M.Sc. Biogeosciences

University of Lausanne

Application deadline: 30 April.Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.
Tuition fee:
  • € 545 / Semester (EEA)
  • € 545 / Semester (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
  • French
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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The Master of Sciences in Biogeosciences is the result of the integration of two fields of natural sciences: biology and geology. It reflects the emergence of new fields of research in the many areas of contact between these two disciplines.

Its main objective is to train students in new trans-thematic disciplines based on an integrated approach to both natural and anthropised environments.


The objective of this Masters degree is to train high-level scientists in the field of integrated natural sciences or Biogeosciences. It aims, through training based on the most modern techniques, to provide the essential knowl-edge and tools necessary for the discovery, understanding and management of natural environments in perpetual evolution on scales that are variable in time and space.

The degree course is organised as five blocks: four teaching blocks and one research block. The teaching activity is divided into three parts: one third of ex-cathedra courses, one third of practical work, and one third of field intern-ships. The four teaching blocks are composed as follows:

* Block A teaches the basic knowledge required in relation to the discipline origi-nally studied by each student. If the student has a Bachelors degree in Biology, then the courses will focus on the complementary teaching of Geology, and vice versa for holders of a Bachelor degree in Geology.
* Block B teaches the analytical and technical basics of laboratory and field work, as well as the use of tools for spatial modelling and multivariate statistics.
* Block C provides the main training in Biogeosciences. After an introduction to the concepts relevant to Biogeosciences, the training focuses on the geobiosphere and ecosystems. This is followed by subjects related to surface biogeochemistry and the major elementary cycles, such as the car-bon, phosphor or iron cycles. The evolution of organic matter is approached from the standpoint of both biological sciences (the role of fauna, flora and microflora) and geochemistry (the fate and monitoring of organic matter through isotope methods, for example). A module dedicated to the critical zone underlines the importance of the interfaces between living beings and minerals. Virtual campus sessions and free-choice courses complete this block.
* Block D offers a choice of one of three specialised teaching options: Soil and Vegetation, Geobiosphere, or Geomicrobiology.ExaminationsSubjects taught for the masters degree are divided into two series. Series 1 consists of core courses and specialised courses in the chosen orientation. A pass is obtained if the student earns a total of 60 credits. Series 2 consists of the masters degree work.The examinations and masters degree work are successfully completed if the student obtains a mark of 4 or higher for each exam-ination and the masters degree work.MobilitySubject to the prior agreement of the mobility Commission, students enrolled on a Masters cycle may study for one or two semesters in an institution recognised by UNIL or UNINE while continuing to be registered with the University of Lausanne.


1st2nd semesters

Basic teaching courses

* Block A

6 ECTS credits

Common trunk core courses

* Block B (11 ECTS credits)
* Block C (31 ECTS credits)

42 ECTS credits

Specialised courses (free choice)

* Block D

12 ECTS credits

3rd4th semesters

* Block E: Research work (Masters dissertation)

60 ECTS credits


Candidates must be holders of a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences and Environment, or of a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Another degree or academic title may be judged equivalent and give access to the masters degree course, with or without further conditions

Teaching language: French. Recommended level: C1.


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