University of Primorska Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies



General information

Name of the programme: Biodiversity
Type of programme: academic, 1st Bologna cycle
Degree awarded: "diplomirani varstveni biolog (UN)" equiv. to B.Sc. in Conservation Biology
Duration: 3 years (6 semesters)
ECTS-credits: 180
Programme structure: 28 courses (10 electives), practical training (6 ECTS) and final project paper (6 ECTS)
Mode of study: full-time
Language of study: Slovene

Programme coordinatortop

Assoc. Prof. Elena Bužan, PhD

For information regarding application, enrolment and other administrative procedures please contact Student Services.

About the programmetop

Modern technologies in natural science represent a unique challenge at the starting point of the 3rd millennium – they have to fulfil the demands of a rapidly developing society while caring for the maintenance of natural balance. As a result, continual consumption and the decay of Earth’s biodiversity is connected with this. Via the science of biodiversity we are able to understand the interdisciplinary linking of classic biological areas and their applications in certain fields. The borders typically found between natural scientists such as biologists, chemists and physicists are disappearing and thus certain tools in bioinformatics are becoming priceless.

The competitiveness of this programme was shaped based on the need for this new specialist, who masters all the fields mentioned above. The programme unites all necessary disciplines related to classical biology, molecular biology, chemistry and especially bioinformatics. Students can enhance natural science fundamentals with practical experience in industry and business. This assures that they will be prepared for work and quickly integrate in these fields. The programme is an innovative and adaptable one which will provide a wide range of natural science proficiencies.

Educational and professional goalstop

To produce experts who:

  • are capable of preparing strategies and finding creative, interdisciplinary solutions for problems which arise in nature.
  • can develop a critical relationship with human interference in nature, which will, in turn, enable them to strategically approach environmental problems with a sense of responsibility to nature.
  • are capable of solving advanced problems with respect to biodiversity and conservation biology, especially in cases dealing with the Mediterranean.
  • know how to estimate the importance and role of various species in ecosystems and determine organisms' and ecosystems' tolerances to harmful human effects.
  • are able to provide suggestions regarding types of condition accompaniment of certain species and ecosystems.
  • are acquainted with technical terminology in the field and are capable of communicating in foreign languages.

Course structuretop

During their studies, students must complete a total of 28 courses (18 compulsory and 10 electives), pass the internship, and prepare a final project.

All courses are awarded 6 ECTS-credits. One ECTS-credit encompasses 30 hours of student work. In addition to the student’s presence (at lectures, seminars, in-class and laboratory practical work), this also includes independent work (literature study, preparation for examinations, home assignments, seminar and project work, etc.). The courses require a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 120 hours of a student’s presence (contact hours).

The student may select 4 out of 10 elective courses from study programmes provided by other institutions of higher education in Slovenia and internationally. The courses selected may fall within the fields of Natural Sciences (in particular Biology and Chemistry), Conservation Biology, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Short descriptions of courses are available here.

 1ST YEAR (60 ECTS-credits)
 Courses ECTS
 General Botany 6
 General Zoology 6
 General and Inorganic Chemistry 6
 Basic Physics with Biophysics 6
 Mathematics 6
 Introduction to Computer Science 6
 Systematic Botany and Geobotany 6
 Elective courses 18

 2ND YEAR (60 ECTS-credits)
 Courses ECTS
 Biodiversity and Ecology in the Mediterranean 6
 Plant Physiology 6
 Statistics 6
 Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry 6
 Applied Mathematics in Natural Science 6
 Introduction to Genetics and Genomics 6
 Systematic Zoology 6
 Study Practise with Basic in Research Metodology (3 weeks) 6
 Elective courses 12

  3RD YEAR (60 ECTS-credits)
 Courses ECTS
 Water Ecosystems 6
 Conservation Biology 6
 Ecology 6
 Animal Physiology 6
 Elective courses 30
 Seminar – Final Project Paper 6
 Courses ECTS
 Anatomy and Histology 6
 Cell and Molecular Biology 6
 Evolution Biology 6
 Environmental Monitoring 6
 GIS and Introduction to Thematic Cartography 6
 Marine Biodiversity 6
 Management of Protected Areas and Sustainable Use 6
 Systematisation, Standardisation of Quality and Patent Law 6
 Statistical Methods in GIS 6
 Biogeography 6
 Limnology 6
 Ecotoxicology 6
 Biodiversity of Cultural Plants 6
 Hydrology Basics and Water Protection 6
 Probability 6
 Introduction to Database Systems 6
 Information Technology Management 6
 Economics of Agriculture and Environment 6
 Biological Topics in English 6
 Basic Population Genetics 6
 Evolution Genetics 6
 Bioinformatics 6

Practical Trainingtop

In the 2nd year of study student must perform their 3 weeks long practical training.

The purpose of the practical training is to transfer theoretical knowledge into practice.

At the beginning of the academic year, after the first meeting with study programme coordinator, student chooses the organization in which he/she would like to do his/her practical training.

Before starting the practical training, student must submit the application for practical training in the Student Office and at the end of the practical training he/she submits a report of practical training.

UP FAMNIT has signed 35 agreements for student practical training with organizations in Slovenia and 3 agreements with organizations abroad. The list of organizations is available here.

