Warning: The Master’s degree in biology is being reformed and will become a 120-credit, 4-semester university master’s degree in September 2022, subject to approval by all relevant authorities. Check the website regularly for changes for the start of the 2022 academic year!
- Biodiversity and Systematics (BDS)
- Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS)
- Bioinformatics and data analysis in biology (BIADB)
- Genetics, Development & Evolution (GDE)
PDF: Presentation of the master’s objectives (in French)
PDF: Presentation given at the Journée des Masters (in French)
The student can enroll in a master in biology with free specialization or with options. In any case, the title issued is the master in biology.
Warning : registration to the master is not automatic after the bachelor. See registration procedure (Annex to the Regulation)
Regulations and study plan
- General presentation
- Regulations and study plan of the master (in French)
- General Rules and Regulations for Study, Faculty of Science (in French)
The search for a subject and a supervisor for your master’s thesis are done with the laboratories of the Section or those of other faculties and institutions, or by consulting the master positions on the website of the Section. The procedure to be followed is detailed in the first answer on this page.
Registration procedure (Annex to the Regulation)
Registration to a master degree is only possible after having found a master work supervisor. The student has to get in touch him/herself with a potential supervisor according to his/her interest for a given discipline and the possibilities of supervision.
The master work supervisor must be a professor or MER of the Section of Biology. CCs and CEs with PhD degree can also be authorized by the president to supervise or sponsor a master work (see below).
Students are allowed to perform their master work in a laboratory outside the Section of Biology with the agreement of the Section’s presidency. In that case, a sponsor acting as responsible for the Section of Biology has to be found. This sponsor must be a professor or MER (or CC/CE as indicated above) of the Section of Biology.
The sponsor of the Section of Biology ensures both that the academic environment of the host laboratory is appropriate and that the subject proposed to the student for his/her master work fulfills the criteria of the Section of Biology. The sponsor or his/her Department can request a written project description before accepting the sponsorship. The sponsor checks and cosigns the final evaluation of the master thesis.
If the master in biology is done with a particular option, the choice of the thesis supervisor or sponsor may be restricted.
The registration form for the master work must be brought to the Secretariat for students of the Section of Biology with all signatures by the official start of the 1st semester of the master, at the latest.
The registration form is checked by the Secretariat for students (credits, courses in relation to the master work, etc) and signed by the presidency of the Section.
Copies of the registration form are sent back to the student, including one for the master supervisor and/or sponsor.
According to the Art. 19c of the “Règlement d’études général” of the Faculty of sciences, a minimum of 20 ECTS must be obtained for the first two semesters of the master. If the student has not successfully obtained them with courses, the master’s thesis supervisor (and the sponsor, if required) can provide a certificate attesting that the student’s work on the master’s thesis is equivalent to at least 20 ECTS for this period. To this end, an official form will be sent to the master’s thesis supervisor at the end of the first year by the Secretariat for students of the Section of Biology.
Goals of the master’s thesis
- To answer a question related to biology through experimentation and/or data analysis.
- To become familiar with the practical and theoretical aspects of the scientific process.
- To acquire experimental/analytical skills through the learning of a large variety of techniques.
- To learn how to present scientific results in group seminars and in a written form (e.g. master’s thesis).
Duration of the master’s thesis
- The master’s thesis amounts to 60 ECTS. This corresponds to 45 weeks full-time (without counting holidays).
The Faculty of Science, in collaboration with external partners, has established an Excellence Scholarship programme to support outstanding and highly motivated candidates who wish to pursue a Master’s degree in Science in one of the disciplines covered by the Faculty.
Application deadline: 15 March (for Masters starting in September).
The master’s work must be presented in the form of a written master’s thesis.
The title page should contain all the instructions written on the template page.
Generally, the presentation of the work reflects that of a publication:
- summary (if possible in French and English)
- material and methods
- annexes (if applicable)
It is possible to write the master’s thesis in English.
Note the exact sources for figures borrowed from other texts.
Provide a table of abbreviations and explanatory information understandable to the general reader.
Ensure that the quotes are consistent with the literature and, especially, that the bibliography is treated in a strictly uniform way. In case of doubt, for example about the abbreviations, it is best to consult the librarian. The full title of the articles must be included in the bibliography.
Where appropriate, the authorization number of animal experiments must be in the “Materials and Methods” section.
Once accepted, the work will not be returned for editorial corrections. The style, clarity and presentation of text (including references), as well as the graphs’ quality, will affect the rating.
For examples of master’s theses, consult the open archive (Archive ouverte) and browse with the key-words “Academic structures” > Section de biologie or “Document type” > maîtrise.
Deadlines & Conditions
To obtain the master’s degree in biology, the student must acquire a total of 90 ECTS credits: 60 ECTS for the master’s work and 30 ECTS for the master’s courses. The study period is 3 semesters, but an extension is possible (maximum of 6 semesters in total).
The master work must be submitted before the end of the examination session (January-February).
The master’s work must be submitted no later than 31 August .
- Beyond the third semester, you must submit a request for an extension justified and approved by your master supervisor, by completing the form and returning it to the secretariat of the Section of Biology.
- In the case of a final deadline granted, the master’s thesis must be handed in before the end of the exam period (August-September) of the sixth semester.
The master’s thesis is evaluated by two examination jurors, the supervisor of the master and a juror, according to the criteria published on the website of the Section. If the thesis is led by a professor who is not part of the Section, the responsible in the Section acts as a juror.
The final score is transmitted by the supervisor of the master with both signatures on the official form of the Section.
The grade can be assigned by the College of Professors of the Department concerned.
Submission of the master’s thesis
Once the master’s work has been accepted by the director of the work and the person in charge if applicable, the procedure is as follows:
- A pdf version, as a priority, must be sent to the student secretariat of the Biology Section (sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- After validation of the dissertation and receipt of the grade, the secretariat will send a confirmation to the student by e-mail.
- The student must then deposit the dissertation (in electronic version) in the Open Archive and send the official confirmation (including the link) of the deposit in the Open Archive (Archive ouverte) to the student secretariat of the Biology Section (obligatory).
- Once all these steps have been taken, the Student Secretariat of the Biology Section will forward the grade to the Faculty of Science for the establishment of your degree.
- For deadlines, please refer to the above (Deadlines & Conditions).
Forms to download
The registration forms, as well as other types of forms related to the master, are available on this page.