M.Sc. Biological Sciences: Limnology and Oceanography

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR12000 per Year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    EUR1906 per Year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
University of Amsterdam | Amsterdam, Netherlands
Limnology and Oceanography provides a challenging educational programme for students interested in the aquatic sciences. It offers career prospects in the scientific arena and beyond.



Limnology and Oceanography provides a challenging educational programme for students interested in the aquatic sciences. It offers career prospects in the scientific arena and beyond.

Water covers 70 percent of the Earth's surface and sets our planet apart from every other planet we know. Water plays an important role in the global climate and is a source of food, minerals, energy and recreation. Aquatic ecosystems teem with organisms, ranging from tiny phytoplankton and zooplankton to coral, fish, and whales. Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are also used as 'dumping grounds' for much of society's waste and are profoundly affected by global change. The Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) multidisciplinary research Master's track in Limnology and Oceanography is devoted to the study of the biology, chemistry and physics of aquatic ecosystems. It is geared towards gaining a better understanding of the world's aquatic resources and working toward their protection. This multidisciplinary research Master's programme offers an advanced curriculum, with a dual focus on freshwater ecosystems (limnology) and marine ecosystems (oceanography).

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Starting in

  • ( International

    Deadline applies if you do not have the same nationality as the university.

  • ( EEA

    Deadline applies if your country of nationality is in the EEA (European Economic Area)

Tuition fee
  • EUR 12000 per year (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • EUR 1906 per year (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

Courses in the Limnology and Oceanography Master's programme offer students 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, molecular biology of coral symbionts, aquatic ecotoxicology etc. These courses incorporate theory with laboratory and field work.

The primary focus of the programme is research, conducted either within the University, at other research institutes in the Netherlands or abroad. Students have the opportunity to focus on topics that are of interest to them.

The following research areas are open to students in this programme within the university:

  • Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology
  • Aquatic Microbiology
  • Marine Microbiology
  • Tropical Marine Biology
  • Theoretical Ecology

and several other research areas are available at other research institutes.

Students in the Limnology and Oceanography track can specialise in one of the two areas:

  • research and water management
  • communication and education

Degree requirements

A Master of Science in Biological Sciences is awarded upon successful completion of

  • courses in the curriculum (including the mandatory course Introduction in L&O') = 15 ECTS credits
  • elective courses within or outside the curriculum = 15 ECTS
  • a written literature essay = 10ECTS and
  • two written Master's theses based on independent research projects = total 80 ECTS

This is the equivalent of total of 120 ECTS credits.

Professional specialization within the Masters programme

In general, Masters students are trained to become independent researchers. But at the UvA Faculty of Science you can also choose to complete your Masters programme with a professional specialization, that focuses on other skills than doing research. In that case you will follow the programme of your chosen scientific discipline during the first year of your Masters, and the programme of the specialization during the second year.

You will graduate as a Master of Science.

There are three professional specializations available:

  • Science Communication
  • Teaching
  • Management, Policy Analysis & Entrepreneurship.

A note to readers who dont speak Dutch: Only the specialization Management, Policy Analysis & Entrepreneurship is described in English, because the other two specializations are only taught in Dutch.


Previous education

Additional language requirements:

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English: B1
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: B1
  • IELTS overall band: 6.5
  • IELTS listening: 6
  • IELTS reading: 6
  • IELTS writing: 6
  • IELTS speaking: 6
  • TOEFL paper based: 580
  • TOEFL computer based: 235
  • TOEFL internet based: 100

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

More Information


Accredited by: NVAO in: Netherlands

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