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Master program
Biology (MBIO2)

The master's program in biology usually lasts two years and offers a wide variety of modules with the option to choose a specialization. In the first year, students choose three master's modules. In the final year, students work individually on projects.

Contents of study

The master's program in biology is strongly research-oriented with a high proportion of practical courses and independent work. In the first year, the master's program consists of elective modules that serve to build a profile and deepen the student's knowledge in sub-areas of biology. The third semester prepares students for independent work with projects and the preparation of a pilot thesis and project outline. The fourth semester is reserved for the master's thesis. Further information and details about the study program are presented in the module handbook.

The first year

In the first year, three master modules ( M-modules à 14 CP) are completed. These usually take place in a block, i.e. full day, over a 6 week period. In some exceptions, weekly modules are also offered (e.g. modules in bioinformatics). These M-modules can be chosen thematically freely or, depending on a focus, can be thematically closer together. Students learn to work independently on complex topics, to develop their own solution strategies, and to train their practical skills in handling a wide variety of biological samples and diverse measuring instruments and analytical apparatus. In the lectures, the specialized knowledge in sub-areas of biology is strongly deepened up to current research results. An overview of all modules can be found either under module allocation or thematically clustered under the respective focus areas.

In addition to the three M-modules, students complete a module Additional Qualifications (8 CP) . Within the framework of this module, students can receive impulses for their own professionalization. Two seminars of 2 CP each are taken from the biology department. A seminar presentation must be given in English. Another 4 CP can be acquired through courses from the Department of Biology (seminars, project practicals, lectures) or from interdisciplinary courses (e.g.: KUBUS; Language Center, Studium Universale, Computer Science, Medicine,...). The module Additional Qualifications does not have to be completed in the first year. It is only a recommendation to complete this within the first year.

Usually, many students start a three-month project internship after the M-modules. This usually goes over the semester limit. However, it is also possible to complete the module Pilot Work & Project outline first, as shown in the plan. You can plan this individually in consultation with your supervisors.

The second year

In the second year, students usually work partly on the three-month project internship (30 CP), the two-month pilot thesis & project outline (10 CP) and the six-month master's thesis (30 CP). The transition of the modules is usually seamless and is only exemplified in the progression plan shown above. The order: project internship and pilot thesis & project outline can vary and go beyond the semester limit. You may complete all three modules in the same institute. Theoretically, you can also complete the project internship in another institute. However, we recommend that you complete all three modules in the same institute.  Since the pilot work & project sketch is directly linked to the master thesis, it must be completed in the same institute as the master thesis.


The program is open-admission and requires "proof of special aptitude". The department checks the professional suitability on the basis of the submitted documents.

Application and provisional admission is possible with a minimum of 150 CP and an overall grade of 3.2 or better.

A start of studies is possible in the summer and winter semester. The application period starts on:

  • 1st November and ends on 15th January for the summer semester (01.04. - 30.09.)
  • 1st May and ends on 15th July  for the winter semester (01.10. - 31.03.)

Applications must be submitted exclusively via the HHU application portal.


The determination of suitability is made by examining the submitted documents. These documents are used to determine whether the required entrance requirements were met during the bachelor's degree program. For the verification of eligibility we need the following documents: 

  • Degree certificate with transcript of records.                                                                                                                                                                                        
    • If not available, a preliminary transcript or a current transcript of records with at least 150 CP is sufficient.      
    • Applicants from abroad must submit a certificate of graduation, which serves as a university entrance qualification for enrollment. 
  • Individual proof of English language skills
    • Germ. Abitur/ German university entrance qualification
    • Degree from a full-time English-speaking university in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand
    • TOEFL (90 iBT)
    • IELTS (6.5 or better)
    • the Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (Level B2, CAE)
  • Non-EU citizens require a VPD via uni-assist.  A Bachelor's degree is required for the VPD.

The requirement for the Master's program in Biology is a relevant degree with a Bachelor of Science with a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters and a final grade of 3.2 or better. In addition, good English language skills are required (possible proofs are listed under Documents).

A study program at a German or foreign university that fulfills the following criteria is considered relevant:

  • At least 80 credit points (CP) in basic biological modules in the subject areas: Organismal Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Molecular Biology and Physiology.
  • At least 30 CP in basic science, covering the following subjects: Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics
  • at least one third of the study program should be completed in the form of laboratory practicals
  • Bachelor thesis of at least 10 CP

Application and preliminary admission is possible from 150 CP and grade 3.2 or better.


The degree program can be studied entirely in German or English. The language in which the modules are taught is indicated in the module handbook or can be seen in the module overviews of the specializations. If you speak both languages, you can choose all modules and thus all specializations. If you speak only one of the two languages, you have a more limited choice of modules and specializations. The majority of modules are currently offered in English. However, it is possible to study the program completely in German if you wish.

The master's program in biology leads to a Master of Science (MSc) degree in two years. It prepares its graduates for a doctorate or, alternatively, for a responsible position in the working field. For more information on the career field, please see Career Prospects.

It is possible to choose an area of specialization in the course of study; this will also be shown on the certificate in addition to the Master of Science Biology degree. To set a focus, 98 credit points (CP) from a focus are required. However, the degree program can also be studied without setting an area of specialization. More information about the modules of the specializations can be found on the pages of the individual specializations.

  • Dr. Kirsten Fittinghoff
  • +49 211 81-15356

  • Building: 26.24
  • Floor/Room: U1.072
  • Office Hours

    On vacation from 31.07.-18.08. The study office will not be staffed during this time. E-mails will be answered in urgent cases.
    Advisory service on site or via webex currently only by appointment.
    Certificates of achievement can be submitted via e-mail.

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