Environmental Sciences

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 1.7 k / Year(s) Deadline: Feb 28, 2024
73 place StudyQA ranking:1155 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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Environmental sciences deal with human, animal and plant resources and researches the reciprocal dependencies between man, human culture / civilization, and animate and inanimate nature. The discipline Environmental Sciences on the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Sciences is specialized in interdisciplinary research of biodiversity.

Education goals

The specialized Master's degree program provides students with an in-depth scientific education and the skills needed to carry out independent scientific work. The incorporation of various subject-specific skills in an interdisciplinary "class" results in synergies for joint projects. This specifically promotes the ability to work as part of a team.

The 1.5-year program (3 terms) is structured as follows: In the first and second term the basic interdisciplinary knowledge will be obtained. In the second and third term the Master's thesis will be carried out in one of the research groups of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies. During the first term the student develops and presents a personal research plan for the thesis project. 
A total of 90 credit points is required for the MSc in Environmental Sciences. 30 credit points are obtained for the courses and 60 credit points for the thesis work. The courses are grouped into modules UWW 220 - UWW 290. All modules are assessed according to ECTS-standards. One credit point equals 30 hours of effective work. 
All courses in the specialised Master's program in Environmental Sciences are organised and offered by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies of the University of Zurich. The thesis project must be supervised by a research group leader of the Institute but may physically be carried out at an external institution. 
The courses consist of lectures, seminars, exercises, and project-oriented assignments. A mixture of assessment modes will be used, e.g. written and oral examinations, term papers, and field-exercises.

  • UWW 221 Species interactions and biodiversity (3 ECTS)
  • UWW 222 Field course in biodiversity assessment and monitoring (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 231 Analysis and management of biological populations (2 ECTS) 
  • UWW 251 Global change and ecosystem ecology (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 252 Spatial ecology and remote sensing (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 261 Introduction into research methods and study design (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 262 Presentation and discussion of master projects (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 271 Contemporary analysis for ecology (2 ECTS)
  • BIO 377 Introduction to R (2 ECTS)
  • UWW 273 Introduction to theoretical ecology (3 ECTS)
  • UWW 280 Special topics
  • UWW 291 Classic papers in ecology and evolutionary biology (3 ECTS)
  • UWW 292 Research seminar: BEES, SEBES (1 ECTS)
  • UWW 200 Master thesis 60 ECTS
  • Completed application form
  • Copy of your secondary school-leaving certificate with a legalized translation if the certificate is in a language other than German, English, French
  • Copies of your Bachelor’s degree diploma, Diploma Supplement and Academic Record (final transcript of records) with legalized translations if the documents are in a language other than German, English, French
  • Copy of your university degree if it is not a Bachelor’s degree (Diploma, Master), with a legalized translation if the documents are in a language other than German, English, French
  • Copy of transcript of records (if your university degree has not yet been awarded) stating: your current level of study, amount of credits earned and still outstanding, number of semesters studied, examinations taken, ECTS credits, grading scale, course hours; with a legalized translation of the transcript if in a language other than German, English, French Formal transcripts of your academic record (providing full details of the degree, grades you have obtained and modules you have taken. If these documents are not in English you should have them accompanied by a formal certified translation into English)
  • Enclose your Curriculum vitae
  • Ask two referees to fill in the recommendation form
  • Finance plan


Living expenses depend very much on the individual student. These figures should therefore be regarded as a guideline only (in CHF): 

Rent incl. heating 550
Additional expenses (telephone, internet) 200
Meals 400
Insurance 250
Travel 80
Clothing, laundry, personal items 70
Leisure, spending money 150
Teaching materials 50
Total 1,750

The expected minimum cost of living for students therefore comes to a total of CHF 1,750 per month. Course fees come to around CHF 770 per semester.

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