Master in Ecology and Population Genetics

University of Oulu

Program Description
EFMD Equis Accredited

Master in Ecology and Population Genetics

University of Oulu

Master in Ecology and Population Genetics

– With emphasis in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology issues

ECOGEN Master’s degree programme prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology. It provides the students with appropriate knowledge in ecology and population genetics of endangered species and ecosystems. This competence is needed in the environmental administration and research in the fields of e.g. conservation biology and restoration ecology. The degree enables to further Ph.D. studies in ecology and genetics. The combination of studies in plant ecology and population biology (research of which is at Oulu by far the strongest in Finland), plant population genetics (part of the former Population Genetics Research of Excellence unit) and molecular ecology offers a unique opportunity for students to obtain strong tools for conservation biology and biodiversity issues.

Programme Outline

The programme consists of 120 ECTS, of which a minimum of 80 ECTS belongs to the main subject (animal ecology, plant ecology, genetics). Optional studies may follow either of two lines, focusing on ecology or genetics. The programme includes a trainee period either in environmental administration or research institutes in co-operation with a network of European environmental administration and research institutes.

Studies take 2 years. Students will be awarded a Master of Science degree in plant or animal ecology or genetics with a possibility to continue for Ph.D. studies. Bachelor of Science degree in biology is required (or related subjects if the students have completed studies corresponding the following studies required by the Degree Programme in Biology, University of Oulu).

The degree programme includes, depending on the main study subject, field courses in ecology (plant and fungal succession on sandy seashores, management of coastal meadows, endangered species), courses in restoration ecology, evolutionary ecology (evolutionary potential in wild animal populations under climate and environmental change), conservation biology, stream ecology, winter ecology and physiology (plant and animal adaptations to boreal and subarctic conditions), population genetic analysis of DNA, and quantitative genetics and plant and animal breeding.

Study Environment

ECOGEN Master’s degree at the Department of Biology, University of Oulu offers a multicultural environment and international education for both international and Finnish students in the fields of biology and related areas.

High proportion of education consists of contact teaching and laboratory and field practicals. The facilities include botanical garden, zoological and botanical museums, greenhouses, and field research stations. Botanical Herbarium and Botanical Gardens as well as Zoological Museum conduct research in biodiversity and offer highly qualified facilities as well as collections for the research. The field research stations have well-equipped laboratories and accommodation facilities. University of Oulu’s Oulanka research station situates in the Oulanka national park which attracts visitors and researches worldwide and is part of the European PAN Parks network.

Programme Admissions

Programme Specific Academic Requirements

  1. The applicant must have a B.Sc. (or to be obtained by 1.8.2012) in biology, or a closely related subject, with excellent grades.
  2. A good working knowledge of English. English language skills can be proved by official language exam or by having 20 ECTS credits of studies conducted in English language in a higher education institution in Finland.
  3. Prerequisite studies, either completed as a part of the B.Sc. degree or to be completed during the M.Sc. period (bridging studies), corresponding: Cell biology (750121P), Basics of ecology (750124P), General genetics (753224P), Experimental course in general genetics (753104P), Animal physiology (751388A), Biogeography (750363A), Evolution and systematics of organisms (750307A), Basics in functional plant biology (752345A). Basic studies in statistics, chemistry and biochemistry are also required.

The selected students may be asked to complete previous studies with so called bridging studies (maximum 60 ECTS). The number of courses needed is decided case-by-case basis when their personal study plan is accepted.

Optional document: summary of the Bachelor's Thesis

Selection Process

Based on the academic requirements selected applicants might be invited for a telephone interview (in English). In the interview, the background of the applicants, their motivation for studies and knowledge of English are estimated.

Detailed Selection Criteria

Applicants will be ranked based on their B.Sc. grades and the telephone interview. Completion of a B.Sc. degree is obligatory to commence the M.Sc. studies.

