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First Term - Modules and Course Structure

The 1st term sets the scene for a successful qualification and academic career in Marine Biology by building up a sound theoretical background and introducing important concepts of Marine Biology and Ecology as well as the essential fundamentals of the neighbouring disciplines Marine Geosciences, Physical Oceanography, Marine Chemistry, and Marine Biogeochemistry. In this multidisciplinary approach, students will learn the importance of cross-disciplinary co-operation and exchange for successful state-of-the-art marine research. In addition, the first term offers the opportunity to improve Personal Capabilities and Skills, in particular with regard to scientific communication and writing.

Curriculum MSc Marine Biology


Curriculum MSc.MarBiol [PDF] (43 KB)

Module Handbook [PDF] (311 KB)

First Year - Modules A, B, C

  • Principles of Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography

  • Principles of Marine Ecophysiology
  • Experimental Design & Data Analysis: Parameter Estimations & Tests
    • Physical Oceanography

    • Marine Chemistry
    • Marine Biogeochemistry
    • Marine Research in Bremen (excursions to the associated marine research institutions AWIZMT, and MPI)
    • Ocean Sciences Colloquium

    Second Term - Modules and Course Structure

    The core of the Marine Biology curriculum taught in the 2nd term consists of courses in Marine Ecophysiology of micro-organisms, algae and animals as well as in Marine Ecology of plankton, benthos and fish.

    • Marine Microbiology / Ecophysiology of Marine Microorganisms
    • Ecophysiology of Marine Algae
    • Ecophysiology of Marine Animals

    Special focus is also given to applied aspects such as fisheries biology and aquaculture. The high proportion of practical classes offers hands-on training in different fields of Marine Biology. Students have the opportunity to exercise their skills during a field trip to the Island of Helgoland in the central North Sea.

    • Plankton Ecology
    • Benthos & Fish Ecology
    • Fisheries Biology & Aquaculture

    Third and Fourth Terms - Modules and Course Structure

    During the 3rd term, students will intensify their studies according to their own interests and intentions. To further expand their theoretical and practical skills in Marine Biology, students choose at least one expert course from a wide variety of specific topics including:

    • Biodiversity
    • Marine Phytoplankton under Global Change
    • Invertebrate Nutrition
    • Trophodynamic Interactions in the North Sea
    • Coral Reef Ecology
    • Introduction to Ecological Modelling
    • Marine Macroalgae and Associated Animals
    • Investigating Plankton Succession in the Field

    Alternatively, the third semester can also be used for a study period abroad.

    Module F offers the flexibility to either follow further courses or to organize your own SRP at a university or research institution abroad.

    In addition, students take part in an excursion or field trip of at least 10 days for instance to Brittany, France, to get a wider scope on marine biodiversity in a new context. Occasionally, we also organize dedicated training and research cruises onboard research vessels ("Floating Universities") or offer participation in regular research expeditions as student co-worker.

    The major part of the third semester is reserved for the Student Research Project (SRP; 6 to 8 weeks). Students will be integrated in different research teams and work on burning issues of current marine research, providing them with first-hand experience of scientific work and proficiency in state-of-the-art methodologies. During the SRP, students work on self-chosen research objectives, embedded in and supervised by research teams at Bremen University or at one of the associated research institutions. They apply acquired skills, learn state-of-the-art methods, and practice self-dependent project work for the master thesis in the fourth term.

    • Research Management & Funding Opportunities

    • Grant Proposal and Defence

    Towards the end of the third term, students will develop and defend a proposal for their own research project (Module G), which may directly lead to the master thesis in the 4th and final term (Module H). The thesis can be prepared either at a marine biological department of the University of Bremen or at one of the associated marine research institutions.

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