Academic year 2019/2020

BIOLOGIA MARINA Degree Programme Profile

Basic Information

Qualification awarded

Master Degree in BIOLOGIA MARINA

Qualification Type/Level

EHEA Second cycle, EQF level 7

Number of Years/credits

2 years; 120 ECTS

Mode of Study


*All Degree Programmes are planned and organised for full-time students. It is possible, however (without special arrangements), to proceed through the course of study at one's own pace. This makes it possible, if necessary, to accommodate employment or other non-university activities or obligations.

Name of the Course Director and other contact information

President of the Degree Course Council:

Department of BIOLOGIA

Internationalization Coordinator (CAI):
Prof. Massimo Dal monte

Language of Teaching


Admission Requirements

Formal Requirements

Italian First cycle qualification (Laurea) or an equivalent foreign qualification in the same or related subject area, with possible extra work if the required competences are lacking.

Possible assessment prior knowledge and competences

Obligatory entrance exam for orientation purposes (non-selective).

Required knowledge and competences support programmes

Students whose curricula show lacuna may need to take extra first cycle course units before admission.

General Information

Programme Profile

The Degree Programme in Marine Biology completes the education acquired in the first cycle study in Biological Sciences. It aims to prepare students with an advanced and overall expertise in basic biology and in marine biology, with a deep knowledge of ecological, organismic, cellular and molecular diversity of marine organisms. They will have a solid background in marine biology with a deep knowledge in the methodologies involved in basic and applied research and in the techniques for the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data.

Key Learning Outcomes

Graduates in the Marine Biology Programme will be able to demonstrate:
- An essential knowledge on the basic biological sciences in perspective of their future professional application.
- An advanced knowledge of the biology of marine organisms and in particular of the ecological, organismic, cellular, and molecular diversity of marine organisms.
- Applicative and methodological competences, relevant to the study of marine organisms and ecosystems.
- An advanced knowledge in data management with statistical methods.
- The ability to operate modern laboratory instrumentation, with some knowledge of the most important acquisition techniques, including data handling.
- The ability to work autonomously, assuming also managerial roles involving a wide responsibility of projects, structures and personal.
- The ability to organize scientific research and innovation technology.
- The ability to consult databases and to adopt innovative technologies and advanced instruments in order to update their own profile.

Occupational Profile/s of Graduates

Graduates in the Marine Biology Degree Programme will have high responsibility profiles in activities associated with the development and use of procedures in all the fields of the study of marine organisms, performed within:
- Public and private institutions involved in the study of marine and coastal environment.
- Environmental protection agencies.
- Managing and professional activities recognized by the National Biologist Order.
- University and academic research centres following enrolment in a PhD programme in Marine Biology and Ecology or in other PhD programmes in Biology or other related scientific disciplines.

Access to further study

The Master’s degree in MARINE BIOLOGY allows the graduate to compete for entry into a Third Cycle programme/doctoral school.

Assessment methods, examination regulations, and grading

Assessment is normally by means of an oral or written examination; in some cases there are intermediate exams during the course; other elements (participation in discussion, written or oral reports, commentary of texts etc. ) are foreseen in specific course units and are described in the Course Unit Profiles.
The grading system for the course units consists of 30 possible points, plus 'lode' (cum laude) in case of excellence. Marks are given by the lecturer based on the performance as ascertained in a public examination by a board of at least two teachers. The main exam sessions are held in June/July; September; and January; students may resit exams**. Actual grading curves differ in different degree programmes. The University of Pisa provides an ECTS Grading Table, which shows the actual distribution, of the examination and final grades among students for each degree programme, in order to facilitate the comparison with other grading systems. ---> Link to ECTS Grading Table
An overall mark is given on the occasion of the 'Final Exam', when a written research text is presented and discussed. The final overall mark is calculated based on the results of the marks obtained in the single course units and the final exam, and is based on 110 possible points, with the possible further mention of honours ("lode" or cum laude).

**The exam sessions are organised into sessions (the dates vary according to the Department and are published in the Department's academic calendar). In each session there are a certain number of 'appelli' [calls], or dates on which the examination for each course unit may be taken. The 'appelli' are fixed by the teacher. The students choose which of the appelli they wish to respond to. In most cases, it is obligatory to sign up before the specified date.

Requirements (regulations) to obtain the qualification

The final exam, to which 48 ECTS credits are allocated, foresees the preparation and discussion of a written text and must show that the candidate has produced original research in Marine biology in a university laboratory or in laboratories of partner institutions.

Course structure diagram

Available courses, 2019/2020