Ecology and Population Genetics, M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Year)
    Tuition (Year)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #201 ,
Ecology and Population Genetics Master’s degree programme at the University of Oulu prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology. It provides the students with appropriate knowledge in ecology and population genetics of endangered species and ecosystems.


Ecology and Population Genetics Master’s degree programme at the University of Oulu prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology. It provides the students with appropriate knowledge in ecology and population genetics of endangered species and ecosystems.

This competence is needed in the environmental administration and research in the fields of e.g. conservation biology and restoration ecology. The degree enables to further Ph.D. studies in ecology and genetics. The combination of studies in plant ecology and population biology (research of which is at Oulu by far the strongest in Finland), plant population genetics (part of the former Population Genetics Research of Excellence unit) and molecular ecology offers a unique opportunity for students to obtain strong tools for conservation biology and biodiversity issues.

This programme is wiith emphasis in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology issues.

Study Environment

ECOGEN Master’s degree at the Department of Biology, University of Oulu offers a multicultural environment and international education for both international and Finnish students in the fields of biology and related areas.

High proportion of education consists of contact teaching and laboratory and field practicals. The facilities include botanical garden, zoological and botanical museums, greenhouses, and field research stations. Botanical Herbarium and Botanical Gardens as well as Zoological Museum conduct research in biodiversity and offer highly qualified facilities as well as collections for the research.

The field research stations have well-equipped laboratories and accommodation facilities. University of Oulu’s Oulanka research station situates in the Oulanka national park which attracts visitors and researches worldwide and is part of the European PAN Parks network.

After graduation

University of Oulu graduates enter the job market as experts of the environment, economics, technology, medicine, education and culture. Research institutes such as CWC, Infotech, Biocenter Oulu and the Thule Institute offer possibilities for an academic career. Collaboration between the University, the city of Oulu, the research institutes and businesses is vast and productive. For a large number of companies, Oulu has been a favourable environment for their R&D.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of 120 ECTS, of which a minimum of 80 ECTS belongs to the main subject (animal ecology, plant ecology, genetics). Optional studies may follow either of two lines, focusing on ecology or genetics. The programme includes a trainee period either in environmental administration or research institutes in co-operation with a network of European environmental administration and research institutes.

Studies take 2 years. Students will be awarded a Master of Science degree in plant or animal ecology or genetics with a possibility to continue for Ph.D. studies. Bachelor of Science degree in biology is required (or related subjects if the students have completed studies corresponding the following studies required by the Degree Programme in Biology, University of Oulu).

The degree programme includes, depending on the main study subject, field courses in ecology (plant and fungal succession on sandy seashores, management of coastal meadows, endangered species), courses in restoration ecology, evolutionary ecology (evolutionary potential in wild animal populations under climate and environmental change), conservation biology, stream ecology, winter ecology and physiology (plant and animal adaptations to boreal and subarctic conditions), population genetic analysis of DNA, and quantitative genetics and plant and animal breeding.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Study intensity Full-time
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test
  • Minimum required score (Grade C): 180

    The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.

    Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.

  • Minimum required score: 580

    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score: 92

    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

Programme Specific Academic Requirements
  1. The applicant must have a B.Sc. (or to be obtained by 1.8.2012) in biology, or a closely related subject, with excellent grades.
  2. A good working knowledge of English. English language skills can be proved by official language exam or by having 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English language in a higher education institution in Finland.
  3. Prerequisite studies, either completed as a part of the B.Sc. degree or to be completed during the M.Sc. period (bridging studies), corresponding: Cell biology, Basics of ecology, General genetics , Experimental course in general genetics , Animal physiology, Biogeography, Evolution and systematics of organisms, Basics in functional plant biology. Basic studies in statistics, chemistry and biochemistry are also required.

The selected students may be asked to complete previous studies with so called bridging studies (maximum 60 ECTS). The number of courses needed is decided case-by-case basis when their personal study plan is accepted.

Application Documents

Optional document: summary of the Bachelor's Thesis

Selection Process

Based on the academic requirements selected applicants might be invited for a telephone interview (in English). In the interview, the background of the applicants, their motivation for studies and knowledge of English are estimated.

Detailed Selection Criteria

Applicants will be ranked based on their B.Sc. grades and the telephone interview. Completion of a B.Sc. degree is obligatory to commence the M.Sc. studies.

Student Selection

The names of admitted students to the programme will be announced during spring. The results of the selection will be sent to all applicants. The selected students will also receive a confirmation letter stating the right to study for the Master of Science degree at the University of Oulu, Faculty of Science. If the bachelor degree is not yet obtained by the time the announcement, the study right is confirmed only after the degree is obtained. The study right has to be accepted by the deadline given by the Faculty of Science. The details will be informed to the selected students in the confirmation letter. In other case, the study rights will be withdrawn.

Tuition Fee Per Year

  • EUR 12000 International
  • Free EU/EEA


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