Ecotoxicology M.Sc.


Key Info

Basic Information

Master of Science
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester, Summer Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
4 semesters
ECTS Credits:
120Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.


Admission Requirements

  • First university degree, required qualifications according to the examination regulations Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    A first recognized university degree, through which the necessary education background for the Master course of study can be proven. The necessary knowledge needed in order for studies to be successful is determined in the respective exam regulations (PO).

  • Proficiency in German --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    You must provide documentation of your language skills for the language of instruction at the time of enrollment. The exam regulations stipulate the relevant requirements.

Admission to First Semester


Admission to Higher Semesters


Dates and Deadlines


Ecotoxicology is an interdisciplinary science made up of biology, toxicology, and environmental chemistry, that deals with the effects of substances on the living environment. In winter semester 2010/2011, a Master's course of study in ecotoxicology was established at RWTH Aachen, as one of two such courses of study in Germany, with funds from the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie. Such a course of study had not existed in the German speaking community until then, even though there was a strong demand for well educated ecotoxicologists according to the Federal Environment Agency and the Verband der Chemischen Industrie.

The Master's course of study in ecotoxicology provides students with advanced knowledge, abilities, and methods in the field of ecotoxicology and guides them towards scientific qualification and independence in this field. The course of study encompasses four semesters, whereby the fourth semester is reserved for writing the Master's thesis. In addition to lecturers from RWTH Aachen, there are numerous external lecturers from industry, ministries such as the Federal Environment Agency, and other universities included in the program.

The Master's course of study in ecotoxicology differs from the Master's in biology through its clear and expansive focus on the environmental sciences. In the Master's in biology others fields of biology are also covered.

Characteristics of the RWTH Course of Study

The Master's course of study in ecotoxicology offered at RWTH is unique in German and is particularly set up based on the need for modern ecotoxicologists. Instruction is supported by lecturers from the industry. RWTH Aachen is one of the leading technical universities in Europe. It maintains numerous international relationships and is incorporated into the Bioregio Rheinland. An interdisciplinary forum at RWTH Aachen was established for life sciences at RWTH Aachen. JARA-Brain should be particularly noted in the field of biology.

The Institute for Environmental Sciences at RWTH is among the leading institutions in its field and maintains numerous national and international collaborations with other universities, research institutions, industry, and agencies. The student lab Fascinating Environment also exists. Furthermore, the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, the GAIAC environmental research institute are located in Aachen.


"Tag der Aachener Biologie und Biotechnologie"

  1. There is an annual event which presents the department´s courses of study. It is held entirely in German. International students with German skills, of course, are invited to attend!
  2.   More information on the department´s webpage (de).

Degree Content

The course of study encompasses four semesters, whereby the fourth semester is reserved for writing the Master thesis.

Studies encompass six mandatory modules and two elective modules, each with 9 ECTS, that are completed in the first three semesters. Each mandatory and elective module is completed with an exam.

There are no pre-determined specializations offered. Students shape their studies through electives.

Mandatory Modules in the Course of Study:

  • Ecological terrestrial or limnetic systems
  • Environmental analysis or environmental chemistry of pollutants
  • Ecotoxicology concepts
  • Practical methods in ecotoxicology
  • Regulatory ecotoxicology
  • Statististical and mechanical modelling in ecotoxicology or modelling of behavior and expansion of chemical materials in organisms and the environment or statistics in ecotoxicology

Elective Modules:

  • Ecology of Terrestrial Systems
  • Ecology of Limnetic Systems
  • Environmental Analysis of Pollutants
  • Environmental Chemistry of Pollutants
  • Statististic and Mechanical Modelling of Ecotoxicology
  • Modelling of Behavior and the Expansion of Chemical Materials in Organisms and the Environment
  • Statistics in Ecotoxicology
  • Plant Ecology 1 or 2
  • Toxicology
  • Residential Water Management and Water Engineering
  • Applied Geography
  • Microorganisms 1 or 2
  • Phytopathology
  • Climatology and Hydrology

You can get detailed information about mandatory and elective modules in this course of study on the Institute of Environmental Research website. You can find module descriptions in the examination regulation.

Programs Abroad

The faculty maintains research and teaching collaborations with a number of European and non-European universities. Academic stays or internships abroad are highly recommended. During Bachelor studies it is possible to spend a semester abroad at one of our numerous European partner universities through the ERASMUS exchange program or to complete a research program through the UROP program. The database Moveonline Exchanges is helpful if you would like an overview of all of RWTH's programs abroad.


Master's studies in ecotoxicology are very application oriented. The outstanding equipment in the environmental institutes makes it possible to offer a corresponding insititute internship for almost every module. In addition to intensive supervision, students will have the possibility to complete comprehensive research internships. Research internships in industry are also supported. This supports Aachen graduates' broad spectrum of methodological knowledge and experience.



A prerequisite for starting studies in a first university degree, with which the necessary background education can be proven, as determined in the exam regulations. The exam board determines whether it fulfills the entrance requirements.


Decision Aids

Studying a Master's in Ecotoxicology at RWTH Aachen means having a strong focus on modern environmental sciences. This Master's offers graduates from a corresponding Bachelor course of study who are very interested in these problems, a unique option focused on application and industry. There is an option to pursue a postgraduate vocational training to become an ecotoxicologist. Students, who are more interested in a biological discipline, should make note of the Master's course of study in biology at RWTH Aachen, in which the environmental sciences are also available as a concentration.


Module Handbook and Examination Regulations

The module handbook provides a description of all modules of a degree program and offers a comprehensive insight into the program contents.

The examination regulations are comprised of legally binding provisions on learning objectives, prerequisites for study, the course structure and processes, and examination procedures.

Regulations that generally apply to all Bachelor's and Master's degree programs, including information on language proficiency requirements, can be found in RWTH's General Examination Regulations. These general regulations are further specified and complemented by the subject-specific examination regulations.

If two examination regulations are valid for a degree program during a transition phase, the most current version shall apply to students enrolling in the program for the first time.

Please note that only the German examination regulations are legally binding.

Module Handbook
Subject-Specific Examination Regulations
RWTH's General Examination Regulations



The Master course of study in Ecotoxicology is offered by the Department of Biology in the Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Sciences.