• Targeted level of study

    BAC +5

  • Training structure

    Faculty of Science

Presentation

The Biology-Agrosciences (BA) Master's degree is co-accredited by the University of Montpellier and the Institut Agro de Montpellier. On a national level, it is the only Master's programme to offer courses covering all the life science themes applied to the vast field of agrosciences, including plant biology, the biology of micro-organisms and their interactions with all types of hosts, biotechnologies and food science.

The structuring of the mention in 7 courses allows to cover the various scientific and technological fields mentioned above:

  • 4 courses in Plant Sciences: Plant Biology for the Agro-Environment (BiPa), Plant-Microorganism Interactions (IPM), Biotechnology and Improvement of Tropical Plants (BAPT) and Management of Plant Experimentation (MEV),
  • Microorganism-Host-Environment Interactions (MHEI) course,
  • Biotechnology course: Biomolecular Engineering and Nanotechnology (Ibion-Tec),
  • Engineering sciences for the rational design of food: Engineering for the Eco-Design of Food (ICOA).

This training offer (the 7 courses and the teaching units proposed in each course) is presented on the Master Biology, Agrosciences website: https: //bioagro.edu.umontpellier.fr/master-biologie-agrosciences/ 

The teaching is based on training through research thanks to the number and quality of Montpellier laboratories in all the fields covered, with a strong orientation towards the public or private research sectors in the BiPa, IPM, BAPT and IMHE courses. The MEV, Ibion-Tec and ICOA courses, while relying on the site's laboratories, involve a stronger partnership with professionals from private companies.

The entire programme develops innovative teaching methods (collaborative and cross-disciplinary practical work, project-based teaching, innovative projects in relation to a company, organisation of scientific events by students, collaborative scientific production, interdisciplinary learning laboratory, etc.).

The Biology-Agrosciences Master's programme offers two compulsory internships, one lasting 3 to 5 months in M1 and one lasting 5 to 6 months in M2. Depending on the students' wishes and the path they follow in the Master's programme, these internships may be more research-oriented or more business-oriented. As far as the research orientation is concerned, these internships provide a high level of research training. The richness of the Montpellier site in terms of laboratories in the fields of the mention (on a national level, Montpellier is the first research site in these scientific fields) allows students to find internships that meet their expectations in terms of fields of interest and professional objectives. Thanks to the international networks it has built up, the teaching staff also enables students to do an internship in laboratories in Europe, North or Latin America, Australia, Asia or Africa.

For a limited number of students (2 to 3 per course and selected on the basis of the excellence of their academic record) wishing to acquire a complementary competence in project management, a co-diploma with the Montpellier Institute of Business Administration (IAE Montpellier) can be offered.

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Objectives

The Master's degree in Biology and Agrosciences in Montpellier trains managers for research and the research/development sector in fields ranging from biological sciences for the agri-environment to biotechnologies and the valorisation of agroresources. Graduates will have a solid scientific and technical foundation and will have acquired initial professional experience. The aim of this Master's degree is to train project managers for plant breeding and/or protection, biotechnology and agri-food companies. It also aims to train scientific managers to develop and direct fundamental or applied research work in public or private laboratories, in France or abroad. 

 

Through the quality of its teaching, the variety of courses on offer, the extremely strong link with research, the partnerships with professionals in the private sector and its international collaboration networks, the Biology and Agrosciences Master's degree in Montpellier offers many opportunities for students to build their professional project as closely as possible to their aspirations in a motivating environment. The teaching teams of the courses help students choose an internship that is consistent with their professional project. 

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Know-how and skills

Knowledge :

  • To acquire in-depth knowledge in particular in the areas of the student's chosen course, 
  • To master the major research strategies used to address the scientific issues at the heart of the student's chosen course, 
  • To have a good vision of the tools and concepts of related disciplines to be mobilised to understand the functioning of living organisms or their valorisation (physics, chemistry, computer science, etc.). 
  • To acquire the management and project management skills necessary for executive education.

