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 Master Degree in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change

The demographic increase and technological development have led to the degradation of natural resources. The awareness that it is better to prevent than to solve problems leads to the need to manage natural resources in a sustainable way. A solid knowledge in Ecology, namely on the factors determining the diversity of biological communities and the functional consequences of biodiversity change, is essential if we aim to contribute to the sustainability of ecosystems. The course provides an opportunity for the development of knowledge, skills and other attributes for a career in Applied Biology, Environmental Sciences, Conservation and Management of Natural Resources, aiming to integrate into the labour market or to proceed to a 3rd cycle of studies. 

The Master Course in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change adopts a modular teaching system. Each curricular unit (UC) takes place alone and sequentially in time. The Course has no areas of specialization. Specialized training is ensured by the existence of a set of optional UCs, as advanced courses, where students have the opportunity to interact with renowned national and international experts. The teaching methodologies are diversified and include theoretical, laboratory and field classes in order to meet the objectives of each UC. Students are stimulated to interact strongly with teachers. Master's theses are developed in different environments: research laboratories, companies and associations, allowing a great diversity of approaches and professional opportunities. 

The Master course in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change runs for 4 semesters, corresponding to 120 ECTS. The 1st year includes 10 curricular units: 7 are compulsory and 3 are optional. The 2nd year is totally devoted to the dissertation. 

The Master in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change provides a high-level of scientific education and it is designed to enable students to gain knowledge, skills and other attributes in Ecology to handle with complex problems related to Applied Biology, Environmental Sciences and Conservation Biology. Students are mentored with the goal of becoming experts and leaders to pursue doctoral studies (C3) or to embrace diverse professional carriers, such as universities, research institutions, environmental and planning offices, public administration, non-governmental organizations, and industrial companies and services.

Fees (non-refundable)

Number of vacancies

Access requirements​

Ranking criteria



Academic degree:
  • Master's degree
4 curricular semesters
Gualtar Campus, Braga (UM)
Main Scientific area:
  • Ecology


    School of Sciences
    Campus de Gualtar
    4710 - 057 Braga

    Tel: +351 253604390 Fax: +351 253604398


The scientific and educational project of the Master course in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change offers advanced specialized training using high-throughput techniques (e.g. next generation sequencing, remote sensing and advanced computing) in different areas of Ecology. The course is part of UMinho projects, which, in its genesis, are aimed at serving the young population, offering a range of training in diversified areas of knowledge. In addition, UMinho scientific and technological courses are also designed to satisfy the labor market in significant areas of the economic activity in the region. For this purpose, UMinho has always worked closely with employers, in order to ensure that students acquire the skills necessary for their future professional performance. Currently, due to the expansion and qualification of the staff, exclusively constituted by doctoral elements, and to the quality of its research, UMinho offers numerous and prestigious professional opportunities that extend beyond the region in which it is inserted.

Key learning outcomes

Biodiversity loss, overexploitation of resources, and climate change affect the structure and function of ecosystems, with impacts on biological communities and human well-being. The Master's course in Biodiversity, Ecology and Global Change aims at contributing to:
1. understand the functional importance of biodiversity in ecosystems and the services they provide;
2. assess the effects of stressors on biological systems;
3. promote the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystems;
4. develop the ability of scientific and technical intervention in Ecology, through the planning and implementation of experiments / projects, in the interpretation and analysis of scientific literature;
5. ameliorate the ability to present and discuss results (written and oral form);
6. stimulate critical and constructive thinking;
7. training objective thinking and problem-centered approach;
8. develop skills for personal and intellectual autonomy;
9. promote ethical conduct;
10. provide knowledge on multidisciplinary methodologies and topics in Ecology, Biodiversity and Global Change.

Access to higher education

The Master course prepares students for C3 courses in the areas of Ecology, Marine Sciences, Agroforestry Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Sustainability and related areas.


The C2 degree allows for the integration in private environmental consulting firms, state institutions or environmental agencies (e.g. City Councils, Environmental Ministry, and Natural Parks) and non-governmental organizations.






Access forms

The access to this Cycle of Study can be done at the Students Portal of the University of Minho 

This information does not replace consultation of the Academic Regulations of the University of Minho and other official documents.

Formal requirements

Can be candidates to the Study Program holders of a first degree (or legally equivalent qualification) in Biology, in Environmental Sciences, in Marine Sciences, in Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, in Environmental Engineering, in Biological Engineering, in Biochemistry or in other related areas.
Are applied other conditions mentioned in Article nº 8 of the bylaws of the Study Program according to the RT-04/2007.
During the process of classification of candidates, it is considered the final classification of the previous degree (i.e. bachelor, etc), and the affinity of the degree with the study cycle. Other aspects that are also considered include the previous research activities, participation in conferences, scientific publications, among others.

Application deadlines

Information on Application Deadlines can be found at:

Registration deadlines

Information on Registration Deadlines can be found at:

Aditional Information

Study Plan


A3ES Accreditation status:
Resolution publication date:
Registry number at Ministry:
R/A-Ef 2479/2011/AL01
Registry Date:
Accreditation validity: