1 Natural Sciences Faculty University of Bern Study plan for the MSc course and PhD in Ecology and Evolution The Philosophical Natural Sciences Faculty of the University of Bern remits the following Study Plan for the Master s course and for PhD study in Ecology and Evolution (from here on referred to as the Study Plan), based on Article 8 of the Statute of the University of Bern from 17 December 1997 (UniSt) and the Regulations for Study and Assessment in the Natural Sciences Faculty from 1 April 005 (RSL). 1. General Art. 1 Scope: 1 This plan is valid for all students of the Natural Sciences Faculty who are matriculated for the MSc course or PhD in Ecology and Evolution, as well as students who study Ecology and Evolution as a subsidiary subject. The qualification MSc in Ecology and Evolution, in combination with a foregoing Bachelor (BSc) degree in Biology or an equivalent BSc education, is one of the two possible prerequisites for training in Higher Education with Biology as the main subject. Unless more exactly defined, the rules of the superordinated RSL apply. Art. Direction of studies: 1 The Institutes of Plant Sciences and of Zoology run a joint Direction of Studies. This consists of a Director of Studies, as well as a Studies Coordinator from each institute. The Director of Studies is selected by both institutes and suggested to the Faculty for election. The Director of Studies is responsible for all tasks planned in accordance with the RSL. He or she can wholly or partly delegate the assessment and examinations to the Studies Coordinators. Names of, and dates for consultation with, persons responsible for Direction of Studies and Coordination will be made available to the students. Art. Advice to students: 1 The institutes are each responsible for the election of Student Advisers. Names of, and dates for consultation with, persons responsible for advising students will be made available to the students. II. MSc studies 1. General regulations 1
2 Art. Study aims: In the Master studies, and particularly in the completion of a Master thesis, a deepening and specialization in Ecology and its applications is achieved. A stronger accent is additionally placed upon research activities. As a professional and research qualification the MSc in Ecology and Evolution enables a broad entrance to practical employment as well as continuation with a further academic career, e.g. the attainment of a PhD degree. Art. 5 Degree: The Master studies is completed with the title Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, in the following areas of specialization: a Animal Ecology and Conservation, b Behaviour, c Evolution, and d Plant Ecology Art. 6 Extent: 1 The Master qualification is reached by the acquisition of 90 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points. Included within these are 60 points for the Master thesis. One ECTS point corresponds to 5-0 hours effort on the part of the student. The specialization is chosen on the basis of the selected course units, which will be assessed, and on the topic of the Master thesis. Art. 7 Length of studies: 1 The reglemented time period for the Master studies amounts to semesters. As to the possibility of an extension Art. 7 of the RSL applies. Art. 8 Prerequisites to studying: 1 Students who have attained a Bachelor degree in Biology from the Natural Sciences Faculty of the University of Bern with a specialization in Zoology can be admitted to the Master studies without further preconditions. The same applies for students with a Bachelor in Biology from Bern, with a specialization in Plant Sciences, as long as the required assessed units in Plant Ecology (see Appendix 1) were passed. Students with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Bern in an other area of specialization, or with a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology from an other Swiss university, will be admitted to the Master studies. Depending on the orientation of the completed Bachelor degree and the intended specialization, the Master degree can be successfully achieved by either proof of additional knowledge and ability, or by performance on further courses worth up to 60 ECTS points. Art. 9 Assessment units: In Appendix an overview of the obligatory and optional assessed units and their values in ECTS points is to be found. Assessment units of the BeNeFri universities or the Troisième Cycle (CUSO) are recognized through the respective course supervisors (see Art. 11).
