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Universität Basel

Plant Science Abschluss: Master

Within the Basel life science program, the Department of Environmental Sciences offers a comprehensive 1.5 year Master's course in Plant Science for graduates with a background in biology (B Sc in biology or equivalent). The cornerstone of this course is an individual research project in one of the areas of plant science of about one year duration. The project ends with a written Master's thesis. The practical part is complemented by lectures, seminars, and excursions. The course builds upon the strength of the Department in the areas of physiological plant ecology, plant-microbe interactions, ecosystem sciences and sustainable land use. The program benefits greatly from the leadership of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, a network integrating more than 600 scientists interested in plant science.

Pflanzenwissenschaften Botanik

Focal area of teaching and research

The core of the program is the Master's thesis. Here you participate actively with your own research project in current research efforts of a team of plant scientists. You will combine your practical research project with courses designed to broaden your knowledge in plant- and ecosystem sciences and ecology. With a M Sc degree in Plant Science, you will have acquired cutting-edge research capabilities in your chosen field of specialization, as well as broad general knowledge in plant- and ecosystem biology. This will enable you to enter a PhD program in all areas of biology, and to grasp opportunities in the agro-, pharma- and biotech-industries as well as in public research units and private enterprises in the domains of ecology and life sciences.


Main topics include:

  • Physiological plant ecology: Plant water relations - plant responses to drought – carbon balance and plant growth.
  • Ecosystem sciences: Biodiversity and ecosystem services – stable isotope biogeochemistry – sustain­able land use.
  • Plant-microbe interactions: Microbial ecology in the soil and rhizosphere – mycorrhizal symbiosis.


Course structure

The Master of Science degree is a postgraduate degree that requires a successfully completed Bachelor’s program (B Sc in biology or equivalent). The program awards 90 ECTS credits in total. The Master’s degree program Plant Science is a so-called mono-course consisting of only one core subject. Supervised practical work over the course of one year constitutes the core of the studies. One ECTS credit point roughly equals 30 hours of studying.

Master of Science (90 ECTS)

Combination of subjects

The degree programs at the Faculty of Science are generally mono-courses with the possible addition of an in-depth subject and an elective subject. The Master’s degree program Plant Science does include an elective subject; however, no other subjects are required.

Career opportunities

After successfully completing their Master’s degree the graduates can study further for a doctoral qualification or follow a profession in all fields of life sciences. Biology is a subject that covers many disciplines and the career opportunities include research and related activities in the fields of medicine, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The practical advantages of the subject are found not only in basic research but also, increasingly, in business, society and politics. Numerous jobs are available for biology graduates, within the university and also in private industry, government service, schools and organizations, be it as researchers, communicators, teachers or advisors.

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