Ecology – University of Copenhagen


Ecology is a specialisation within the MSc Programme in Biology which leads to the English title: MSc in Biology with a specialisation in Ecology.

Below you can read the competence profile and see an illustration of the structure of the specialisation.

On completion of the programme, an MSc in Biology with a specialisation in Ecology has acquired the following:

Knowledge about:

  • Fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes.
  • Drivers of spatial and temporal distribution of species.
  • Whole-organism biology of bacteria, fungi, protists and multicellular organisms of importance to ecosystem function and organisms typical of specific environments.
  • The function of ecosystems and their interaction with local, regional and global systems, including global change.
  • Applied and societal aspects of ecology and evolution.

Skills to:

  • Collect, identify, and isolate selected groups of organisms.
  • Use genetic methods in species identification and typing

Competencies to:

  • Understand and present the structure and function of complex ecosystems.
  • Analyse the occurrence and activity of organisms in relation to the physical/chemical environment.
  • Use organisms and genetic resources in an industrial context.
  • Advise on environmental management issues.
  • Illustrate and analyse biological phenomena by distinguishing between immediate (how?) and evolutionary (why?) causes and explanations.
  • Explain and discuss the distribution and density of species at both  local and global scales.
  • Evaluate the occurrence of species in the wild on both an ecological and an evolutionary timescale.
  • Explain and discuss the evolutionary adaptations of organisms to a given environment and their behaviour in relation/response to individuals of the same and other species.
  • Evaluate interactions between individuals at different trophic levels, e.g. plants/herbivores, prey/predators, and host organisms/parasites/diseases.
  • Apply knowledge of biology in the management of stocks, biodiversity and animal welfare.

Programme structure for the specialisation in Ecology

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Advanced Ecology
Year 2 Thesis

You have the opportunity to move your elective courses to block 3 and 4 in year 1, which enables you to focus solely on your thesis in year 2.

     Compulsory course
     Restricted elective course
     Elective course

Restricted elective courses

Choose your restricted elective courses from the list below. Click on each course for a detailed description.