Biological and Environmental Sciences

Biology is the science of living nature. It describes and investigates the manifestations of all living beings and their complex interaction.

The study field at a glance

How does the human body work? How is the behavior of different species different? And how are plants constructed? Biologists are devoted to these and almost endless further questions. They observe, document, set up mathematical modeling and hypotheses and experiment to gain insights into the processes and phenomena of nature.

This field of study is closely linked to the other natural sciences. For example, biochemistry, biophysics, biomathematics and bioinformatics have emerged from common borderline areas. Also found in other courses is biology as a basic science, e.g. in medicine, pharmacy, agricultural science or nutrition science.

Offered courses

There are four major areas of studies in biology:

  • Classical biology explores the development, blueprint and biochemical processes of living things - from microorganisms (microbiology) to plants (botany) and animals (zoology) to humans (anthropology). One possible specialization is, for example, marine biology.
  • Life sciences are an evolution of this traditional field: they combine biological content with knowledge from other scientific disciplines to describe processes and laws of nature that affect all living beings. These include cell biology, which deals with the structure and functions of cells, physiology, which examines, for example, forms of metabolism or the communication between cells, or evolutionary biology, which looks at the origin and development of all living things. The Life Sciences continue to develop findings in these areas in order to harness them.
  • Environmental sciences take a thorough view of different ecosystems. Specifically, it is about the effects of human activities on nature and how damage can be avoided or eliminated. The technical benefits of this field of study are drawn from environmental technology.
  • Bioengineering sciences are even more interdisciplinary, which, as the name suggests, combine biology and engineering. This includes, for example, bionics, which develops a technical solution based on natural models, biomechanics, which investigates the musculoskeletal system of living beings according to the laws of mechanics, or biotechnology, in which living organisms are to be harnessed by technical measures - a specialization of which is, for example the genetic engineering. Thanks to the resulting high application relevance, these areas are of great importance for industry or medicine.

Contents of the course

A Bachelor's degree program includes modules such as: Cell and Molecular Biology, Botany and Botanical Systematics, Zoology, Biochemical and Biophysical Foundations, Neurobiology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Biodiversity of Biodiversity, Ecology, Animal Evolution and Systematics Plants, morphology, developmental biology, plant physiology and biochemistry, behavioral biology. Particularly in the interdisciplinary study programs, intensive training in the natural sciences of biology in the subjects of mathematics, physics and chemistry as well as engineering or computer science partially.

Depending on the university, majors such as molecular biology / cell biology, biochemistry / biophysics, bioinformatics, biotechnology, biodiversity / ecology, parasitology / virology, physiology, neurobiology and developmental biology as well as environmental sciences are offered in the master’s program.

Admission criteria & study application

Around three-quarters of the biological Bachelor programs in Germany are subject to local admission restrictions. Some universities use the Dialogue-Oriented Service Procedure (DoSV) of the Foundation for Admission to Universities to offer their limited places.

Possible careers after graduation

Biologists without a teacher's certificate mostly find employment at universities and research institutions. In addition, they work in the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. as a pharmaceutical consultant or for the clinical testing of pharmaceuticals), in the chemical and food industry, in medical technology in sales and product management, in the brewing industry, in documentation and information brokers and in public authorities, which deal with environmental and health protection laws. Possible employers are also the media, book publishing houses as well as training and further education. With appropriate additional training, a job as a patent attorney is also possible.