Degree course in italian
Degree course
Laurea Magistrale
MIUR Class
Classe delle lauree magistrali in Biologia - LM-6 (DM270)
2 anni
Academic year
Type of access/Available places
Corso ad accesso libero
Career opportunities - Analisti e progettisti di software - Biologi e professioni assimilate - Botanici - Zoologi - Ecologi

Course description

"Competences for communication"
In terms of acquisition of adequate competences and instruments for both written and oral communication; elaboration and presentation of experimental data; ability of team work; transmission and spread of information on biological themes in the current environmental sector. Practical classes include also the use of IT instruments and of scientific texts and/or articles in English, with both group and individual work. The skills for data elaboration and presentation, for the capability of team work, for the transmission and spread of information on biological themes will be acquired by participation to curricular practical laboratories as well as through the preparation of the final exam (the writing of the final essay and the exposition of results). The verification of the acquisition of these skills will be carried out by lecturers and/or specialized personnel, by final check through tests and/or written reports.

"Judgement autonomy"
In terms of acquisition of conscious judgement autonomy with reference to: collection, evaluation and interpretation of laboratory experimental data (choice and use of suitable instruments and investigations for a specific research); laboratory security (security forms, sanitary surveillance, regulations and legislation); principles of professional deontology and scientific approaches to bioethical problems. Skill acquisition will be obtained through lectures and seminars by expert lecturers and/or specialized personnel, by final check through tests and/or written reports.
The guidance activities for enrollment, guidance and mentoring in progress, assistance to carry out training periods abroad are carried out by the tutor of the degree course, with the involvement of the Secretariat Services to Students.

On 25 October 2019 the CdS participated in the organization and development of an Orientation Day at the Ecotekne Campus, aimed at students of upper secondary schools in the provinces of Lecce, Brindisi, Taranto and Matera. Classroom I6 (320 seats) was packed in every order of seats during the course of three lessons which allowed to illustrate university and professional career prospects related to the training offer (LT-13 and LM-6) available at the University of Salento: A) Multidisciplinary training of the modern biologist and new opportunities; B) The new frontiers of genetics; C) Save the ocean: marine biology and ecology for the protection of the Mediterranean.
The CdS has also joined the national UNISTEM DAY event, an opportunity for learning, discovery and comparison addressed to high school students in the field of stem cell research, but more general topics are also covered on different areas of scientific research, on the role and mission of the day scientist and on the mechanisms of training and consolidation of knowledge. On March 6, 2020, the first UNISTEM event was scheduled at the University of Salento, later canceled due to the COVID-19 health emergency and social restrictions imposed by the national government.

To cope with the impossibility of carrying out further orientation events in attendance at high schools (events that are annually organized in collaboration with the CORT - University orientation and tutoring center), the University of Salento has organized online events - with modalities LIVE on the TEAMS platform - for each of the three-year degree courses that are part of the 2020-2021 training offer. On 20 May 2020, the President of the Degree Program presented the three-year degree course in Biological Sciences, also recalling the opportunities for continuing his studies in the master's degrees of Experimental and Applied Biology and of the Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology, for a total of six different addresses (starting from 2020-2021) of professional specialization. The event was videotaped, and is now available on the Unisalento YOUTUBE channel.

It is relevant to recall that a fundamental orientation activity for the master's degrees of the University of Salento is carried out by the teachers of the three-year Degree Course in Biological Sciences during the course of their teaching programs. The provision of each discipline is aimed at students not only to acquire theoretical concepts and notions, but also to stimulate the ability to apply the knowledge acquired through methodological, technological and instrumental multidisciplinary experiences that specifically include the reference to research cases and of professional application, and a direct link with the second level postgraduate training opportunities.

Foreign students are also attracted to this international course by a dedicated CMBE web page ( within the European website MARINETRAINING.EU. Also, high publicity to this course is given through a dedicated CMBE video ( shown at any meeting/workshop and available on the YOUTUBE channel.
The Academic Council in Biology annually identifies the educational tutors among target teachers for the Degree Course in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology with duties in the Council of Biology .
The Tutor has the task of tutoring and providing insights to the students enrolled in the undergraduate program. Guidance and mentoring ongoing activity is also played by Welcoming Student Center (WSC) of the University of Salento, available to students enrolled in degree programs who wish to consult career information, apply for Graduate courses, submit applications for incentive grants. The WSC also provides support for streamlining students' career, supporting tutors for disabled students, providing information on awards of study for undergraduates, reservation of exams, access to web mail, submit on- line forms.

