MSc Biology: Marine Biology Specialisation

General information

Do you want to learn about the complexity of biological systems ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems? Or about subjects such as evolution, ecology, molecular evolution and biodiversity? The two-year Master of Science Biology programme at Wageningen University offers you tailor-made programmes fitting your personal interests. This will allow you to become a specialist in your chosen field. A choice out of nine specialisations will chart the course of your biology studies here. Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological advance of modern society and play a central role in global concerns about how people and the environment influence each other.

You can choose to examine and understand the management of these systems. Think of different aspects that play a role in this such as fishing, recreation and urbanization of the coastal area. You can also deal with the pollution of marine ecosystems. You research, for example acute and chronic effects of various pollutants on water quality. 

You also try to make predictions about the consequences. You also have the option of using molecular techniques to learn how to analyse different ecosystems. Or you learn the interactions of microorganisms with their marine environment and the role these microorganisms play in their ecosystem.

The MSc Biology Programme (MBI) is a two year programme, which comprises of 120 credits (ECTS). The programme consists of various courses, an internship and a master thesis which are carried out within one of the nine specialisations. Together with your study advisor you can design a tailor made study programme.

One of the nine specialisations of the programme is Marine Biology. If you choose this specialisation you will study the complexity of marine ecosystems. You also try to make predictions about the consequences. You also have the option of using molecular techniques to learn how to analyse different ecosystems. Or you learn the interactions of microorganisms with their marine environment and the role these microorganisms play in their ecosystem.

Compulsory parts of the programme

  • Frontiers in Biology (6 ECTS)
  • Master biology thesis proposal (6 ECTS)
  • Academic consultancy training (9 ECTS)
  • Modular skills training (3 ECTS)
  • Thesis (30 ECTS)
  • Internship (24 ECTS)

For the 'Marine Biology' specialisation you can choose to follow two courses. You can choose from:

  • Marine Systems (AEW) in which you gain an understanding of marine ecosystems, economic processes and management and administration;
  • Microbial Ecology (MIB) in which you learn to analyse complex ecosystems by using molecular techniques;
  • Fisheries Ecology (APF) which is about ecology of fish and other aquatic organisms and the impact of fishing on these populations;
  • Environmental Toxicology (TOX) in which you will learn the general principles such as different types of pollution and acute and chronic effects of toxicity.

Study advisor: dr. PW (Peter) de Jong (online contact form)


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

0831 - Fisheries", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0031 - Project management", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology", "0311 - Maritime economy", "0511 - Biology", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography


Venue: Wageningen University
Wageningen, Netherlands

Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen



On this page you can find this year's tuition fee. There are two kinds of tuition fees, the statutory fee and the institutional fee. Which one is applicable to you depends your nationality and your obtained degree. Please find all the information below. For the estimated total costs of two years of academic study in Wageningen for students from the EU or Non-EU/EFTA go to Study Expenses.

  • Statutory tuition fee: €1,984.-
  • Institutional tuition fee 1: €1,984.-
  • Institutional tuition fee 2 (Cohort 2016): €15,000.-

The conditions per type of tuition fee as explained here


To take part in the MSc Biology programme, you must have met the general requirements for Wageningen University. In addition, there are also specific requirements for the MSc Biology programme. You must have obtained a BSc degree (or equivalent) in a field of science relevant to the MSc Biology programme:

  • Unconditional admission with regard to content: With a BSc Biology degree from a Dutch University (the general requirements of Wageningen University should still be met).
  • Possible admission: With a BSc from Wageningen University or a bachelor from a Dutch HBO.
  • International students admission: depends on the previous education.

Possible admission means that an individual pre-master programme might be required (the pre-master programme is only for Dutch students). This pre-master programme is a period (usually 0.5 to 1 years) in which the student follows courses to increase his or her background knowledge up to the required level.

Application Procedure:

There are different application procedures, depending on where you come from. If you want to apply for a Master programme, you can find all the information here.

Please be aware that the number of Master programmes you can apply for is limited to two per academic year. Therefore, before you apply online make an informed decision about what you want to study.

You must complete the online application form and submit it with all necessary documents. Before you complete and submit the application form please make sure that you have the required application documents (bachelor degree; transcript of academic records; CV; motivation; English language test results) scanned as pdf files and ready to upload. After you have completed and submitted the application form you will be re-directed to a webpage to upload the application documents. 

Further information about the application procedure: Dutch studentsEU studentsnon-EU/EFTA students.

From September onwards applications will open for the programmes starting in Septmber 2017.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

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