MSc in Marine Biology

University of Groningen

Program Description

MSc in Marine Biology

University of Groningen

University of Groningen


How does increasing temperatures affect whales and seals? How does overfishing influence marine food-webs? How do we restore and protect the Wadden Sea?

The two-year Master's degree programme in Marine Biology focuses on life in our planet's seas and oceans. Whether you are interested in biological oceanography, conservation of marine mammals, or coastal marine ecology, there are plenty of opportunities: you can design your own study programme to fit your personal preferences.

Our flexible Master's degree programme is open for all students with a bachelor in biology. It includes a number of newly developed master courses which are jointly taught by several research groups in Marine Biology at the University of Groningen and in close co-operation with the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (Texel, Yerseke). The programme is strongly research oriented. You will conduct research under the supervision of experienced scientists. We offer you the experience of working on projects all over the world. For example, our students have studied fish behaviour in Lake Victoria, east-central Africa.

Programme options

Science, Business & Policy (profile)

Interested in the business side of science? You can combine this Master's programme with the Science Business & Policy profile. The SBP profile includes a six-month internship as a scientific advisor.

Research profile (profile)

2-year programme; credits per year: 60 ECTS; most courses are 5 ECTS.

We offer students a series of introductory and specialised courses in Marine Sciences (20-30 ECTS).

The courses will facilitate students from various backgrounds to successfully obtain a degree in Marine Biology. These courses will cover a large range of topics including chemical, physical and biological oceanography, marine conservation, marine community ecology, applied marine biology and marine evolution. Courses will be taught by lecturers from various research institutes, as well as external experts (mainly NIOZ).After a series of compulsory and facultative courses, the students will start their first research project.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • For an average of 20 weeks
  • Maximum of 60 EC

Exchange: All our science and engineering programmes offer study abroad possibilities at a number of partner institutions, often as a second research project. Our partners include top-100 universities in Europe (for example in Germany, UK, and Sweden) and in the USA, China, South-East Asia, and South America.

Admission requirements

Specific requirements More information
additional subject The Admissions Office will advise the Admissions Board on your application, after which the board will decide if you meet the admission requirements in terms of general level of previous education and specific background knowledge.
previous education 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 behaviour. Interested candidates with a background in other fields such as chemistry, physics, engineering, economics, or other cross disciplines will be considered/evaluated on a case by case basis.*Students entering with no specific marine biological background will need to follow the set of Introductory Core Courses. This Master's programme is research-focused. Candidates are therefore encouraged to have a strong quantitative background in, for example, analytical statistics, data processing, programming or other hard skills. Please note that the decision on international applications is taken at the discretion of the Admissions Board in all cases.

Language requirements

Exam Minimum score
IELTS overall band 6.5
TOEFL paper-based 580
TOEFL computer based 237
TOEFL internet based 92

Tuition fees

Nationality Year Fee Programme form
EU/EEA 2017-2018 € 2060 full-time
non-EU/EEA 2017-2018 € 14200 full-time

Application deadlines

Type of student Deadline Start course
EU/EEA students 01 May 2018 01 September 2018
non-EU/EEA students 01 May 2018 01 September 2018

Job prospects

  • About one third of the graduates continue in academic research with the pursuit of their PhD degree in The Netherlands or abroad.
  • About one third of the graduates continue in various kinds of research and management related to fisheries and coastal zone management.
  • About one third of the graduates work in the public sector, for example in journalism, teaching or communication.

Job examples

  • PhD research position
  • Research and Management related to marine biology
  • Work in the public sector

Get engaged in the Research of Dutch National Research Institutes on Marine Life

You have the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of experienced scientists. Whether you are interested in biological oceanography or coastal marine ecology, there are plenty of opportunities.

Examples of research conducted in the field, on board research vessels:

  • Studying species interactions across trophic levels in the Wadden Sea
  • Population dynamics of krill in the Antarctic
  • The evolution and dispersal of marine organisms

Examples of research conducted in the laboratory:

  • The influence of ultraviolet radiation on plankton
  • Analysis of dispersal and genetic population structure of seaweeds, sea grasses, fish and invertebrates
  • Molecular identification of invasive species
  • Conservation genetics of marine mammals
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 29, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
24 months
Full time
14,200 EUR
Netherlands - Groningen, Groningen
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
Netherlands - Groningen, Groningen
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info