Study information on Ecology

Master of Science (MSc) in Ecology & Biodiversity

Charakteristics of the Master's Programme

This program fosters scientific thought and action on interdisciplinary problems and issues related to ecology, biodiversity and evolution. You will acquire competences in theory and practice for the development of a future-oriented, sustainable and critical society as well as the possibility of a specialization in a variety of ecological disciplines. 

The Master's program comprises 120 ECTS credit points which are obtained within the framework of compulsory (35 ECTS credits) and elective modules (60 ECTS credits) and the Master's thesis (25 ECTS credits):

  • After an introductory overview in the form of a lecture series, the flagship among the compulsory modules is the Ecological Project Study (PM 2), which alternates annually with a terrestrial and an aquatic focus. Here you will learn scientific work from scratch, starting with conceptualizing a current ecological research question, collecting data in the field and in the laboratory, and "publishing" a small scientific paper. The remaining compulsory modules are part of the Master's thesis training program (PM 3) which is completed by defending the master thesis (PM 4) and participating in seminars (PM 1).

  • Students are "spoiled for choice" with 33 regularly offered elective modules covering the entire spectrum of expertise of the lecturers involved in the Master's program. These modules cover the spectrum from molecules to landscapes and entire ecosystems, and include basic and applied research questions and both experimental and theoretical methodological approaches. The focus is on microorganisms, plants and animals and their interactions, as well as the influence of abiotic environmental parameters. Detailed information on the main research areas at the Institute of Ecology can be found here. Some elective modules are offered every year, others in a 2-year rhythm; an overview of when which elective modules are offered can be found here. With elective modules 31-33 you can also get credits for an internship attended at a non-university institution or additional qualifications from another curriculum at the University of Innsbruck.

  • During the Master's thesis, you will investigate a current ecological topic based on your studies completed so far, often as part of a research project. We place great emphasis on personal supervision by an experienced member of the scientific staff. All relevant information on the Master's thesis can be found in the curriculum.

Recommended course sequence

The recommended course sequence allows students to get to know the lecturers and their expertise in the 1st semester, and then to deepen their knowledge within the elective modules according to their own interests. In the 2nd semester, students will complete the project study and additional elective modules. In the 3rd semester, in addition to completing the missing elective modules, it is time to find a topic and a supervisor for the master's thesis and to start with preliminary work. In the 4th and last semester, the master's thesis can be completed and defended.

Grafik Studienverlauf EN

Registration and admission

The Master's program in Ecology & Biodiversity is primarily intended for graduates of a Bachelor's program in Biology from Austrian and international universities or universities of Applied Sciences.  

Students with degrees in other relevant disciplines can also be admitted to the Master's program, but may have to catch up on course, depending on their previous knowledge (maximum 30 ECTS credits). The language of instruction is German, but we make every effort to enable English-speaking students to participate in elective modules as well.

Further information on admission to the master's program


»  Das Institut für Ökologie - youtube  (in German)
»  Presentation of the Master`s Programme in Ecology & Biodiversity:  recording from 24.03.2023

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»  Join the experience of graduates (scroll down to the bottom)
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