Student Selection

The names of admitted students to the programme will be announced during spring. The results of the selection will be sent to all applicants. The selected students will also receive a confirmation letter stating the right to study for the Master of Science degree at the University of Oulu, Faculty of Science. If the bachelor degree is not yet obtained by the time the announcement, the study right is confirmed only after the degree is obtained. The study right has to be accepted by the deadline given by the Faculty of Science. The details will be informed to the selected students in the confirmation letter. In other case, the study rights will be withdrawn.

University of Oulu International Master’s Scholarship Scheme 2017-2018

Connected with the renewal of university strategy, the increased importance of internationalization and the introduction of tuition fees for non-EU/EEA citizens, the University of Oulu has assigned a significant amount of money for tuition scholarships for 2017 entry. The scholarships will be granted in the form of a tuition fee waiver. The tuition fee waiver awarded covers 100 % of the full tuition fee. Applicants can apply for the tuition scholarship as part of the admissions process.

University of Oulu Scholarship Scheme in more detail

The University of Oulu International Master’s Scholarship Scheme (IM Scholarship) provides scholarships to academically talented international students. The scholarship is aimed at students studying for a Master’s degree in the University of Oulu two-year International Master’s programmes. The scholarship covers the full international tuition fee. University of Oulu IM Scholarships do not cover living costs.

In order to retain the scholarship in the following year of study, a student must have completed 55 ECTS by the end of the previous academic year. If a student does not achieve this requirement during the first year of studies, they will be liable to pay the full international tuition fee for the second year if they wish to complete their Master’s degree programme. An exception to this rule can be made if a student has been granted approved leave from studies (e.g. due to serious illness).

Eligibility Requirements to Apply for International Master’s Scholarship

Applicants are eligible to apply for a University of Oulu IM Scholarship 2017-18, if they are:

  • Non-EU/EEA* citizens who do not have a permanent residence permit in Finland.

(Applicants not eligible for the International Master’s Scholarship are: 1) non-EU/EEA citizens who have a permanent residence permit in Finland, 2) EU/EEA citizens or comparable persons, 3) University of Oulu students who have been accepted to study BEFORE the academic year 2017-18.)

  • Eligible to apply for a Master’s degree programme at the University of Oulu for academic year 2017 – 18.
    • The applicant has obtained their first academic degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) from a recognised institution of higher education.
    • The applicant proves a high level of proficiency in English language. Approved methods of demonstrating language proficiency.

Applicants who are in their last term/semester of studies for their first academic degree during the application period, can apply for the scholarship. Applicants who receive a conditional offer of study placement for a Master’s programme will receive a conditional scholarship offer.

The scholarship application will be processed in the selection procedure only if the applicant meets the admissions criteria.

*European Union / European Economic Area member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein Republic, Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom. With the EU legislation, Switzerland is also comparable for EU member states.

The nature of residence permit is indicated in the residence permit with a letter. A permanent residence permit bears the letter P or A and an EC residence permit for third-country nationals with long-term EC resident status bears the letters P-EY.

Application for International Master’s Scholarship 2017-18

There is no separate application system for the International Master’s Scholarship. All applicants for University of Oulu Master’s degree programmes need to complete the Student Application Form. Those applicants who are applying for the University of Oulu International Master’s Scholarship have to additionally complete the “Application for Scholarship,” section which can be found at the end of the Student Application Form. The International Master’s Scholarship application section cannot be completed and/or submitted without the Student Application Form.

The application period for the University of Oulu Master’s degree programmes and International Master’s Scholarships is 15.12.2016-25.1.2017

Selection criteria for University of Oulu IM Scholarship 2017-2018

Admissions and scholarships decisions will be taken at the same time. Those students successful in obtaining an International Master’s Scholarship will be notified at the same time as their offer of admission to their International Master’s programme is confirmed. The selection criteria for the University of Oulu IM Scholarship are based on previous academic performance and academic potential.

For questions concerning the University of Oulu IM Scholarship, please contact admissions.officer(a)

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 22, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
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Finland - Oulu
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Sept. 2017
Finland - Oulu
Application deadline Contact school
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