M.Sc. Ecology

VU University Amsterdam

Application deadline: Start in 1 September: July (non-EEA: April).
Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Will climate change cause ecosystems to become less stable? How important is biodiversity? The Master's in Ecology offers further study of the functioning of earth's plants and animals.

The Master's in Ecology is designed to improve students' understanding both of how nature works and how we can apply appropriate measures to maintain biodiversity and combat the effect of pollution and climate change. It offers a unique course of study as ecology is studied from a plant's, an animal's and from a systems perspective. Ecological properties are determined starting from a molecular level, i.e. which genes trigger a response of an organism to environmental stress, and from field knowledge. Field observations are used to extract ecosystems' patterns and functions. As a Master's graduate in Ecology, you have a wide range of career options. The demand for ecologists is considerable these days. About 40 percent of our graduates continues their studies, pursuing a PhD project. Others find jobs in applied environmental sciences or with consultancy firms, dealing with topics like nature management and restoration, landscape planning, plant breeding, developing molecular tools to assess pollution, improving food quality, and identifying alternative energy sources.


Types of teaching (in year 1):

  • theory: 30%
  • practice: 50%
  • self study: 20%

Programme internationalization:

  • Studying abroad is recommended.
  • The percentage of foreign students: 15%
  • The percentage of foreign teachers: 0%
  • The percentage of students abroad: 10%

This programme has a workload of 120 ECTS.



The specialisation Ecocatch will teach you to integrate the effects of all the different ecosystems that water passes through on the way from the source to the sea.

Ecology and Evolution:

The specialization Ecology and Evolution of the MSc Ecology offers students a broad package of courses and research projects that provides them the theoretical and practical background to develop a pe


Previous education: BSc Biology from a Dutch university or equivalent.

Written request: motivation, cv and references

Grade list: transcript of records

Assessment interview

Additional language requirements:

  • IELTS overall band: 6.5
  • IELTS listening: 6
  • IELTS reading: 6
  • IELTS writing: 6
  • IELTS speaking: 6
  • TOEFL paper based: 580
  • TOEFL computer based: 237
  • TOEFL internet based: 93

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

60 (Grade C)
TOEFL paper-based test score : 580
TOEFL iBT® test: 93


Scholarships / Grants:

China Scholarship Counsil:
The scholarship programme is designed for good quality Chinese students who want to study or do research in the Netherlands for an academic year either during or after their studies in China. The main purpose of the China Programme is the exchange of talented Chinese and Dutch students.
For additional information: Website

Neso Indonesia:
StuNed Scholarships for Master studies, short courses and customized training programmes are available for Indonesian professionals with at least two years work experience in a development-related organization.
For additional information: Website

Fulbright/ NAF:
The Fulbright Center is a bi-national, non-profit organization established by international agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It promotes educational co-operation and provides information on study, research and internships in the United States.
For additional information: Website

The Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (Ford-IFP) provides opportunities to exceptional individuals for advanced study. If you are a resident of an eligible IFP country and would like to study in Europe, Nuffic can act as a placement partner for you.
For additional information: Website

European Commission:
The Alban Scholarship programme aims at the reinforcement of the European Union-Latin America cooperation in the area of Higher Education. * for postgraduate studies. * for specialization studies at any of the eligible recognised organizations of Higher Training (companies included).
For additional information: Website

For additional information: Website

World Bank:
Successful applicants for the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program will be awarded funding covering all tuition and admission fees, as well as housing and subsistence allowance. Travel expenses between the awardees' home countries and Tokyo will also be provided.
For additional information: Website

United Nations:
For additional information: Website

Asian Development Bank:
This scholarship aims to provide an opportunity for well-qualified citizens of ADB's developing member countries to pursue postgraduate studies in economics, management, science & technology, and other development-related fields at participating academic institutions in the Asian and Pacific Region.
For additional information: Website

VU University Amsterdam:
VU University Amsterdam awards its own scholarships to outstanding students joining our international Master's degree programmes. The VU Fellowship is an amount of money between 2.500 and 15.000 Euros to cover a part of the study expenses. The general criteria for selection are excellence, motivatio
For additional information: Website



Accredited by: NVAO in: The Netherlands

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