The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food.
Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological progress of modern society. They are central to global concerns about how we effect and are affected by our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The MSc Biology allows students to get a broad overview of the latest developments in biology, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss the newest scientific developments in the biological sciences. Within their area of specialisation, students deepen their knowledge and skills in a certain subject. To prepare for a successful international career, we strongly encourage our students to complete part of their programme requirements abroad.
The MSc Biology offers nine specialisations:
Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology This specialisation focuses mainly on subjects as adaptation, mechanisms involved in these adaptations and behaviour of animals.
Bio-interactions In this specialisation, you obtain knowledge about interactions between organisms. You learn to understand and interpret interactions on different levels, from molecular to ecosystem level.
Molecular Ecology In this specialisation, you learn to use molecular techniques to solve ecological questions. You will use, for example, molecular techniques to study the interaction between a virus and a plant.
Conservation and Systems Ecology This specialisation focuses initially on fundamental processes that play a key role in ecology. You learn to interpret different relations, for example, the relation between chemical (or physical processes) and bioprocesses. Furthermore, you learn to analyse different ecosystems. You can use this knowledge to manage and conserve these ecological systems.
Evolution and Biodiversity The systematics of biodiversity in an evolutionary perspective is the central focus of this specialisation. Subjects that will be addressed in this specialisation are: evolution, genetics, biosystematic research and taxonomic analysis.
Health and Disease This specialisation focuses on regulatory mechanisms that have a central role in human and animal health.
Marine Biology Choosing this specialisation means studying the complexity of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, you learn about the impacts of, for instance, fishery and recreation on this ecosystem or the interaction between different species in this system.
Molecular Development and Gene Regulation This specialisation focuses on gene regulations and the different developmental mechanisms of organisms.
Plant Adaptation This specialisation focuses on the adaptations that different plants gained in order to adjust to various conditions. You learn to understand the regulation processes in plants that underlie these adaptations.
Your future career
Many graduates from the MSc Biology study programme enter careers in fundamental and applied research or go on to become PhD students. Some find a position as communication officer, manager or policymaker. Compared with other Dutch universities, many biology graduates from Wageningen University find a position abroad.
Alumna Iris de Winter. "I work as a PhD student at Wageningen University. In my research, I aim to understand the effect of human disturbance on the parasites prevalence in lemurs. I also look at the potential risks of the transmission of diseases and parasites from lemurs to humans, but also vice versa, from humans (and their livestock and pets) to wild lemur population. I alternate my fieldwork in Madagascar with parasite identification, analyses and writing manuscripts in the Netherlands. With this research, I hope to gain more insight in the factors that increase parasite prevalence in natural systems and hereby to improve the protection of both lemurs and their natural habitat."
Related programmes: MSc Molecular Life Sciences MSc Animal Sciences MSc Plant Sciences MSc Forest and Nature Conservation MSc Biotechnology MSc Plant Biotechnology MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management MSc Organic Agriculture.
page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!
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