3 On request the Director of Studies can recognize assessment units worth up to 15 ECTS points which have been attained at other Swiss or foreign universities, federal technical universities, or comparable institutions. The Committee for Studies of the Natural Sciences Faculty is responsible for determining to which extent the 15 ECTS points can be exceeded. Art.10 Subsidiary in Ecology and Evolution at the Master s level: 1 The subsidiary (= Minor) in Ecology and Evolution is made up of 0 ECTS points from the courses offered in the Bachelor studies ( rd year specialization in Zoology or Plant Sciences for units see Appendix 1) or those of the Master in Ecology and Evolution. Prerequisite for admittance to the Subsidiary in Ecology and Evolution at the Master s level is normally the completion of a Minor in Biology Bachelor studies worth c. 60 ECTS points.. Master thesis Art. 11 Supervision of the Master thesis: 1 At the beginning of the Master studies students seek for a supervisor in whose area the Master thesis will be undertaken. Every semester a current list of supervisors will be made available through the Direction of Studies. Together with the supervisor, and in agreement with the section head, a timeplan in which the Master thesis is to be completed will be set. Art. 1 Content: 1 Within the frame of the Master studies an individual research project will be made under the direction of the supervisor. This will be brought together in a written Master thesis and submitted to the supervisor. Normally a part of the thesis should already be published in, or submitted to, a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Regulations in Art of the RSL (see below) are to be kept in mind. Art 1. Deadlines and grading: 1 The length of time allowed between the start and the handing-in of the Master thesis is maximally 1 months. The supervisor evaluates and grades (with a mark) the Master thesis within weeks of the handing-in, passing on the result to the Study Committee of the Faculty. After ratification of the evaluation and mark by this Committee, the supervisor informs the student of the mark. In reaching the mark for the Master thesis, the supervisor estimates the relative weighting given to the carrying out of the thesis and the written submission. (See Art. 19 for the marks scale). Assessment Art. 1 Assessment: 1 The following are possibilities for the assessment of
4 courses: a written examinations at the end of semester of 0-10 minutes duration, b oral examinations of minutes duration, and c grading of thesis done during a practical, field or seminar course, in accordance with Art. 7 of the RSL. The university teacher (= Dozent) who is responsible for the unit informs the students about the form of the assessment at the start of semester. Art. 15 Registration for assessment: 1 Students register with the university teachers who act in the function of examiners/evaluators assessing performance in the respective units. These examiners check that the conditions of acceptance for assessment are met and set the dates. The conditions of acceptance for assessment are: a Matriculation for the Master studies, b Proof that necessary units have been passed, or work has been achieved, for the particular examination. In the case of non-acceptance the Director of Studies informs the student of this in written form, with the advice that within 10 days of receipt of the communication an instruction from the body which is responsible according to Faculty regulations can be required. Art. 16 Deregistration from assessment: To deregister from assessment in less than 1 days before the appointed date only important grounds can be validly accepted. Otherwise the assessment is taken as being unsatisfactory with the mark of 1 (see Art., para. of the RSL). The de-registration has to be made in writing to the place or person responsible for the registration (Art. 15) Art. 17 Non-appearance for assessment: 1 If a candidate leaves or steps back from the assessment, does not appear for an examination, or for another form of assessment cannot be on time, then he or she within one week from the appointed date of assessment has to provide a doctor s certificate. Otherwise the assessment is taken as being unsatisfactory with the mark of 1. In other aspects Art. of the RSL is valid. Art. 18 Unallowed aids: If the result of the assessment is influenced, or an attempt is made to influence it, through deception (cheating), particularly by the use of material aids not expressly permitted by the university teacher responsible, then the assessment is taken as being unsatisfactory with the mark of 1 (Art. 8, para 1 of the RSL). Art. 19 Notification of examination results and access to files: 1 The Direction of Studies collects together and archives the results of the assessments and forwards the marks directly to the Dean s office of the Faculty.
5 The results of the assessments are communicated to the students. The students can inspect the papers of their assessments by contacting the university teacher who was responsible for the examination within up to a month of the release of the corresponding examination results.. Master Diploma Art. 0 Criteria for the passing of the Master Diploma: 1 The assessments of the individual units together with the mark for the Master thesis are combined into an mean for the Master Diploma. The weights for the individual units and their assessment, which correspond to the number of respective ECTS points, are indicated in Appendix of this Study Plan. To pass the Master diploma the weighted mean grade, after rounding, must be ; the mark of the Master thesis must be sufficient; there must be no more than 7.5 ECTS-points of units showing insufficient marks; and the weighted mean of all applicable additional performance, set as a precondition to completing the Master studies, must be sufficient. In other aspects Art. of the RSL is valid. Were the Master diploma not passed, then all unsatisfactory assessments are to be repeated. Each assessment can only be repeated once. The repetition of a satisfactory assessment is impossible. When the mark for the Master thesis is unsatisfactory, one more new Master thesis under different supervision can be started, within the framework of an individual Study Plan. Art. 7 holds here. Art. 1 Examination fees: The fees for examinations are laid down in Art. 9 of the RSL. III. PhD studies Art. Recognition of other degrees: 1 Holders of a Master Diploma (MSc) in a natural science subject or another similarly recognized University degree have the possibility to start PhD studies in Ecology and Evolution. The recognition is set by the responsible body of the Natural Sciences Faculty (Art. 5, para 1 of the RSL). Art. Responsibility for admittance and regulation of the PhD studies: The PhD studies, including admittance, are regulated by Art. 5-6 of the RSL (see below) and the Study Plan presented here. Art. Obligatory assessed units: 1 When the student is a member of Graduate School during their period of PhD studies, he or she has by this means predefined requirements to fulfil. 5
