Degree course in italian
Degree course
Master's Degree
MIUR Class
Classe delle lauree magistrali in Biologia - LM-6 (DM270)
2 years
Academic year
Type of access/Available places
Free access course
Career opportunities - Analisti e progettisti di software - Biologi e professioni assimilate - Botanici - Zoologi - Ecologi

Course description

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).

Campus Ecotekne , via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce Buildings A, B, D


Biologist / ecologist


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

Academic coordinator: Prof. Stefano Piraino Secretariat: sig.ra Giuseppina Tondo

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.
change, emerging ecosystem threats, biodiversity loss, waning natural resources) and the promotion of sustainability.

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.

Université de Lille, France (curriculum MBE); Ionian University, Greece (curriculum EBES)

Taught in English. Two curricula (MBE curriculum:Marine Biology and Ecology; EBES curriculum: E-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sciences)

Course modules

Curriculum E-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sciences


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory


6 credits - Compulsory

Curriculum Marine Biology and Ecology