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- discover and characterize new species
- measure the relationship among species and populations
- track environmental toxins and diseases in different ecosystems
- identify invasive species
- identify genetic diversity within endangered species to develop conservation strategies
Molecular ecology is an interdisciplinary master’s programme that combines the fields of ecology, molecular biology and bioinformatics. At the University of Skövde we offer you a two-year master’s programme in Molecular ecology, where fieldwork as well as advanced laboratory and computer-based techniques are prominent parts of the studies.
The focus of your studies
Semesters 1 and 2
The main focus of the first two semesters is scientific and laboratory knowledge in molecular biology and areas that contribute necessary methods for studies in molecular ecology. You will learn to plan and perform laboratory experiments and to interpret and analyse the generated data using bioinformatics and biostatistics. Laboratory techniques used include PCR, mutagenesis, cloning, qPCR and protein expression.
You will also be introduced to current research specialisations, theories, applications and scientific methods within molecular ecology, with specialisation in conservation biology and environmental monitoring. The second semester also includes advanced studies in systems biology and multivariate analysis.
Semesters 3 and 4
During the second year of the programme you will study next generation sequencing, and applied molecular ecology. The second semester along with the first half of the third semester will give you a strong foundation in methodologies used in the analysis of ecological research data.
The programme is concluded with a master’s degree project (45 credits) in systems biology, with a focus in molecular ecology. The project starts halfway through the third semester and continues through the fourth. In the master’s degree project you will solve a relevant research problem within molecular ecology, allowing you to combine your previously gained theoretical knowledge and practical laboratory skill.
The project work is performed individually under the guidance of a qualified supervisor, at the University of Skövde, or externally at another university, company or agency.
Molecular ecology is an international Master’s programme, and all courses included in the programme are conducted in English.
Opportunities for international studies
You will have the opportunity to carry out part of your degree project abroad.
The recent development of new molecular techniques has revolutionized bioscience, leading to increased applications within the field of conservation biology, ecology, evolution, agriculture and environmental monitoring.
After your studies, you can work in various academic, governmental, or private sector settings, for example at biotechnology companies and environmental consultant agencies. You can also continue with research at public- or private-sector research laboratories.
Opportunities for further studies
After completion of your degree, you can continue with third cycle (PhD) education.