 

Skills : 

  • Know how to mobilise concepts and tools from different disciplines to set up an experiment, to analyse the results and to draw conclusions and/or operating models. 
  • Know how to identify the questions posed at different scales of integration (molecule, cell, whole organism, organism in relation to its environment) and integrate them into a multi-scale reflection. 
  • Know how to search for relevant scientific information to address a given problem, prioritise this information, compare it, synthesise it and construct working hypotheses for further research. 
  • Know how to communicate with rigour and precision while adapting to the audience, through oral or written presentations. 
  • Know how to lead a project within a group, identify and develop collaborations with researchers or professionals bringing related skills and expertise.

 

Life skills : 

  • Know how to work independently, 
  • Know how to work in a team, develop and implement a joint project
  • Respect the legal, ethical and scientific rules of conduct related to experimentation, publication and use of documents, sharing of biological resources and partnership. 

 

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Programme

The Master Biology-Agrosciences is structured in 7 courses, allowing to cover all the scientific and technological fields of the mention:

1/ The field of Plant Biology is divided into 4 tracks. In order to give strong skills in plant biology to all students, many Teaching Units are shared, but Teaching Units are also specific to each pathway to offer students a real specialisation and allow them to refine their professional project. These 4 courses are : 

  • Plant Biology for the Agro-Environment (BiPa)
  • Plant-Microorganism Interactions (PMI)
  • Biotechnology and Tropical Plant Improvement (BAPT)
  • Management of Plant Experimentation (MEV)

2/ The Microorganism-Host-Environment Interactions (MHEI) programme offers training in microbiology and in all aspects of ecology and adaptive interactions between microorganisms, their hosts (plants, invertebrates, higher animals, humans) and their natural or man-made environments. 

3/ The Biomolecular Engineering and Nanobiotechnologies (Ibion-Tec) course is a multidisciplinary course (biology, physics, chemistry, electronics, etc.) with students being put into practice through projects that train designers and managers of R&D projects in Biotechnologies and nano-biotechnologies dedicated to applied molecular detection and diagnostic methods. 

4/ The Engineering for the Eco-design of Foods (ICOA) course integrates the tools for the design and development of foods by considering the environmental impact of the processes and transformation channels. At the interface between life sciences (biology/biotechnology) and process engineering, this course opens up to careers in the agri-food industry (production, R&D) and, more broadly, to sectors dedicated to the transformation and valorisation of agri-resources (materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.). 

This training offer and the teaching programmes of the 7 courses are presented on the website of the Master Biology, Agrosciences: https: //bioagro.edu.umontpellier.fr/master-biologie-agrosciences/

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Select a programme

Plant Biology for the Agro-Environment (BiPa)

The Plant Biology for the Agro-Environment (BiPa) programme offers a multidisciplinary training programme centred on the knowledge generated from major study models such as Arabidopsis thaliana, but also from cultivated plants that are now established as true models (rice, maize, etc.). Our training covers the whole range of plant science topics (adaptation of plants to climate change, developmental biology, mineral nutrition, ecophysiology, plant-microorganism interactions). In addition to the classical approaches to biology, we also emphasise modelling and bioinformatics, disciplines that are currently essential for the exploitation of the massive data generated on a daily basis.

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Plant Microorganism Interactions (PMI)

Plants are directly and indirectly the basis of our food chain. In their environment, plants are constantly in association with micro-organisms that constitute their microbiota. Some of these micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) are seriously detrimental to crops, while others improve their overall health (nutrition, development or disease resistance). Therefore, one strategy to meet the challenges of both production and food or feed safety is to understand how plants react, adapt and eventually benefit from the presence of micro-organisms in their environment.

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Biotechnology and Tropical Plant Improvement (BAPT)

The Biotechnology and Improvement of Tropical Plants (BAPT) course is based on teaching units (UE) common to the BiPa, IPM and MEV courses and designed to acquire a core of fundamental knowledge in the fields of genetics and genomics, cellular and molecular biology, plant biology (development, ecophysiology, basis of interactions with microorganisms, etc.) and the tools required for the scientific approach (statistics, bioinformatics, critical analysis, project management, etc.). This core curriculum also includes an internship in M1 and M2 which allows the student to contribute to the development of a research project in a laboratory of a public institute or a private company.

