Biology (MBI) / MSc


Biological issues are at the forefront of technological advances in today' s society and are central to global concerns about how we affect, and are affected by, our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems and from single generations to evolutionary timescales, provides a unique intellectual challenge. Students taking the MSc Biology programme aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment, and simultaneously produce sufficient, healthy and safe food with an eye for human and animal health and welfare. Students taking the MSc Biology programme obtain a broad overview of the latest developments in the field, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss and reflect on current scientific advances.
Our master programme enables students to specialise in one of four specialisation:
- Cell and Molecular Biology;
- Organismal Adaptation and Development;
- Human and Animal Health Biology;
- Ecology and Biodiversity.
In each specialization, students follow two specialization courses to deepen their knowledge of and to develop skills relevant for the scientific discipline of the specialization. The specializations offer more than two courses, providing opportunities for further specialization. Students also have the option of following more courses related to their specialization within their free choice. Students work on a thesis and internship project at one of the chair groups mentioned in the study handbook in the description of each specialization. In order to perform a thesis and/or internship project at a non-core chair group the student needs to ask permission of the examining board. If the thesis and/or internship subject fits in the specialization permission will usually be granted. In addition to the internship, students also orientate themselves on the future labour market either by following an Academic Consultancy Training and Modular Skills Training or the Research Master Cluster.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this MSc programme graduates are expected to be able to:
- critically discuss the latest scientific developments in the biological sciences at molecular, cellular, organismal, population and ecosystem level;
- analyse advanced and complex biological concepts, approaches and methods and reflect upon scientific biological literature;
- analyse the fundamental concepts and mechanisms in biology in the chosen specialisation;
- apply and evaluate state of the art research techniques in the field of biology;
- write, critically evaluate and adapt a research plan in the field of biology and carry out the research plan by doing experiments and/or collecting (field) data and interpreting the results;
- communicate and discuss convincingly project outcomes, methods and underpinning rationale to specialists and non-specialists audiences;
- take into consideration social, scientific and ethical aspects of biological research that are encountered in work or study in the field of biology;
- design and plan own learning processes based on continuous reflection upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes and performance;
- adapt to a working environment in principle outside Wageningen University and critically reflect on their performance;
- cooperate as a specialist in a multidisciplinary, international team to solve a biological research questions or perform project-based work.


A - Cell and Molecular Biology;
B - Organismal Adaptation and Development;
C - Human and Animal Health Biology;
D - Ecology and Biodiversity.

Programme Director

Ir. MV Coppens
Phone: 0317-(4)82407

Study Adviser(s)

- Ir. AJ Hoetmer (A-D)
Phone: 0317-(4)85223
- Dr. ir. ME Huigens (E-R)
Phone: 0317-(4)81580
- Ing. A Teunissen MSc (S-Z)
Phone: 0317-(4)82806
- P.A. den Besten MSc
Phone: 0317-(4)88827

Programme Committee

Chair: Prof. dr. ir. JE Kammenga
Secretary: ir. MV Coppens


Study Association

B.V.W. Biologica
Membership 9 Euro a year
B.V.W. Biologica, Forum / Building 102; Droevendaalsesteeg 2, Wageningen