Evolutionary Biology - Master Programme in Biology 2019/2020

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The distinguishing feature of the specialisation in Evolutionary Biology is the integrative approach to evolutionary biology, including e.g. evolutionary ecology, genomics, macroevolution, developmental biology and systematics. This requires an integration of field, laboratory and theoretical approaches.

Why this programme?

The specialisation in Evolutionary Biology, within the Master Programme in Biology, is characterised exactly by this integration of field, laboratory and theoretical studies. We do this by bringing together underlying disciplines that have traditionally been separated, such as molecular genetics and field biology. Students may also turn towards biodiversity and systematics.

Uppsala University has been a major centre of biological research since the time of Linnaeus. This strong research tradition is manifested in the Evolutionary Biology Centre (EBC), where world-leading research ranges from ecology and biodiversity to evolutionary genomics and macroevolution.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • integrate field work, laboratory and theoretical studies
  • study at a major centre of biological research
  • focus on advanced level research
All forms of life are linked back in time and have a common history. How they have developed, their relationships and the processes involved that has affected and still affect the appearance of biological diversity are at the core of this specialisation. The specialisation in Evolutionary Biology focuses on advanced level research and is conducted in collaboration with a similar specialisation at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Although the two programmes are separate, there are extensive possibilities for students to move between courses and supervisors at each university. There is also the possibility of research training in Groningen.

Student profile
You have a broad interest in biology or a more narrowly focused interest in a specific sub-area. Either way, you are willing to take a lot of responsibility yourself to form your own educational experience from the very wide range of biology courses offered at Uppsala University.

Ideally, during your Bachelor's studies, you had the opportunity to work in a laboratory and do some field work as well as use statistics to analyse data from your work. Writing lab reports and shorter essays is something you already have experience doing.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in this international field.


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Biology as the main field of study.

All specialisations of this programme


The subject content of the first course, Evolutionary Processes, is focused on processes such as genetic drift, migration and natural selection and ecological factors such as population growth and regulation. After completion of the course you will have knowledge of the latest research in the border ecology - evolutionary genetics.

In the second course, Evolutionary Patterns, we look elsewhere and you will study how the processes put their imprint in the form of patterns that we can observe today at different levels; communities, populations and genes.

After the first semester you will choose among our recommended courses according to your individual study plan. Since the specialisation is intended those who plan to continue on to doctoral studies, the Master's programme provides a solid background, as all courses involve world-renowned researchers.

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.

Courses within the programme

See the outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

Teachers for the programme are active researchers, and as a student you will experience a close connection between research and education. You will even have a personal mentor who helps you discuss and plan your future career and your choice of courses and research projects.

You will gain first class subject knowledge, as well as training in analysis and problem solving. You will come into daily contact with researchers in the front line of international science. You will be able to benefit from their knowledge, experience their respective research areas and gain access to international contacts.

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 all courses of the programme.

The Master Programme in Biology has a strong international character, and all courses are held in English.


The Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Evolutionary Biology, is an entry port for PhD training in Sweden as well as abroad. Your most important merit in that respect are your degree projects. With a careful choice of the courses and topic for your degree project you will leave this specialisation with a solid theoretical knowledge regarding evolutionary processes as well as knowledge of the methods you need to study them.

As a biologist, you can also work as a teacher or science journalist.

Career support
When you are about to finish your studies and want to start planning for your next step in life, you are welcome to UU Careers for support and guidance. You are also welcome to a variety of career activities and events all through your stay at Uppsala University. Of course, the services are free of charge. Learn more about UU career support.


Evolutionary Biology

120 credits

Autumn 2019 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2019-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1127 Application

Language of Instruction: English

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 that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:
  • 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
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • 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.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000

Contact and further resources

Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyvägen 14 / BMC A8:1

Norbyv 14, 752 36 UPPSALA/Box 592, 751 24 UPPSALA

Fax: 018-471 4687 Fax: 018-471 4689

E-mail: info@ibg.uu.se

For programme-specific information, please contact: Brita Svensson or Fredrik Sundström master@ibg.uu.se

Telephone: +46 18 471 28 79 (Brita) / +46 18 471 48 35 (Fredrik)

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team: masterprogrammes@uu.se