Thanks to specific courses, including a specialised thematic school, and to the choice of options offered in M1 and M2, the Biotechnology and Tropical Plant Breeding course is oriented towards the appropriation of biotechnology tools as well as knowledge of the practice of plant improvement, targeting in particular the main food or cash crops in Mediterranean and tropical environments. A specific module in the M1 shared with the IBION-Tec course allows for the introduction of engineering approaches aimed at the production of phytomolecules of interest. 

One of the major development challenges, given the world population growth expected in the coming years, is to support the increase of agricultural production in Southern countries in a context of global warming. Thus, the two specific modules of the M2 course allow students to work in small groups on a project based on a research question targeting the improvement of a cultivated plant to changes in the environment (water deficit, poor soil....). To do this, they are required to mobilise their knowledge in order to analyse phenotypes and adaptive strategies of plants, to model them and to propose an improvement objective (ideoptype). The "functional genomics of tropical and Mediterranean plants" thematic school aims to illustrate, through case studies, how the knowledge acquired on model species and the use of genomic data on species that are still little studied make it possible to design classical or biotechnological improvement strategies adapted to the stress resistance of the main tropical species. In this school, which allows exchanges between master's students, doctoral students and researchers, the set-up and tools of partnerships are also illustrated, allowing the development of international and inter-institutional collaborative research targeting development aid. Through the choice of options offered, students will be able to refine their training and either go further by working on plant adaptation to climate change or on their resistance to biotic stresses, or open up to the human and social dimensions of plant improvement. Finally, based on the international campus of Montpellier, which is the leading European research centre in plant sciences dedicated to the improvement of Mediterranean and tropical cultivated species, thanks in particular to the presence of theIRD (Institute of Research for Development) and the CIRAD (Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development), The student will have access to a wide range of internships in France or abroad, giving him/her the opportunity to concretely explore the realization of a research on a tropical cultivated species and/or a projection on a research field in the South in partnership with a national or international research institute. 

In addition to this specialisation, additional skills to the scientific ones are considered essential in all the courses of the Master in Biology and Agrosciences and are fully integrated in the Biotechnology and Tropical Plant Improvement course. This concerns documentary research and the management and exploitation of databases, scientific communication and the setting up, management and running of projects.

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Management and Plant Experimentation (MEV)

The vast majority of plant-based foodstuffs are obtained through intensive agriculture. This form of agriculture was introduced in France after the Second World War. It responded perfectly to the social and economic demands of the time by producing food in quantity and at low cost. The development of intensive agriculture was only possible thanks to fundamental research studies in various fields such as plant biology and physiology, genetics and agronomy. Today, it is commonly accepted that advances in crop yields are half due to agronomy and half due to genetics. This past experience suggests that a multi-disciplinary approach based on strong scientific research is needed to develop a type of agriculture.

Intensive agriculture does not have only good qualities. It is based on the massive use of inputs (fertilisers and phytosanitary products) which represents a source of environmental pollution and causes health problems. It therefore seems important to change agricultural practices in order to limit the use of inputs and move towards a model of sustainable agriculture. This shift in agricultural practices has been underway for the past twenty years, but it is being accelerated by the ECOPHYTO plan, which aims to reduce the use of plant protection products by 50% by 2018. This reform of agriculture must also be carried out under the pressure of an additional difficulty: climate change. In order to develop a more environmentally friendly agriculture in a context of climate change, it is necessary to have multidisciplinary approaches combining genetics (development of varieties that make better use of nitrogen and water, that are resistant to existing diseases, etc.),agronomy/physiology/ecology (adapting cultivation itineraries, introducing micro-organisms, Natural Defence Stimulators, etc.) and plant pathology (development of Bio-Control, etc.) Plant experimentation, the driving force behind changes in agricultural practices, therefore requires managers capable of drafting, carrying out and evaluating projects.          

 While the development of sustainable agriculture is important for developed countries, it is crucial for many countries in the South, which cannot afford fertilisers or phytosanitary products anyway. CIRAD and IRD have developed partnerships with research centres in the South. Seed or production companies (e.g. sugar, etc.) in the South need high quality managers.

