The Netherlands is a world leader in water management and aquatic research. The track Freshwater and Marine Biology applies this expertise to its investigation of lake, river, sea and ocean ecosystems. It is unique in the Netherlands in that it devotes attention to both freshwater and marine ecosystems and integrates the scientific disciplines relevant to aquatic ecosystems.
The primary focus of the programme is research, conducted either within the university, at other research institutes in the Netherlands or abroad. The following research areas are offered to students within the university:
- Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology
- Aquatic Microbiology
- Marine Microbiology
- Tropical Marine Biology
- Theoretical Ecology
And there are several options at institutes outside the UvA:
Courses offer you the foundation required to conduct research in the biology, chemistry and physics of aquatic systems. The programme's curriculum covers a variety of topics in different disciplines, including algal blooms, hydrodynamics and phytoplankton, effects of climate change, water management, benthic ecology, microfilms, coral bleaching, natural products in sponges, aquatic ecotoxicology etc. These courses incorporate theory with laboratory and field work.
In this two-year track you will reflect on topics such as:
- impacts of climate change on freshwater and marine ecosystems
- harmful algal blooms and water management
- the role of aquatic microorganisms
- the biodiversity of coral reef ecosystems
- food-web interactions and fisheries
- sediment-water interactions
- the responses of aquatic organisms to changes in water quality
The topics are investigated from different perspectives, ranging from molecular studies to laboratory experiments and field investigations, long-term monitoring and the development of advanced mathematical models. Among this wide range of opportunities, you will select those topics and approaches that best fit your own interest.
For detailed information regarding the curriculum and courses check the UvA Course Catalogue or download the study schedule
Majors or Tesla Minor: if you want more than research
Students of the Master's programme Biological Sciences have further the option to choose one of three professional majors (60 EC) or minor (30 EC), each designed to train a specific set of skills needed as a secondary school teacher, in policy and communication or elsewhere outside the academia:
- The major Teaching
Prepares students to become a teacher in Biology at secondary schools and Higher Vocational Education (Dutch: HBO). This major is offered by the Interfacultaire Lerarenopleidingen (ILO).
- The major Science Communication
Prepares students for a role in communication between science and other societal sectors. This major is offered by the Athena Institute of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).
- The major Science in Society
Trains skills such as reading and writing policy advisory reports, management and leadership, and organisation, and is meant for students with a broad interest in current affairs, social issues, policy, management and entrepreneurship. This major is offered by the Athena Institute of the VU.
- Minor Tesla
Trains skills needed in interdisciplinary environments by tackling real business or societal cases with external partners. This Tesla minor has recently been developed by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at the Faculty of Science.
Accreditation and academic title
A Master of Science in Biological Sciences is awarded upon successful completion of:
- courses in the curriculum
- elective courses within or outside the curriculum
- a written literature essay
- two written Master's theses based on independent research projects
This is the equivalent of total of 120 EC credits.
Freshwater & Marine Biology is a track of the Master's programme in Biological Sciences. The Master's programme in Biological Sciences has been accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that upon successful completion of the programme, students will receive a Master's degree in Biological Sciences and the title of Master of Science (MSc).
Bring your own device
All students enrolled in Biological Sciences are requested to bring their own laptop, due to the nature of the programme. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.