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The award
MSc

How long you will study
24 months

Domestic course fees
EUR 2060

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
February, November, September

International course fees
EUR 14350

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?

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

Ecology and evolutionary biology play a crucial role in facingthe grand challenges of our time. This includes the development ofrealistic plans for coping with the implications of global change,for stopping the alarming biodiversity loss, for designingevolutionarily stable strategies to set-up a sustainable society,and for developing evolution-informed medical treatment. Theresearch fields of ecology and evolution are highly dynamic.Powerful new techniques (e.g. GPS-tracking of migrating birds overthe whole planet; remote sensing; tracking of individual cells in aculture of micro-organisms; genome-wide sequencing;individual-based simulations; new methods to analyze 'bigdata') allow us to resolve long-standing puzzles.

These new approaches lead to new insights and concepts thatchange our way of thinking, including a range of new integrativedisciplines (e.g. evo-devo; evolutionary medicine; evolutionarycommunity ecology; ecological immunology; evolutionary systemsbiology; adaptation and conservation genomics; evolutionarypsychology). With this Master's programme, we aim to educate thenew generation of scientists in ecology and evolution, both thosewho want to study the big fundamental questions in all domains of the life sciences and those who want to contribute to solving thegrand challenges of our time.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offeredby the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES),which conducts internationally recognized research in a uniquediversity of areas relevant for ecology and evolution, includingconservation biology, community ecology, microbial ecology, marinebiology, evolutionary genetics and genomics, evolutionary systemsbiology, ecophysiology, neurobiology, chronobiology, evolutionarymedicine, behavioural ecology, animal personality research, socialevolution, and theoretical biology. We study a wide array ofspecies, from microbes, algae, plants and insects to vertebratessuch as fish, birds, rodents, marine mammals, large herbivores and humans.

The Master's programme offers a 'Science, Business andPolicy' track for students that want to focus on thebusiness and policy side of science, and a Research track withthree specialization options: 1) the Groningen 'TopProgramme in Evolutionary Biology' and 2) theinternational Erasmus Mundus double-degree programme inEvolutionary Biology (MEME) that are both stronglyresearch-oriented and designed to provide an optimal preparationfor a subsequent PhD and eventually a career in academic research;and 3) a new MSc programme Ecology &Conservation that educates the new generation ofecologists to contribute to understanding and solving the globalecological problems, as a scientist and practitioner in thefield.

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?

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

Ecology and evolutionary biology play a crucial role in facingthe grand challenges of our time. This includes the development ofrealistic plans for coping with the implications of global change,for stopping the alarming biodiversity loss, for designingevolutionarily stable strategies to set-up a sustainable society,and for developing evolution-informed medical treatment. Theresearch fields of ecology and evolution are highly dynamic.Powerful new techniques (e.g. GPS-tracking of migrating birds overthe whole planet; remote sensing; tracking of individual cells in aculture of micro-organisms; genome-wide sequencing;individual-based simulations; new methods to analyse 'bigdata') allow us to resolve long-standing puzzles.

These new approaches lead to new insights and concepts thatchange our way of thinking, including a range of new integrativedisciplines (e.g. evo-devo; evolutionary medicine; evolutionarycommunity ecology; ecological immunology; evolutionary systemsbiology; adaptation and conservation genomics; evolutionarypsychology). With this Master's programme, we aim to educate thenew generation of scientists in ecology and evolution, both thosewho want to study the big fundamental questions in all domains of the life sciences and those who want to contribute to solving thegrand challenges of our time.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offeredby the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES),which conducts internationally recognized research in a uniquediversity of areas relevant for ecology and evolution, includingconservation biology, community ecology, microbial ecology, marinebiology, evolutionary genetics and genomics, evolutionary systemsbiology, ecophysiology, neurobiology, chronobiology, evolutionarymedicine, behavioural ecology, animal personality research, socialevolution, and theoretical biology. We study a wide array ofspecies, from microbes, algae, plants and insects to vertebratessuch as fish, birds, rodents, marine mammals, large herbivores and humans.

