Evolutionary Biology - Master's Programme in Biology

Academic year 2022/2023

Photo for Evolutionary Biology - Master's Programme in Biology 2022/2023

The distinguishing feature of the Master's Programme in Biology, specialising in Evolutionary Biology, is the integrative approach to evolutionary biology, including evolutionary ecology, genomics, macroevolution, developmental biology and systematics. This requires an integration of field, laboratory and theoretical approaches.

Why this programme?

Uppsala University is internationally renowned and the Master's Programme in Biology gives you a degree with a good reputation worldwide. We strive for all kinds of biology to exist at the university. Each student in the Master's Programme in Biology has their own personal study plan and you can choose freely from a large number of courses according to your own interest. We also give you suggestions for a well-thought-out course of study.

The specialisation in Evolutionary Biology, within the Master's Programme in Biology, is characterised by the integration of field studies, laboratory and theoretical studies. We do this by bringing together underlying disciplines that have traditionally been separated, such as molecular genetics and ecology. 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.

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 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


Year 1:
In the first semester, you will take the following courses:

  • Evolutionary Processes: is focused on processes such as genetic drift, migration and natural selection and ecological factors (for instance, population growth and regulation). After completion of the course you will have knowledge of the latest research in the border ecology - evolutionary genetics.
  • Evolutionary Patterns: you will study how the processes put their imprint in the form of patterns that we can observe today at different levels such as communities, populations, genomes, and genes.
In the second semester, you will choose among our recommended courses according to your individual study plan. Since the specialisation is intended toward those who plan to continue on to doctoral studies, the Master's programme provides a solid background, as all courses involve world-renowned researchers.

Year 2:
During the second year, you can study one or two regular courses, or combine a research training course with a degree project of 30, 45 or 60 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

Biology instruction at Uppsala University is done in close connection to current research. All teachers for the individual courses in the Master's Programme in Biology are active scientists, ensuring that you will get an education that reaches to the absolute forefront of the respective 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 all courses of the programme.

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


The Master's 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 is your degree project. With a careful choice of the courses and topic for your degree project, you will graduate with a solid theoretical knowledge in evolutionary processes and the methods you need for further studies, including methods in statistics.

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

The average salary in Sweden for biologists was SEK 42 100 in 2019, according to the trade union the Swedish Association of Professional Scientists (in Swedish).

Career support
During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, you also need to submit a programme-specific document: an Application Summary Sheet, where you also fill in your Statement of Purpose.

Evolutionary Biology

120 credits

Autumn 2022, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 17 January 2022

Application 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 and/or earth sciences.
Language requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


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 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact: Richard Svanbäck or Fredrik Sundström


+46 18 471 29 38 (Richard) / +46 18 471 41 38 (Fredrik)

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:


Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyvägen 14 / BMC A8:1

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


Last modified: 2022-05-13