Master's Programme in Ethology, 120 credits

About the education

Ethology is the branch of biological sciences that examines the behaviour of animals. The Master's programme provides a broad insight into the complete subject. You will study how animals communicate and solve conflicts, the social structure of animal communities, pair formation and reproduction in animals, and how competition and co-operation can develop. How behaviour develops during the life of the individual and how learning and experience influence patterns of behaviour is discussed. Moreover, the genetic background, evolution (both at the micro- and macroevolutionary scale) and function of behaviour are discussed. Knowledge of ethology is important in many fields of biology. These fields include ecology, evolutionary biology, neurobiology and conservation biology. Ethology also has applications outside of the scientific sphere. For instance, one important application for ethology concerns the requirements of ethical treatment of animals and animal well-being. The programme includes lectures, seminars and practical studies in the natural world, either in a laboratory or at our research station. The following courses are compulsory within the programme: Ethology II (7.5 hp), Animal cognition (7.5 hp), Human behaviour: Biology and Culture (7.5 hp), and a degree project in ethology covering 30-60 hp. In addition, selected and freely selected courses of a minimum of 22.5 hp are included.

The Master's Programme in Ethology aims to provide the background required for continued work within those parts of society in which aspects of animal behaviour are important. Ethologists can work with fundamental research at the university or in more applied jobs dealing with domestic animals, conservation biology, zoos, the pharmaceuticals industry and animal welfare.

Subject: Biology

Biology means the study of life and living organisms including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, diversity, their interaction with their environment and their presence in time and space.

There are many subdivisions and topics within Biology such as: molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, botany, zoology, ethology, faunistics, floristics and ecology.

An education in biology not only gives you basic knowledge in biology, but also an understanding of relationships between structure and function on various biological levels and it also gives you a grasp of the processes that control the evolution of the organism.

Biology is an experimental subject, meaning it alternates theoretical studies with practical exercises such as laboratory work and field trips. Examples of laboratory work include analyzing DNA molecules, producing bacteria or studying preparations of various tissues under a microscope. Dissections and experiments with living organisms are a part of an education in biology, however, an option without animal experiments within the zoology moments is also available.

You will be able to study animals and plants in their natural habitats as well as participate in practical ecological field work through different field trips and excursions. Stockholm University has access to three field stations located in interesting nature areas: Tovetorp in Södermanland, Askö in Trosa Archipelago and Tjärnö on the west coast of Sweden.

Area of interest: Science and Mathematics

Science and mathematics help us understand how the world around us is connected – from the origin and structure of the universe, to the development and function of humanity and all other organisms on earth.

Scientific knowledge makes it possible to critically examine the credibility of information in different areas of everyday life, society, and the media.

As a scientist or mathematician, you will be attractive on a large job market that covers all parts of society and includes everything from pure technology companies to environment and healthcare, as well as research.

Department responsible for education

Department of Biology Education