RWTH offers a Master of Science in biology that builds on the biology Bachelor and advances studies in five specializations. Biology's application-oriented profile plays a decisive role in the course of study.
Biology research at RWTH will concentrate on two focuses in the coming years: "Protection and Transformation of Biomass" and "Neurobiology and Bionics". In the protection of biomass it will be necessary to guarantee and continue to increase the harvest of plants. Due to the expertise in the department, the Department of Biology will particularly focus of the protection of biomass harvest under stressful conditions and the minimization of the stress on ecosystems.
Plant biomass can be transformed by microorganisms into products that can then either be used as precursors for energy carriers ('tailor made fuels"), or represent raw materials for chemical production or biogenic materials. The goal of Aachen biology is to use strengths in application skills that are specific to Aachen in an assocation of chemists and engineers.
The work group Zoology and Animal Physiology forms the focus on neurobiology and bionics. The work group is distinguishes itself through broad and integrative work with neuroscience problems. The spectrum ranges from molecular and cellular biology to physiology to behavioral biology and simulation as well as the application of senses in bionics.
In addition to the Department of Biology's research focuses, biology Master's students have numerous other opportunities during their education through collaborations with other institutes and departments, such as medicine, chemistry, physics, and the engineering sciences. Close collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich also offers additional possibilities.
Characteristics of the RWTH Course of Study
Biology at RWTH is connected to a scientific landscape, that is shaped by the natural and engineering sciences. Accordingly, study, research, and profiling opportunities are broad for biology Master's students. The Master's course of study in biology is characterized by the free selection of a specialization, supplemented by additional corresponding subjects and additional elective qualifications (such as business administration, computer science, physics, chemistry, medicine, engineering sciences, or languages). Here there is a possibility to tailor the Master's studies based on one's personal interest. Master's studies in biology in Aachen are characterized by a strong interdisciplinary curriculum. Biology is supported by numerous other disciplines, for example medicine, chemistry, or engineering. Internships and final theses are made possible by diverse collaborations and research assocations, that also offer particularly motivated Master's students the opportunity to work on current projects. This is a defining advantage of RWTH Aachen.
In the Biology Master course of study, specializations from the Bachelor course of study (excluding biotechnology) are offered:
One of these specializations is studies, and supplementary modules from the other specializations are chosen. The course of study takes four semesters, whereby the fourth semester is reserved for the Master thesis. A broad range of subjects are offered from engineering, natural sciences, and the Faculty of Medicine, which can also be chosen. Research internships and the experimental Master thesis, which can take place outside of biology, e.g. in medicine or external research institutions, provide a look at current research. Research here is strongly application oriented.
The career prospects for biologists are often questioned. In contrast to the general cliche that biologists cannot find work, current job prospects tell another story. The transformation of biology into a modern, application-oriented, and interdisciplinary science generates diverse fields of work for biologists depending on the technical focus. The first possibility is research work conducted through doctoral studies. Depending on students' interests and discipline, universities and university hospitals, external research institutions, such as the Fraunhofer, Max Planck, and Helmholtz institutes, and research companies all offer a potential job market. The focus on application, technical components, and the possibility to acquire additional qualifications (such as business administration, computer science, medicine, engineering sciences, and languages) offers good possibilities for finding jobs in industry. Aside from research, examples also include employment in quality management, supervising studies, product development, marketing, or sales. Natural scientists are becoming more important in consulting. Numerous official offices and scientific services offer an interesting job market.
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