Student should contact the preferred organization and arrange the practical training himself/herself. If student wishes to perform his/her practical training in the organization with which UP FAMNIT has not yet signed an agreement, he/she must inquire if the organization is ready to cooperate.  If the institution agrees to the cooperation, the student informs assist. Peter Glasnović (, who will set up an agreement.

Forms for practical training:

Admission requirementstop

Admission to the first year of study shall be granted to applicants having:

  1. passed the matura examination; or            
  2. passed the vocational matura examination (poklicna matura) and a final examination in the one matura subject; or
  3. successfully completed any four-year secondary-school programme before 1 June 1995.

In case of enrolment limitations, applicants shall be selected on the basis of overall matura, vocational matura or final examination results (70%), and overall results in the 3rd and 4th year of secondary school (30%).

Admission may also be gained by an applicant having completed a comparable study abroad. Prior to enrolment the applicant must apply for the recognition of completed education.

Continuation of studies according to the transfer criteriatop

Transfers between study programmes are possible on the basis of the Higher Education Act, Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes and in accordance with other provisions regulating this field.

Transferring between study programmes means a cessation of studies in the first study programme and the continuation of studies in the second study programme. The first study programme is the programme from which the student is transferring. The second study programme is the programme to which the student is transferring. Applications for transfers shall be considered on the grounds of the level of comparability between study programmes and those study requirements which the student has already completed in their first study programme.

Access to Year 2 or Year 3 of the study programme of Biodiversity on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is granted to students of a related first-cycle study programme or a pre-reform undergraduate study programme (adopted prior to 11 June 2004), provided that the following conditions have been met:

  • the student fulfils the requirements for admission to the study programme of Biodiversity;
  • completion of the first study programme which the student is transferring from ensures the acquisition of comparable competencies as those envisaged by the study programme of Biodiversity; and
  • other conditions in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes have also been met (a comparable course structure, course requirements completed).

Individual applications for transfer shall be considered by the relevant committee of UP FAMNIT. Apart from comparability between both fields of study, the committee shall also consider comparability between the study programmes, in accordance with the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes.

Enrolment on the basis of the Criteria for Transferring between Study Programmes is also open to students of a related study programme abroad who have been, in the process of recognition of their studies abroad, legally granted the right to continue their educational training in the study programme of Biodiversity.

In case of limited enrolment, applicants shall be selected on the basis of the average grade obtained during the study programme they are transferring from.

Advancement requirementstop

For enrolment in the next study year it is necessary to collect at least 42 ECTS-credits from courses and exams in the current study year, and to fulfil all the study obligation (60 ECTS-credits) for the previous study year.

The Study Committee of the Faculty may permit a student, who has not fulfilled all study obligations for the particular year to enrol to the next study year. The student is obliged to submit a formal written request to the Study Committee. The progress may be approved if a student could not fulfil the obligations for justifable reasons. Students have a possibility to repeat year only once during their study period.

A student shall be deemed to have completed his/her studies when he/she fulfils all the prescribed study requirements to a total of 180-credits. Students must obtain a positive assessment for the Final Project Paper completed within the frameword of the Seminar.

Graduate competenciestop

General competencies

  • The ability to prepare strategies and creative solutions to problems occurring in nature.
  • Development of a critical attitude towards human intervention in nature, enabling graduates to act as decision makers and to tackle environmental problems with a sense of responsibility towards interventions into natural environment.
  • Familiarity with the technical terminology of the field.
  • Proficient use of ICT.
  • The ability of constructive cooperation with experts from other professions (teamwork skills).
  • The ability to use a foreign language for specific purposes.

Subject-specific competencies

  • The ability to solve scientific problems in the field of biodiversity and conservation biology.
  • The ability to identify the quality or "vitality" of various natural systems and their flexibility.
  • The ability to assess the importance and role of different types of ecosystems typical of the Mediterranean area.
  • The ability to assess the importance of different species and ecosystems in Slovenia and abroad.
  • The ability to estimate limits of tolerance to harmful human impacts of organisms and ecosystems.
  • The ability to predict the effects of different impacts, both human as well as those triggered by global changes, on the basis of the insights into the structure and processes active within ecosystems.
  • The ability to develop proposals for methods of monitoring the status of species and ecosystems.
  • The ability to prepare strategies for the conservation and protection of various species and ecosystems, as well as for improvements in cases of degradation.
  • The ability to decide on issues relating to biodiversity, nature, and the environment.
  • The ability to develop strategies for managing natural systems.

Graduate employment opportunitiestop

Graduates are equipped for employment in both private and public sectors involved in environmental and nature conservation:

  • as experts and technical staff in administrations (in ministries, inspection services, various institutes, municipal administrations, and other);
  • as associates in scientific research institutions and public companies, chambers and agencies (Slovenian Environmental Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, and others);
  • as supervisors in protected areas (landscape, regional and national parks, nature reserves, protected areas, and others);
  • as expert staff in museums (to include Museum of Natural History, and regional museums);
  • as organisers and expert staff in national and international non-governmental organisations (such as DOPPS, WWF, and others);
  • as technical associates in routine and research laboratories;
  • in private companies involved in environmental and nature conservation;
  • in the area of service activities (ecotourism advisers);
  • in the areas of teaching and research.

During the three-year study programme, the student will acquire the techniques and knowledge required in industry and commerce, and will therefore also be able to obtain employment in these sectors. With some entrepreneurial spirit and good ideas, the knowledge and skills acquired can also be applied to founding own enterprise or company.