International Programmes 2023/2024

Master of Science Biodiversity, Evolution, Ecology MSc Biodiversity, Evolution, Ecology

Freie Universität Berlin • Berlin

Master of Science
Teaching language
  • English

The programme is offered completely in English. All modules will be taught in English.

Full-time / part-time
  • full-time
Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Application and registration period for all applicants: 24 April – 31 May

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

Building on the unique strengths of the Berlin area, including the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB;, this programme offers a wide range of courses in the field of biodiversity, ecology and evolution. We integrate a number of scientists at institutions of the Leibniz Association in the teaching programme and research, resulting in a diverse course portfolio.

Course organisation

A proof of 120 credit points is required for the Master's programme Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology. It consists of the following fields:

  1. Introductory area (15 CP)
  2. Supplementary area (50–60 CP)
  3. Project area (15–25 CP) and
  4. Master's thesis with accompanying colloquium (30 CP)

The introductory area includes a course that enables students to get an overview of the different research areas at the Institute of Biology of FU Berlin.

In the supplementary area, one can choose between a substantial number of module variants. Therefore, the area of specialisation in the course of study can be made. In order to guarantee current and research-oriented teaching, there is a high fluctuation of module variants. Each current module variant can be found on this website:

There is a broad spectrum of module variants offered each semester.

The project area gives students the opportunity to be part of a research project in up to two modules. This project will take place in different working groups in the Institute of Biology of FU Berlin or in non-academic research centres located in Berlin, e.g. Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei, Berlin-Brandenburgisches Institut für Biodiversitätsforschung and more.

International elements
  • Study trips
Special promotion / funding of the programme
  • DAAD
Name of DAAD funding programme
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution

In total, the semester contribution amounts to 312.89 EUR. It includes a fee of 198.80 EUR for the transportation ticket contribution. This allows you to use public transportation in Berlin for free. Other costs covered by the semester contribution include a 50 EUR enrolment fee, a 54.09 EUR semester contribution to the student support service ("studierendenWERK Berlin"), and a 10 EUR contribution to the student union.

Costs of living

Compared to other European countries, the cost of living in Germany is quite reasonable. However, the cost of living has also risen somewhat in Germany in recent years. The prices for food, accommodation, clothing, cultural events, etc. are slightly above the EU average. You will need around 950 to 1,200 EUR each month to cover your living expenses. The biggest expense is monthly rent, which is between 400 and 700 EUR in Berlin.

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in biology, geoscience, horticulture, forestry, agriculture, bioinformatics or veterinary medicine showing courses in systematics and evolution and ecology.

All applicants must fulfil the following prerequisite in order to gain admission to the Master's programme:

  • Bachelor's degree or an equivalent foreign university degree in biology, earth science, horticulture, forestry, agricultural science, bioinformatics, veterinary medicine or any other scientific higher education with a proof of 15 credit points in a module in the area of biodiversity science, especially in the area of systematics, evolution, ecology in the Bachelor's programme of biology in the department of biology, chemistry and pharmacy with comparable quantitative and qualitative coverage

The degree programme is admission restricted.

Language requirements

Applicants who have not obtained their university degree at an educational institution where English is the language of instruction must provide evidence of English language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Applicants who have obtained their degree from a foreign university or equivalent institution, or have completed a non-German-speaking course of study, must provide evidence of German language skills at the A1 level of the CEFR.

Application deadline

Application and registration period for all applicants: 24 April – 31 May

Submit application to

Freie Universität Berlin
c/o uni-assist e.V.
11507 Berlin

Possibility of finding part-time employment

There are many ways of earning money while you study, for example as waiting staff, academic assistants, or private tutors. Knowledge of German will improve your chances of finding a part-time job, but it isn’t necessarily required. However, it is important to be aware of the legal regulations.

The student support service at the university, called studierendenWERK Berlin, and the local representative of the "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" (Federal Employment Agency) can provide information about jobs for students. When searching for a job, look at online job boards, ads in local newspapers, and notice boards on campus.


You have the option to stay in a public/private student dormitory or in a private (shared) apartment. Student dormitories are not administrated by the university itself, so Freie Universität Berlin does not have any on-campus housing. However, it works together with "studierendenWERK Berlin" regarding student accommodation.

If you do not wish to stay in a student dormitory, you can try to find a room or an apartment on the private housing market. Many students in Berlin live in shared apartments ("WGs"). You can find these offers online (e.g. WG-gesucht or Craigslist) or on notice boards on campus.

Available rooms/apartments near the university are rare. Therefore, students mostly commute from other parts of the city. The commute via public transportation usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour, which is considered a normal travel time in Berlin due to the city's size.

Freie Universität Berlin

Content Bild
Aerial view of Freie Universität Berlin © Bernd Wannenmacher

Freie Universität Berlin is a leading research institution. It is one of the 13 German universities being funded through the German government’s Excellence Strategy and is part of the only University Consortium of Excellence, the Berlin University Alliance, which consists of four partners in Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

You can choose from more than 180 subject areas. No matter which area you are interested in, be it archaeology, physics, Jewish studies, law, or psychology, you will find your subject at Freie Universität Berlin.

As an international university, Freie Universität Berlin has partnerships with numerous universities across the world and maintains offices in Beijing, Cairo, Eastern Europe (Tbilisi, Georgia), New Delhi, Moscow, and São Paulo. About 17 percent of the students come from abroad, as do 38 percent of the doctoral students. At Freie Universität Berlin, you will meet people from all over the world.

Various support services are available for students. In particular, students who are new to a German university and to Berlin will profit from these services, for example, the introduction week, the mentorship programme, or the Student Services Centre. UniSport offers programmes ranging from Aikido to Zumba, which are very popular among students. The many cafeterias and canteens on campus offer food and drinks; this also usually includes fair trade, organic, vegetarian, and vegan options. Environmental protection and sustainability are generally important topics at Freie Universität Berlin, and there are many opportunities to get involved in related activities offered by students and the university.

University location

Freie Universität Berlin is one of the major universities in the capital of Germany. It is located in the green district of Dahlem, in the south-western part of the city. There is no other campus in Berlin that is as green as the campus of Freie Universität Berlin. You can simply step out of the university buildings to enjoy outdoor activities: lunch on one of the many terraces and rooftops, swimming in the nearby lakes, or reading between cherry and apple trees. Dahlem is also home to one of the biggest botanical gardens in Europe. By using public transport, you can easily access the heart of Berlin and enjoy its cultural life and diversity. The U3 subway line connects Dahlem with the popular and central districts of Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, and Friedrichshain; however, all of the other districts can also be easily reached.

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