spring 2021
BIO-2310 Arctic biology - 10 ECTS

Last changed 25.06.2021

Application deadline

The course is limited to 20 students. Qualified students must apply by the 1st of December 2020.

Exchange students and Fulbright students also has to apply by the 1st of October for the spring semester.

Apply for BIO-2310

Type of course

The course is limited to 20 students due to the expedition to the West Ice.

10 places are reserved for qualified students at our bachelorprogram in Biology and aimed at MSc-students specializing in "Arctic animal physiology".

The course is also available to exchange students at a biology study program.

Please note! students must expect some costs associated with the purchase of clothing used during the field expedition.

The course is not available as singular course.

Obligatory prerequisites

BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology)

Course content

The course describes the arctic environment and focuses on the biology of various arctic animals and their physiological adaptations to the extreme environment.

Objectives of the course

Students that have completed Bio-2310 Arctic Biology:
  • should have knowledge, insight and increased awareness of the Arctic region, and the animals (invertebrates, fish, birds, mammals) that inhabit this region
  • should be able to describe physiological adaptations of animals living in an extreme environment
  • should be able to understand-scientific literature
  • should be able to discuss- and give oral/written presentations of problems concerning this field of science

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Weekly lectures and seminars based on a syllabus in Arctic Biology. An obligatory expedition (14-17 days) with experimental studies and sampling of seals in the West ice will take place in the latter half of March/early April using the university vessel RV «Helmer Hanssen». During the expedition seals will be shot for scientific purposes and various tissues sampled for later analysis. Students are expected to participate under instructions of teachers in unique dissections of hole carcasses (the same as used for scientific sampling) and various organ systems (cirulatory, digestive, excretory, sensory etc systems) as well as doing specific physiological measurements of seals. Students will work together in groups and write reports based on results from research and practicals done during the expedition. Necessary safety training will be given before and at the very start of the field course.


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

Coursework requirements:

Participation on cruise and cruisereport. In order to sit an examination, the student must complete and gain approval for any coursework requirements.  

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: 10
  • Course code: BIO-2310