Master of Science in Biology of Organisms and Ecology

The UNamur (University of Namur in Namur) and the UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve) offer a common programme, split over the two sites, for a master (120 ECTS) in Biology of Organisms and Ecology as described below.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The objective of the masters is to train specialists in ecology and biology of organisms, with skills that are both theoretical and practical.

These specialists should be capable of analysing and understanding the operation – and dysfunction – of ecosystems, whether they are aquatic or terrestrial.

This implies observation on the ground, essentially in ecology, but also experimental research, in the laboratory or fieldwork, which call on all modern technologies, from the use of molecular tools to the interpretation of satellite images.

The training explicitly wants to transcend the usual limits of terrestrial and aquatic environments, which have been separated for a long time in the development of ecology as a science.

It is also based on a fundamental ecological approach linked with an in-depth training of the techniques.

The professional focus entitled “environmental biology” includes a professionnalisation internship (25 ECTS) and advanced seminars (5 ECTS). The internship aims to satisfy 3 objectives:

  • complete the trainee’s expertise in a specific application area,
  • adapt the trainee’s academic education to the requirements of an applied context (professionnalisation),
  • provide experience of social integration in a work team.

The research focus includes advanced seminars and a 5 month internship in a research laboratory (university or other), which aims to

  • complete the skills acquired during the master thesis, including the scientific procedure (formulating a hypothesis, conceiving observations and experiments to test it, analyse the results, and write a report or scientific article) and autonomy;
  • widen the scientific knowledge in an environment other than that of the master thesis laboratory, preferably in another institution;
  • integration in a work group in the research laboratory.

The research undertaken by the trainee should, in principle, be publishable in a journal with a peer reviewing.

In the teaching focus, the students follow general training in education and pedagogy, in addition to training specific to epistemology and the practice of biology in secondary school.

MOBILITY AND INTERNATIONAL OPENNESS

The students are encouraged to undertake their internship abroad, in a manner that will familiarise them with a foreign language during their training. The five months of the internship begin at the start of the second four-month period in the second year.