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Course content

What is the Master of Biology all about?

The Master of Science in Biology emphasises problem-solving, independent thinking, and communication. You will be trained in the theory and techniques of fundamental and applied research in one of two areas of specialisation: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biologyor Molecular Biology and Physiology.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The 120 ECTS programme compromises four mandatory modules:

  • Common Core (18 ECTS)
  • You will obtain the necessary training in analysing and processing complex biological data, in basic programming, and in discussing biological topics in a societal context.
  • Advanced Biology (54 ECTS)
  • You can follow two modules: ‘Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology’ and ‘Molecular Biology and Physiology’. Throughout advanced and specialised courses, you will obtain the necessary knowledge and insights in a specific area of Biology.
  • You can specialise in one module or combine courses from both modules to design a programme that fits your needs and interests.
  • Elective courses (18 ECTS)
  • You can select additional courses in Advanced Biology, courses on Entrepreneurship, take remedial courses to fill in knowledge gaps and/or follow courses from other master’s programmes.
  • Master’s Thesis (30 ECTS). 
  • You will conduct your own original scientific research in the field of biology in an academic setting with the help of a supervisor. You will defend your master’s thesis publicly.


The Department of Biology is committed to excellence in teaching and research and is comprised of four divisions with diverse research activities ranging from molecular and physiological research at the level of cells and organisms to ecological research on populations, communities, and ecosystems. Although many research groups conduct in-depth analyses on specific model organisms, as a whole the department studies an impressive diversity of lifeforms.

Our research is internationally renowned and embedded in well-established worldwide collaborations with other universities, research institutes, and companies. Our primary goal is to obtain insight into patterns and processes at different levels of biological organisation and to understand the basis and evolution of the mechanisms that allow organisms to adapt to their constantly changing environment. This knowledge often leads to applications with important economic or societal benefits. The department attracts many students and hosts approximately 250 staff members.

Career perspectives

As a graduate of the programme, you will be in a position to pursue a career as a scientific researcher at universitiesagro-industries, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, environmental conservation organisations and NGO's

You will also be an excellent candidate for employment as a scientific advisor in banks and private investment foundations, a policy officer in governmental and public administration, a scientific communications advisor, scientific journalist, or a science teacher.

Visit the Biology MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!





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