How did life come into being on our planet? Why do we feel pain or joy? What is the difference between a Siberian tiger and a Bengal tiger? What are the consequences of climate change? If you are interested in questions like these, the study of biology is the right place for you.
Biology deals with all forms of life on earth. Biologists study plants, animals and humans and the relationships between the various organisms.
This quite extensive field of science is usually divided into four main fields of work: botany deals with the plant world, zoology with the animal world. In anthropology is about the people and the microbiology deals with the smallest microorganisms on our planet.
In the bachelor’s degree
In the bachelor’s degree in biology, students get to know the scientific principles of these four areas. In order to be able to understand all connections, chemistry , physics and mathematics are also on the curriculum.
The students don’t just sit in the lecture hall, they also spend a lot of time in the laboratory . At many universities, the “snipping course” is still compulsory, in which students dissect worms or frogs in order to get to know their anatomy.
But you also learn to work with the microscope, to create cell cultures or to reproduce genetic material. Also excursions to different ecosystems are at most universities to study it. In the higher semesters, students can then set their own priorities. The individual universities offer very different focus subjects, for example neurogenetics or marine biology.
In the master’s degree
After completing their bachelor’s degree, graduates can start their careers straight away. Most universities, however, recommend joining a master’s degree. On the one hand, the master’s degree increases the chances of finding management positions and higher-paid jobs. On the other hand, the differentiated master’s courses offer the opportunity to specialize in a sub-area of biology . Among other things, cell and molecular biology or agricultural biology are offered. Student teachers must attach the Master of Education in order to be admitted to the legal traineeship.
Requirements for studying biology
Biology can be studied at most German universities. It is worthwhile to compare the courses offered, as the universities set different priorities . In general, biology students should have a keen interest in all natural sciences – not just biology.
You won’t get very far in your studies without physics, math and chemistry. At the latest in the partly English-language master’s courses, a good knowledge of English is required.
Career prospects for biologists
Many biology students study for a teaching position and enter the school service after their studies. The majority of the remaining graduates work in research. Many remain stuck in the universities . They conduct research in the university’s own laboratories and pass on their knowledge as lecturers. State and private research institutions are other employers.
Research is also being carried out in the field of industry. In particular, biotechnology companies and the pharmaceutical industry employ biologists. For example, you research pathogens and are involved in drug development. If they are not in the research laboratories, jobs in quality control or sales are also possible.
Another popular field of work besides research is environmental protection . Graduates work on nature conservation and environmental projects. Employers are, for example, nature conservation authorities, offices, NGOs, associations, zoos and museums.
Study biology internationally
One or two semesters abroad can optimally prepare the students for their future career. For example, those who specialize in marine biology will likely go abroad after completing their studies. Because there are hardly any jobs in this area in Germany.
A study visit abroad is also interesting for everyone else. Other teaching contents expand the specialist knowledge and sharpen the scientific profile .
In addition, the students improve their foreign language skills and acquire important intercultural competencies and soft skills. The latter include the ability to work in international teams, assertiveness and flexibility. These are all additional qualifications that local employers also like to see.