With six departments and over 20 research groups dedicated to plant sciences, the University of Bonn is a great place to expand the frontiers of knowledge on fundamental and practical aspects in plant sciences. In this research environment, the Master's programme Plant Sciences was launched in the winter semester of 2008. The MSc Plant Sciences programme aims at conveying the integrated understanding of modern plant sciences over the full spectrum of current research from molecules and physiology across biotic and abiotic interactions to global biodiversity. A strong emphasis is placed on practical research experience in the laboratories of the participating research groups. Mandatory courses on plant biochemistry and physiology, plant cell biology, and plant biodiversity and systematics accompanied by elective laboratory courses in the first and second semesters lay the foundation for later research projects in the Master's thesis. At the same time, students will have the opportunity to focus their interest on any of these research areas or choose from a wide spectrum of courses addressing topics such as plant molecular biology, plant molecular evolution and phylogenetics, plant proteomics, paleobotany, phytochemistry, plant nutrition, or plant physiology. For up-to-date information, please see: http://plantmaster.uni-bonn.de.
The MSc Plant Sciences course programme is modularised according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). A total of 120 credit points (30 per semester) will be accumulated during two years of study. Integrated laboratory courses to be completed in successive time frames of up to five weeks are central to the concept. Morning lectures in the three areas outlined above (A: Plant Biochemistry and Physiology, B: Plant Biodiversity and Systematics and C: Plant Cell Biology) with a choice of accompanying seminars will be provided over the semesters. Students are free to integrate external lab course work at non-university institutions into their course programme. This external lab course work will be equally credited.
Internships, typically six weeks, can be arranged according to the participants' preferences. Internships and practical courses at institutions outside the university (plant research industry, Max Planck Institutes, Forschungszentrum Jülich etc.) are highly welcome and will be credited. Individual appointments for lab courses will be accepted after prior notification of the programme coordinator.
Forms of assessment
Depending on the module, assessments are in the form of written exams, presentations, or lab protocols.
The central objective of the MSc Plant Sciences programme at the University of Bonn is an integrated scientific understanding across different levels of plant biology. Hence, students can focus their interest on many fields of modern plant research. They will also gain a solid and broad fundamental understanding of plants on all levels between molecules and biodiversity.
Applicants must provide proof of their English skills: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) paper-based 550 or computer-based 213, IELTS 6.0 (International English Language Testing System), or equivalent tests. Exceptions (native speakers, eight years of school training conducted in English, etc.) may apply.
BSc in the life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry) or related fields (agricultural biology, biotechnology, forestry etc.). Applicants with a BSc in chemistry, physics, or geosciences will also be considered.
These fees equate to about 270 EUR per semester. This contribution ("Sozialbeitrag") includes a semester ticket covering public transport in the entire state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Non-EU students are requested to pay an additional 50 EUR.
Costs of living
Approx. 800 EUR per month should be sufficient to cover personal expenses such as rent, food, insurance, etc.
Students have the opportunity to arrange a job as teaching/laboratory assistants ("studentische Hilfskraft", e.g. in supporting experiments in practical courses of the BSc programmes). Such job opportunities must be arranged by the students themselves.
Accommodation in student dormitories/apartments is available to a limited extent in Bonn (http://www.studentenwerk-bonn.de) at prices around 200 to 300 EUR a month. Many students also find apartments at slightly higher rents elsewhere in the city area.