The Master Programme in Biology is a first-class programme that gives you the freedom to create your own profile. We offer a broad range of courses (both in class and individual) making it possible for you to improve your personal competitiveness. The required subject depth and complementary knowledge within your education opens up the job market for you. All teachers for the individual courses in the Master Programme in Biology are active scientists, ensuring that you will get an education that reaches to the absolute forefront of the respective field.
Why this programme?
Ecology and Conservation is the specialisation for those who want to become nature conservationists, or those who want to conduct ecology or conservation biology research. In the Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Ecology and Conservation, you can choose among theoretical courses relating to plants, animals and microorganisms and their interactions, and there are also vocational courses that are intended for future work with nature conservation within companies, authorities and other organisations. You can become a sought after practitioner with a stable theoretical base.
As ecology deals with the interactions among organisms and their relations to the environment and is a meeting point for many biological fields of competence, this specialisation is to a large degree interdisciplinary. To understand the distribution and abundance of species it is essential to include courses in evolutionary biology. Nature conservation includes the preservation of genetic variation, and studies in genetics are crucial for many ecological issues. Both theoretical and applied discussions on biodiversity and species coexistence patterns require skills in species identification, and for some fields of ecology knowledge in earth sciences and chemistry are important.
The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Biology as the main field of study.
The first course is in the Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Ecology and Conservation, is Ecology D (alternatively Limnology D or Evolutionary Processes if you already have already completed an advanced level ecology course with similar content). You then choose among our recommended courses in your individual study plan.
In the second course, Population and Community Ecology, you will plunge deep into ecological patterns and processes, topics that you have already encountered during earlier basic courses. Various themes are introduced in lectures and discussed in seminars, but most importantly you will work through these themes in projects. You will learn to use tools to analyse dynamics in populations and communities with examples drawn from both plants and animals.
After the two opening courses, you select further courses depending on what career you aim at. A combination with Conservation Biology and Ecological Methods gives an excellent basis for nature conservation, and you will be well acquainted with modern programmes for environmental monitoring. You will be prepared to work at county administrative boards, governmental bodies as well as non-governmental organisations and corporations. The ambition is that students with this background should have a firm theoretical background that can be used to solve applied conservation problems.
For those aiming at a research career, combinations with courses with a strong link to current research (e.g., Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Genomics) is recommended.
During the second year, you can study one or two regular courses, or combine a research training course with a degree project of 30 or 45 credits. This allows you to prepare well for an academic career as well as a career outside academia.
Biology instruction at Uppsala University is done in close connection to current research. All lecturers and tutors in the Master Programme in Biology are also active researchers in the field.
The courses provide factual knowledge and practical training in the form of laboratory work and field trips, as well as the ability to solve problems, think analytically and work scientifically. Communication training is integrated in the courses of the programme.
The Master Programme in Biology has a strong international character, and all courses are held in English.
The Master's degree is an entry port for PhD training in Sweden as well as abroad. Your most important merit in that respect is your degree project. With a careful choice of the courses and topic for your degree project you will leave the Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Ecology and Conservation, with a solid theoretical knowledge in ecology, evolution and conservation biology as well as practical knowledge of the methods you need to study them.
With the combinations of suitable courses and choice of thesis work you will get a good basis for a future professional life within nature conservation. The place of work could be authorities at the local, regional or national level, as well as non-governmental organisations and private consultancies (a large part of conservation work is performed by such agencies). International work, for example within conservation organisations, is also an option. Your achieved solid theoretical knowledge will make you able to solve applied problems in ecology and conservation. Our focus in presentation techniques (writing reports, giving oral presentations and ample opportunities for discussions with fellow students and peers) is important for your future career.
As a biologist, you can also work as a teacher or science journalist.
You apply to all specialisations through www.universityadmissions.se except for the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME); for this specialisation you apply through www.evobio.eu.
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is:
60 weeks of full-time studies (90 credits) in biology; or
40 weeks of full-time studies (60 credits) in biology plus 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits) in chemistry or earth sciences.
Language requirements All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.