Master's Programme in Evolutionary Systems Biology (in English)

The joint Master's programme "Evolutionary Systems Biology" was implemented at the University of Vienna & Vetmeduni Vienna in 2016.

With the proliferation of huge data sets (DNA/RNA sequences, 4D imaging and geometric morphometrics), modern biology is rapidly becoming a quantitative science. Research laboratories and biotech companies around the world are looking for people who can use these data to solve biological and medical problems. To fulfill this demand, the new Evolutionary Systems Biology (ESB) Master's program provides the training necessary for this new type of scientist.

Specifically, ESB Master's students will:

  • Learn how to understand and handle modern “- omics” data sets.
  • Develop key computational skills and delve into biological modelling.
  • Combine experimental “wet-lab” technologies with quantitative “dry-lab” methods.
  • Apply these skills to questions arising from evolutionary biology, development, comparative genomics, and systems biology.

Vienna offers a unique scientific environment for the ESB Master's program, which will benefit from the expertise of research groups in population genetics, evo-devo, systems biology, and biomathematics at the University of Vienna and the Vetmeduni Vienna.

The ESB Master's emphasizes hands-on education, with practical skills courses designed to complement all lectures in the core curriculum. The programme also has a strong research component, with two lab rotations and a research-based Master's thesis project providing training in cutting-edge research methods. The ESB Master's programme particularly features:

  • Courses covering population genetics, comparative genomics, molecular evolution, EvoDevo and systems biology.
  • Practical courses introducing modelling, programming, and statistical data analysis to biologists.
  • An extensive research component, including rotations in multiple research groups, one-on-one training, and individual research projects.
  • Special skill courses on giving scientific talks and writing successful grant proposals.

An ESB Master's degree will thus provide excellent preparation for either a PhD in quantitative biological research or for research-oriented biomedical / biotechnological companies.

Duration and structure of the programme

The Master's programme comprises 4 semesters totalling 120 ECTS credits. It is composed of 9 compulsory modules (MES1-9), a Master's thesis and defensio.

Requirements for admission

The ESB Master's programme is targeted to students with an interest in biological research and quantitative methods. Applicants are required to have a Bachelor's degree in life sciences with a minimum of 180 ECTS. Advanced quantitative skills are not a prerequisite. Applicants with a BSc in other natural sciences (e.g. Physics) or mathematics and statistics can also be admitted to the ESB Master's program, conditional on completion of additional courses in basic biology. Proof of English language skills is required for non-native speakers.
Link to Master’s programme Evolutionary Systems Biology 1

Curriculum Evolutionary Systems Biology

Curriculum Master's Programme in Evolutionary Systems Biology (in German, PDF, 149 KB) 2

Link to English curriculum (University of Vienna 3)

All courses offered by the University of Vienna you'll find in the course directory
Link to course directory 4