Why in Utrecht

From genes to ecosystems

The Master's programme in Environmental Biology is multidisciplinary and integrates different levels of biological organisation from genes to ecosystems. Through the lens of innovation by nature, you will contribute to research on grand societal challenges such as sustainable food security, effects of climate change, and natural resource management.

As a student on this unique programme, you will:

  • examine life at different organizational levels, from genes, cells, and organisms to populations and ecosystems;
  • work on urgent research questions with critical societal relevance;
  • tailor your programme to your interests by selecting from one of four different tracks;
  • work with internationally renowned scientists; 
  • make use of state-of-the-art techniques and facilities.

All Utrecht Master’s programmes are linked to renowned research institutes and Schools that combine the expertise and academic training facilities of the science departments, with the clinical research of the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Medicine. This combination is unique in the Netherlands, and it has gained the University a strong international reputation in biomedical and life sciences research.


Life Sciences is one of the four strategic themes of Utrecht University and is organised in the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS). The GSLS brings together the research expertise and facilities of the faculties of Science, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, in cooperation with UMC Utrecht. Research at the GSLS is highly interdisciplinary, because scientific breakthroughs take place where physics, medicine, chemistry and biology interact.


Every year all new Master’s students of the Graduate School of Life Sciences start their academic year with a mandatory introduction week. Introducing Life Sciences (ILS) is a part of the Life Sciences Academy. The first week will cover all aspects of academic education, including science integrity, career development and valorization & industry.

Watch the video below for an impression.


Students are able to follow their Master’s programme at UMC Utrecht, one of the largest academic medical centers in the Netherlands. UMC Utrecht focuses on a number of fields; selected students get educated by some of the best researchers in these research areas. This gives students ample opportunities for excellent internships both at UMC Utrecht and abroad with our international partners. Students also have access to the large research infrastructure and research network of the focus areas.

World-class University

Choosing Utrecht University means choosing one of the best universities in the country. Several renowned international rankings place Utrecht University among the 100 best universities in the world. Moreover, in a survey among Dutch professors it was proclaimed the best university in the Netherlands. The teaching environment at Utrecht University is international: half of the Utrecht Master's programmes are taught in English. The existing and former academic staff of Utrecht University include twelve Nobel Prize laureates.

City of Utrecht

The University is situated in Utrecht, aa lively student city located in the heart of the Netherlands, and is considered the 'gateway to Europe'. An inspiring city which nurtures talent and creativity.