International MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+)

General information

The International Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+) is offered by a University consortium consisting of 7 partners and a supporting network of over 30 associate partners that play a role as internship and thesis work providers. Student mobility is an integral part of the Master: students start in one of the three year I Universities  for 42 credits. After this they take part in a joint Spring School in a research station along the EU coasts. At the end  of the first year students can do an internship or take an additional set of courses in one of the Year 1 Universities. In the second year, during the third semester, an additional set of courses is taken at one of the year 2 Universities. Thesis work in the fourth semester can be done at any of the partners in the EMBC+ consortium. 

The study programme is divided in 7 modules: 

(1) Understanding the structure and function of marine biodiversity 
(2) Toolbox for investigating marine biodiversity
(3) Conservation and Restoration of marine biodiversity
(4) Transferable skills
(5) Internship
(6) Spring School
(7) Thesis work

Learning outcome:

Each graduating EMBC+ master student should have acquired the following competences: 

  • Broad and cross-boundary scientific knowledge on biodiversity, conservation and restoration of the marine environment
  • Practical skills in fields related to marine biodiversity and conservation
  • Knowledge of applied activities and their impact in relation to a sustainable development of the marine environment
  • Access independently scientific literature and has the skill base and approach required of a research scientist 
  • Problem-solving capacity to occupy an independent and responsible position as a marine scientist
  • Communicate his/her knowledge and research results to the scientific and non-scientific world 
  • Acquire independently further knowledge and techniques
  • Operate in teamwork
Contact Person: Dr. Tim Deprez (Programme Coordinator) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0031 - Project management", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0724 - Oil, gas and mineral resources", "0731 - Marine spatial planning", "0831 - Fisheries", "1015 - Coastal and marine tourism


Venue: Ghent University (Coordinator)
Ghent, Belgium

Year 1 Universities: Ghent University, Bremen University, University of Algarve

Year 2 Universities: Pierre and Marie Curie University, University of Oviedo, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology



Click here to apply:


Currently EMBC+ Tuition fees are set at:

  • 2.500 €/year for European citizens
  • 3.500 €/year year for non-European citizens

Tuition fees are considered as the fees that each students has to pay to the consortium for participating in EMBC+. Tuition fees are set per academic year. A student following the programme without problems will thus pay twice the tuition fee at the start of each academic year. Tuition fees are fixed for each cohort of students but may be adapted throughout the running of the programme. Adaptations of the tuition fees may reflect changes in local enrollment fees or changes in cost for e.g. spring school organization. Change of the fees happens upon agreement by the consortium management board. Tuition fees should cover the cost of all elements of the study programme unless stated else. An overview of the financial arrangements will be communicated to each student at the start of the programme.


Degree Requirements
A prerequisite for admission is that applicants have a Bachelor (or Master) degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, oceanography, marine sciences, geography, geology, or other equivalent degrees with minimum 180 credits at the latest before Sep 1st. For third country students, preferably before Feb 28th.

Language Requirements
Knowledge of the English language: 

  • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (Paper) or 87 points* (Internet)
  • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5
  • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF level) - C1 level
  • A certificate proving that you have followed at least 1 year of higher education in English

* The minimum score for the internet-based TOEFL certificate has been adjusted to match the requirements of the paper-based certificate.

Application Procedure:

Application for the EMBC+ master programme is carried out through an online form by completing the following steps:

  • Step 1: read carefully the admission criteria
  • Step 2: make an EMBC+ personal account in the EMBC+ application tool - enter here
  • Step 3: enter all required data in the EMBC application tool enter here:
    • personal data
    • study overview
    • language skills
    • motivation
  • Step 4: submit the EMBC+ application to the EMBC+ coordination office before March, 30th 2016.

Deadlines and dates

  • Deadline for application: EU and Non-EU students: Monday, 30th of March 2016
  • Feedback on academic eligibility
    • for students (EU and non-EU) aiming to study at the university of Algarve or Ghent: Wednesday, 20th of April 2016
    • for students (EU and non-EU) aiming to study at the university of Bremen: Friday, 13th of May 2016
  • Deadline legalized documents at EMBC+ coordination office
    • for students (non-EU) aiming to study at the Algarve or Ghent: Wednesday, 11th of May 2016
    • for students (non-EU) aiming to study at the University of Bremen: Wednesday, 1st of June 2016
    • for all EU-students: Wednesday, 1st of June 2016
  • Issuing of invoice: Wednesday, 15th of June 2016
  • Deadline payment of invoice: Monday, 1st of August 2016

Note that if problems with the distributing of students over the universities would occur (i.e. if more students who are academically eligible want to go to a university than there are places at that university) the procedure of ‘first paid, first choice’ will be followed. The date on your proof of payment (bank transcript) will be taken into account.
Students who haven't paid by the deadline of Monday, 2nd of August will be considered as dropouts.

  • Exceptionally EU-students can apply until 01 June 2016, however this will have certain implications:
    • it is not possible for students who apply after the official deadline of March 30th 2016 to start in the university of Bremen
    • feedback on academic eligibility: Monday, 4th of July 2016
    • issuing of invoice: Friday, 15th of July 2016
    • deadline payment of incoice: Monday, 1st of August 2016


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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