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Ecology and Environmental Change

Understanding and managing the ecological consequences of global environmental change is a key challenge for the 21st century. Starting in autumn 2020, Bielefeld University is offering a new Master programme: "Ecology and Environmental Change".

The Master programme brings together different fields of ecology (animal and plant ecology, chemical ecology, conservation ecology and theoretical evolutionary ecology) to explore how individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems respond and adapt to environmental change. Over the course of the Master programme, students learn to design and conduct laboratory and field experiments, acquire chemical-analytical methods, learn how to build eco-evolutionary models, and strengthen their statistical analysis and scientific communication skills.

In the first year, students take classes including Ecosystem Wadden Sea (with excursion), Environmental change and chemical communication, Models in conservation biology, Animal Ecology in a changing world, Effects of environmental change on plant chemistry, Plant ecology in a changing environment, Nature conservation and environmental protection (with excursion). The second year consists of individual research modules and the Master thesis.

All classes are taught in English and international applicants are very welcome! German skills are not required, but free German classes are offered for students at Bielefeld University.

For details on the application requirements, see the subject-specific regulations (in german language).

You are interested? Visit our Information event!

Pictures of the state of our environment

on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 at 12.15 p.m. 

- either in our university in room W4-135

-or via Zoom. Please contact for the access code to the meeting.


Study Programme

Please apply online. You will find lots of information regarding enrollment including deadlines and our application portal here (it is possible to change the language with a click on "EN" in the line under the wide picture).

You will need to provide the following application documents:

  • A document detailing your qualifications, goals and motivation for the Master’s programme. Please answer the following questions in full sentences in English (no bullet points, please).
    • How do your past studies qualify you for the Master’s programme Ecology and Environmental Change? Briefly state the most relevant theoretical and practical skills you gained. There is no need to go into details of courses taken, especially not for courses offered at Bielefeld University. Please mention also any relevant work, internship or volunteering experiences.
      (max. 400 words)
    • What are your main learning goals for the Master’s programme? What research fields are of particular interest to you and what skills would you like to develop over the course of the Master’s programme?
      (max. 400 words)
    • What career goals could you imagine pursuing after completing the Master’s programme and how might the programme help you to achieve these goals?
      (max. 400 words)
  • Your Bachelor’s certificate (or the certificate of your prior studies qualifying you for the Master’s programme) and transcript of records. If the final certificate is not available, a current transcript of records is sufficient at the time of the application.
  • Proof of English language skills (at least level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). If you have a high-school or university diploma from an English-speaking institution, this is automatically fulfilled (please provide certificate). Otherwise please provide an English language certificate recognised by German universities (TOEFL, telc, IELTS, Unicert, or Cambridge Certificate).


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