6 When the student is not a member of a Graduate School during the period of his or her PhD studies, then institute seminars and special lectures in the subject area, to the extent of minimally hours per week every semester, are to be taken. Additionally, courses away or conferences of minimally one week during the whole PhD studies are to be attended. The supervisor of the Doctoral thesis controls the successful participation in these obligatory units. Art. 5 Doctoral thesis: 1 Within the framework of the PhD studies the student works on an individual research project. This is brought together in a Doctoral thesis (Dissertation), which is handed in to the supervisor. Normally, at least three parts of the thesis should be either published in peerreviewed scientific journals, submitted for publication, or be in manuscript form of ready for submission. If the Dissertation is judged by the supervisor or co-referee to be insufficient the candidate can revise the thesis once. Art. 6 Doctoral examination: 1 The PhD studies are completed with a doctoral examination. The Doctoral examination is undertaken by the supervisor of the thesis and a co-referee. Art. 59 of the RSL applies. Art. 7 Result of the Doctoral examination and overall mark: 1 The examiners define the result of the Doctoral examination and the overall mark immediately after the examination. The overall mark is then communicated to the candidate. The PhD studies are passed when the each of the marks of the reports of the referee and co-referee, and of Doctoral examination, have reached at least. The overall mark is the rounded weighted mean of the mark for the Dissertation (x) and the mark for the Doctoral examination (x1). In the case of an unsatisfactory Doctoral examination the form of the repetition is defined by the candidate and the examiners. Art. 8 Examination fees: Art. 9 of the RSL sets the examination fees. IV. Final provisions Art. 9 Changes to the Study Plan are subject to the permission of the University Administration. Excepted are changes to the Appendices, which lie in the competence of the staff of the Faculty. Art. 0 This Study Plan comes into force on 1 October 005 and replaces, together with the corresponding Study Plans for Bachelor studies, as well as Study Plans for other Master studies of the Subject Area Biology, that for the Diploma Biology (including its Appendices and additional documents) submitted 6
7 by the Natural Sciences Faculty and approved by the University Administration on 1 September 000. Signed: Dean of the Natural Sciences Faculty, Prof. Dr. Paul Messerli ( ) Rector, the University Administration, Prof. Dr. Urs Würgler ( ). Appendix 1: List of the assessed course units from the Bachelor in Biology with specialization in Plant Sciences, which can be counted towards the Master in Ecology and Evolution without preconditions: Advanced Plant Biology - Plant Ecology part (10-15 ECTS) Quantitative Methods (7.5 ECTS) Field Project or ecological Research Project (7.5 ECTS) Literature Work (.5-5 ECTS) Research Practical with Bachelor Thesis in an ecological direction (10 ECTS) Appendix : List of obligatory and optional assessed units for the Master in Ecology and Evolution, with the weighting attached to the marks. ECTS points Weights of marks Master thesis 60 6 Seminars of c. 9 ECTS points and special assessed course units from those on offer for the Master in Ecology and Evolution by the Institutes of Plant Sciences and Zoology, as well as in the University of Bern and BeNeFri. 0 Total
8 Relevant paragraphs from Articles of the RSL referred to above. Art. 7 Rules for studying time, possibilities of extensions, Study Committee: (part).. Permission for an extension to the regular studying period is for at most two semesters. Art. 19 Evaluation of performance and marks scale: 1 For the evaluation of performance the marks scale 1-6 is used. Satisfactory performance is evaluated as follows: 6, excellent; 5.5, very good; 5, good;.5, satisfactory;, sufficient. In using the marks scale the values 1, 1.5,,.5, and.5 are insufficient. Art. Compensation of insufficient performance: The Study Plans can provide for compensation when all insufficient assessments have been repeated. Art. Registration and de-registration for assessment:, (part)..important grounds, viz. pregnancy, illness, accident, military service by the student, death of a close person,.. Art. 7 Other assessments: Other graded assessments result especially from practicals, field courses, seminars and proseminar work, as well as project work. Art. 8 Deception and declaration: The Bachelor, Master and PhD theses must at the end have the following declaration, dated and signed by hand: I herewith declare, that I have written this thesis independently and have used no other sources than those listed. I have indicated all places where the exact words or analogous text were taken from sources. [Art. 6 para. 1/o of the Univ. Law of 5 September 1996 refers.] Art. 9 Fees for assessment, diplomas and certificates: The fees for all assessments in the Master studies comes in total to 00 Francs. Of this 150 Francs is to pay for entrance to the studies, and the same for receiving the Master Diploma. In the case of breaking of the study fees will not be repaid. Art. 6 Master thesis: A Master thesis is supervised by one or more persons (according to Art. 16 RSL) and evaluated with the marks scale given under Art. 19 RSL. Art. 7 Undertaking and form of the Master thesis: Master theses are written in German, French or English; exceptions can be granted on request to the responsible body of the Faculty. Master theses can be undertaken and written up as single or group efforts. The part of each participant must be clearly shown. 8
