autumn 2020
BIO-3008 Animal Physiology - 20 ECTS

Last changed 11.08.2021

Application deadline

Concerns only admission to singular courses: Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

Master course for biology students - principally aimed at MSc-students specializing in Arctic Animal Physiology. The course is available as a singular course.

Previous knowledge: knowledge in animal physiology equivalent to Bio-2002.

Admission requirements

Local admission , application code 9371 - - Master`s level singular course.

Admission requires a Bachelor`s degree (180 ECTS) or equivalent qualification, with a major in biology of minimum 80 ECTS.

Obligatory prerequisites

BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology)

Course overlap

BIO-3327 General animal physiology 5 stp

Course content

The course deals with the physiology of animals, with emphasis on the basic mechanisms underlying specialized functions in different tissues/organs/organ systems, and the coordinating mechanisms that regulate and maintain homeostasis in the integrated organism.  

The course focuses on specific physiological adaptations of animals to life in different environments, with respect to nutrition, metabolism, temperature regulation and energetics; neuronal, sensory and endocrine control mechanisms; reproduction and biological clocks; muscles and movement; respiration and circulation and maintenance of water and electrolyte balance. 

Objectives of the course


  • Explain the general principles of function of individual tissues/organs 
  • Explain how these functions are integrated in the intact organism 
  • Explain how the functions of organs are modified and adapted in organisms that live under different environmental conditions 
  • Demonstrate and explain how physiological mechanisms may limit or potentiate the process of adaptation 
  • Present and explain, from a comparative and integrative perspective, typical examples of physiological adaptations to special environments, with respect to: 
  • nutrition, feeding, digestion 
  • energy metabolism, cost of locomotion & thermoregulation 
  • neuronal functions, sensory orientation and biological clocks 
  • muscles and movement 
  • internal transport: circulation, respiration 
  • water- and electrolyte homeostasis 


  • Review and communicate, both orally and in writing, current knowledge from the recommended reading/syllabus 
  • Plan and conduct laboratory experiments in animal physiology, employing physiological equipment to collect data using a variety of scientific techniques 
  • Have skills in proper record-keeping and data analysis and in effective presentation of results to others, orally and in writing 
  • Teach animal physiology at BSc and MSc levels and communicate research at MSc level

General skills:

  • Apply gained knowledge and available information to plan own research in animal physiology (e.g., own MSc project) 
  • Review and extract relevant information from scientific literature in the process of presenting and discussing own research findings or other topics within animal physiology 
  • Analyze and critically evaluate scientific research within own discipline 

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

  • Seminars/colloquia, 2 x 2 hrs per week & topic 
  • Special seminars in preparation for the exam (to practice skills in answering essay-type exam questions) 
  • Laboratory practicals 3 x 4 hrs with written report 
  • Oral presentations & individual preparations with mentoring  


Written exam, 6 hours. A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail.

Course work requirements:

  • One oral 15 min presentation on a selected topic from the recommended reading/syllabus (Hill et al., Animal Physiology) 
  • Approved individual laboratory reports from 3 laboratory practicals on topics related to the curriculum

Re-sit exam

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 20
  • Course code: BIO-3008