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What will I learn?

During the two-year Master's 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.

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 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's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts internationally recognized research in a unique diversity of areas relevant for ecology and evolution, including conservation biology, community ecology, microbial ecology, marine biology, evolutionary genetics and genomics, evolutionary systems biology, ecophysiology, neurobiology, chronobiology, evolutionary medicine, behavioural ecology, animal personality research, social evolution, and theoretical biology. We study a wide array of species, from microbes, algae, plants and insects to vertebrates such as fish, birds, rodents, marine mammals, large herbivores and humans.

The selective Master's programme offers 2 specialized research tracks:

1) Evolutionary Biology, that is strongly research-oriented and designed to provide an optimal preparation for a subsequent PhD and eventually a career in academic research;

2) Ecology & Conservation, to educate the new generation of ecologists to contribute to understanding and solving the global ecological problems, as a scientist and practitioner in the field. 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.

Job prospects

Graduates of the programme who have chosen for the selective research master often enter a PhD programme or join a research and development team in a company or research institute.

Job examples

PhD research position
R&D in a company or research institute
Scientific advisor, project officer or consultant

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Study options

Full Time (24 Months)

Tuition fees
€17,500.00 (14,13,570) per year
Application deadline

Expected May 2023

More details

Start date

Expected September 2022

Venue

University of Groningen

Broerstraat 5,

Groningen,

9712 CP, Netherlands

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have Bachelor's degree. Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

For international students

This master's degree programme has a selection procedure; read the information below.

An academic Bachelor's degree in Biology with a specialization in Ecology, Evolution or another 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.

Language requirements

IELTS overall band: 6.5

TOEFL internet based: 90

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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