The opinions of the students on the performances of the Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology for the year 2018-2019 highlight highly positive evaluations mostly higher than the values achieved by the Department and the evaluation of the University as a whole. A slightly lower index is achieved from Q "doc_5 - Are the timetables for lessons, exercises, and any other didactic activities respected? This index (82) is still high but 4 points lower than in the past years. However, the provisory overall index value for 2019 (on 22 April 2020) is now reaching 90, a high value never recorded before, which may witness that any potential issue was just temporary and not occurring anymore.

The most frequent suggestions/requests of the students are represented by the need to increase supporting activities to teaching programs, improve the quality of didactic material, and to deliver more fundamental knowledge.

La presente relazione è stata elaborata dal Gruppo AQ del C.D. di Biologia nella riunione telematica del 14/7/2020 ed è stata approvata dal C.D. di Biologia nella riunione del 18/9/2020 (verbale n. 397).

Opinioni degli studenti - A cura del Presidio della Qualità D'Ateneo

The ALMALAUREA questionnaire was answered by 10 graduates in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology (LM-6) in the calendar year 2019 (pdf file inserted in box B7 on 30 June 2020), out of a total of 14 graduates. All respondents are registered in recent years (within 4 years prior to graduation). 90% of respondents followed more than 75% of the courses. 100% declared they were satisfied (80% fully satisfied, 20% more satisfied than unsatisfied)) with the degree course, and all respondents were fully (70%) or quite satisfied (30%) about their relationships with teachers. During the Master Course 50% of respondents made study experiences abroad, taking advantage of dedicated ERASMUS+ scholarships. 90% of respondents did curricular internships or other training periods also outside the UniSalento university (30%) which were recognized with specific ECTS/CFU credits by the Academic Board. 90% of respondents considered the equipments for educational activities always (40% of responses) or most of the time (50% of responses) adequate. 100% of respondents would enroll again in the same course at this university. 60% of graduates would like to continue their training with a doctorate (40%) or professional qualification experience, including fellowships or research contracts (20%).
The average duration of studies is 2.1 years with a delay index (indice di ritardo) near to zero.

La presente relazione è stata elaborata dal Gruppo AQ del C.D. di Biologia nella riunione telematica del 14/7/2020 ed è stata approvata dal C.D. di Biologia nella riunione del 18/9/2020 (verbale n. 397).

Opinioni dei laureati
"Learning abilities"
In terms of acquisition of adequate competences for the development and the advancement of further competence about: mining and consultation of bibliographic material, consultation of data banks and other web information, basic cognitive instruments for the continuous update of own knowledge. These skills will be mainly acquired during the stage period and during the accomplishment of the final essay, during which the acquisition of these skills will be checked. Also the sources for each exam will be mainly based on up-to-date literature surveys, building on textbook knowledge.
Master degree course: LM-6
Free Access (non-selective test)
Location: Campus Ecotekne (via Monteroni – Lecce) buildings A, B, D

Designed for students passionate of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, seeking for high professional qualification at international level - A promotional video is available at

Our course: The Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology (CMBE) Course delivers qualified education on fundamental and applied biological and ecological marine sciences, integrating eScience and more traditional approaches with the aim of understanding of the fundamental ecological mechanisms underlying the phenomena occurring at various scales in coastal, transitional, and marine ecosystems. CMBE is a two-year, second level course according to DM 270/04, without a programmed number of enrolled students. As specified within the related annual CMBE Manifesto for Educational Activities and the admittance call, it offers two alternative educational curricula, the first one (MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY S - MBE) focusing on theoretical and experimental training on multiple issues related to marine biology and marine ecosystems; the second one (E-BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SCIENCES - EBES) focusing on the theoretical foundations of biodiversity organization and ecosystem functioning and devoted to the issue of eco-informatics, i.e. of biodiversity and ecosystem data management, recognizing the biodiversity-ecosystem nexus as an information enterprise, requiring analytical and synthetic capabilities in the generation of services for solving environmental challenge (climate change, emerging ecosystem threats, biodiversity loss, waning natural resources) and the promotion of sustainability.

