Ecology and Evolution (MSc)

the Netherlands

For more information about Ecology and Evolution at University of Groningen, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
24 Months

Domestic course fees
EUR 2168 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
EUR 18500 per year

All study options

About Ecology and Evolution at University of Groningen

Which organisms are able to adapt to global change? How do birds decide when and where to migrate? When and why do individual differences in physiology or behaviour evolve?

This Master's degree programme has a selection procedure.

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:

  • 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;
  • 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.
  • The selective Master's programme is designed for students primarily aiming for a career in research, and who are able to keep up with the study pace of the cohort that starts in September. Students who aim for a career that focuses on the business and policy side of science are referred to our Master's programme Biology. The Master's programme Biology is also an option for students who would like to start after the start studying during the academic year, but restrictions and deadlines apply.

    Study options for this course

    • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
    • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study24 months
      Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesEUR 2168 per yearInternational course feesEUR 18500 per year

    Entry requirements

    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.

    What students think about University of Groningen

      If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

      Ana Quintana, Mexico, Strategic Innovation Management

      I gained a Bachelor's degree in Management & Marketing in Mexico City before I came to the Netherlands to undertake my Master's programme. During my Bachelor's studies, I spent a semester in Canada and I wanted to expand my international (study) experiences before starting work. I was keen to focus on innovation which is not usually offered in Mexico hence the combination of Innovation and Strategy in one programme directed me to Groningen.

      My Master's thesis dealt with Innovation in family businesses and I now benefit from the intense research modules offered during the programme. Now I am working as a Promotion Manager in charge of the several customer loyalty programs offered by one of Mexico's biggest hotel chains. Although the Master's program was rather theoretical, I feel that it prepared me very well for my current job. 

      There was nothing about Groningen that I did not like: the city is just beautiful. I especially enjoyed going everywhere by bike, the variety of offers for students and, of course, the Queensday (now Kings Day) celebrations. Groningen has everything to make (foreign) students feel at home.

      Looking back a year after my return to Mexico, I feel that I especially enjoyed getting to know Dutch culture. In addition, the courses offered and the beauty of the city made my stay in Groningen an unforgettable experience. If I had to choose a Master's programme again, I would be on a flight to Groningen.

      I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law

      Lejla Terzimehic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Global Criminal Law

      Thanks to the European Commission Scholarship and the Talent Grant from the University of Groningen, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field of law that I am most passionate about, at one of the oldest and most prestigious European universities.

      Being very intellectually challenging, the master programme truly met my expectations. Sharing knowledge with my colleagues, all coming from different legal traditions, and learning from inspiring professors enriched me with the skills I hadn't attained during my previous education.

      What I found to be the most beneficial is that the Dutch education system which, taught us to develop a critical opinion on law-related issues. Moreover, this master programme had a unique approach in tackling controversial contemporary legal issues. Due to its strong comparative emphasis, it encouraged us to keep at constant track with our national law, which is of a huge significance.

      Both the master and a 6-month long internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for The Former Yugoslavia strengthened my belief in Justice. Furthermore, besides this academic benefit, I believe that studying abroad unequivocally broadens our horizons and tests prejudices we even are not aware of.

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