MSc in Biology: Ecology and Biodiversity

General information

The Master in Biology: Environment, Biodiversity, Ecosystems profile, allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.

Compulsory parts (72 ECTS)

  • Biocomplexity and Systems Ecology
  • Scientific Presentation Skills and Career Planning
  • River & Lake Ecology
  • Biogeography
  • Fieldtrip Ecologu
  • ​Functional and Experimental Plant Ecology
  • Analysis of Biological Data
  • Manuscript and Project Writing
  • Bioethics
  • Master Thesis Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Electives

Electives: 48 ECTS-credits to choose from the list of electives In-depth courses and/or broadening courses. "Professional Internship" can only be chosen once during the 2-year master programme, either as 6 or as 9 ECTS-credits. All electives

Contact Person: Secretariat of the Biology Programme (


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

0511 - Biology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology", "0532 - Marine Geology


Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Brussels, Belgium

 Faculty of Science and Bio-engineering Sciences
Campus Etterbeek
Building Y - GalerY'
Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel



All Flemish universities in Belgium, including the VUB, are financed by the Flemish government, which results in relatively low fee for students from the European Economic Aera (EEA). The calculation of these tuition fees is rather complex and depends on a couple of variables. Firstly, the university will determine whether or not you are eligible for a scholarship. Furthermore, the tuition fee will depend on your course of preference (the 'fixed' part in the overview documents below) and on the amount of credits you decide to take on (the 'variable' part, per ECTS).

For most programmes, EEA students pay around 700 euro/year when enrolled full time (54-66 ECTS/year). This, however, is not the case for programmes with a specific tuition fee calculation.

Tuition fees for non-EEA students are higher and vary from programme to programme.

A detailed overview of the tuition fees for each programme of study for the year 2016-2017 can be found via the links below. Be sure to check these documents to see whether or not the programme you want to know the tuition fees of, has a specific tuition fee calculation.


Degree Requirements 
The Master of Science in Biology is open to holders of a Bachelor degree in Biology. For other academic bachelors in science, applied science and life sciences, equivalency will be evaluated based on scientific competences and skills of the students by the Master of Biology Steering Committee. Such as academic Bachelor degrees with a minor in Biology (e.g. BSc in Environmental Sciences, BSc in Biotechnology...).

Language Requirements 
In order to be admitted, you need to provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English by meeting one of the following criteria: 

  • a diploma of primary, secondary or higher education where English was the language of instruction
  • having successfully completed at least one school year of secondary education where English was the language of instruction
  • having successfully completed course units in higher education with a minimum total of 15 study credits where English was the language of instruction 
  • having successfully completed ASO secondary education in Belgium
  • having successfully completed one of the following language tests
    • TOEFL: minimum level 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, 80 internet-based
    • IELTS: minimum level academic module 6,5
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), grade B
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), grade C

Extra info for Belgian degrees. Students who have earned the corresponding Bachelor degree from an accredited higher education institution from the French Community of Belgium, automatically fulfill the admission requirements, as do students with a Flemish Bachelor degree. Students who have successfully completed Flemish or French secondary education in Belgium also automatically meet the English language requirements.

Application Procedure:

Students who did not obtain a Flemish degree need to submit an application. The application will be processed by the Student Administration Centre and the faculty's selection committee.
If you wish to apply in the framework of a scholarship (like VLIR-OUS) please click here.

The application is carried through the online application model. The application process is divided into two rounds. The first round is completely digitally. If you get through the first round, you will be invited to send in a paper application for the second round. Only applicants who are selected for the second round need to send in hard copied of their transcripts, degrees, recommendations and motivations.

All students who have not obtained a Flemish degree will need to pay an application fee of 50€. Enrolled students will pay the tuition fee minus the application fee of the programme.

Application Deadlines

  • Students who require a visa must apply before the 31st of March.
  • Students who do not require a visa must apply before the 1st of June.

Grant Opportunities:

VLIR-UOS Scholarship. Students who want to apply for a VLIR-UOS scholarship (Human Ecology) check

Still some questions? See the contact page for the right person to help you on your way.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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