Ecotoxicology is an interdisciplinary science made up of biology, toxicology, and environmental chemistry, that deals with the effects of substances on the living environment. In winter semester 2010/2011, a Master's course of study in ecotoxicology was established at RWTH Aachen, as one of two such courses of study in Germany, with funds from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie. Such a course of study had not existed in the German speaking community until then, even though there was a strong demand for well educated ecotoxicologists according to the Federal Environment Agency and the Verband der Chemischen Industrie.

The Master's course of study in ecotoxicology provides students with advanced knowledge, abilities, and methods in the field of ecotoxicology and guides them towards scientific qualification and independence in this field. The course of study encompasses four semesters, whereby the fourth semester is reserved for writing the Master's thesis. In addition to lecturers from RWTH Aachen, there are numerous external lecturers from industry, ministries such as the Federal Environment Agency, and other universities included in the program.

The Master's course of study in ecotoxicology differs from the Master's in biology through its clear and expansive focus on the environmental sciences. In the Master's in biology others fields of biology are also covered.

Programme Structure

The course of study encompasses four semesters, whereby the fourth semester is reserved for writing the Master thesis.Studies encompass six mandatory modules and two elective modules, each with 9 ECTS, that are completed in the first three semesters. Each mandatory and elective module is completed with an exam.There are no pre-determined specializations offered. Students shape their studies through electives.

Mandatory Modules in the Course of Study:

  • Ecological terrestrial or limnetic systems
  • Environmental analysis or environmental chemistry of pollutants
  • Ecotoxicology concepts
  • Practical methods in ecotoxicology
  • Regulatory ecotoxicology
  • Statististical and mechanical modelling in ecotoxicology or modelling of behavior and expansion of chemical materials in organisms and the environment or statistics in ecotoxicology

Elective Modules:

  • Ecology of Terrestrial Systems
  • Ecology of Limnetic Systems
  • Environmental Analysis of Pollutants
  • Environmental Chemistry of Pollutants
  • Statististic and Mechanical Modelling of Ecotoxicology
  • Modelling of Behavior and the Expansion of Chemical Materials in Organisms and the Environment
  • Statistics in Ecotoxicology
  • Plant Ecology 1 or 2
  • Toxicology
  • Residential Water Management and Water Engineering
  • Applied Geography
  • Microorganisms 1 or 2
  • Phytopathology
  • Climatology and Hydrology

Entry Requirement

  • First university degree, required qualifications according to the examination regulations
  • Proficiency in German

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