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Nordic Master´s Programme in Biodiversity and Systematics

Be part of the new generation of taxonomists with the expertise and skills to take action against biodiversity loss. You will gain a broad knowledge of living organisms, their relationships and learn specific identification and research skills to be able to follow a career in the conservation of biodiversity for the future.

Beetle collection. Clourful beetles pinned to collection labels.
Unidentified Tortoise Beetles. Part of Don Ehlen's "Insect Safari" collection. Photo: Jon Mable/Wikimedia commons

Reasons to choose a Master in Biodiversity and Systematics

  • Emphasis on gaining practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge
  • Constantly updated courses to reflect latest research
  • Programme designed to be tailored to individual students career goals
  • Programme overview

    The programme is a collaboration between seven nordic universities and courses are taught as a combination of distance studies and intensive field and lab sessions at different field stations and participating universities. The distance element allows you alot of flexibility in when and where you conduct your studies. The up to week long field and lab sessions give you hands on experience of methods and deeper insight to biodiversity and systematics research across Sweden and the Nordic countries.

    The programme consists of courses within four main categories: Biodiversity-identification, Biodiversity-classification, Systematic theory and Tools & skills. You will receive a broad training in both practical and theoretical subjects and there is plenty of space available in the programme to choose from a selection of elective courses depending on your interests and career goals. The requirement is that you include at least one course from each of the categories.

    Year 1

    Compulsory courses

    Alpha taxonomical principles (Gothenburg)

    Fundamental and molecular systematics (Uppsala)

    Elective courses

    List of courses

    Year 2

    Compulsory course

    Degree project in Biodiversity and Systematics
    (instructions apply for all degree projects at the department)

    Independent project

    Master’s degree projects are carried out within ongoing research projects at your host university.

    Recent degree projects

    • Systematic review of the Puntius chola and Puntius sophore complexes (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Bangladesh and Myanmar
    • Phylogeny and diversity of the Madagascan Uvarus. A glimpse into the diving beetle tribe Bidessini (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)
    • Tracing the ancestral distribution of Chimarra (Trichoptera: Philopotamidae) with descriptions of 7 new species from Malawi
  • How to apply

    The Master's programme in Biodiversity and Systematics is only open for application in the first round, with deadline for applications in mid-January.

    The Biodiversity and Systematics programme requires a solid background in Biology, specifically we expect the equivalent to a Bachelor in Biology including at least one year's full time studies in Biology.

    Selection process

    Additional eligibility criteria

    Applicants that meet the eligibility requirements are ranked based on their merit rating. Only students with the highest merit ratings are selected for our programmes. The merit rating is based on the following four selection criteria, with equal weight:

    • relevance of previous studies in relation to the programme
    • grades of academic courses
    • motivation letter
    • research ideas

    Required supporting documentation

    To submit your motivation letter and research ideas you must use our cover letter form.

    Cover letter/Motivation letter
    The form is only available when applications are open.

    Recommendation letters and CVs are not concidered.

  • Career opportunities

    The Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Systematics opens career paths for students wishing to pursue careers in academic research or as museum curators. Similarly, the programme is well suited to non-academic careers in Nature conservation, government agencies and non-governmental organisations.

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor at master's level