The programme's duration is four semesters. This entails courses 60 ECTS credits and the Master’s thesis 60 ECTS credits.
Students are admitted to the university at which their thesis work is supervised. At the time of admittance, each student, together with the tutor, establish an individual curriculum designating the courses to be included in the master degree. Each course in the programme is offered by only one of the cooperating universities. Students apply for admission to courses listed in their curriculum at the particular universities hosting them.
The programme offers a total of 24 courses. Courses can be divided into four categories:
- Biodiversity – identification
- Biodiversity – classification
- Systematic theory
- Tools and skills
The courses will be taught as a combination of assisted e-learning and intensive field or lab sessions where students and teachers meet for a short period of time at the host university or at a field station.
The curriculum should include at least one course from each category mentioned above. Two categories are covered by the mandatory courses Fundamental and Molecular Systematics (Systematic Theory) and Alpha Taxonomical Principles (Tools and Skills). Specific entrance qualifications apply to some of the second cycle courses.