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MSc in Biology: Ecology and Biodiversity

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duration 4 semesters
Entry level Master
Cost see website

The graduation option Ecology and Biodiversity allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the ecology and evolution 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

Programme structure:

Compulsory: 42 ECTS

Electives: 48 ECTS
Can be chosen from 3 groups

  • Conceptual Courses
  • Applied Courses
  • Practical & Technical skills

Master's Thesis: 30 ECTS

Structural components
Practical/Field work

Application procedure


*** Not possible to apply from Tuesday April 7th till Monday April 13th due to technical maintenance***

First things first. You will need to apply and get permission to study before you can enrol. Click here for more info on how to apply


After submitting your application, the Admissions Office will start processing your file. You will receive email updates concerning the proceedings of your application.

Once your application is approved and you have permission to study at VUB, you can enroll. For some, this can be done at home. But in most cases, you will need to stop by at the enrolment office to finalise your enrolment.

Check the address and opening hours >>>

Important!!! Don't come to the enrolment office without the necessary documents (i.e. approved application). You won't be able to enroll.


Once you have enrolled, and your contract is signed, an e-mail containing your student number and PIN-code will be sent to your e-mail address. With these data you will be able to create you own VUB network identification (NET-ID). You should activate this immediately!

After this, there's only one thing you need to do: register your courses. You can do this online. For more info on how you should do this, visit our student portal.


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.

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Marine Geology