Course content

The research domain of biology is very broad, basically covering the full spectrum of the origin and diversity of life and its different levels of biological organization, ranging from cells to ecosystems and the biosphere.

Actual topics and challenges such as the conservation of threatened species, global change, sustainable use of natural resources, cloning of organisms, infectious diseases and medical progress find their roots in biology.

Biology also forms a source for numerous conceptual innovations that lead towards new disciplines, from molecular biology and biotechnology up to developing bio-inspired technologies.

Thanks to the interactions with other scientific disciplines such as chemistry, geology, geography and physics, biology forms an exciting study domain that is constantly in evolution and of which the development goes hand in hand with broad developments and challenges within society.

As such, the Master of Science in Biology has strong links with various aspects of science and society.

The Master of Science in Biology program aims at teaching master students the latest scientific developments in global change ecology, biodiversity and evolutionary biology, or functional biology. These programs deal with interactions of organisms, populations, species and communities with their biotic and abiotic environment, thereby focusing on underlying morphological, functional and evolutionary processes. Such focus closely corresponds to the research experience available at Ghent University and allows students to specialise in one of the chosen domains.
Research at the department is essentially fundamental in nature, and is carried out in 14 research groups covering a suite of zoological, botanical, functional and ecological disciplines.
The department has close links with the botanical garden and the zoology museum, each of which plays an essential role in the training of biology students and in supporting various research programmes.

Course structure

The two-year master's program (120 credits) consists of the following parts:

  • 18 credits for general courses;
  • 42 credits for major courses:
  • 30 credits for minor (elective) courses;
  • 30 credits for the master dissertation.

The general courses prepare students for the right choice of their major courses and their master's dissertation.

In the first year of the master's program students select one major from a total of four:

  • General Biology
  • Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
  • Global Change Ecology
  • Functional Biology

This major allows them to improve their profound knowledge of the areas of research expertise of Ghent University.

Students can also choose from two minor course packages. It consists of broadening elective courses. Possible combinations between minors and majors are:

  • minor Bio-inspired Innovation and Sustainability - major General Biology
  • minor Research - major Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology
  • minor Research - major Global Change Ecology
  • minor Research - major Functional Biology.

The master's dissertation is situated within the research area of major course package you have chosen. Most master's dissertations fit the current national or international (research) projects. However, the master's dissertation can also exploit the results of specific projects or it can even have a prospective character regarding future projects.

Career perspectives

Graduates of the Master in Biology can work on scientific research in universities or scientific research institutions, at secondary or higher education level, in counseling or managerial functions within the government and in companies where research and development is the core business.

More information:

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated September 17, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
2 years
1,792 EUR
Price non-EU | Price EU: € 922,30
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