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Erasmus Mundus MSc in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO)

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Cost 4000 euro's for students from partner countries (world-wide), 8000 euro's for students from partner countries within Europe

The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme.

TROPIMUNDO is an EC-funded and excellence-labebeled Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems. We aim to bring together expert Higher Education Institutes (HEI), with long-standing worldwide expertise in tropical rainforests and woodlands and in tropical coastal ecosystems. TROPIMUNDO students are able to concentrate on botany, zoology and integrative ecosystem approaches in institutions worldwide in 2 Master years, of which an entire semester is spent in the tropics. Specialisation is possible on the evolution of tropical flora and vegetation, on faunistic assemblages, on informatics tools to treat and manage biodiversity data and databases (biogeographical, genetical, geographical information systems) including the management and conservation of historic collections such as herbarium sheets, on the study of diversity, dynamics and evolution of tropical and subtropical ecosystems (with a focus on four related systems, namely tropical rainforests and woodlands, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs, including the interactions between flora, fauna, man and the environment within and between each of these adjacent ecosystems), on conservation and restoration ecology of natural habitats and their biodiversity including competences in sustainable management and governance of biodiversity, and finally, on tropical ethnobotany, exploitation and valorisation of natural resources and conservation of traditional ecological knowledge.

CORE VALUES. Unique mobility programme worldwide, including a unique set of threatened ecosystems

  • Study, research and field courses in Amazonian, African, Asian and/or Australian wet tropics
  • Intensive contact with different cultures and languages

Trajectory in 4 semesters. The consortium is composed of 5 institutes in Programme Countries (largely European) and 4 higher education institutes in Partner Countries (largely non-European). In a first semester, students start at a European institute of their choice to acquire similar competences. In a second semester field experience and courses will take place in a university in a non-EU country. This includes hands-on experience in 1 or 2 tropical sites. The third semester will cover a specialisation in a European university, different from the first one. Courses vary at this semester. In the fourth semester students return to where they started out for their thesis research. Every trajectory of 4 semesters constitutes a unique combination of courses and expertises

The added values of TROPIMUNDO comprise:

  • unique course program with a mobility within Europe that maximizes radiation of the scientific excellence of EU HEIs and that leads to multiple degree. To our knowledge this is the first curriculum in Europe (maybe world-wide) to cover such an integrated set of threatened ecosystems;
  • unique mobility beyond Europe under the form of an entire semester in situ including both ex cathedra and field courses in the Amazonian, African or Australian wet tropics at participating third-country HEIs;
  • principle that strongly stimulates content and language integrated learning (the study of a discipline whilst learning one or more European languages);
  • clear Trajectory in which fundamental understanding of some of the most threatened ecosystems, or their components (incl. biota and abiotic factors), is followed by research tools to study and understand them with the aim of protection.

Application procedure

Click here to apply:


Tuition fees are 8,000 EUR per year for students from Partner countries (largely outside Europe) and 4,000 EUR per year for students from Programme countries (largely European). They are to be paid to the coordinating institute. The tuition fees include consortium enrolment fees and the insurance cost. The tuition fees do not include costs related to visa and preparatory documents, accommodation, additional insurance costs, living expenses and travel and transportation costs. However, EC-funded students have additional cost coverage.

Application Procedure:

The first call for 2019-2020 applicants in need of a scholarship is now open. Please note availability of scholarships will depend on financing by the European Commission (results expected in July 2019 for students scheduled to start their MSc Programme in September 2019). Please note that for 2018-2019 no scholarships have been offered.

Detailed information on TROPIMUNDO facts, conditions, procedures, deadlines, etc... is available in the online Information and Application Module.

Click here to get your personal link to the online Information and Application Module.

This first TROPIMUNDO call is for scholarship seekers or self-funded applicants and will be evaluated as a batch after the deadline. If any available places remain a second call for TROPIMUNDO applications will be opened in the first trimester of 2019 (presently CLOSED), only for self-funded applicants from all countries. Second call applications will be treated on a first come first served basis. The deadline for submission of second call applications will be 15 June 2019 for Non-EU and for EU students (preferably originating from one of the member states of the European Union and with a Bachelor diploma obtained from an EU member state) or until all available places have been exhausted.

Admissions may be done conditional of obtaining a Bachelor diploma or language proof before the start of the academic year.

Click here to get your personal link to the online Information and Application Module.

The call for 2020-2021 will open by the start of October 2019.


Grant opportunities

Category A scholarships (limited to 16.000€ Tuition fees for two years, plus 8.000€ contribution to travel, installation, visa related costs and any other type of costs for two years, plus a monthly allowance of 1.000€) can be awarded to third-country masters students selected by EMMC consortia who come from a country other than a European country and who are not residents nor have carried out their main activity (studies, training or work) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in these countries. The five-year reference period for this 12-month rule is calculated backwards as from the submission deadline 31/01/2014.

Category B scholarships (limited to 8.000€  Tuition fees for two years, plus 3.000€ contribution to travel, installation, visa related costs and any other type of costs for two years, plus a monthly allowance of 500€) can be awarded to European masters students selected by the TROPIMUNDO consortium as well as to any masters students selected by the TROPIMUNDO consortium who do not fulfil the Category A criteria defined above.

TROPIMUNDO Candidates can also apply for an EC scholarship


  • An internationally accepted Bachelor’s degree (i.e. the equivalent of 180 ECTS) with a major in Biology, Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or equivalent from an accredited university.
  • Students must be able to demonstrate proficiency in English or English + French. More information on language requirements can be found in the Online Information and Application Module.
  • A personal evaluation of the applications will be done by a selection committee
  • In the 1st and 3rd semester basic and specialised extra-curricular language courses are offered based on actual trajectory needs.

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography