The first year is dedicated to advanced studies in landscape, community, evolutionary, and plant ecology as well as conservation biology. Furthermore, a strong focus lies on quantitative ecology, notably on statistical ecology and the design of ecological experiments and studies. The programme also offers courses in ecological modelling and forecasting, geographical information systems (GIS), and remote sensing. Top priority is given to project- and team-oriented work with numerous field, lab, and computer classes.
The second year gives students the opportunity to choose from a wide range of elective modules such as animal and microbial ecology, limnology, population genetics, soil science, agricultural science, and global change biology. A personal mentor from the teaching staff advises students on module selections as well as supports students in planning their studies in a smooth and goal-oriented way. As part of the Master's programme, students can also study abroad for one semester.
The Master's thesis can be conducted as a part of ongoing research projects in Germany, Europe, and across the world.
Study abroad unit(s)
Students have the opportunity to spend the third semester at one of the many partner universities abroad.
Internships are not compulsory, but recommended. The internship must be organised by the student and has to fit the schedule of the programme. Upon request, the Career Center may assist in finding an internship.
Forms of assessment
Written assessment (exams, presentations, essays, thesis, etc.)
Oral assessment (exams, presentations, defence, etc.)
Students acquire the ecological understanding, quantitative skills, and practical experience necessary to study ecological dynamics in changing environments. This enables them to assess the effects of environmental change on biodiversity and ecosystems and to develop concepts for the sustainable use of natural resources.
The programme provides in-depth training in ecological theory, concepts, and methods. This enables graduates to address applied and fundamental research questions in a creative and scientifically sound way. These skills are necessary to answer pressing questions posed by global environmental change:
- How can we conserve biodiversity under global change?
- How can we maintain ecosystem services that are important for society?
- How can natural resources be used sustainably in a changing environment?
Furthermore, students improve the following skills:
- working in teams in a structured and goal-oriented way
- leading teams
- systematically developing solutions