Biology is a fundamental scientific discipline focusing on formulating and testing hypotheses through observations and experiments in the lab or the field.
As a Biology student, you will actively participate in state-of the-art research performed at the Department of Biology.
You acquire insight into the causes and consequences of the current worldwide loss of plant, animal and other species, and into the theory and practice of managing endangered species and the conservation and restoration of habitats. Links with society, for example, biodiversity policy, legislation and international treaties, will also be highlighted. Students will undertake an internship with an external organisation involved in conservation/restoration.
Students can choose among two specializations, both taught entirely in English:
The entire first semester, and also the main part of the second semester, of the first master year consists of compulsory courses. During the first semester students decide which optional courses they will take, and they also decide about their Master project subject and Conservation internship.
These components of the programme are largely undertaken in the second master year.
Students are trained in a variety of research methods, both via the practical or theoretical courses and via specific courses on skills relevant for conservation and restoration. Field work skills are also acquired during a two-week field course on ecohydrology in a pristine ecosystem abroad (Poland). The Master project is the final part of the Master programme, where students conduct a scientific study under supervision.
Through the Master project they demonstrate:
their scientific background
their capacity to understand/apply primary literature
their capacity to correctly and adequately communicate the results in a succinct manner via a written document
Students choose from a wide variety of subjects, with the possibility of conducting research within a research group from our Department of Biology or in an external research group.
Biology is related to the broader society in many ways, and biologists’ employment is consequently much broader than generally thought.
Fundamental and applied scientific research (> 40% of graduates) at universities and institutes (in Flanders for example KBIN, INBO, VIB, KMDA, …) is a first major job opportunity. A research career usually starts with a PhD, through an appointment as university assistant, PhD grantee or project collaborator. A full academic career is achieved by only a limited number of outstanding researchers.
The private sector offers many possibilities in Research & Development (often after having acquired a PhD) and in marketing, among others in the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors and in industrial labs.
The value of biodiversity to society means that expertise/specialist knowledge in conservation and restoration is a much sought asset. As a specialist in conservation and restoration, you will analyse policy and influence decision-making in the field of biodiversity protection. Research offers another career opportunity in Belgium and also abroad.