genetic modeling
•  Analyses of genetic data in behaviour, ecology and conservation
•  Meta analyses in ecology
•  Radio isotopes in experimental Biology
•  Advanced statistics
•  Programming C++ for biologists
•  Molecular methods in ecology & evolution
•  Mathematical models in ecology & evolution
•  Self-organization of social systems
and more...
Research project 1 (University of Groningen or NIOZ) ≥40
Research project 2 (anywhere in the world with approval;
M-track students: internship with a company or NGO)
Essay 5
Colloquium 5
Total 120
Exposed shores, Gullmar fjord, Sweden
Exposed shores, Gullmar fjord, Sweden
Last modified:22 November 2017 1.38 p.m.