Department of Limnology and Biological Oceanography

Education and Teaching

A brief overview of the Master of Ecology study


The master's programme Ecology and Ecosystems (MEC) addresses fundamental problems in ecology in a holistic way. Core topics are the role of organisms in the functionality of ecosystems, and the factors responsible for the spatial and temporal variations in biodiversity and functioning of systems. The study programme takes both an organismic and an ecosystem-based approach to ecology. Within the MEC program, it is possible to focus on Limnology or Bio-Oceanography.


The total workload is 120 ECTS credits, 90 for lectures and exercises organized in 9 modules and 30 for the master thesis and defence. The structure is organized like a tree with the basic modules placed near the ground level – they are the fundament. Advanced modules offer various lectures for specialization, amongst these also aquatic ecology.

Taking a closer look

Semester 1 (winter)

MEC-1 Evolutionary and ecological foundations of biodiversity (5ECTS) – lecture; overall introduction, no choices to avoid repetitions


MEC-2 Ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry (5ECTS) – lecture; overall introduction, no choices to avoid repetitions


MEC-3 Biodiversity and ecosystems (5ECTS) – seminar; various topics are covered


MEC-4 Introduction to biodiversity or ecosystem research (5ECTS) – lab and field work


MEC-5 Experimental design and data analysis (10ECTS) – lecture and computer work


Semester 2 (summer)

MEC-6 Techniques in biodiversity research (10ECTS) – lab and/or field work


MEC-7 Techniques in biogeochemistry and ecosystem research (10ECTS) – lab and/or field work


MEC-8 Specific research project (10ECTS) – lab and/or field work

for MEC-8, modules MEC-4 & -5 are needed as admission requirements


Semester 3 (winter)

MEC-9 (30 ECTS) Individual specialization – various offers


Semester 4 (summer)

Master Thesis and defence



  • BSc degree Biology Uni Vienna – no supplementary exams needed
  • BSc degree from other fields/universities – check for equivalence
  • equivalence ± given – supplementary exams to a maximum of 30 ECTS
  • English B2 level


Further information