9 Art. 8 Extension of time for the Master thesis: 1 As long as there are important grounds (see Art. of RSL) that the Master thesis could not be completed on time, then the period can be extended by the supervisor after consultation with the responsible Director of Studies. For any further extension the appropriate body of the Faculty is responsible. Art. 9 Evaluation: The Master thesis is evaluated and graded within four weeks, and the supervisors must be agreed upon one mark. After the specification of the mark by the appropriate body of the Faculty the candidate is informed about the mark. In the case of a Master thesis that consists of a group effort, the part of each participant is independently graded. Art. 50 Return of work, and copyright: 1 After the presentation of the Master diploma the associated pieces of work are returned to the author. The author of a Master thesis is the originator or co-originator of the thesis according to copyright legislation. Art. 5 Admittance: Study Plans can require that a minimum mark of 5 was attained in the Master degree (MSc) in order to study for the PhD. Art. 55 Extent and duration of the Master thesis and assessments: 1 The extent and duration of PhD studies are set by the corresponding Study Plan. Normally PhD studies last - years. PhD studies can involve the help of the student in teaching as part of their education. The Study Plan can allow for individual assessments within the PhD studies. These are prerequisites to admittance to the Doctoral examination. All assessments must be evaluated as being satisfactory. Art. 56 Doctoral thesis: The Doctoral thesis should provide the proof that the PhD candidate is able to undertake research tasks independently. PhD studies are supervised by one or more persons. Should a doctorate be supervised by several persons the one who is responsible is to be defined. After consultation with the PhD student, the supervisor determines a co-referee at least 1 year before the completion of the thesis and the Dean s Office should be informed. 5 PhD students register with the Dean s Office at the start of the dissertation. 6 A scientific thesis which was undertaken independently of the Faculty can be submitted to the Dean as a dissertation. The Dean forwards the thesis to the 9
10 corresponding subject area for evaluation. The responsible body of the Faculty consults with the subject area over the supervision of the Doctoral examination, a further examiner and a co-referee. Art. 57 Execution and form: 1 Doctoral theses are written in German, French or English; exceptions can be granted on request to the responsible Faculty Body. Doctoral theses can also be in the form of articles, ready to be published or already published; in which case an introductory text must provide a summary and commentary. Doctoral theses can be carried out and written up as individual or group efforts. Art. 58 Evaluation: The responsible supervisor (with consultation of the other supervisors) as well as the co-referee(s) evaluate the Doctoral thesis within six weeks, independently of one another. The rounded arithmetic mean of the two single marks gives the mark for the Doctoral thesis (Art. 19, para 7). In the case of an unsatisfactory mark, the candidate can revise the thesis once. Reports and marks are sent for ratification by the responsible body of the Faculty. PhD studies must be discontinued with the repetition of an insufficient mark (para before refers). After ratification of reports and marks by the responsible body of the Faculty the candidate is informed of the mark. 5 Doctoral theses (dissertations) can be undertaken and written up as single or group efforts. The part of each participant must be clearly shown. 6 If a Doctoral thesis is based on group work, the part of each participant is independently graded. Art. 59 Doctoral examination: 1 The admittance to a Doctoral examination has the following prerequisites: a matriculation as Doctoral student, b assessments graded as sufficient according to the Study Plan, c a Doctoral thesis which has at minimum a sufficient mark, and d submission of an obligatory copy of the Doctoral thesis. On fulfilment of the above-mentioned points the candidate is summoned to the examination through the Dean s Office. The Doctoral examination normally consists of an open lecture with a question and discussion part. It lasts 60 to 180 minutes. As an alternative, an oral examination of minutes may be carried out. Art. 60 Examiners: 1 The Doctoral examination is undertaken by at least two examiners (Art. 16 refers). 10
11 One examiner is the chairperson. He or she must either be an ordinarius or extra-ordinarius professor of the Faculty. He or she may not be the supervisor of the Doctoral thesis at the same time. If the recruitment of a chairperson from the candidate s faculty is not possible, then a person from another faculty will be found to fulfil this role. Art. 61 Pass conditions: (Nothing to add). Art. 6 Return of thesis, and copyright: 1 After the presentation of the Doctor diploma the associated pieces of thesis are returned to the author. The author of a Doctoral thesis is the originator or co-originator of the thesis according to copyright legislation. Art. 6 Title and grading: 1 After passing the PhD studies the Faculty awards the title PhD of Science in, University of Bern, according to the Study Plan followed. The Doctoral degree certificate gives the awarded Doctor title and the title of the dissertation with the overall grade as follows: 6 summa cum laude 5.5 in signi cum laude 5 magna cum laude.5 cum laude rite The Doctoral degree certificate is signed by the Rector or Dean. Art. 6 International agreements: There are special agreements at the level of the University for binational supervision of PhD studies. Translated into English by Prof Dr DM Newbery Institute of Plant Sciences, Bern. June 006, revised August 006 NB: This translation is intended as a guide for non-german speaking students. In the case of any formal or legal actions the German original is to be used. 11