This Master's programme has been designed to be followed in alternation. A certain number of students will have the possibility of having a double master's degree: MEV (carried by the Faculty of Science) and management (carried by the IAE).

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Microorganism-Host-Environment Interactions (MHEI)

The IMHE ʻInteractions Microorganisms-Hosts-Environmentsʼ course is original and unique in the regional offer by offering students training, both theoretical and through research, in environmental and applied microbiology. Environmental microbiology integrates the study of microorganisms (prokaryotes, eukaryotes and viruses) in ecosystems, whether or not they are associated with humans and animals.

The IMHE master's degree aims to provide an in-depth knowledge of microbial systems with an integrative approach, addressing the study of microorganisms as cells, populations and communities in their environment, as well as interactions with their hosts (humans, animals, plants) and vectors. The course covers interactions at the molecular, cellular and microbial community levels, as well as the effect of biotic and abiotic factors on these interactions. It also examines the role of microorganisms in the functioning of natural and anthropised ecosystems. The practical and finalised aspects of microbiology are also covered, in particular the applications of microbial biomass and diversity in the fields of agriculture, the environment, health and biotechnologies.

Combinations of Teaching Units (TUs) make it possible to offer two profilesThe first is oriented towards "Fundamental Research" (profile 1), while the second is more oriented towards "Research & Development" (profile 2). This training thus offers students the possibility of meeting diversified professional objectives, with a high rate of placement of students in doctoral studies (40 to 50%) or professional opportunities in companies directly after the training. The course is open to apprenticeship.

This course is based on the strong regional research community in the field of microorganisms and relies on a strong involvement of researchers, teacher-researchers and industrialists from this community in Montpellier and more widely in the Occitanie region.

Key words: Microorganisms, Environmental microbiology, Microbial ecology, Microbiota, Emergence, Resistance, Adaptation, Symbiosis, Parasitism, (Meta)genomics, Microbial valorisation, Bacteria, Archaea, Viruses, Fungi, Eukaryotic microorganisms.

Website: https://bioagro.edu.umontpellier.fr/master-biologie-agrosciences/interactions-microorg-hotes/

(the website is currently being updated)

M1 applications (opening 19/04/21): https: //ecandidat.umontpellier.fr/

M2 applications (opening 19/04/21): https://candidature.umontpellier.fr/candidature/

 

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Biomolecular Engineering and Nanobiotechnology (IBION-Tec)

The IBION-Tec course offers students the opportunity to acquire skills at the interface of Engineering Sciences and Life Sciences. This Master's specialisation is clearly positioned at the interface of Biology, Physics - Electronics and Chemistry. It opens the students' field of competence to innovative and efficient techniques such as Biotechnologies and nano-biotechnologies, facilitating their integration in research centres and industries. This specialisation offers a base of skills dedicated to the field of biomolecular detection applied to diagnosis. 

Its strength is that it covers a wide range of activities in Research and Development, in the fields of diagnostics and traceability, from the molecular scale to the industrial process scale.

This Master's programme focuses on the design of innovative tools dedicated to diagnosis and traceability. This "design part" of the course is carried out over the two years of training, offering students access to various technological platforms and practical work rooms. The objective is to collectively produce a project that is taken to the point of feasibility, or even the development of a prototype for one innovation per year in the field of detection techniques.

The quality of life of citizens is at the heart of the training's concerns, with food safety and health care safety being taken into account in a context of sustainable development. 

IBION-Tec's objective is to acquire, in accordance with European regulations, diagnostic and detection tools for traceability purposes (medical, agronomic, food, etc.).

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Food Engineering and Eco-Design (ICOA)

The Engineering for the Eco-design of Foods (ICOA) course, an initial training or apprenticeship programme integrated into the Biology and Agrosciences major, is co-accredited by the University of Montpellier and the Institut Agro de Montpellier (National Higher Education Institution for Agriculture, Food and the Environment). It is positioned at the interface between process engineering and life sciences and offers an integrated approach to food design combining knowledge of processes (physical and biological) and control of the organoleptic and nutritional quality of products as part of an approach to reducing the environmental impact of the sectors.