Enrolment to the Master Course’s curricula requires the possession of specific curricular requisites and the positive evaluation of the personal preparation of the applicant, according to the terms yearly published in the admission call. To obtain the final qualification, a student must achieve a minimum of 120 ECTS (equivalent to CFU, University Formative Credits in the Italian system) including the credits related to the final verification test. This is related to reporting about internship or research work experience - previously approved by the Academic Biology Council - at public or private research institutions, Universities, or companies.

Peculiarity: In Italy, this is the first marine biology and biodiversity course entirely taught in English and the only one delivering a double Master degree by the recent agreement (March 2017) between the University of Lille1, and the University of Salento relative to the MBE curriculum. Students enrolled at one of the two Universities who will spend 6 to 12 months in the second academic year in the other University will earn two master degrees instead of one. Additional double degree agreements are currently developed relative to the EBES curriculum. In Europe it is the first course on eScience biodiversity and ecosystem sciences connected with the European research infrastructure LifeWatch ERIC.

Internationalization: Our faculty members are involved in several European research projects. These links as well as the ERASMUS+ program jointly provide our students excellent opportunities to spend up to 12 month- mobility periods abroad, and to fulfil a master thesis in prestigious European research institutes. In this context, students from all over Italy and abroad find a stimulating training environment, including practical applications, making the course a true international laboratory.

Job opportunities: The main occupational perspectives deal with research and consultancy work in public bodies and private companies in the field of conservation and management of coastal and marine ecosystems, management of protected areas, assessment of the environmental health status and risks. Also, the CMBE degree opens the access to postgraduate and PhD courses in several areas of Marine and Ecosystem Sciences. The availability of a 14-m long research boat and terrestrial vehicles equipped for the different types of sampling activities represent further support to the need of gaining the practical skills typically requested by the international job market. Additionally, new job opportunities will be open in the private and public sectors dealing with environmental data curation, management and analysis thanks to the competences in bio- and eco-informatics that the students will acquire with the Course. Moreover, the EBER curriculum opens the access to postgraduate and PhD courses in several areas of Conservation Biology, Ecology, BioInformatics and EcoInformatics.
Graduates in the Master Course in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology will possess a solid preparation in basic biology, and in the various sectors of applied biology aimed at the understanding of the ecological phenomena at the level of the various scales in coastal, transitional, and marine ecosystems.
Two curricular programs are foreseen, focusing either on the MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY (herein labeled as MBE) curriculum or the E-BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM SCIENCES (herein labeled as EBES) curriculum.

Students enrolled to the MBE curriculum will have the opportunity in the second year of training to choose for a double-degree special program, made possible by the Agreement in force with the University of Lille (France) and the availability of dedicated ERASMUS+ fellowships. During the course of the second year, these students will spend 6 or 12 months at the University of Lille to a) attend courses and give exams (only first semester of the second year), or b) work in a lab for their final thesis work (only second semester of the second year) , or c) attend courses, give exams and work in a lab for their final thesis work (both first and second semester of the second year).
Students enrolled to the EBES curriculum will be involved in mobility programs within the LifeWatch ERIC network for at least 6 months, taking advantages of dedicated LifeWatch ERIC travel fellowships or belonging to the ERASMUS+ program. The mobility of the EBES students will occur in the second year.

The skills acquired by the graduates will be identified as priority disciplines (labeled as "characterizing" modules) and by complementary disciplines (labeled as affine, related modules) within distinct learning areas defined by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, as follows:

Characterizing activities (biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, biomolecular, biomedical sectors):
- MBE curriculum
biodiversity of coastal and marine vegetation, community ecology, marine life cycles, ecological indicators and biomonitoring, ecology and biology of transitional and marine waters (two modules: ecology and biology of transitional waters + marine biology), biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, oceanography of marginal seas and of the coastal zone, pelagos biology (zooplankton and nekton); environmental microbiology; environmental physiology.
- EBES curriculum
Plant biodiversity (module of biodiversity of coastal and marine vegetation), evolutionary biology, theoretical ecology, community ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, fundamentals of ecological informatics, laboratory of ecological informatics; environmental microbiology; environmental physiology.

Related, cognate activities (supplementary and related activities)
- MBE curriculum
Environmental chemistry
- EBES curriculum
Mathematical modelling in ecology, environmental chemistry.

