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The methodological spectrum of the course is broad and ranges from field work and field experiments to laboratory experiments, statistic data evaluation and computer simulation. Experimentation is central to the course on every level, and because students are expected to work independently early on, the principles of experiment design are learned through first- hand experience. Successful graduates are well placed to enter or continue in academia, usually embarking on a PhD.
Educational organisationThe Master's programme takes two years and confers 120 ECTS credits. The first year builds on the Bachelor's degree and is intended to deepen students' subject knowledge. Active forms of teaching such as seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory or field courses make up much of the programme. Two basic modules of 10 credits each on evolutionary theory and evolutionary biology are compulsory for all students. The remaining 40 credits of the first year are normally obtained through follow-on modules in one of the three fields; systematic zoology, systematic botany or ecology, though further specialisation within those fields is also possible. With the agreement of their Master's thesis supervisor, students can also combine follow-on modules from the different fields, or take modules from a Master's programme being offered in yet another area of biology or, for example, in a field such as geosciences. ECTS credits that have been obtained abroad are generally recognised, and a period at a foreign university is actively encouraged.
The second year of the course is dedicated to the Master's thesis. The practical work involved is weighted with 30 credits and the evaluation of the data and writing up of the results together confer a further 30 credits. Master's theses that involve field work or which are bound by vegetation periods can be begun in the summer semester of the first year. Master's theses can be completed at any of the three university institutes involved in the programme, or externally, e.g. at one of the non-university research facilities in Jena or one of our many cooperation partners in Germany and abroad.
Forms of assessmentActive forms of teaching such as seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory or field courses make up much of the programme.
Course objectivesGraduates of this programme will have acquired the field-specific academic techniques as well as the communication skills necessary to publicly present the results of scientific research. They may also gain international experience by spending one semester abroad. The Master's programme qualifies students for work in academia and allows them to pursue a PhD in the areas of zoology, botany, systematics, ecology, evolution biology, and functional biodiversity research either at the FSU or at other universities in Germany and abroad.
Academic requirementsApplicants must hold a Bachelor's degree in the field of biology or a field recognised as equivalent to it. Admissions decisions will be based on a number of criteria, including your grade point average and letter of motivation.
Enrolment feesSemester fee (Student Services and Student Self-Government) including semester ticket for free use of public transport: approx. 190 EUR per semester and a one-off fee of 20 EUR for a multifunctional student ID card (Thoska)
Costs of livingApprox. 550 EUR per month to cover personal expenses
Arrival supportFor information about arrival and your first days in Jena, please see: http://www.uni-jena.de/en/International+Affairs/Studying+in+Jena/Degree_Seeking+Studies/FAQ+Degree+Seekers.html.
Services and support for international studentsSee: http://www.uni-jena.de/en/Stipends_internat_students.html
AccommodationFor the whole study period, you can use the offer of the Department of Student Living
You can also look for single or shared private accommodation on your own. There are numerous information boards with accommodation offers in the buildings of the university. However, please note that the availability of private accommodation in Jena is rather limited.