Special Biology – Field of study catalogue MU
“Through specialisation into understanding and praxis in biology”
The Master's study programme of Special Biology extends the knowledge and skills acquired during the Bachelor's study programme of the same field. Similarly, as in Bachelor's Special Biology, the Master's is divided into five specific branches determined by individual study plans, themes of Master's theses and subjects of the final state examinations. These four branches include: Experimental Biology of Plants, Experimental Biology of Animals and Immunology, Microbiology and Molecular Biotechnology, Ecotoxicology and Anthropobiology and Anthropogenetics. Graduates from the Master's Special Biology study programme are well educated in one of the areas of experimental biology of their choice both in theoretical and practical levels. Within this area, a Master's thesis has to be submitted. This allows students to use the theoretical background and practical skills they obtained in real research work.
In addition to this biological education in the fields mentioned above, graduates obtain solid education in basic chemistry, environment analyses and statistical data processing. A wide theoretical knowledge of graduating students is extended with a practical experience because the most of the subjects are complemented with laboratory courses, fieldwork and field trips. Therefore, students learn many of the methods used in ecotoxicology and environment analysis in practice.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- perform creative independent research work in various fields of experimental biology and lead the research project teams
- explain in detail the structure and physiological functioning of organisms on which they specialise
- employ advanced research methods and techniques used in scientific practice of the chosen specialization
- work routinely and independently in both biological and chemical laboratories
- plan advanced experiments, collect large data sets and treat them statistically
- communicate in English with emphasis on scientific communication, e.g. writing of scientific reports or oral presentation of results
Graduates can find jobs in laboratories of health care, food, chemical or pharmaceutical industry, at the Institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, in the laboratories of agricultural or environmental companies. They can apply for jobs also in state administration (e.g. nature and environment protection organs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture) or commercial spheres (e.g. breeding stations). Graduates of the Master's degree programme are qualified to perform independent research work.
The aim of the Master's Special Biology study programme is to provide graduates with such information and experience that will guarantee their high adaptability and competitiveness in various fields of biological research. Experimental Biology of Plants graduates are well educated in functional processes in plants and plant populations that can be useful in both theoretically and practically oriented research work performed in various research institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, resort institutions of Ministry of Agriculture, breeding institutes and other institutions dealing with environment protection. Students graduating in Experimental Biology of Animals and Immunology can get a job in basic or applied research institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences and in various resort institutes oriented both to veterinary and human systems. Graduates can also get a job in private biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. Students graduating in Microbiology and Molecular Biotechnology are well educated to get a job in laboratories of health care, food industry, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, agricultural companies and organizations oriented towards the environment, including Ministry of Environment. Graduates in Ecotoxicology can find a job in both private and state sphere in positions ranging from expert (biological, ecotoxicological, biochemical and analytical laboratories) to managerial positions (for example, researchers involved in a risk evaluation, environment monitoring, environment management, organization ecology, etc.). They are well educated to work in institutions of protection and control of the environment (research institutes, river basins, health care institutions, hygiene stations, waste industry and private enterprise or industrial facilities.
The standard duration of studies is four semesters. Courses are ranked as required, selective, recommended elective and other elective courses. The standard demand for all four semesters is 120 credits.
Experimental Biology of Plants:
This study is based on lectures and practical courses of plant cytology, anatomy and morphology. These disciplines deal with internal and external arrangements of plants and explain the sources of their diversity. This basis is then extended by lectures and practical courses on plant physiology that is oriented to important processes, such as photosynthesis, respiration, mineral nutrition of plants, water flow, growth, development and tactility. Explanation of these phenomena together with ecophysiology and production biology comprise the basis for teaching of special disciplines in physiology.
Experimental Biology of Animals and Immunology:
A student graduating in this study programme is well trained for work in specializations requiring theoretical knowledge and practical skills in modern physiology and immunology oriented both to human and veterinary areas. Students are educated in cell signalling, key processes for understanding of molecular control of embryonal development, tissue differentiation and regeneration, as well as carcinogenesis, immune reactions and sensoring by neural system. Master's theses can be focused on further investigation of these processes using the broad spectrum of models from tissue cultures, invertebrates, agricultural vertebrates to humans. This study programme thus integrates methodical approaches of molecular biology, genetics and cell biology with behavioural sciences.
Microbiology and Molecular Biotechnology:
A student graduating from this study programme understands human and veterinary microbiology, including epidemiology both on theoretical and practical levels. Detailed information is provided also on ecology of microorganisms, significance of microorganisms for the environment, biotechnologies and bioremediations. The spectrum of information provided and acquired practical skills give solid guarantee for wide adaptability of graduate students in various fields of general and applied microbiology.
A student graduating in this study progamme obtained complete education to be capable of expert evaluation of biological impact of stressors on environment on molecular, cell and ecosystem levels. They can evaluate ecotoxicity of pure substances, such as prediction of pesticide toxicity or evaluation of chemicals according to the European legislation and complexity of effects induced by environmental mixtures. They understand specificities of ecotoxicology in various matrices, such as water, soil, sediments, atmosphere, and are well familiar with various sections of the environment (pedology, hydrology, meteorology).
Not relevant for the programme.
The final state examination evaluates students' knowledge of logical context of facts obtained from the courses of the whole Master's studies. One part of the final state examination is a Master's thesis defence. The final state examinations for different specialisations consist of oral examinations in three subjects (only two in Ecotoxicology) according to a given specialisation.
More information about graduation requirements can be found on the department's website:
A student's potential for scientific work can be further enhanced in the follow-up doctoral degree programme in Biology.