The students will also have the opportunity to gain up to optional 9 ECTS/CFU ("Other Activities chosen by the student") in other disciplines (also outside the above learning areas and outside the proposed cognate activities as well as outside their specific curriculum). Indeed, students belonging to one curriculum will have the opportunity to choose up to 9 ECTS/CFU as a teaching module of a different curriculum or master course.
Considering that a practical, operative and adequate training has to provide the essential skills of a specialized biologist in the field of coastal and marine biology and ecology, the students will also have the opportunity to obtain the 9 ECTS/CFU of the "Other Activities chosen by the student" attending practical activities/courses. Therefore, the CMBE course student may carry on external activities, such as formative trainings with firms, public administration structures (e.g. Marine Protected Areas) and laboratories, and/or stages with Italian and foreign universities, also within the framework of international agreements (e.g. the European Network Euromarine); as well as practical classes in classrooms and/or in the field, training stages in national and foreign Universities (particularly those involved in double degree programs). Any of the chosen activities must be coherent with the objectives of the course, aiming at developing an integrated, interdisciplinary formation and they will be acknowledged by an adequate number of ECTS (formative credit units), upon approval of the Academic Board as "Other Activities chosen by the student" - up to the maximum of 9 CFU.

In addition, a single ECTS/CFU will be delivered by focus seminars on ethic, economic and normative aspects and as orientation to the job market.

The final degree exam will consist in the discussion of a thesis work which will grant 30 ECTS/CFU for the MBE curriculum or 40 ECTS for the EBES curriculum.
The final examination for the achievement of the LM in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology consists in the presentation and discussion in public, in front of an appointed commission, of a written text (thesis). The topic will be agreed upon with a docent of the Course of Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology, and must be the result of an original experimental research carried out during the stage time (corresponding to 30 ECTS/CFU for the MBE curriculum or to 40 ECTS/CFU for the EBES curriculum).

The thesis work should be carried out under the guidance of a thesis supervisor and can be carried out in laboratories of the University of Salento, or in public and/or private research institutions, located in Italy or abroad. If the thesis is carried out in external structures (out of the University of Salento) it is necessary to appoint an external rapporteur, as well as the internal one.
By the final test the student must demonstrate the cultural maturity, the ability to personal computing, and the ability to effectively communicate the theme addressed.

For the internship and the graduation examination, please refer to the information contained in the regulation of placement / internship published on the webpage of the Academic Biology Council, as specified below.

For the assignment of the final grade, the following rules will be applied:
To the average of marks obtained in all discipline examinations, expressed in terms of a 110-point scale, the following points will be added, where applicable:

- 1 point if the applicant has passed at least two exams with a score of thirty and praise;
- 1 point if the applicant is regularly enrolled for the first time to the second year of the course;
- 1 point if the applicant did an internship or job training abroad, under the ERASMUS+ program framework or equivalent mobility and cooperation agreement (*);
- up to 7 points, subject to decision of the Commission, for the value of the final thesis and of its public presentation.

(*) ERASMUS+ internship rules for minimum 3 months duration. For non-ERASMUS internships, equivalence must be previously approved by the Students-Faculty Joint Commission and the Academic Biology Board.

For the proposal to assign the praise, the candidate must get all the seven points available to the Commission and reach - adding all the above points - the threshold of at least 113/hundred and ten. Candidates whose marks in all examinations will be equal to 30/30 (and consequently to 110/110 on a 110 point scale), at the proposal of the rapporteur, the Commission may assign MENTION OF MERIT.

For more information, refer to the "Regulation CMBE" in attachment.
Admission to the Master's Degree (Corso di Laurea Magistrale) in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology requires the possession of a three-year degree or a three-year university diploma, or any other title obtained abroad and recognized as suitable. To be enrolled in the Master's Degree in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology, candidates must possess the following curricular requisites (expressed in terms of CFU University Formative Credits referred to the groups of sectors listed below):

1) GROUP 1 (Botanica Generale/General Botany, Botanica Sistematica/Systematic Botany, Botanica Ambientale e Applicata/Environmental and Applied Botany, Zoologia/Zoology, Ecologia/Ecology): from 12 to 40;
2) GROUP 2 (Anatomia Comparata e Citologia/Comparative Anatomy and Cytology, Fisiologia/Physiology, Biochimica/Biochemistry, Genetica/Genetics, Microbiologia/Microbiology): from 6 to 20;
3) GROUP 3 (Analisi Matematica, Probabilità e Statistica Matematica, Fisica Matematica, Chimica Generale ed Inorganica, Chimica Organica): from 12 to 30.

