MSc. Marine Biology

The M.Sc. programme Marine Biology is strongly research-orientated. The graduates are trained to develop hypotheses-driven research concepts and to design appropriate experimental approaches in order to answer profound questions related to the large field of marine ecosystem and organism functioning and of potential impacts of local, regional and global environmental change.

Teaching of the M.Sc. programme Marine Biology at the University of Bremen follows a unique concept. The University has very close ties and intense co-operations with several world-class marine research institutions located in the Federal State of Bremen. Most heads of departments and many principal investigators at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT), and at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI) are at the same time ordinary professors at the University of Bremen and contribute to teaching the M.Sc. programme Marine Biology.

Many courses are actually taught in the laboratories and facilities of the institutes benefiting from cutting-edge research infrastructure and first-hand contact to leading experts. This unique context sets the scene for direct links from current state of research to academic training.

The M.Sc. Programme Marine Biology offers:

  • 2-year full-time course with a high proportion of practical classes.
  • Qualification as Master of Science (M.Sc.).
  • Maximum of 20 study places per year.
  • Teaching in English language.
  • Training in state-of-the-art methodologies by leading research teams.
  • Specialisation according to personal interests with a wide choice of specialist courses.
  • Advanced courses in different university departments and associated research institutions.
  • Field trips, excursions or even the opportunity to participate in research expeditions.
  • Flexibility to take courses at universities abroad.

Student Exchange with the Ocean University of China (OUC) in Qingdao

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Bremen and the Ocean University of China (OUC), students of the M.Sc. programme Marine Biology have the opportunity of spending the first academic year at the OUC in Qingdao, following a similar curriculum as students in Bremen. The University of Bremen recognizes and acknowledges the study performance at the OUC so that students returning from China after the first academic year will directly continue with the second academic year in Bremen. Scholarships are foreseen for the study period in China. After successful completion of the study period abroad and of the master programme in Bremen, graduates will be awarded a Double Degree in Marine Sciences to be issued by the OUC and by Bremen University, in addition to the normal German M.Sc. degree.

Applicants, who are interested to participate in the exchange programme with the OUC, will have to apply in parallel for admission to the M.Sc. programme Marine Biology at the University of Bremen and for the exchange programme with the OUC. More information.

Please note that the academic year at the OUC starts earlier than in Bremen. If you wish to participate in the exchange programme, you will have to finish your B.Sc. studies early enough to move to Qingdao already in August. The application deadline for the OUC exchange will already be on 15 March!


The University of Bremen and the associated research institutions offer a variety of opportunities to continue an academic career as Ph.D. candidate.

Employment opportunities for Marine Biologists exist worldwide at institutions committed to research and development, in the fishing and aquaculture industry as well as in the environmental conservation and management sector at governmental agencies or within NGOs and IGOs. Marine biologists also work at museums, zoological gardens, and aquaria. Additional employment opportunities for marine biologists include adjacent fields such as media (i.e. scientific journalism), eco-consulting, environmental impact assessments, and eco-tourism business. Marine biologists are also employed in the commercial and industrial sector, for instance for "Blue Biotechnology", coastal zone management and the sustainable use of marine resources.