Uniwersytet Opolski / Wydział Przyrodniczo-Techniczny

Biologia - Palaeobiology, stacjonarne II stopnia

Poziom kształcenia: magisterskie Forma studiów: dzienne Czas trwania: 2 lata

Spis treści:

Tury rekrutacji

Kierunki i specjalności

Jednostki prowadzące


od 2017-04-24 do 2017-07-17 23:59:59

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Why Palaeobiology at the University of Opole?

In 2017, the European Centre of Palaeobiology of the University of Opole opens a new international Master’s Degree programme in Palaeobiology at the Faculty of Natural and Technical Sciences, based on research provided by the Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Evolution (Chair of Biosystematics). We offer an opportunitiy to our students to conduct scientific research based on material collected in the Opole area. Here you may actually collect your study material yourself, for example, Carboniferous ichnofossils and plant remains, Triassic vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous mainly marine fauna, but also some plant remains, etc. Because since January 2016 the European Centre of Palaeontology has been linked to partners in Belgium, Germany and Portugal, we are open to new possibilities for scientific co-operation. If you have your own material or ideas, puzzling issues etc., we are open for those, and you are kindly invited to join us. Together, we will make sure to find the best way forward. Our programme includes courses oriented to new, very progressive trends in modern tourism, namely geological and palaeontological parks.

Structure of the Programme

The Master’s programme consists of four semesters with 30 ECTS credit points each. It will be organised in modules and based on an e-learning platform with periodic meetings every three weeks for 4 days, and with summer research workshops (2 weeks).

Most Important Courses

Palaeobiology of vertebrates

Origination of vertebrates. Differentiation of fossil fish. From the sea to the land. Evolution of primitive tetrapods. Mesozoic expansion of amphibians. Origination of modern amphibians. Evolution of first Amniota. Fossil reptile groups. Diversity of dinosaurs. Origination of birds and first mammals.  Mammal evolution. Origination of hominids.

Basics of biology

In this course students will learn the basic biological principles in physiology, genetics, evolution, both in botany and zoology.


Introduction to histology; basic types of tissues; scheme of bone growth; primary bone; dense bone and cancellous bone; types of primary bone tissue; highest level of bone tissue organisation; primary osteons; markers of growth; reconstruction of primary bone and origin of secondary bone; secondary osteons and Haver’s system; bones of mammals; other types of bone structures; osteoderms and other hard tissues – dentine, etc.

Comparative Anatomy

The basic course for understanding animal phylogeny and comparative embryology; obtaining information on skeletal evolution and construction of the muscular system, including types of locomotion, evolution of the nervous system, levels of metabolism and integration with the environment.


One of the newest courses, outlining mainly the impact of the mineral substratum on the development of fauna and flora as well as the impact of biosphere on mineral substances.

Basics of Geology

The basic course for understanding the main geological processes and their impact on biological world. The modern world is the result of the evolution of the Earth. Students will study physical features of minerals, the origin and characteristics of magmatic (igneous) and metamorphic rocks; volcanic processes and differentiation of volcanic rocks as well as sedimentary rocks (erosion, transportation and sedimentation; clastic rocks; biogenic rocks and fossils. Evaporites. Plate tectonics. Basics of stratigraphy and time in geology.

Palaeobiology of Invertebrates

This course is the beginning of the study of palaeobiology, starting with a definition of the discipline. The history of the study of fossil invertebrates; general characteristics of the main invertebrate fossil groups and their role in biostratigraphy and reconstruction of evolutionary lineages. Taxonomy.


One of the basic courses of palaeobiology discussing primary skeletal substances and their inner structure; chemical transformations and physical skeletal elements in depositional and diagenetic processes.

Methods of Paleontological Research

The main aim of this course is to present the various techniques and methods used in palaeontological research, as based on different states of preservation, different types of matrix, chemical and mineral composition of fossil-bearing rocks as well as physico-chemical characteristics of fossils. Some specific methods of preparation will be presented as well, such as latex replicas, UV and X ray, serial sections, isotopes etc. Methods of fossil conservation.

Perfect Location for Studying Palaeobiology

The Department of Biosystematics has ample experience in providing the study of biology, while the Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Evolution has been providing palaeobiological courses within this programme during the last 15 years, ever since the unique palaeontological discovery of the Triassic site of Krasiejów, a village near Opole, was made. The enormous palaeontological potential of this location is already widely known, having been the subject of numerous scientific publications as well as of BA, MA and PhD theses.

In addition, new palaeontological sites near Opole or even within the city limits have become part of our research. To name a few: Carboniferous deposits with ichnofossils and plant remains, Lower and Middle Triassic sediments with numerous vertebrate and invertebrate taxa, Middle Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous (Turonian–Coniacian) strata with mainly marine fauna. In short: there is no need for you to travel to other places in Europe or even further beyond to collect the study material for your scientific research.

Furthermore, a detailed geological study of this area as well as a stratigraphical synthesis are already available, so that we concentrate mostly on palaeobiology and geobiology with emphasis on palaeoecological, taphonomic and palaeobiogeographical aspects without any barriers of collecting materials or determination of its stratigraphical position.

Summer Research Workshops

Summer research workshops will be organised during the first two weeks of September at the grounds of JuraPark in Krasiejów.

If you have already decided to join us and taken care of your enrolment, then this will be your first visit and the start of the study. If you still have not decided yet but are thinking about it, then we invite you to come and familiarise yourself with the place, people and programme. This will make your decision easier. The enrolment will be open until the end of September.

During the workshops we will present you with the basic items of the programme, the basics of palaeontology and palaeontological methods, and you will have the opportunity to take part in some field work as well.

The summer research workshop is free of charge; actually, it is part of our Master’s Degree Programme.

You do not pay for accommodation either. All participants will be located in the hostel at the Museum of Human Evolution of JuraPark Krasiejów.

Please, contact us if you wish to take part in the Summer research workshops.

Work Opportunities and Further Education Options

Prospective jobs, sectors and skills

With an MA diploma in Biology, with palaeobiological specialisation, you can find a job at universities and research institutions, schools, museums, palaeo- and geoparks, nature reserves and conservation biology (protection) organisations, scientific publishing houses, editorial offices, media, extractive industry and geological surveys, science popularization and the like.

PhD Study at any European University

The graduates of the Palaeobiology Master’s Programme at the University of Opole can further their education at any university that offers a PhD programme in Biology, Palaeobiology or Geology – thanks to the interdisciplinary approach of the programme. 

Tuition Fees:

FREE (for 24 selected candidates)

Contact Details:

For further information please contact the programme coordinator:

Dr. hab. Elena Yazykova, prof. UO
Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Evolution
Department of Biosystematics
Oleska 22
45-052 Opole
E-mail: eyazykova@uni.opole.pl
Tel: +48 78561046
Web: ecp.uni.opole.pl
FB: CentrPaleoOpole

Please direct any inquiries connected with registration to the Office for International Study Programmes: hello@uni.opole.pl

FB: facebook.com/hellouniopole

University of Opole

Zasady kwalifikacji

Admission requirements: The BA diploma (or equivalent) in Biology constitutes the basic admission criterion. We also require English language skills at B2 level tested in an oral interview (also online interview, e.g. Skype).