Evolution, Ecology and Systematics

Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:2 years
Deadline: May 31, 2021
StudyQA ranking:354

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During the course, organisms are studied in their functional entirety using modern and innovative methods of investigation. Particular emphasis is placed on interaction with biotic and abiotic environments right up to complex ecosystem level. The programme is rooted in the classic subjects systematic zoology, systematic botany and ecology, with evolutionary biology serving as a connecting thread. Both the teaching and the research of the three institutes involved are coloured by their focus not only on the evolutionary emergence of biological diversity but also on its functional significance for ecosystems. The physiological, anatomical, morphological and behavioural traits of species are viewed as adaptations to living conditions which have been shaped by selective forces.

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.

See: http://mees-fsu.de/richtungen.en.html

Educational organisation

The 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 assessment

Active forms of teaching such as seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory or field courses make up much of the programme.

Course objectives

Graduates 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.

Language requirements


Academic requirements

Applicants 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 fees

Semester 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 living

Approx. 550 EUR per month to cover personal expenses

Arrival support

For 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 students

See: http://www.uni-jena.de/en/Stipends_internat_students.html


For the whole study period, you can use the offer of the Department of Student Living
See: http://www.stw-thueringen.de/english/housing/wohnen.html.
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.
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Study mode:On campus Languages: English
Local:$ 256 / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 256 / Academic year(s)
  StudyQA ranking: 878