Royal University of Phnom Penh
Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Graduate Program
Master of Science in Biology skill in Applied Ecology and Management (Bio-EAM)


Program Background

Cambodia supports a rich biodiversity yet is one of the least known countries worldwide. In addition to forming an important part of the Indo-Burma Hotspot, containing four Global Ecoregions and 40 Important Bird Areas, it possesses many of the best remaining forests and wetlands in mainland Southeast Asia, with countless endemic and globally threatened species. Though knowledge of Cambodian applied ecology and management remains limited, recent years have seen an astonishing rise in the number of species documented and other ecosystem within the country. Much of this research has been led by international ecologists/biologists, due to the chronic shortage of Cambodian research scientists. As a consequence, Cambodia’s current ability to manage its natural heritage is severely hampered both by a lack of skilled people and biological information.

Natural resources are the mainstay of Cambodia’s economy: more than 80% of Cambodians depend directly on natural resources for subsistence and income, and all utilize wild resources such as fish and timber. With pressures on ecosystems/biodiversity and the environment increasing, there is a risk of losing much of this natural wealth forever; to the detriment of present and future generations. As a result, the lack of national capacity and reliable biodiversity data has been highlighted in all recent priority-setting exercises, including the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (RGC, 2002).

The Masters of Science in Biology, skilled in applied ecology and management (Bio-AEM) was established in 2017 to address the urgent need for qualified applied ecologists to guide Cambodia towards sustainable development, address existing knowledge gaps, and uphold the nation’s commitments to conserving its biodiversity. Partner organizations assisting the Masters programme is mainly supported by European Project – Erasmus+ Program within the consortium of 4 European university partners: University of Toulouse (France), University of Girona (Spain), University of Ghent (Belgium) and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria), and 4 South-East Asia university partners: University of Battambang (Cambodia), Can Tho University (Vietnam) and An Giang University (Vietnam). Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC), that is currently running Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation (CBC), Fauna and Flora International Cambodia (FFI) are the main collaborators for the program implementation.

The Master programme is jointly delivered by Developing curricula for Environmental safety and Conservation of the Biodiversity in SEA (CONSEA) Project and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), with assistance from a diverse range of academics and professionals worldwide. This master degree is partly joined with other degree, Master of Science in Biology, skill in Biodiversity Conservation, which was existed since 2005, supported by FFI Cambodia and RUPP. These two programs will share some coursework which students from both programs can jointly take course together in specific courses.

Program objectives

In the face of current anthropogenic pressure (e.g. industrial building along/closed to aquatic and terrestrial natural ecosystem), global climate change and economic development, this master programme aims to build up a firm grounding in contemporary ecological and management theories, and knowledge of project management and strategic planning; real life and transferable experience in designing and undertaking field research, data analysis and interpretation, reporting and presentation; opportunities to build intrapersonal, interpersonal and professional skills in applied ecology and management fields; outstanding opportunities to conduct original research and applied ecology projects with government agencies, non-government organizations and overseas universities and institutions. It provides a more grounded scientific-based applied biological science, e.g. ecological management, tissue culture, horticulture. Via this programme, Master students will be trained with theoretical and applied approaches to the address the current pressure and needs. Furthermore, the students will be equipped with innovative approaches that will result in solid research findings that can be used as decision support tools and economic improvement.

Program Learning outcomes

By the end of this degree, students are able to:

  • Gain and apply the contemporary ecological and management theories, and knowledge of project management and strategic planning into practice,
  • Design and undertake an independent biological science research, field 
research, data analysis and interpretation, reporting and presentation,
  • Strengthen and broaden intrapersonal, interpersonal and professional skills in 
applied ecology and management fields and other related fields,
  • Build research networks to conduct original research and applied ecology 
projects with government agencies, non-government organizations and overseas universities and institutions.

Program Prospectus careers

Graduates will become:

  • Biological science researchers, lecturers, trainers, teachers
  • Employers in private companies,
  • Post-doctoral researchers,
  • Ecological and environmental manager,
  • Ecological modellers,
  • Environmental and ecological consultants, and entrepreneur.