The major disciplinary fields on which the teaching is based are engineering sciences and are: Biotechnology, Food Science, Physical Chemistry, Green Chemistry and Sustainable Process Engineering. This highly multidisciplinary training allows for professional integration in all the professions of the Agro-Food Industry (production, R&D, Quality Control) and more broadly in all sectors dedicated to the valorisation of agro-resources (materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc.).

Both years are punctuated by an internship (minimum of 3 months and 5 months respectively in M1 and M2) which the student can identify from a very large catalogue of available internship sites or by soliciting the active network of alumni of the programme.

For a limited number of students (2 to 3 selected on the basis of their academic record and their professional project) wishing to acquire additional skills in project management, a co-diploma with the Montpellier Institute of Business Administration (IAE Montpellier) can be offered. By choosing a supplementary UE of 5 ECTS related to management themes, the student can obtain a double Master's degree: Master ICOA and Master of Management of Technology and Science.  

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Plant and Microbiological sciences for Agro-Environment - IDIL

The "Plant and Microbiological Sciences for the Agro-Environment" program offers training through research in the fields of plant sciences and microbiology. The training addresses the study of plants and microorganisms at the molecular and cellular levels, and at the level of the organism in interaction with its agro-environment.

The program is supported by a network of laboratories that is unique in the world, developing research work on a large number of themes in these vast disciplinary fields. The student's training project is developed at the beginning of the Master's program between the student, the teaching staff and a research team, allowing the customization of a specialized program in plant sciences or microbiology.

Examples of teaching units:

- Mineral nutrition and plant adaptation to abiotic constraints
- Microbial ecology
- Roles of microorganisms in ecosystems

 

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Admission

Conditions of access

Applications for the Biology and Agrosciences Master's courses must be submitted via the e-candidate application on the Faculty of Science website: https: //sciences.edu.umontpellier.fr/candidatures-admissions-je-netais-pas-etudiant-etudiante-a-la-fds-en-2020-2021/ between 19 April and 2 July 2021. Applicants must submit all the required documents, as incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Each application is studied by a recruitment committee specific to the course for which the student is applying.

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How to register

Successful candidates must complete their administrative registration as soon as possible, at the very beginning of September, and then proceed to a pedagogical registration indicating the Teaching Units chosen for the semester.

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Target audience

The Master's degree in Biology and Agrosciences is open to students with a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences or equivalent (Bachelor of Technology in Biological Engineering), with minimum knowledge specific to the Master's programme in question. 

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Necessary pre-requisites

These differ from one course to another and students are invited to read the "pre-requisites" section of the course they wish to apply for. 

As a general rule, proven knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and microbiology at Bachelor level is required. In addition, a minimum level of English is required to read scientific texts in English. 

In addition to these prerequisites, basic knowledge of plant physiology is required for the BiPa, IPM, BAPT and MEV programmes, microbiology for IMHE, biotechnology, immunology and organic chemistry for Ibion-Tec and engineering sciences and process engineering for ICOA. 

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Recommended prerequisites

They differ from course to course. A minimum level in statistics and computer science is a plus for all courses.

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And then

Further studies

For those who wish to do so, the Master's degree in Biology and Agrosciences opens the door to a doctorate at the end of the Master's programme, in France or abroad, where graduates of this Master's programme are highly appreciated. 

Some students complete their training in biology or biotechnology in the Master's degree in Biology, Agrosciences with management training to move towards entrepreneurship, or towards bioinformatics to strengthen their skills at the interface of experimental biology and computer science.

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Further study abroad

Thanks to the exceptional network of international collaborations maintained by the Montpellier laboratories and the numerous links between the teaching teams of the Master's programme and foreign laboratories, the M1 and M2 internships can be carried out abroad (mainly in Europe and North America, but also in Asia, Africa and Latin America). This gives students the opportunity to do a PhD in the host laboratory or to join international PhD programmes. This possibility is not restricted to students doing their Master internship abroad, it is also widely open to those doing their internship in Montpellier or in other research centres in France.

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Professional integration

  • Doctoral Contracts
  • Research organisations, national and international
  • Research and Development in private enterprise
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