The Master's programme offers a 'Science, Business andPolicy' track for students that want to focus on thebusiness and policy side of science, and a Research track withthree specialization options: 1) the Groningen 'TopProgramme in Evolutionary Biology' and 2) theinternational Erasmus Mundus double-degree programme inEvolutionary Biology (MEME) that are both stronglyresearch-oriented and designed to provide an optimal preparationfor a subsequent PhD and eventually a career in academic research;and 3) a new MSc programme Ecology &Conservation that educates the new generation ofecologists to contribute to understanding and solving the globalecological problems, as a scientist and practitioner in thefield.

After your studies

Job prospects

Graduates of the programme who have chosen for the Researchtrack often enter a PhD programme or join a research anddevelopment team in a company or research institute. Students whohave chosen the Science, Business & Policy track find jobs(e.g. as science advisor) in a variety of fields, e.g. ingovernmental or non-governmental organizations, researchinstitutions, museums, publishers or companies.

Graduates of the programme who have chosen for the Researchtrack often enter a PhD programme or join a research anddevelopment team in a company or research institute. Students whohave chosen the Science, Business & Policy track find jobs(e.g. as science advisor) in a variety of fields, e.g. ingovernmental or non-governmental organizations, researchinstitutions, museums, publishers or companies.

Job examples

  • PhD research position
  • R&D in a company or research institute
  • Scientific advisor, project officer or consultant
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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 startsFebruary, November, SeptemberDomestic course feesEUR 2060International course feesEUR 14350

Notes about fees for this course

EU/EEA

€ 2060 per year

non-EU/EEA

€ 14350 per year

Entry requirements

Bachelor-Master connections

Study programmeOrganizationTransition
BiologyAll Research universities

No additional requirements

More information:

A Bachelor's degree in Biology with specialization in Ecology orMarine Biology. Other comparable university Bachelor's degree ondecision of the Board of Examiners A special programme is availablefor holders of a Dutch HBO Bachelor's degree, also on decision of the Board of Examiners

BiologyUniversity of GroningenNo additional requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
additional subject

The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on yourapplication, after which the board will decide if you meet theadmission requirements in terms of general level of previouseducation and specific background knowledge.

language test

MAKE SURE TO VISIT http://www.rug.nl/(...)anguage-requirementsfor all the necessary information about required language tests.

previous education

A university Bachelor's degree in Biology including aspecialization in Ecology or Evolutionary Biology, or a relatedfield. This is merely an indication of required backgroundknowledge. The admissions board determines whether the specificcontents of this/these course(s) meet the admission requirements of the master programme for which you applied.

other admission requirements

BEFORE YOU APPLY

Make sure to visit 'MSc Application Procedure' at: http://www.rug.nl/(...)amme/admissions/msc/for all the necessary information about the procedure and admission requirements.

The Top programma Evolutionary Biology is an advanced trackwithin the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution. You can apply viaStudielink by selecting the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution andadd the notification or remark Evolutionary Biology.

If you wish to apply for the MEME programme you should applybefore the 1st of February http://www.evobio.eu/admissionA full description of the admission criteria and selectionprocedure for the MEME programme is provided at the followingwebpage: http://www.evobio.eu/admission

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
knowledge minimum

English proficiency on VWO level is required.

previous education

An academic Bachelor's degree in Biology including aspecialisation in Ecology or Marine Biology.

other admission requirements

The top programma Evolutionary Biology is an advanced trackwithin the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution. You can apply viaStudielink by selecting the MSc programme Ecology and Evolution andadd the notification or remark Evolutionary Biology.

If you wish to apply for the MEME programme you should applybefore the 1st of February http://www.evobio.eu/admissionA full description of the admission criteria and selectionprocedure for the MEME programme is provided at the followingwebpage: http://www.evobio.eu/admission

Registration procedure

The Admissions Board 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.

The Admissions Board will decide whether you can be admitted to the Master's degree programme. The Board may decide that you haveto take supplementary courses or follow a bridging programme beforebeing admitted.

Language requirements

ExamMinimum score
IELTS overall band6.5
TOEFL paper based580
TOEFL computer based237
TOEFL internet based92

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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