M.Sc. Biogeosciences

  • On Campus
  • 24 months
  • EUR545 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • French (Find a course)
University of Lausanne | Lausanne, Switzerland
The Master of Sciences in Biogeosciences is the result of the integration of two fields of natural sciences: biology and geology.

Description of Biogeosciences


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.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline 30 April.Candidates needing a visa to study in Switzerland: 28 February.
Tuition fee
  • EUR 545 Semester (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 545 Semester (EEA)
CHF 580 per semester
Start date September  2016
Credits (ECTS) 120 ECTS
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

The objective of this Master’s 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 Bachelor’s 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 master’s 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 master’s degree work.The examinations and master’s degree work are successfully completed if the student obtains a mark of 4 or higher for each exam-ination and the master’s degree work.MobilitySubject to the prior agreement of the mobility Commission, students enrolled on a Master’s 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.


1st–2nd 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

3rd–4th semesters

  • Block E: Research work (Master’s dissertation)

60 ECTS credits

English Language Requirements

Before starting a programme, you need to have a basic knowledge of the French language. Find French courses on Language Learning Portal.

Requirements for Biogeosciences

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 master’s degree course, with or without further conditions

Teaching language: French. Recommended level: C1.

Work Experience for Biogeosciences

No work experience is required.

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University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Switzerland Founded in 1537, the University of Lausanne is composed of seven faculties where approximately 11,500 students and 2,200 researchers work and study. Emphasis is placed on an interdisciplinary approach, with close cooperation between students, professors and teaching staff. The UNIL campus is spread across three locations, the largest of which is in Dorigny, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

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