MSc in Biological Sciences - Limnology and Oceanography

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MSc in Biological Sciences - Limnology and Oceanography

University of Amsterdam

MSc in Biological Sciences - Limnology and Oceanography

Language of instruction: English

Starts in: September

Water covers about 70% of our planet and sets it apart from every other planet we know. Water plays an important role in the global climate and is a source of food, minerals, energy and recreation. Aquatic ecosystems teem with organisms, ranging from tiny phytoplankton and zooplankton to coral, fish, and whales. Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are also used as ‘dumping grounds' for much of society's waste and are profoundly affected by global change.


The primary focus of the programme is research, conducted either within the University, at other research institutes in the Netherlands or abroad. The following research areas are open to students within the university:

  • Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology
  • Aquatic Microbiology
  • Marine Microbiology
  • Tropical Marine Biology
  • Theoretical Ecology

And there are several other research areas available at institutes outside the UvA:

  • Carmabi
  • Netherlands Institute of Ecology
  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research


Courses offer students the foundation required to conduct research in the biology, chemistry and physics of aquatic systems. The programme's curriculum covers a variety of topics in different disciplines, including algal blooms, hydrodynamics and phytoplankton, effects of climate change, water management, benthic ecology, microfilms, coral bleaching, natural products in sponges, molecular biology of coral symbionts, aquatic ecotoxicology etc. These courses incorporate theory with laboratory and field work.

Professional specializations

In general, Master’s students are trained to become independent researchers. But at the UvA Faculty of Science you can also choose to complete your Master’s programme with a professional specialization, that focuses on other skills than doing research.
There are two professional specializations available:

  • Science Communication (in Dutch)
  • Management, Policy Analysis & Entrepreneurship.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the track Limnology and Oceanography of the Master's programme Biological Sciences, you must hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology.

In addition you have to comply with the following requirements:

  • a bachelor’s Grade Point Average (GPA) of 6.5 or higher (according to the Dutch grading system). The GPA is the average of the bachelor’s course grades weighed by course/study load.
  • you must have obtained the Bachelor's degree within 4 years
  • you must have completed a Bachelor's Thesis (experimental work) of at least 15 ECTS credits. The subject of the Bachelor's thesis must show affinity with, and advanced knowledge of, Marine and/or Aquatic Biology.

Additional information for international students

International applicants must also fulfil other general entry requirements set by the Faculty of Science regarding academic background, academic average and proficiency in English.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees

The statutory tuition fee (except for the part-time rate) is determined annually by the Dutch government. Institutional tuition fee rates are set by the higher education institutions individually, and apply to students who do not meet the conditions for the statutory tuition fee rate.

The tuition fee rate is valid for a full academic year. The rate for enrolment as of 1 February can be determined by calculating 7/12ths of the given rate.

Statutory tuition fees 2016-2017

Specification Amount

  • full-time students € 1,984
  • part-time students € 1,706
  • dual programme students € 1,984
  • AUC students € 4,154
  • PPLE students € 3,968

Information for students from the Netherlands, the EEA, the EU, Switzerland and Suriname.

Students from the Netherlands, other countries within the European Economic Area (EEA), the EU, Switzerland and Suriname pay the statutory tuition fees if they satisfy the legal requirements. Institutional fee for students who do not qualify for the statutory fees

You are required to pay the institutional tuition fee if:

  • you are not a national of an EU or EEA Member State, Switzerland or Suriname;
  • after obtaining your Dutch Bachelor's degree you enrol in a second Bachelor's programme;
  • after obtaining your Dutch Master's degree you enrol in a second Master's programme;
  • you fail to satisfy all the conditions under one of the UvA's transitional arrangements. You can find the regulations in the 2015-2016 Enrolment Provisions or the 2016-2017 Enrolment Provisions (in Dutch).

Last updated April 19, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
24 months
Full time
12,000 EUR
Start date Sept. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 24 months
Price 12,000 EUR
institutional fee, per year.