To be admitted to the following evaluation of the adequacy of their personal preparation, candidates must have at least 60 CFU's (calculated as the sum of the possessed CFU in the three disciplinary groups reported above). In addition to the requisites listed above, students must also possess adequate knowledge (level B2-equivalent) of the English language. This knowledge will be evaluated during the test of the initial preparation. This evaluation does not apply to English mother-tongue students.
To be enrolled to either MBE or EBES curriculum of the Master Course in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology (CMBE), candidates must hold a three-year degree or three-year university degree in a scientific discipline or another qualification obtained abroad and recognized as valid and equivalent by the Italian Ministry of University and Research.

The minimal curricular requirements listed in Section A3.a (see above) refer to the basic knowledge hold by the candidate to be enrolled to the CMBE master course.

For the assessment of personal preparation to enrolment to a Master of Science (article 6, paragraph 2 and art. 11, paragraph 7 of DM 16 March 2007), the student must take a consistent input test an interview in English. The test will include the verification of the individual preparation with reference to scientific areas obtained by the student in previous career, and that contributed to the possession of the curricular requirements. In addition to the above requirements, applicants must have an adequate knowledge of English language (equivalent to level B2), which will be assessed during the admission interview. Upon completion of the entrance examination, an alphabetical list of admitted students will be issued, with the results of the test ("suitable" / "unfit"). The test will include the verification of the individual preparation with reference to scientific areas obtained by the student in previous career, which contributed to the possession of the curricular requirements.

Number of seats reserved for non-EU students :40 (of which 5 for Chinese students).


The course aims to prepare professionals with high knowledge in the various sectors of applied biology aimed at the understanding of the ecological phenomena that are realized at the level of the various scales in coastal, transitional, and marine ecosystems.


Graduates in Coastal and marine Biology and Ecology will be able to:
- design, lead, support, carry on research projects in response to public calls (from the EU, States, Regions, Municipalities) and private companies interested in the development of human activities in different productive sectors addressing the management and valorization of coastal and marine environments (eg. fishery, aquaculture, tourism, conservation biology, coastal management, environmental impact assessment);
- provide greater understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem research at metadata level, addressing emerging environmental threats and biodiversity issues by analyzing and synthesizing integrative operational information;
- operate with policy makers in environmental spatial planning of marine and coastal ecosystems and related biotic and abiotic resources;
- act as consultants in private firms or in public bodies, provide assessment and expert recommendation on different sectors in marine and coastal as defined above;
- act as eco-informatics specialists in organizations, initiatives, agencies and institutions working on conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning;
- design the content of books, articles, TV programs related to the marine environment, lead, support, carry out training programs and dissemination events.

In this framework, the Academic Board organizes every year job-oriented focus seminars to provide the new graduates integrative information required for a rapid connection with the job market. Therefore, in agreement with the scope and objectives of the Master course CBME, the Academic Board regularly invite experts in the different fields of coastal and marine biology and ecology to bring their professional experience and recommendations on how to seek for employments in the field.


Graduates in Coastal and marine Biology and Ecology:
- have a deep knowledge of the biology and ecology of coastal and marine ecosystems;
- have a deep knowledge of sampling techniques, of analytical instruments, and of the techniques of data acquisition and analysis;
- have an advanced knowledge of supporting statistical, mathematical, and informatics instruments; master the scientific method;
- are able to use the acquired knowledge to tackle applied problems in the control, conservation, and management of biodiversity, of the functioning of coastal and marine ecosystems, and of the goods and services they provide;
- are able to use the English language fluently, both in written and oral form, with special reference to scientific English;
- are able to work in full autonomy, also being responsible of projects and structures as professional biologists.


The Master Degree in Coastal and Marine Biology and Ecology, depending on the curriculum, allows graduates to:
- access to postgraduate courses (on competition);
- access to PhD courses (on competition);
- work in public and private laboratories dealing with environmental issues, holding positions of responsibility as researchers and/or consultants;
- practice the profession of environmental-focused biologist (In Italy, it requires having passed the post-lauream habilitation examination and enrollment to the Professional Register of the Ordine Nazionale dei Biologi);
- work as members of environmental offices in the Municipalities of coastal towns;
- become directors or Staff members of Marine Protected Areas and any other public environmental agency or office;
- create/participate start-up and other types of private companies of environmental-related services to the private and public sector related to the marine and maritime domain.

Course modules

Curriculum E-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sciences


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


6 crediti - Obbligatorio


40 crediti - Obbligatorio

Curriculum Marine Biology and Ecology