The Masters curriculum is a two-year program which consists of two stages. Students are evaluated at the end of each stage, and only those with adequate grades may proceed to the next stage.

Subjects covered during the first and second year of the Masters program are as followed:

This master program is designed into three themes in order for students to complete the degree.

1. Theme One: Applied Professional Course (non-credit)

This theme is designed expose students to improve their professional skills in their future career. Students will be able to develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skills for their personal development.

2. Theme Two: Theoretical and Practical Courses related to applied ecology and management (34 credits)

This theme is developed to build the fundamental, advanced knowledge and skills in modules taken for real applications.

3. Theme Three: Practicum/ Research-Oriented in Applied Ecology and Management (12 credits)

The research thesis is primarily a learning experience: learning the skills of research and exploring a topic in depth.

Codes   Credits
     i.      Core courses (10)




Ecological Field Techniques

Scientific Writing and Data Presentation

Geographical Information Systems

Aquatic Ecology





        ii.      Major courses (11)




Community Ecology and Ecosystem Functioning

Genetic and Species Conservation

Fish and Fisheries Management

Tools for Ecosystem Management





     iii.      Elective courses ( 2 courses: 4-6 credits )





Integrated Natural Resource Management

Seminar I & II

Environmental Impact Assessment

Environmental Law

Behavioural Ecology: Evolutionary Approach






    iv.      Research Courses (10)




Fundamental of Research: A Process of Inquiry

Research Methods & Applied Statistics

Advanced Biological Statistics and Modelling Ecology




       v.      Thesis (13)


Thesis Writing

Workshop/ Conference



Total i + ii + iii + iv + v (Min. – Max.) 48 – 50



To be eligible for the Masters of Science in Biology, skill in Applied Ecology and Management, applicants must be under the age of 45 and fulfil one of the following:

  1. Hold a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in any science field (priority will be given to students with a higher GPA);
  2. Hold a bachelor degree in any field and have a minimum of 2 years work experience in the natural science field (certification of employment required)
  • To apply, applicants need to present:
    • One completed application form, including three 4×6 cm and two 3×4 cm photographs against a white background
    • A covering letter (Letter of Interest) in English and stating why you wish to undertake the Masters degree and your goals after graduating (2 pages, maximum)
    • Evidence of proficiency in spoken and written English (recent qualifications only)
    • Certification of employment (if required)

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants will undertake written examinations on General Biology and English language. Candidates performing well in these exams are then selected in January for admission to the first year of the MSc. in Bio-AEM program that begins in February.

Tuition fee

Successful candidates are required to pay a fee of USD $500 per semester, which means USD 1,000/year to the graduate school at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The Masters program consists of four semesters and so the total tuition fee for the program over the course of its two years is USD $2,000. Payment of tuition fees is due at the start of each semester and failure to meet this requirement will result in the candidate being deferred or ejected from the program.

Scholarship opportunity and research grant

Varies scholarships and research grants are available based on the partners (CONSEA) and collaborators for this program. It is potentially available for some outstanding students amount the cohort. Additional research mobility to EU partners in the field of studies will be provided under the CONSEA project.


The Royal University of Phnom Penh is accepting applications for Master of Science in Biology, skilled in Applied Ecology and Management one time per year.

Open for applications: August 01, 2018

Application Deadline: October 15, 2018

Class Schedule: Monday to Friday (noon) – Weekday

Language of Instructions: English and Khmer

Program Duration: 2 Years

Number of Credits: 48-50

Contact for further information

  • Ith Saveng, Programme manager: 012-507-492
  • Mr Kheam Sokha, Programme coordinator: 092-299-474
  • Phauk Sophany, Programme coordinator: 016-941-231

Address: Room 415, 4th Floor, Main Campus, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Russian Federation Blvd., Touk Kork, Phnom Penh 12101 Cambodia

Important dates

  • Open for applications: August 01, 2018
  • Application Deadline:  October 15, 2018
  • Entrance Exam: December 13, 2018
  • Successful Candidate Announcement: January, 2019
  • MSc Program Start: February, 2019

Full program (PDF)

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